Women in Comics Month: Interview with Sara Richard

In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with artist Sara Richard!


PREVIEWSworld: Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are you currently working on?

Sara Richard: Currently I'm working on a lot of the subscription covers for IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series as well as pieces for various galleries in the LA area! I'm also working on illustrating a 48 page book with Action Lab Comics. When not drawing, I love karaoke, hang gliding and ghost hunting. In no particular order.

PREVIEWSworld: How long have you been working with sequential art? What titles, companies, and creators have you worked with over your time in comics?

Sara Richard: I've been working with sequential art for about 5 years. I've worked mainly with IDW on titles such as My Little Pony and Jem and The Holograms, but I've also worked on Rick and Morty (Oni Press), Bob's Burgers (Dynamite), Deadpool (Marvel) and did an entire Tarot set for DC Collectibles for the Justice League Tarot card set. I also illustrated a children's book called Kitty and Dino for Yen Press that was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2013.

PREVIEWSworld: Did you have a mentor or hero in the industry that inspired you to pursue a career in comics?

Sara Richard: I do! And I always embarrass him with this, but Eric Canete was the first memorable professional that gave me the time of day and some real amazing advice about my art. it was years ago at C2E2 when I was still really unsure about if I'd ever break into the industry. Jimmy Palmiotti is another hero of mine who has also given me valuable advice on so many things in this profession. Both these guys are amazing and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I remember meeting Jimmy at New York Comic Con forever ago when I cosplayed Pain Killer Jane, my favorite of his series. I got a table the next year and have been getting a table since!

Other artists I admire are Amanda Conner, Andy Price, Katie Cook, Agnes Garbowska, Jim Mahfood, Patt Kelley, Ricardo Delgado, Kenneth Rocafort and Jill Thompson to just name a few.

PREVIEWSworld: In your opinion, how has the comic book industry evolved in terms of gender?

Sara Richard: Personally I've never felt gender has kept me from getting work. I'm a firm believer that if you get your work done on time and do a good job, a reputable editor or company won't have an issue with you being a guy or lady. I think it's great that more female artists have been coming to notoriety since I started reading comics as a kid though!

PREVIEWSworld: What challenges do you see surrounding women in comics and how could people of all genders go about addressing them?

Sara Richard: The only challenges I've faced are at conventions dealing with ignorant people (Don't call me sweetheart.), but unfortunately you're going to get that in any profession or environment. I also have an issue with events or conventions having women's panels, but not including women on general comic or company specific panels. I think more integration would really nullify the thought that women are a novelty in the comics industry to some people who are new to comics or just need their mind expanded.

PREVIEWSworld: Where do you see yourself in the industry in the next ten years and what projects would you like to work on that you haven’t yet?

Sara Richard: I hope to keep working on original content! I'm so excited with this book project I'm currently illustrating with Franco (Aw Yeah Comics) as a writer, and it's inspired me to continue to work on illustrating stories of my own. I would love to be apart of more gallery work too. Project's I've dreamed of working on are anything involving dinosaurs (I'm a paleo-nerd) and also a far fetched idea of pitching a story of bringing back Gosamyr from New Mutants. She's my favorite obscure Marvel character and I think has some real potential for a fun one shot. I mean, Squirrel Girl came back and that whole Guardian's crew wasn't super well known either. Still a real reach but Go Go Gadget Arm I guess!

PREVIEWSworld: If you could give advice to any aspiring editors, executives, writers, or artists, what would you tell them?

Sara Richard: It's going to sound really lame, but it's advice I wish someone told me. TAKE CARE OF YOUR DRAWING ARM. I went through a real bout of severe tendonitis a few years ago and it's gotten a little better since but it's taken a lot of physical therapy and lots of money in braces, muscle rubs, massage, and acupuncture. Seriously, you can work for hours on end without getting up when you're younger but as soon as you get nearer to 30 that superpower starts to go away. So get up every hour and do some darn stretches darnit!
Other than that it's the usual, study anatomy (don't get sucked into the anime style in high school. I did and it really impedes learning proper anatomy skills), study color theory and study some art history! Also try different mediums. I work in acrylic and watercolor and found those to be my favorite after trying all the other things you can find at an art story and digital.

PREVIEWSworld: And lastly, are there any up-and-coming women creators who you would recommend readers check out?

Sara Richard: Totally! Elizabeth Beals, Ashley Riot, Sasha Ioseliani, Tiffany Le and Ida Neverdahl. All amazing ladies and artists I really admire!

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