Stephanie O’Donnell is a New York cartoonist whose credits include the online comic strip The Original Nutty Funsters and The Magic of Wonder. She also has an upcoming comic book, Cookie Bear, coming from Free Lunch Comics.
Her other credits include work in Jesus Hates Zombies (Alterna Comics), Only In Whispers (Free Lunch Comics), Tales From The Plex (Futurius), Short Stack (Angry Gnome Comics), and Small Town Type (Fat Cat Funnies).
You can find out more about Stephanie and check out The Original Nutty Funsters here.
Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?
I’ve always wanted to.
Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?
My family. I grew up with artists all around me, so it was natural that I had the torch passed into me. My father especially trained me technically in some aspects.
Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?
Everyone that I’ve worked with so far. They’ve been really supportive and have helped me grow as an artist and inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing. Lauren Monardo is especially a great talent who I have the pleasure of knowing personally as well as professionally. Her work is consistently amazing and just makes me wanna strive to get to that level.
Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
Whatever feels right at the time. Sometimes it’s watching a stupid show, other times it’s relaxing, playing a game, listening to certain music, just taking in life in general. Amazing things can come about in anything, anywhere.
Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.
I kinda don’t have one! It changes often because I get bored so easy. For the most part though, I will write down a concept, very roughly sketch out a panel layout, and get crackin’. I have a big drawing table I do most of the work on, and a portable lap desk for when I feel like doing artwork somewhere else in the house.
Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?
Question 7: What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?
When I draw something that correlates what I envisioned in my head, and then having a green light from either my family and/or whoever I’m collaborating with.
Question 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?
I would say so far, two things; taking part in Jesus Hates Zombies, and becoming more involved with Free Lunch Comics. They were the first people to believe in me and take a chance on my work when no one else did.
Question 9: We’ve all met very talented newcomers who are trying to get their first professional projects. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator?
You don’t have to necessarily go to art school to be established. This was said to me by Patrick McDonnell of Mutts fame.
Question 10: Time to get philosophical: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?
Keep going. Never stop learning. Always seek out new things. That’s what makes you become a better artist.
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