Supergirl is all the rage with our latest Artist Spotlight!
If you’re like me, you probably have everything from Twitter to Instagram to Tumblr, and you’re probably a fan of the DC and Marvel universes. If so, then you’ve probably seen comickergirl’s (aka Sarah Leuver) comics. The freelance storyboarder and illustrator has a dedicated following on social media, where she whips up some awesome comics for fandoms such as Star Wars, Disney movies, and Supergirl.
Check out our interview with Sarah below and be sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr (@comickergirl) to get your fix of Supergirl and many other quality fandom comics.
When did you first start drawing?
I’m not sure I really remember! Kindergarten or first grade, possibly. I do remember taking an after school ‘cartooning’ class in second grade, where we’d learn to draw characters like Buzz Lightyear and the Powerpuff Girls. I think that’s when I got really excited about drawing, and started to devote more time to it.
Did you pursue art as a career? If so, you influenced you?
I did, yes. Specifically, I wanted to be an animator, and while there were probably multiple factors involved, I think it was mainly due to watching a behind-the-scenes featurette on one of our Disney VHS tapes, or something like that. They had a shot of one of the animators, flipping drawings of a character back and forth and making it move, which, at the time, I thought was the coolest thing ever. (Honestly, traditional animation is still the coolest thing ever, when I think about it.) So at age eight, when all important life decisions are made, I said to myself: ‘THAT. That’s what I want to do!’ And I need to include my parents as well, in terms of influence, because they were always so encouraging, and there’s no way I would’ve stuck to that decidedly-difficult career path, if not for them.
What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?
This is probably going to sound a little cheesy, but, every now and again, folks will tell me that something I’ve drawn has made them smile, or laugh, or that it’s just generally brightened their day. I think that’s my favorite thing about being an artist: adding something positive and fun to someone’s day.
Are there any artists you look up to?
Oh, definitely. It’s a fairly lengthy list, and it’s changed over time, but the ones that usually remain towards the top are Jeff Smith and Bill Watterson. Smith’s BONE in particular is one of those comics that I try to reread once a year, because it sets the bar in terms of quality, all-ages storytelling.
How would you describe your artistic style?
In all honesty, I’m still trying to figure out a good way to describe it! I find myself using the word ‘cartoon’ quite often, because that pretty quickly let’s folks know that it’s not photorealism; that it’s stylized and exaggerated. It’s also pretty simple, in the sense that there aren’t a lot of details, textures, etc. I think that’s something I picked up from animation–less details means it’s easier to keep on model, and animate.
What influenced you to start drawing comics in particular?
The storytelling aspect of comic art was always appealing to me. It was easier to communicate my ideas with images as opposed to words. So it was something of a natural progression, once I started drawing, to add in the element of story.
Do you do any other type of art?
My ‘day job’ is freelance storyboarding. It’s still drawing, but it’s a different thought process, and has a very different function and end goal from comics. Since storyboards are blueprints for things like films, commercials, and so on, the drawings are loose–closer to sketches than finished illustrations, because they’re only the first step, and therefore, rarely seen by an audience. It’s a faster-paced workflow, which I enjoy.
What first brought you to drawing fan art?
Technically, I want to say it was all the ‘how-to-draw’ books I read as a kid. Some of them were generic, but then you had titles like, You Can Draw Star Wars and Draw the Marvel Comics Superheroes. I didn’t take a formal art class until high school, so reading and following along with those books–as well as just watching a lot of cartoons and reading a lot of comics–was how I taught myself to draw. And when everything started moving online–fandom, job opportunities, art resources, etc–I jumped on the bandwagon.
What fandoms do you draw for?
The Supergirl TV show is the main one, currently. I’ll draw other Marvel and DC properties from time to time, as well as characters from Disney movies and Star Wars, but not with the same regularity.
What has been your favorite piece of art so far?
Oh boy, that’s tough. Hmmm. I think my favorite piece is an illustration of Silver Age Supergirl and Krypto. It was an instance where the end result matched…almost exactly with how I initially imagined the piece, and it’s rare that that happens. Also, I just really like drawing dogs.
Do you do commissions?
I do take commissions from time to time! It’s always a bit sporadic, as it’s largely dependent on my work schedule, so I try to keep a dedicated page on my blog that lets folks know if I’m currently accepting any.
Where has your work been displayed?
I’ve had a couple of pieces appear in print; I did a pin-up illustration for Action Lab Entertainment’s Princeless a while back, and a variant cover for IDW’s Real Science Adventures more recently. I’ve also done some illustration for a couple of Kickstarter campaigns, and a few covers for independently-published eBooks.
What other things can we expect to see from you in the future?
I had the opportunity to draw a Teen Titans Go story! That’ll be out in print in March. I can’t say much about any other projects just yet, but in the meantime, I’m certain there will be more Krypto fan art. Because one can never have too much Krypto fan art.