Taking a Leap into the Unknown


Last week the comics were just flowing! I had all these ideas and could not get my pen moving fast enough to draw everything up. Then earlier this week the ideas just sort of stopped coming. I went through a little funky thing where I started to wonder if I was even on the right track. The thing is, I’m kind of finding my voice through my comic art. In person I come off shy but at home I’m bold, loud and obnoxious. My husband and I love to joke about everything, we have a sort of lowbrow humor that cracks us up.

Before my deep dive into comics I generally just made single works based on the inspiration of the day. If I thought of an empowered woman, I would try to paint that. Or if I thought of an animal I painted that. It led to a very safe, polite portfolio. Did it show the real me? Hells no! But it felt like a representation of things I found to be sacred or beautiful which worked for a very long time. For years I used my art as a sort of healing practice, to soothe my spirit. Colors would wash away the day, and every mood would show up on the page. It was my own sort of therapy, making art.

Wow how things have changed! Just before Christmas I made a drawing based on a vintage comic, for a friend. We chatted about comics a little and I told him that I have wanted to get into making comics for years. He said they are so cool but would be really hard to draw. (This particular friend has a degree in art making, so for him to say that really shows you how good professional comic styles can be!) Well I sort of took it as a kind of challenge, to get better at my art and to make some freaking comics already! I’m 40 years old now and I’m not getting any younger. If there was ever a time to follow my heart it is right now in the present moment.

So I started recreating vintage comics with my own sayings to go with, and before too long I wanted to try making panels. The thing with comics is they give me a voice! On the one hand I do not want to push away anyone who was drawn to my art in the past. But on the other hand, it feels really freaking incredible to create these characters and give voice to things I experience and think about. For years I believed that art should be beautiful but I was ignoring my own authentic voice. Some people might find it crass, or obnoxious, or too much, or too bold, or too dirty, or too (fill in the blank)…but I’ve crossed over into the world of comics and I don’t plan on going back. Because to go back would be to just settle for the way I’ve always done my art, and I am totally ready and willing to take a progressive step into the unknown.

I guess I’m writing this because I LOVE COMICS, and I don’t want to offend anyone by my lowbrow humor. But I also want to give voice to all those things that add humor to my life. I decided a long time ago that life should be fun, and if life is art, then art better damn well be fun too! Otherwise why do it at all?

ComicsKathryn Sturges