Monday, July 18, 2011

Fiona Staples

Brilliant, talented, and just a bit twisted, Canadian artist Fiona Staples is best known for her work in the horror genre. It's easy to recognize her distinctive style, especially her work for Wildstorm. Scott Peterson, editor for Wildstorm, said it best: 

"Fiona Staples is a woman of mystery. She cannot be pinned down. She is the shadow of a myth." 

You went to art college without knowing what you would do with your training. Did it scare you to think of the future?

I'd been working on comics in my final year of school, but still wasn't sure if it would be worth it to try to do it full-time. The idea of making a living doing comics seemed pretty far-fetched to me, so I thought I should try to find some other kind of work, maybe in games. Bioware came to my school to crit our work and asked me to apply. So I applied at Bioware, didn't get hired, and thought, "What the hell, might as well just try to do comics!"

After that point I don't remember feeling too worried about the future, but maybe that's because I didn't have any specific goals to hang all my hopes on. I just thought I'd do what I could and see what happened.  
Do you alter your style depending on the project you’re given?

I think I alter things like the appearance of characters and the colouring, but my style stays more or less the same. It's pretty hard to consciously alter your style; I think it just has to evolve on its own over time and experience.

You once said you “may not be ultimately suited to mainstream stuff”. Do you still believe that?

Well, if we take "mainstream" to mean "superheroes," then yeah, I think it's still true. I always enjoy a good superhero story, but I don't have a particular affinity for them. I'm more than happy to dabble in them but ultimately, other genres like horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery are more appealing to me. Maybe someday those types of comics will be mainstream again!

What would be your dream assignment?

Probably to join an archaeological dig someplace exotic and document the excavation in comic form. 

Do you work better as an independent artist or do you prefer contracted work?

For right now at least, I like working under contract with a publisher and writer and editor. If I was left on my own to just do personal work, I don't know what the quality would be like and I don't know if it would ever get finished. 

Can you tell us about any projects coming out soon that we can look forward to?

I've got a big creator-owned series coming up at Image, and we're announcing it at SDCC!

How did you hear about Womanthology?

Renae just emailed me about it one day, and I was interested right away! 

What writer have you been paired with and what story will you be working on?

I'm teaming up with artist Adriana Blake on a six-page fantasy story written by Jody Houser. 

Is it surreal being a mentor and inspiration for so many people?

I've never really mentored anyone, but it's pretty cool to be involved in a project of this scale, that could potentially inspire and encourage lots of new creators!

Finally, what would you say to all the young creators trying to get into comics?

Focus on your craft- getting better at what you do should always be your top priority.

In honor of the show that inspired this blog, we'll end with the questionnaire developed by Bernard Pivot:
What sound or noise do you love?

The chime when you solve a puzzle in a Zelda game.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Children pretending to cry.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

Pastry chef, maybe!

What profession would you not like to do?

Being the person who holds the "slow" sign on a road crew.

Want to see some more incredible art by Fiona? Check out her blog:

Fiona won the 2011 Joe Shuster award for Outstanding Comic Book Cover Artist! You can see the categories and other winners at:

1 comment:

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