Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Q + A: Maré Odomo
Q: Do you work as an illustrator full time or do you have a “day” job?
I work at an elementary school a few days a week. I teach classes as part of this afterschool program. There's a comics class, a zine class, a Pokémon Trading Card Game class, and a Pokémon art class (There's only one kid in the art class, and she doesn't even really like Pokémon, and she's 8, and sometimes we just play the card game. She's super cute, but super bossy). I also recently started teaching a Magic the Gathering class, even though I don't know how to play. But all the kids just play each other, so it's fine. I mostly just make sure they don't kill each other. Twelve boys! So rowdy.
And once a week, I assist my old comics teacher with her new book. We drink tea and work in silence, with some sprinkles of gossip.
Q: What are some of the main influences of your work?
Oh jeez. Everything? I feel like everything I consume gets pooped out into comics or illustrations somehow. But right now, I think my main influence is video games. Maybe it's a Peter Pan Syndrome, but it's something I've been doing most of my life, even though I don't play that many games.
Q: Do you have any advice for fighting creative block?
Go do something else? That's why I'm answering interview questions...
Q: How and when did you first become interested in art and illustration?
When I was 5, I wanted to be an artist. I didn't draw very seriously when I was in high school, though. And then my junior year of college, I decided I hated Design and basically only did comics for the rest of my time there.
Q: Do you have a strategy for starting a project?
Mind maps are really useful for me. That's one thing I picked up from school. Word association, basically. When I script comics, I write the whole thing out over and over, refining it each time. Sometimes I fill a whole page with just text. My comics are basically the length of a tweet, though, so it doesn't take long to re-write them. Drawing is kind of the same thing. I draw things over and over and over until I get it right.
Q: What has been your favorite Ten Paces swap so far? If you had to add a theme to the line-up, what would it be?
The Harry Potter one!
I'd love another pop culture theme, but it's hard to think of something as universal as HP. Pokémon might be too weird, but maybeeee awesome. Or Twin Peaks???
Q: What is the most inspiring thing about where you live? People, scenery, environment, etc?
Oh, definitely my friends! There are a handful of cartoonists in Seattle, and I don't know if we really inspire each other, or push each other to be the best, but I can talk to them about comics, or video games, or girls, and we can also sit in silence at cafés and draw, which I think is something special. I probably would've moved back to my mom's house if it weren't for the friends I have now.
Q: What is your favorite piece that you’ve done?
I really like this comic I made about my dream hair...
Q: What is your ultimate goal for your illustration career?
I want to go on a book tour and see all my friends that live on the other side of country. Although, I don't see myself making long-form comics any time soon.
Q: Can you tell us about a time you failed or a time you should have done something differently? What did you learn from it?
When I first got out of school, I was working on a comic with this guy I met on craigslist.
So I had to break up with this guy, basically. It was a good learning experience, though. Now I know that I don't want to work with writers, unless they're my friends.
Q: What is your favorite thing to draw?
You can see more of Maré's art here!
Posted by Kristin Hughes