One of the talented people I met at FanNexus this year was Schnekk. She agreed to do a commission for me for the blog serial (stay tuned for the big reveal on Saturday!), and an interview to showcase the cool stuff she’s doing with her talents!
Schnekk has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. Her oldest story was illustrated with crayon and titled “Mr. Turtle’s Birthday”. In more recent years, she founded Club Crab, a small group of artists based in Seattle devoted to comic collaboration, as well as started up Lilies anthology with fellow crab, Atti. Lilies is an on-going open-submission comic and art anthology focused on telling positive stories about bi, trans, queer and lesbian women who love women.
PK: Share with us a little about your creative process. Where do you get ideas? Do you have a routine like a favorite time of day or tools? How do you know a sketch is done and ready to ink?
S: I love using watercolors and ink; they both have such a free-flowing form, they often move across the page of their own free will, taking turns I don’t expect, leading to a completely different piece of art than I originally intended to make.
That’s the sort of art I enjoy making most – art that inspires new directions and acceptance. Whatever happens, happens (in both art creation and life in general), and when you roll with the process and take things in stride, you can discover new things you never knew were there before.
I get a lot of ideas from collaborating with friends and other artists. I enjoy meeting with fellow artists every month to just kick back, relax, and doodle up some silly stories.
I’ve actually been asked before how I know when a sketch is ready to be inked, or how I know which lines to ink in a sketch (‘cuz my sketches can be pretty wild and messy) and I still have trouble formulating a clear answer.
A lot of art is a gamble and experimentation, for me. But there is a sense I get when I look at a good sketch, of something “clicking”, like a warm glow in my stomach – an intuition that this sketch is well-balanced, or simply that it would be fun to ink as it is now. Commissions are a little more of a challenge, sometimes, as I feel obliged to look at it from the perspective of the commissioner, which isn’t always clear to me.
PK: I love the themes for the anthologies and how many artists are involved in each one! How did you come up with the idea, and what is your favorite part of creating them?
S: Thank you! Japanese monthly comic magazines are a huge inspiration for me and for Lilies.
I feel there’s a real lack of female-focused lesbian/bi/trans/queer comics in the English-language market. I started Lilies simply because I wanted to read more of these stories, and because I wanted motivation to focus on creating work revolving around my own queer characters, Rose and Yuuri.
After working on a small Bubbline doujinshi (fanzine) that got a lot of submissions, I thought, “if this many people are into Bubbline, surely some of them are also interested in creating original stories about women who love women, too!”
My favorite part of creating Lilies is definitely getting to read through all the submissions we receive. I wish I could read this many fabulous comics every month! I’m really happy Lilies has gotten such a positive response and so much support from artists and readers alike.
98.9% of the credit for the amazing Lilies sub-themes goes to Atti. I hope we’ll continue to grow and fill in this gap in the market, hopefully inspiring more titles focused on these themes to be licensed and released, as well as created and supported by English-speaking artists and readers.
PK: What are you goals for 2018? What are you looking for from your creative community to help you reach those goals?
S: My goals in 2018 are to take it easy. (And by take it easy, apparently I mean possibly pursue a master’s degree in translation. Oops. So much for that goal!)
Lilies-wise, Atti and I are planning to release a total of three volumes in 2018, though we’ll see how the year goes. We’d also like to explore publishing with guest editors at some point.
(Interested parties, drop us a line at email@example.com with your dreams for Lilies!)
I’m also cooking up ideas for another, big project that involves taking Lilies in exciting new directions, but I can’t say too much about that yet. Keep your eyes open!
Personally, I’d like to play more video games and publish more original and fan comic books. As always, I look to my creative communication for collaboration, inspiration and support.
I’m really glad and grateful that I’m lucky enough to find all of these qualities both in artists I know in real life (especially you, Club Crab!) as well as in the artists I interact with online and at conventions, even briefly.
Thank you all, and thank you, Julie, for this interview. I hope I’m able to inspire and support you all in your endeavors in return. Good luck!