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Ask the Artists Episode 6: Ask the Artists Ep 6: What are you most thankful for?




  • Inkblazers Shutdown


    To the Inkblazers Community,

    It is with a sad heart that we have to announce starting February 1st we will be taking down permanently.  We have been trying to find a path for Inkblazers and unfortunately we have reached a point where we can no longer financially support the continuation of the site which cost us upwards of $65,000USD a month. Every single dollar earned from the subscribers went directly back to the artists and authors.

    The last four years have been the most amazing journey for our entire team and very humbling to engage with this passionate and amazing community. We understand the far reaching impact this has on the numerous authors that have put their faith in us and made a living on our site over the years.  We are very sorry it has come to this and we have no words for the disappointment and anger you must be experiencing.

    To help ease all of the authors that have placed your faith in us and the Preview Program, any author that received a Preview Program Payment in either November or December will receive an additional three month payment in the coming weeks to help you make your transition.  So if you earned $10 in either November or December, you will receive a $30 payment to help ease your transition. We wanted to make sure everybody is supported to the best of our abilities during this difficult time.

    After February 1st all user and author data as well as images will be deleted permanently.  To be clear, every single file, data, everything will be deleted.  We will not be archiving or keeping any information or files after February 1st.  All subscriptions will be refunded over the next week as well.  Any orders previously placed on Inkblazers will be shipped.

    Our sincerest apologies,

    Victor Chu

  • Interview: Awaken by Flipfloppery

    Flipfloppery is the artist of our latest Premium title, Awaken! Check it out in the Premium Section!

    Hello Flipfloppery and congratulations on Awaken’s promotion to Premium!

    Hey! thank you very much for this opportunity! I'm extremely grateful <3


    So how did you get started in comics?

    It kind of just happened, I didn't really intend it in the first place. At first I just wrote the stories of the characters I imagined, but at some point, I felt they lacked something. I began to illustrate them and a friend encouraged me to post them on internet. After that people started wondering about these characters that always appeared in my drawings, and I guess that's when the idea of actually sharing their story hit me. That, plus my love for animation and movement lead me to comics in the end. I think comics are the perfect mix of everything I love haha!


    I see that you’ve produced a few adorable animations, do you have some experience in that area?

    Thanks :) Yes, I studied animation and worked in a small animation studio I founded with some friends for over 2 years. We specialized in 2d cartoons for youtube and since there was only 4 of us (not counting voice actors and musicians) I had to learn of every part of the animation process, from concepts, to painting backgrounds, to actual animation. Specialization was not an option, it was a very demanding job. As I said before, I love animation, unfortunately, it's too time consuming so I only animate for myself short little things once in a while.


    What made you decide to pursue webcomics rather than traditional comics?

    I've never even thought about making traditional comics, it's something very difficult and unrewarding, in my opinion, to accomplish in my country! From the beginning I started posting my art on internet, so making webcomics was a natural choice. I had a bit of followers and there are so many sites where you can post and share your work with others, I only saw benefits by doing it that way. I actually have a short story about this. The first time I tried to publish my comic online, I drew it in black and white, I was so stuck with the traditional mindset that it didn't occur to me I could do whatever I wanted, without thinking of printing costs. When I had about 7 pages done I realized I was being silly and virtually crumbled the sheets of paper, to begin again, this time in full color. I'm happy about making that decision, until I have to actually paint everything xD I'm joking, I think it's a great gain and I would get bored of doing only B/W.


    Tell us a little bit about Awaken, what’s the story about?

    Awaken is a story about Piras, who's irresponsible and childish and has a very comfortable and advantaged life, until he finds himself in the middle of a strange event involving monstrous creatures called aberrations.

    This makes his life turn upside down as he musts partner up with a mysterious woman, without knowing that this will change his privileged status to wanted criminal. So the story revolves around Piras trying to recover his identity, while discovering the hidden truths about the Empire's perfect facade, about his father's death and about himself. I'd say it's a weird mix of psychological genre with shounen, I hope I can pull it out the way I imagine it :)



    What inspired you to write Awaken?

    Awaken is a story that has grown with me for over 10 years. It is a mix of a lot of topics, themes and genres I enjoy or have learned about with time. I has some of my views on philosophy, on religions, on love, but all of this heavy, deep subjects are thrown in on a shounen-ish kind of story, with tons of baddies' factions, monsters and superpowers. There are a lot of animated series and movies that I enjoyed, like Hunter x, Evangelion, Princess Mononoke, Matrix, that made an impact on me and have contributed and served as inspiration for Awaken. In the end Awaken is just the story I would have liked to see when I was younger, with some underlying thoughts of what I've learned while becoming a mature lady~


    You have some very cool monster designs in Awaken, what’s your process for creating a creature?

    Thanks a lot, my little aberrations :') I have recognized a few things that creep me out or find unsettling, like deformed, jutting bones, hanging skin, trypophobia, weird eyes or mouths, also discordant colors and I use them as a base for designing the creatures. They are supposed to look terrifying and vicious, but above all, irregular, like you can identify certain natural forms in them, but somehow they went wrong. All that combined with the concepts and theories I made up for the "magic" things inside the series. I can't explain that now, but I can tell you there are different types of aberrations, with different powers and different ways of behaving. So far I've only showed 2 of them, and for storytelling reasons, the second had to remind the readers of the first, so I haven't been able to show much variety, but there is! It's mostly the conceptual part what influences their design, so I can't wait to move the story forward and show a bigger variety of them!


    What’s your favourite part of working on Awaken?

    There are 2 things that I enjoy greatly. One is storyboarding, because I like to sketch and get things done fast. I love to figure out the composition of the shots and the acting of the characters so much that sometimes it's hard to go back and focus on rendering everything properly.  And the second, is just talking to the readers. I enjoy it so much x'D. It's very encouraging and fulfilling on one side, and on the other, I just enjoy talking to people and fooling around. Making a webcomic takes a lot of time, so I guess sometimes I replenish my social needs in the comments section xD


    What’s in the future for you and Awaken? Any side projects you’d love to work on?

    I have like 3 more ideas, but they are still on diapers, no, as amebas, for now. Right now I'm using all of my energies in the present, to get Awaken done. I'm only starting the story, not even finished the first chapter yet, and there'll be like 20+ to come. So that's pretty much my future until I drop dead xD. I'm working really hard on summarizing Awaken though, I hope I can make it less chapters, I know I've gone a bit crazy with my numbers! As for the other stories, the only thing that is clear to me is that I want them to diverge completely from Awaken, be more childish, more simple, about pizza... I think I'll maybe even try a different art style. I love doing things differently, so that has always been a bit of a bummer, it's a bit tiring for me to always work in the same style I use for Awaken.


    Before you go, any words of advice for aspiring artists?

    Don't be afraid! I've met a lot of people who think they are not ready to work on the projects they love, I was that person for some time too actually, but in the end the best and fastest way to learn is by doing. Don't let your fear keep you down, be bold and passionate, make mistakes and learn from them <3

    Thank you for your time and good luck with Awaken!

    Thank you! It's an honor :)

    Guest: Flipfloppery

  • Interview: Orange Junk by heldrad

    Heldrad is the artist of our latest Premium title, Orange Junk! Check it out in the Premium Section!

    Hello heldrad, congratulations on your recent promotion to Premium tier!

    Let’s start at the beginning, how did you first get into art?

    I've been the "girl that draws" since I was very very small. I think it was the influence of old anime series like Heidi, Candy Candy and Sailor Moon what made me want to imitate them since the moment I saw them on TV. The art style was very different from other kids' shows and I was in love with it. I've found Sailor Moon "fanarts" from when I was 7 years old! So I guess I just grew with this kind of art.

    What inspired you to start working on your own comics?

    TV series, anime and soap operas! I'm from a typical mexican family that watches local soap operas on TV. I remember I began drawing scenes of those soapies at first, but then they gradually became original stories. Also, this is very embarrasing, but I remember reading my mom's adult comics behind her back, and I thought they were really cool! LOL I learnt there was a way to write dialogues in balloons and that made it easier for me to draw my stories (before, they had no text).

    You have a very appealing style, what are some of the artists that inspired you?

    My current style was born thanks to CLAMP. When I became a fan of Card Captor Sakura, I wanted at all costs to be able to draw in their style. However, some time later I met other artists with different styles, and gradually, I began taking bits of every style until I found my own. Other artists that have inspired me are actually yaoi mangakas like Yamato Nase and Yoneda Kou.

    So tell us a little bit about Orange Junk, how did you get the idea for the series?

    I wanted to tell a story about people acting the opposite of how they looked like. That was the original concept, and I created the 3 main characters with that idea on mind. What inspired me to create this comic was an assortment of stories I heard from people I know. They told me about a very tough guy that was the smartest of his class, about a delincuent that was going out with a nerdy girl, about a teacher that had a ripped body and wore tight shirts to class, etc... All those examples made me want to draw a comic with that in mind. Now some things have changed, but that's how I came up with Orange Junk.

    Orange Junk is a very character driven story, do you find it easy to write people?

    Yes! Over the years I've learnt a lot by reading books, comics, watching anime, movies, etc. So now I know what it takes to write a likeable character with flaws and virtues and how to make them grow as the story progresses. To me, this kind of slice-of-life stories are the easiest to write, because you just have to look around you to get some ideas for drama or comedy. What I find challenging are action, sci-fi and fantasy stories, some of which I'd like to explore when I finish Orange Junk.

    We’re also very curious - why the title Orange Junk? Is there some meaning behind it?

    LOL yeah! I get asked about this often. The truth is I find my own story to be a bit like junk food. It is easy to prepare and it's quite yummy but it's also unhealthy. This story is very carefree and is more of a comedy than anything else. You probably won't learn anything substantial from this story, but it will keep you entertained and waiting for more! As for the "orange" part, I think it is a very youthful color that represents the energic nature of the story! Also, for some reason I like how it sounds, so there's Orange Junk for you! ^^

    Any future stories you’d like to write once you’re done with Orange Junk?

    Yeah! I have many, but I can't decide! There's a sci-fi one about aliens, a fantasy one about a writer that gets transported into her own story, a folkloric tale about a girl that becomes a shaman, a coming-of-age with supernatural themes about 4 boys in the 60's, an adventure story about a group of warriors looking for a legendary sword and a children story about a little witch with bad luck. I'll be posting blogs about all of them to see what appeals more to people!

    Any words of wisdom for the readers?

    There's actually something I'd like to share to the young comic artists out there. At some point in life there comes a time in which you are given 2 options: to follow your dreams with chances of being dirt poor if you don't succeed, or looking for a stable job that gives you financial security, while forgetting about your dreams and living an empty, shallow life. Well, I have to tell you there's a 3rd option. Do both. If you're determined enough, and willing to make sacrifices, you can totally manage both having a stable job and following your dreams of becoming a comic artist. When I was younger I thought this was impossible, because I didn't know how to manage my time. However, now I even have 2 jobs, and I'm able to draw everyday. Sure, I don't exercise and I don't go out often, but it's worth it! So don't be scared of following your dreams and don't be ashamed of wanting to live comfortably! We all have the right of being both happy and financially secure! I don't know what's going to happen the moment I fall in love and have a family (if that ever happens), but I've met people who managed going to school, having a family and also having a job, so if they could, why couldn't I?

    Thank you very much and we wish you the best of luck with Orange Junk!

    Thank you very much to you guys! I'm really happy to be a member of the Inkblazers community! ^^

    Guest: heldrad


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