When I asked my guest artists (Greg Waller, Nyco Rudolph and Scott Ford) questions about making comics and hearing of their inspirations, a common theme kept coming up: the women in their lives. The people that support us creators (women in this case) are often an instrumental part in our craft. They encourage, they motivate, or maybe provide a critical eye. And, they are sometimes the unsung heroes, and without such supporting partners the creator might flounder.
Hearing of these responses made me want to dedicate at least one blog to these women that help, inspire, and motivate us. To let the world know there is more to Scott or Nyco or Greg, and that these partners have their own lives, interests and talents. So, let’s hear it, ladies! What’s it like being with a comic artist? What should we know about you?
First up: my wonderful wife, Angela.
-What advice would you give to another supporter of a comic maker?
You must be patient, flexible and understanding. You must be willing to make sacrifices such as giving up spending time together in order to give your partner time to finish work or get a brainstorm down. Most people believe that just because Scott works from home, he can create his own hours and work when he wants. This simply is not true. Most days/nights Scott and I don’t spend much time together. We have to schedule date nights or time to spend together. Scott is a vey hard working person and his day is often interrupted to take our son to school or daughter to daycare or other appointments such as doctors and dentists etc. He needs to make this time up, so often when I get home from work we eat dinner as a family and spend a few hours together then when the kids go to bed, he usually (5 out of 7 nights) goes back downstairs to work. It is almost like we work opposite shifts sometimes. The biggest piece of advise I would give to a supporter of an artist is to have realistic expectations of what home life will be like. The hours are long, the pay is ok, but unpredictable and depends on freelance work and contracts, but is worth it to make the person you love happy. Imagine being allowed to do what you love everyday for a living, that is why we make the long hours work. I know that one day the kids will be older and need/want less attention and Scott and I will once again have our evenings together. In the mean time, our little family is very busy, but we cherish and enjoy our time together.
-What is great about being a partner to your creative counterpart/a comic maker?
Seeing my partner happy and enjoying what he does. Scott doesn’t dread getting up and going to work, in fact sometimes he dreads having to stop working and go to sleep. It is a wonderful feeling seeing someone so happy with their work. The other great thing about being a supporter is the pride I feel every time I go to a book launch of his, brag to my friends, co-workers or strangers about the work my husband has and is doing and that yes he has done something they probably have seen. I love that he is getting the recognition he so deserves by getting nominated for awards and getting contracts he really wants. I love working in a school and seeing a class studying a graphic novel Scott has drawn. I beam with pride every time and it never gets old. When he is happy, I am happy.
-What is difficult about being a partner to your creative counterpart?
Most people think we spend a lot of time together, when in reality it is almost like we work opposite schedules. It can be hard to be a couple when I work all day and he works most nights. Our evening time is spent with the kids then when the kids go to bed, Scott goes to work. Most nights I go to bed alone and Scott continues to work into the wee hours of the night.
Probably the thing that annoys me the most is when Scott is uncertain about how to approach a project or is stuck on an art issue; he can become quiet and moody. When we talk through what ever issue Scott may be dealing with in regards to his art work, Scott tends to not listen or take advice I may give him. Then a fellow artist will give him the same advice and he comes home to tell me what great advice he received and is going to use. This is the moment when I usually give him the annoyed are you serious look and say, “I said the same thing.” Then we usually joke about how I am always right and he should just listen to me the first time.
-What would you like others to know about you that they might not?
Just because I am married to an artist does not mean that he is the only artist of the family. A lot of people don’t know that I enjoy painting very much. I just don’t have time to do it as much as I would like. Before I married Scott my family use to come to me for art work needed. Now, because I am married to Scott, most people either ask him for art work or assume that any art work on our walls are his. I have many paintings and drawings on our walls that I did and even did some Ninja Turtles canvases for my sons room recently. Just remember to acknowledge the supporters talents too 🙂
There you have it, the truth of what it’s like being with a comic artist (at least with me). Warts and all!
I don’t say it (or show it in the day to day things) as often as I should, but Angela is an exceptional mother, artist and educational assistant. She is more creative than me, coming up with suggestions and ideas that I may never have thought of. She makes crafts with the kids (ugh…crafts stress me out), she has an incredible effect on the students she cares for and the people she works with, and she has the skills to keep this ship we call home from sinking. I just doodle pictures…and chip in where I can. She’s the embodiment of a “We can do it!” poster.
If the other women my colleagues’ lives wish to contribute then I will be adding their responses and experiences to this blog post.