Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm a cartoonist and art therapist. I run creative arts workshops for young people with autism and other special needs here in New Orleans. About 15% of that is actual hands-on art therapy, the rest is management, supervision, grant writing, advocacy and planning, planning, planning. I recently gave a TEDx talk on inclusivity through the lens of autism and Mardi Gras. My personal work is creating comics about the body. The best ready-made category for it is "body-horror", since it involves a lot of grotesque, disturbing and sexual content. But the effect is not scary so much as sickening and funny, hopefully beautiful as well. My ongoing series, Vivisectionary, is based on biology diagrams, and The Disciple covers the metaphysical degradation of a would-be mystic.
What hardware do you use?
I draw everything in archival ink on the cheapest watercolor paper available, then paint with a blend of watercolors, colored inks and watercolor dyes. I have finally transitioned to a high-quality watercolor brush, and it's transformed my art, not so much in terms of the final product, but the ease with which I can arrive there. I use the tarot occasionally for guidance on The Disciple and anatomical references or high school biology texts for ideas for Vivisectionary.
And what software?
I use Photoshop to make minor tweaks to my scanned artwork. By far, the most useful piece of technology is Google image search on my iPad. I'm old enough to remember a time in high school when I kept books pasted full of magazine clippings that I'd use for visual reference when drawing- some gross, some beautiful, some merely useful. Nowadays, I can Google anything I need to see in order to complete a page. My search history is pretty strange and embarrassing: horse testicles, barber chair, 1970s blender, vulva, human heart, ham are some of the most recent queries.
What would be your dream setup?
I finally have my ideal physical setup – a tiny desk, an iPad, an expensive paintbrush, a quiet little room for art making. I'm also lucky enough to have a nice little suburban house, two children and a full-time job. My dream would be having a babysitter or housekeeper to cover for me while I make more art.