I’ve been dragging pencils, pens, crayons, and whatever made a mark over surfaces for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I was ever going to draw again when college apps came rolling in. After I walked the walk, being the dumb teenager I was, I dove head first into a heavily business driven design university before even sitting down about it.
Half way through my pursuit of my BFA in Graphic Design, I signed up for a course called “Business of Licensing”. In it, students were to pick something they made, finesse it, and create a bulletproof pitch that would ideally set it up for a license, patent, copyright, etc… It was a class that had a mix of students from any year and from any design major. This meant that you could be a first year Illustration student in the same class as a graduating Product Designer. Being a junior in Graphic Design, I didn’t see any licensing potential in any of my projects and deemed myself screwed for embarrassment. What was I going to do, copyright a poster?
First of all, as much as I ended up loving the class and my professor, I can’t deny the fact that I only enrolled to easily cross out some requirements. I wanted to make time to focus on the heavy courses that kicked your ass so hard it bruised your heart. Although both students and professors alike understood the rude lifestyle we all led, I still wanted to bring something to the table that was worth everyone’s time. Since I didn’t have anything to offer, and I wasn’t going to waste time creating an unrefined product, I decided I was going to do what I did best: I picked up a pencil, reached for my inner kid, and started to doodle again.
No, what I conjured up was not the series that helped me grow (I’m getting there, I promise), but another comic series called, “Scruffy & Sabrina”—two talking, walking, stuffed dogs that 5 year old me modeled after some stuffed animals. I didn’t give a killer presentation. It was terrible, actually. However, the good that did come out of it was another series called, “Life in Art College”. The series was originally about my field of work and how poorly misunderstood it was. When the comics slowly trickled into things about my daily life, that’s when I made the title change to “Heropie”.
Posting my work online for the first time, I never expected it to take off. I was a mental and physical mess, wrung out of creativity in a rigorous design program driven with competition. I don’t know where I would be right now if it weren’t for all the amazing support I got from my readers. They’ve helped me along my journey and were never discouraging about what I published. I hope that within my comics, I am able to give people the same emotional support they gave me.
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