My journey in comics has definitely been a sort of “there and back again” tale of sorts. I read a lot of comics as a kid and then stopped for a few years and I’ve returned to them only more recently. I entered college wanting to draw comics, struggling to find a place where I fit in within my graphic design major and finding a niche with the animation kids. Hanging out with the animation crowd is how I met Anne, whose comics knowledge, confidence and wit I’ve admired since the day I met her. I studied and pursued work in character animation and visual development for years and it’s from those disciplines where I learned the most important rule in visual storytelling: “ Show, don’t tell”.
This rule is all about the importance of having an image being strong enough to convey an idea on it’s own. It has become my art-making mantra. In every drawing, I’m constantly asking myself “ What is this character thinking? Who are they? What do they want?”. When I draw each panel I think about how the characters feel, acting out their expressions and poses. I’m also thinking about the emotional tone and the action of the page as a whole, which inspires in designing page layout. This rule constantly prompts me to think of the most compelling and interesting way to tell a story.
I think a lot about how to make characters as expressive as possible within each panel.
While I may be limited by the confines of each panel, I love that within those spaces are universes of creative possibilities that I am free to explore. That’s the magic of comics that I’m in love with and enjoy exploring through each page of Nine Twilights. I feel incredibly lucky to work with Anne and Chris, who encourage me to just do my thing and be the best Andrea I can possibly be.
Nine Twilights has been an absolute joy, challenge, and honor to work on and I’ve loved working on it for all of these reasons. Rediscovering my love for telling stories through comics has been joyous, fulfilling and creatively re-energizing in ways that I really needed following a series of years that were rough for me both personally and professionally.
I was nervous at first, I drew a lot, but I’d never really made a serious effort at a comic before. I was scared that I would let Anne and Chris down because they had such an incredible vision for this project– I just wanted to be able to measure up. Chris has reassured me time and time again that I’ve never disappointed and that’s been such a boost to hear. As both editor and friend, he’s been monumental in helping me to regain my confidence.
It’s been a challenge as I am constantly pushing myself with my art, experimenting and striving to make every page better than the last. This part isn’t easy, but it is fun and satisfying to be able to work through the brick walls I hit. My goal has always been to make art that is worthy of this fantastic story that Anne and Chris have worked on together for so long. I consider it a tremendous honor to a) have even been considered for the role of artist by Anne and Chris and b) to work with them, as they are brilliant and supportive collaborators who know their stuff.
I love them and truly can’t thank them enough for letting me join them on this journey. I’m excited for all that lies ahead.
– Andrea Rosales, Artist of Nine Twilights