This week we would like to feature, the amazing Sara Rude! On top of being an amazing artist, Sara is also an active volunteer for KantCon, and one of our repeat vendors! As a valued member of the convention, it only made sense to take some time this week to talk with Sara about her amazing talent and hear about how she came to be a part of KantCon!
1. How would you describe your artistic style?
My style is somewhere between anime and Western comics. I like clean lines, but also dramatic lighting and special effects.
2. How did you get into art?
There was a term in college where I took 2 physics classes, and I realized between all the proofs and calculations all I wanted to do was draw. The Michael Bay Transformers movies came out around that time, and the fandom that sprung up around the franchise fueled my creativity and love of roleplaying. I did several coloring jobs for the Spotlight series of fan comics, and fell in love with the process.
3. How did you get into tabletop gaming?
I had been roleplaying in chat rooms and forums since middle school, but didn't start tabletop gaming until my first year of college. I love exploring different sides of myself with other people, not to mention the epic adventures.
4. Has your love of gaming affected your art at all?
Most of my older art consists solely of my original roleplaying characters. So yeah, gaming influenced me a lot. XD Because I created characters so often, design became one of my big strengths.
5. Where else do you draw inspiration for your art?
I watched a lot of cartoons when I was growing up. Mostly superhero stuff. So I gravitate toward the fantastic, the comedic, and the action-packed types of stories. Lately I've been ogling the webcomics Nimona, Blindsprings, and Agents of the Realm for their lush colors and details.
6. What is your creative process like?
I use a mix of traditional and digital processes. I sketch and ink traditionally on comic boards because the crafty part of me likes to have something I can hold. Also for some reason proportions get messed up if I draw entirely on a computer. If necessary I'll edit my sketches in Photoshop, and print directly onto bristol board to ink. I then color digitally. I can't mix paint to save my life!
7. If you could show a stranger one piece of your work, which would you
I would have to say the story I drew for the Zero's Heroes Annual #2, "That Really Burns Me Up." Zero's Heroes is a webcomic about underdog superheroes and their hijinks. Aaron Walther is the writer. I began coloring it in 2011, but Annual #2 was published in 2015. The story seems like one of those overlooked cartoon episodes from the 90s. "Day in the life of a supervillain," or something. Aaron's writing always makes for great expressions to draw, and it involved fire which is a personal favorite in my coloring arsenal.
8. What is your favorite thing about being an artist?
My favorite thing would have to be the expression on someone's face when they see something of mine, whether that's a commission or comic. I love seeing people happy, and getting to work with something my 7-year-old self would drool over is the best thing in the world. Now if it would only pay the rent...
9. What would be your dream for your work?
I wish I were smart or eloquent enough to make huge changes in the world. Letting go of my first dream of a physics career was pretty hard. But if I can improve even one person's mood with my silly stories, so that they can forget about their problems long enough to get back into their fight to change the world, I'll be a very happy person.
10. Are you selling anything new at KantCon this year that you are particularly
This year I will finally have a book of my own! Previously I sold Zero's Heroes and Science Hero, which were collaborations. But last year I finally Kickstarted my own webcomic, "How We Stay Sane @ Work," into a 108-page book! It will be available with some other merchandise that I'm working on right now.
11. What’s your favorite thing about KantCon?
The people. This con definitely taught me what the term "con friend" means. Even though we only see each other once a year, everyone I've met at KantCon has been supportive, welcoming, and dang fun. I feel we have a connection even deeper than people I see every day. And that's what has allowed this con to grow and thrive over the years.
Be sure to check out Sara and all of our other amazing vendors at this year’s KantCon! Early Bird is still in full swing, so buy your tickets now and save some money to put towards all the great merch we’ll have at this year’s convention!