I’ve always loved drawing and I knew that the fine arts, in general, were going to be a part of my life. I just thought it would be different. After being unsure what I wanted to do for a career, a few friends saw me drawing and suggested that I sell at conventions. Until then, I had thought conventions were exclusive to Japan, since I had only heard about them in anime shows like Genshiken and Comic Party. After attending my first Megacon and Anime Festival Orlando and seeing all the other artists doing what I loved to do, I wanted to give it a shot.Â That was 2007. I started selling in 2008 but didn’t make the jump to full time until 2014. It’s been a fun journey with a lot of hard work along the way.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about being an artist that they may not already know?
Even though I do a lot of digital art now, it is still all hand drawn! I work on a Wacom Tablet with a pen so it’s just like drawing traditionally, just on the computer. I’m also the writer and illustrator for the manga series Game Over. I self-publish it on my own and am proud to have completed five books in the nine book series as of this month.
How has the industry evolved over the years?
When I first started selling in the Artist Alley, booths were certainly less expensive and conventions were harder to come by. Thanks to the surge of pop culture interest in our fandoms, there have been more conventions lately, but the prices for booths and admission has also rapidly increased. Because of the growing number of conventions, it’s tough to pick which shows to do because you never know how the influx of local cons and growing bigger conventions are going to impact each other and the community.
What inspires you for your art?
My husband and my fans. I love drawing for others! A lot of times, I have a character I love, but I just can’t seem to get the idea out of my head. Then, someone enthusiastic about my art and that same character comes along and BAM! It just clicks. For my book series, hearing from my fans and meeting them at conventions means the world to me. I’m always so flattered when they tell me they are looking forward to the next issue.
What’s next for you?
Right now, I’ve slimmed down my appearance schedule so I can focus on finishing up my manga series Game Over.I just finished up my fifth book and started on the sixth this week. I hope to have books six, seven, and eight done this summer.After that, who knows! I’m thinking about doing some collaboration work on some doujins and maybe starting a new series in 2018. For now, I just keep streaming on Twitch three times a week, kicking out prints and books, and focusing on getting the stuff done that I have to get done this week so that I don’t feel too overwhelmed by it all.
Describe being an artist in 5 words or less
A rollercoaster of a lifestyle.
What social media do you use?
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr as Bento Studios.Â I’m also on Deviant Art and I rarely update my Instagram.