Last month we wrapped up our first round of extension classes, one of which was a comic book creation class. Platt Alumni, Jennifer Brincho, graduated several years ago but was eager to return for this new course. We were blown away when we saw what she created so we wanted to ask her some questions about her experience in the class and what inspired her new comic book.
Natasha: You recently completed our first ever Comic Book Creation Extension course, what was the one piece of advice that stuck with you the most?
Jennifer: The instructors, Keithan and Alex, had lot of great advice for us; but what stood out to me was the goal they told us to strive for. A common mindset for artists is that they have to outdo all other artists to succeed. Instead, the key is to be unique. Everyone brings a different approach to their work–and while it’s impossible to create something entirely new, a fresh perspective will set you apart from the crowd.
Natasha: Had you ever thought about creating a comic book before taking this class? If not, what inspired you to take the leap?
Jennifer: Yes, I had this ongoing series called “The Adventures of Skyhawk and Power Dog” that I drew all through high school and college. I wanted to make into a webcomic, but after testing out the first nine pages, I realized some serious learning needed to occur before I could keep going. It was very exciting to find out later that Platt was offering a class!
Natasha: You’re already an incredibly talented artist and digital painter, do you think it made it easier to transition into using it for comic book art?
Jennifer: Ah, you’re too kind! I was incredibly lucky to be in a class full of very skilled artists. Since we all knew the basics, we were able to work quickly through the main curriculum and spend extra time delving into more advanced techniques. Having a background in the tools and techniques made the class richer for all of us, if not exactly easier.
Natasha: What was your biggest challenge in the class?
Jennifer: The hardest part for me was making the action poses dynamic enough. One panel in particular had to be redrawn at least five times before I got it right! That’s an area that I still need to work on.
Natasha: What inspired your story and art style for your comic?
Jennifer: The story has a funny origin. My sister and I both like to write, and a weird hobby of ours is to pick several unrelated stories and combine them into something new. This one was the result of mixing together Thumbelina, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Scarlet Pimpernel…with a dash of steampunk. We’re actually writing it as a regular book, but I wanted to try drawing the prologue for class. Stylistically, it takes a lot of cues from Alphonse Mucha, one of my favorite artists. The characters themselves are aimed toward are more “animated” look, since I struggle with caricature and wanted to force myself to practice.
Natasha: Where can people find more of your work and what can we expect to see from you next?
Jennifer: You can find my work on Instagram @jenniferbrincho. I worked on a cool project for the last few months, but for now I’m still sworn to secrecy. In the meantime, watch for some mermaids during MerMay and possibly some more comic pages. I’m also running a giveaway at the moment–feel free to stop by for a chance to win a free art print!