GL: Why do you find comic artwork so appealing?
CR: I really got into it because it was a way for me to combine two things I really love, Superheroes and artwork. I read comics a lot when I was a little girl. My dad was a big comic buff, so I was introduced to a lot of the characters at a very young age. That’s where my love for Batman stems from. Once my artistic skills began to really flourish in high school, that’s when I really worked myself into doing a lot of comic illustrations of the characters I fell in love with. People seem to enjoy my art, so I must be doing something right.
GL: Indeed! I love your work!! Why are you drawn to certain powerful female icons? (like Wonder Woman and Catwoman) To clarify, are they paragons of perfection to you, or are they beautifully flawed and therefore perhaps more relatable?
CR: You know, I love Wonder Woman, but Catwoman definitely takes the cake. I think I am so drawn to her because, as you said, I see her as beautifully flawed. I can relate to her in a sense, we all have our gifts, talents and things we are good at, things that shine through. But some have an inner wound that doesn’t heal. It’s the thing that people don’t see. Catwoman is tough, fierce and puts up a strong front, but we know deep inside she’s a bit broken..How hard it must be fighting against the thing you love the most, a constant dance between love and pain is her relationship with Batman. I can relate to that.
GL: You know I love your “Old Wounds Can Heal” (as it’s hanging on one of the walls in my home). Please tell readers about the inspiration for this piece.
CR: You know, I drew her shortly after an emotional struggle. I was going through some difficulties and sat down with my paper, threw on my iPod, and just started drawing and she came out of it probably because as I mentioned earlier, I relate to her. The deeper story behind it is, to “trust your struggles” as I like to put it. I’d like to think that whatever pains we are put through will one day become useful to us. I guess the message is to “just keep going…”
GL: I can see that. Good advice! Now, you also design tattoos. Who have some of your human canvases been?
CR: I’ve always loved tattoos, I have many myself. When I was really young my father had a lot of biker friends, and I’d hang out with everyone watching them in the garage working on their bikes, and I was always amazed to see pictures on these guys’ flesh. So as I got older that traveled with me; in high school, my friends used to ask me to draw up designs for them so once they turned 18, they could go get inked. So I know there are a few people from my classes walking around with my designs on them which is pretty cool. I worked in a tattoo shop for a period of time drawing up designs for clients who came in. Some I remember are: a nice memorial piece for a woman who wanted to commemorate her father, I also had a guy who wanted a whole sleeve design of Triton battling the Kraken, and another guy came in wanting a huge “Ghost Rider” on his arm—that was defiantly an awesome one to draw up!
GL: I know that you work in a variety of mediums: pencil, ink, acrylic, watercolor paints, etcetera. Do you prefer one over the others?
CR: I don’t really prefer one over the other to be honest, I just tend to do more pencil and ink work because of my illustrations. I am making more time to get back into painting though because I find it quite relaxing and I really need to put all the canvases I have to good use, they’re starting to take up space!
GL: Besides working on your commissions, you’ve also been busy creating your own comic character, correct? Can you tell us any details about the character?
CR: That I have, she’s been in the works for a while—until I can really settle down on something solid with the direction I want her to go. She goes by “The Coyote.” She’s an assassin of assassins. They call her in to take other hired guns out if things start getting out of line or someone goes rogue. She’s kind of like a one girl cleanup crew.
GL: ‘The Coyote’ sounds like my kind of gal! And, you’re also working on an enormous portrait painting, correct? What can you divulge about that?
CR: That I am! It’s a personal project I’ll be tackling once all my commissions are caught up with. I have a pretty large canvas at home I’ve been trying to find a project for, and I’ve always wanted to do a portrait with paint. I can draw them well but painting is something I’ve never tackled so this will be it. It will be of an actor I really admire, Mads Mikkelson. I love Mads, I did a pencil portrait of him recently. He has such a sharp and intricate face and is like a chameleon the way he can change for each role. He’s definitely a big muse to me. I happened to stumble onto this photoshoot he did that was very dark and brooding… the dark grunge feel to it really spoke to the little gothic vampire-loving girl inside me. It will be an acrylic painting with another more “controversial” medium introduced as well. I won’t give that away yet though, you’ll just have to wait and see—for the finished product.
GL: Now for a fun question: What’s the strangest interview question you’ve ever been asked?
CR: Oh god, I did a Q&A video a year or so back and I think the craziest thing on there was:
“Does Batman turn you on?” The things people think up to ask will never cease to amaze me…
GL: What’s on the horizon for 2014?
CR: Not sure yet, I’m more of a “take it day by day” kind of girl. Hopefully this year I will be able to get something solid down for my comic and start really working on that. We’ll see where that takes me.
GL: Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?
CR: I’ll always post works in progress and finished pieces on my Facebook “Like” page, and you can also purchase prints and original art from me there as well: http://www.facebook.com/CoyoteArtz