RICH INTERVIEWS: Sara Richard Illustrator for The Gods, Goddesses and Heroes Handbook
First Comics News: Why do you enjoy creating art?
Sara Richard: Art is like a first language to me. I feel like it’s easier for me to draw an idea rather than try to explain it. I feel like art is a way to declutter my mind and I just love to bring new images and stories into the world!
1st: How does your art bring out the different aspects of different Gods and Goddesses?
Sara: I really like to play with caricatures and since the Gods and Goddesses are all idealized versions of humans, I feel my experience in the comic book industry can really help emphasize those assets that make them recognizable. I also grew up on Lisa Frank, so bright colors are a fun thing to play with.
1st: The color in your illustrations really makes them pop is this done on purpose?
Sara: There’s a lot of symbolism in color and I used that to bring out the evil in some gods, the sorrow in others, and the power in all of them. The bright colors really add a tonal, supernatural emphasis.
1st: How do you use your art to bring out the power of the ancient Greek Gods?
Sara: I paint a lot of swirls and highlights that really lend themselves well to the Gods’ powers and control of the elements. It was really fun to add kinetic energy around the illustrations to make the piece look like the whole scene is in motion.
1st: How would you describe your art style?
Sara: I’m inspired by Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Victorian-era symbolism so I guess, it’s a swirly and Goth-y sort of thing! I like to juxtapose a macabre subject with a sweet story to create something that comes off as spooky but with a lovely, heartfelt layer underneath.
1st: Would you like to visit ancient Olympus the place where Gods and Goddesses lived?
Sara: My morbid curiosity wants to say yes, but my realistic self-preservation says “Oh Gods, no!”
1st: You create a lot of comic book covers do you have any favorites?
Sara: Favorite covers of mine have been ones that I get a lot of freedom on or are of creator-owned characters. The cover for this book was so much fun to do, It came out exactly as I’d hoped. I think my favorite part is the Medusa head on the top of the back cover. “The Ghost, The Owl” is a book Franco of Aw Yeah Comics wrote and I illustrated. That is one of my favorite covers for sure, I put so much of myself into that book and the cover was such a big deal to me. To create one illustration for a collection of art that you poured yourself into is quite a challenge. The Rick and Morty covers I did for Oni/IDW were also a ton of fun, and The Jem and The Hologram covers I got to do for IDW were a childhood dream come true.
1st: What is your favorite genre to draw?
Sara: I love horror so anything in that vein really piques my interest. I’d often try to sneak in spooky horse skulls into some of the My Little Pony covers in the past too. I couldn’t help it.
1st: Do you enjoy drawing animals as much as humans?
Sara: I think I may actually like drawing animals a bit more. I get a bit of an anxiety attack if I have to match a likeness on human illustrations. But if I get to make up the human character, I have a lot of fun with it; creating someone I’d like to meet.
1st: What is next in your career?
Sara: Right now I am working on a really fun project for DC Comics that I can’t say much more about. But I’m also doing more book illustration work with Simon and Schuster which has been a nice new shift from comic work. Of course, I’ll still always love making comics, but as a freelance artist, it’s good to try and get eggs in as many baskets as possible. I’m planning on doing more writing and creating more of my own books and stories. I’ve recently started a weekly comic called “The Wicklow Skulls” that I hope to turn into a book soon.
1st: If you could spend a day doing anything you wanted what would you do?
Sara: Wandering in far-away cemeteries and catacombs is always on my mind.
1st: Besides illustrating do you have any other creative outlets?
Sara: I’ve always loved music, but I can’t play anything to save my life so I love me some karaoke! I have been trying to learn the theremin too. Because it’s ghost music. I love being outside and in the last year have really gotten into mushroom and wild herb foraging. I volunteer to clean and maintain an old gravesite with my mom in New England. That is its own art. I guess I have been looking into raising butterflies recently, so there’s that too I guess!
1st: What would you like to say to the fans of your art?
Sara: Thank you to everyone who has supported my art over the years. It absolutely means the world! I can’t wait to show you what’s coming next!
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