Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to welcome Rhea Ewing to our spotlight blog! Rhea will be one of our featured artists during our Worcester Needs Diverse Books Event on Saturday, July 25, from 2:00PM to 5:00PM. Rhea is an artist and illustrator who does both stand-alone illustration and queer comics.
Thank you so much for joining us, Rhea! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your art style? What can you tell us about [your most recent project]?
I work in two art styles. One is a more fine arts drawing and printmaking style that features a lot of attention to detail, repeating objects, nature, and, of course, hands. This style is great for stand-alone imagery and things like book covers.
The other thing I do is comics. Maybe it’s because the rest of my work is so tightly controlled, but I’ve always favored a looser, more relaxed style in my comics. What I like about comics is that you can convey a lot of information (whether that’s a story or a complicated idea) in very little time. I try to keep that in mind and make sure my comics keep focused on telling an effective story, rather than making every detail stand out.
The two styles complement each other well and both provide a nice break from the other.
What scene or part of a scene in a picture did you love or hate working on the most? And why?
This answer is easy and the same for both love and hate: the hands. Hands are notoriously difficult to draw, but that’s because they have so much potential as storytellers. A slight clench in the knuckles can make a calm scene tense, and the shape and proportions of the hand can tell us a lot about who owns them. I love the potential there, and hands feature prominently in much of my work. That said, it’s still a struggle every time to get it just right.
What do you consider the most challenging part of the artistic process? And how do you overcome that?
The blank page. For me, starting something is much harder than finishing it. What if I start working, only to find that all my skills are gone? Maybe today isn’t my day. Maybe I should wait. Maybe I’m not good enough to make this anyway. ….My method for overcoming the initial fear of starting something is to make up games for myself. I’ll set a timer (usually for 20-90 minutes, less time if I’m feeling nervous) and challenge myself to see how far I can get before it goes off. It’s also helpful to think of the creative process and problem solving: Where in the composition should this detail go? What position do the fingers fall in? Thinking of it as problem solving helps make the hard parts seem less like a test of my creative abilities and more like a challenge to be overcome.
Where can people find your work? (Books, galleries, online sales?) (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Most of my work is available online. You can find prints and all sorts of merch at Society6.com/RheaEwing Urban Fey is available on Amazon, and Bioluminescent Lisp is available to buy if you catch me at an event. You can follow my website for more info on comic sales and links to smaller projects.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Twitter and Instagram are the best ways to keep up-to-date about my work. Twitter if you want to know everything, Instagram if you just want work updates.
Thank you, again, for joining us, Rhea! We look forward to having you at Worcester Needs Diverse Books this Saturday, July 25, from 2:00-5:00 PM.