This June, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Musto, illustrator and web comic creator of The Adventures of Lady Skylark and Kay and P!
What is your process of inspiration for creating art?
Pretty much everything around me. The first piece of advice I give to any artist of any medium is to carry a sketchbook with you wherever you go. You are going to see places, observe people and get ideas from all over the place, and you want to be prepared to write those down - as quick as they come into your brain, you should be sure that they will go right out again. So I take my book with me wherever I go, and jot notes, sketch bits and pieces and craft ideas all the time. I kind of suffer from almost having too many ideas - there are a lot of them I am sure will never see the light of day because I just don't have time to dedicate to them all!
Who is an artist/writer that inspires you and why?
I watch a lot of fellow artists on tumblr, and I find it inspiring to see what comics and other things there are up to. I feel like following your contemporaries (especially in this age of modern media) is really important to get a handle on what's going on in your field; as well as networking and idea-sharing. It's great to be able to show your work to a group of people - some of who are on another continent - and get some really excellent feedback.
Some of my favorite folks are: Paige Haisley Warren, Tarabba, Jessfink, Ben Bishop, Amy Falcone, itscarororo, Kathryn Hudson, Claire Hummel... and way too many more to list!
How do you overcome fallow spells in creativity and regain the courage to create?
I tend to just push through and keep working. I have the benefit/problem of working on a schedule of three comic pages a week - so people expect something of me regardless of if I'm having a bad day or crazy life stuff. I do my best to keep on my schedule and that helps me plan my time accordingly. There have certainly been days where I've been tired and didn't feel like working, or didn't really feel inspired - and then I'll take a break, play some video games or go somewhere to shake up the old head-space. I think one of the best pieces of advice I can give people who want to work creatively is to pick bite sized projects at first - they'll be done quickly so you won't tire of them, and then they'll give you some practice to tackle larger projects later. It's great to develop a sense of self-discipline to keep yourself in check. Besides, if you love what you are doing, you'll find yourself coming back to it no matter how much you try to take a break!
You can discover more of Jackie’s marvelous work at:
“Life when your best friend is a skeleton.”
The Adventures of the Lady Skylark
“A steampunk story about pirates, treasure, gentlemen and of course the Lady Skylark herself.”