One of the great things about covering conventions, is that you get to meet incredible people. Last year, at Edinburgh Comic Con, I met Swiss born artist Sara Julia, and was immediately taken by her style. Since then, Sara’s career in illustrations and comics has continued to grow, so when I saw her again at Capital SciFi Con, I took the opportunity to catch up with her.
FB: How did your journey into art start?
SJL: I was 3 when I picked up a pen and drew. I enjoyed it and some years later I noticed that other people liked what I did, so I never stopped.
FB: Growing up in Switzerland, what artists inspired you to follow a career in art?
SJL: While the nature and greenery in Switzerland was very inspiring, most of my artist influences came from other countries. I grew up with Japanese Studio Ghibli films, French band Dessinée and English artists such as Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl, Gorillaz). I also loved Judith Park, a German comic artist. I always enjoyed drawing and wanted to keep at it, even if I did not know that it would eventually lead to a career.
FB: You are most interested in sequential narrative based illustration. What is it about a fully developed story that appeals to your creativity?
SJL: It lets me do things from start to finish: thinking of a story, designing a place, creating characters and then making finals. With a story, characters have more time to develop and show off their personalities. I also like playing with lighting, mood and colour in a confined setting.
FB: You have recently funded a successful Kickstarter campaign. Tell us about the project called The Wizard and The Hat.
SJL: The Wizard and the Hat is a story about a young boy who is not very powerful. He can only make cups of tea, which he doesn’t like very much. He goes on an adventure to find a magic hat that can give him more power, but soon he sees that it is not as good as it seems. In the end he realises that tea does not taste too bad after all!
I wanted to make a story about someone who learns to cherish the life he has. I combined the story with fantasy elements to make it more fun to paint. I am very excited that the Kickstarter campaign was funded and that I can print the first edition of the book!
FB: What materials do you use to create your art? Any favourite?
SJL: Usually it is a mix of traditional and digital drawing; I make the drawings on paper with pencil and pen, and then scan them in and colour them digitally with a WACOM tablet. Sometimes I will do everything traditionally with pencil and paint, which is what I did for The Wizard and the Hat.
FB: If you had no constraints of time or money, what project would you love to bring to life?
SJL: I would love to draw a very long fantasy or sci fi story one day, but I am not sure what it will be about yet. I never know what’s going to happen. The best ideas always seem to come to me when I have the least time.
FB: So, what’s next for you?
SJL: At the moment I am working on various book covers and short stories, and hopefully I will do another comic or two in the future. I enjoy building new worlds and characters, and very excited to see where it takes me!