THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight, Trish! How did you get into art and why did you want to become an artist?
Trish Forstner: I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember! The reasons I love to cartoon, specifically bright colorful expressive toons, is because there’s too much reality in the world. I get lost in the world of Toons!
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!”?
Trish: I actually don’t do this for a living. What I like about that not being the case all the time is that I can really choose my assignments and pick things I can really knock out of the park! I really enjoy the steadiness of being able to work on projects I really care about.
TCC: Which artists inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…
Trish: I am inspired by classic animation for the most part. This ranges from Disney, Bluth, Looney Tunes, Bagdasarian Productions, you name it! If it’s a toon, chances are I’m into it. The Lion King changed my life. The animation, the creative process, the music, the voices, it had it all! It taught me a lot of how to draw expressions in a more real feeling.
TCC: Can you tell us your greatest fan moment, interacting with a personal hero of yours where you may have gone a little weak at the knees?
Trish: OH MY GOODNESS! I have one. I met Haley Atwell at Baltimore Comic Con! She is so impressive. I always get very mumbly and speechless when I speak to celebrity types. I usually draw a little something for them to break the ice, so she was very nice and signed my print and complimented my work. I absolutely adore her as Agent Carter so it was really cool to meet her
TCC: What is your favorite fandom? Who is your favorite comic book character/movie/tv character?
Trish: I have lots of favorites. I love most anything fun! My favorite comic book character is Squirrel Girl. She’s fun and who doesn’t like Tippy Toe?! I love the Lord of the Rings movies, and Iron Man in the MCU is my absolute favorite. I REALLY want to see entire movies in the “What If…” universe. As I mentioned earlier, Agent Carter is one of my favorite lady comic/movie/fandom characters. I absolutely love a lot of Disney stuff, most any of their musicals…except their live action remakes…those are the worst!
TCC: Outside of the ones you create for a living, what characters/stories do you like drawing the most in your spare time?
Trish: I have my own characters that I love to draw for fun. Cougari is a fun character that I draw in a lot of different fandoms. I also love My Little Pony characters. I got my start in comics drawing Ponies, so I pay them tribute for fun. I love drawing Chip and Dale, the classic Disney characters. That sort of stuff. I love crossing them over into other fandoms and making cool versions of them. Example: I made a really cool My Little Pony of Tony Stark. I crossed over Chip and Dale with Thor and Loki once. They’re really fun and a great way to destress!
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?
Trish: I work every single day! I work a day job from 8:30AM to around 6PM and then I draw from 8PM to around 12AM or 1AM then we do it again. On the weekends I draw exclusively. I do sometimes pull time for relaxing and going out, but usually on the weekends. It’s tiring but satisfying work.
TCC: When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some creators use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?
Trish: I will usually put on something with a good beat when I’m sketching to keep me moving quick. Lately it’s KPOP (SHINee) or Electro Swing (Caro Emerald). If I’m zoning out to ink, then I’m going to likely have a show I’ve seen 1000 times. The Office, Boston Legal, 30 Rock, Lucifer, stuff like that. Sometimes I listen to podcasts that talk about the lost or broken-down attractions at amusement parks, animatronics that don’t exist anymore.
TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending? And, indeed, what was the last?
Trish: The first convention I ever attended as a spectator was Baltimore Comic Con, way back in 2008 or so. The last one I attended was BronyCon in 2019 where I was a guest and I worked for the convention as part of their design team.
TCC: What’s your favourite element of a comic convention? And which bits could you easily leave behind?
Trish: I love to watch people in the ‘scene’ if that makes sense. I love seeing people in cosplay, seeing people talk about their favorite books with other like-minded folks, seeing kids pick up their first comic book or their parents showing them their favorite heroes! I love watching people see something I created and have that AH HA moment where they tell me all about what they loved in the book. It’s the serotonin boost we all need…to feel like a Rock Star for a weekend. I love the artist alley. I’m not big on panels unless it’s something super interesting. I feel like I would rather meet the creatives and talk to them about their process or see what they’re working on. Mostly though, seeing people engage in fandom and disconnect from the world for a little while is very satisfying and something we all need from time to time.
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?
Trish: Probably Artist Alley or where the dealers are set up. I love to walk the hall and shop.
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?
Trish: At the moment I can’t. My cup runneth over with work. It’s not a bad problem to have. I will make announcements thru social media channels when I am available again.
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?
Trish: I think it’s great. Tony Fleecs, co-creator of Stray Dogs has a Kickstarter soon for Time Shopper! I also recently participated in a Kickstarter campaign for Garrett Gunn/Christie Blanch’s Good Boy. I think it’s a cool way to get your idea out there. It is a huge resource for independent artists and creatives.
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?
Trish: I worked on a cover for Strings #2 which was also on Kickstarter. I did some covers for Good Boy, one that is being used to raise money for charity. Presently I am drawing for Stray Dogs: Dog Days! That will be out in December!
TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?
Trish: Twitter and Instagram: @TrishForstner and on Facebook, mostly active in the Stray Dogs & Good Boy Facebook Group
TCC: Where can people see an example of your art online and find out about your rates?
Trish: My website is animatedvisions.com (in dire need of updating). I mostly post on Twitter and Instagram if you want to see my art. I don’t have pricing up yet because I don’t have availability for commissions just yet.
TCC: Thanks, Trish, for your time!
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