THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight, Sean!
TCC: How did you get into art and why did you want to become an artist?
Sean: I was drawing at a very young age, and my love of drawing, cartoons, and comics led to me wanting to get into comics. I was around 13-14 years old when I really made the decision that I wanted to be a professional comic artist.
TCC: What was the first work you completed, where you stepped back and thought, “Yes, y’know what, I can do this for a living!”?
Sean: When I was in high school and finished my first set of sample pages and submitted them to Marvel. Of course it didn’t go anywhere, but it gave me a boost in confidence to pursue comics.
TCC: Which artists inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…
Sean: Jim Lee, Michael Turner, Joe Madureira, John Buscema, J. Scott Campbell, Norman Rockwell, Frank Frazetta. There are so many!
TCC:Can you tell us your greatest fanboy moment, with a personal hero of yours?
Sean: Oh geez. Back in 2008-ish I was at Wizard World Chicago and I was coming back from dinner with some other artists and got the chance to chat with J. Scott Campbell at the hotel bar. We chatted about DANGER GIRL and the Spider-Man project he was supposed to work on (that never came to fruition). He was a genuinely nice guy and a great memory.
TCC: What is your favorite fandom? Who is your favorite comic book character/movie/tv character?
Sean: Favorite fandom – Star Wars, Favorite comic book character – Spider-Man, Movie character – Indiana Jones.
TCC: Outside of the ones you create for a living, what characters/stories do you like drawing the most in your spare time?
Sean: I love to draw Spider-Man and He-Man, lots of characters from my favorite 80s cartoons.
TCC: What’s your working routine? Do you work regular set hours and days, keeping certain days free for personal time, or do you find you create any time the muse takes you?
Sean: I typically work 12-hour days during the week. I warm-up in the morning with a live stream sketch whenever possible, then work all day on either drawing or coloring. I try to keep some time for personal time, but it’s hard to manage with deadlines looming.
TCC:When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some artists use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?
Sean: Lots of YouTube podcasts and audiobooks. I’m a big fan of the Star Wars Time Show and New Rockstars podcasts on YouTube. Music-wise I listen to a lot of 80s rock and movie scores.
TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending? And, indeed, what was the last?
Sean: The first comic con I attended as a fan was the 1999 Wizard World Chicago. As a professional artist it was probably 2004’s Motor City Comic Con. The last con I got to attend was the 2020 C2E2, right as the pandemic was hitting. We stopped on the way to Chicago and bought Lysol spray and wipes at a gas station so that we could wipe down all the art portfolios each day.
TCC: What’s your favourite element of a comic convention? And which bits could you easily leave behind?
Sean: Favorite elements are definitely seeing people, interacting with fans and other artists. I love being able to hang out and collaborate and decompress with friends/artists after a con. Bits to leave behind, the overpriced con food, the con funk, and the con crud that I inevitably end up with.
TCC: At a convention, when you’re not behind your table or doing the things you have to do at a con, which corner of the show would we find you in?
Sean: You would definitely find me walking through artist alley – chatting with artists and catching up with friends. Or looking at toys and back issues.
TCC: With the lack of conventions, a lot of artists are taking commissions online and mailing them out to people – is this something you’re doing?
Sean: Yes, I’ve actually converted part of our basement into “Forney Pack & Ship” complete with comic mailers, bubble wrap, and a scale. Our USPS mail person (Heather) and I are on a first name basis. It’s been great to still be able to complete commissions and talk to people online.
TCC: A lot of creatives are also taking to crowdfunding – such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo – to generate income from their work. What’re your thoughts on that?
Sean: We just ran our 4th successful Kickstarter and are currently working on fulfillment. Crowdfunding is a great way to reach a larger audience outside of conventions alone, and reduces some of the personal financial risk that artists have when they self-publish. I’ve also been a part of lots of other people’s Kickstarters and Indiegogo campaigns – there are some amazing projects out there right now.
TCC: What projects have you recently finished? What are you working on at the moment, what projects are coming up that you can talk about?
Sean: I recently finished Omega Morphosis Heroes #4 (Omega Morphosis) which you can find on Webtoons, Dude Bro #5 (Spicy Pulp) which is currently on Kickstarter and will be available from Virus/Heavy Metal, and I’m constantly working with Marat Mychaels at Counterpoint Comics on various titles. Currently I’m working on my creator-owned book: Scarlet’s Field Guide to Cryptids & Other Creatures, which will be out in March, and Power Ninja Toons (Jolzar Entertainment) which will be launching on Kickstarter in February. More fun projects are in the works for later in 2021, but I can’t talk about them just yet.
TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?
Sean: I try and stay as connected as possible. I’m on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter) consistently and try to be online with live streams on weekday mornings around 10am EST to do a quick warm-up. My buddy, artist Rodney Fyke and I are also live-streaming on Thursday nights with Thursday Nite Throwdown and on Friday nights with Friday Nite Draw. We are live at 8pm EST both nights and we have a 30-minute sketch-off battle and then we work on commissions for about an hour and talk to fans and friends about all sorts of nerdy and art-related topics.
TCC: Where can people see an example of your art online and find out about your rates?
Sean: I’ve got a website, online store, and here’s my linktree to all my social media. I’ve got art posted just about everywhere and those interested in commissions can contact me through any of those methods to get quotes and rates for commissions.
Thanks Sean for your time!
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