10 Questions for JM Ringuet

JM Ringuet artJM Ringuet (pronounced “ren-gae”) is an artist/colorist who has worked with many publishers. He’s drawn Transhuman for Image Comics and Sparks for Catastrophic Comics. You’ve seen is work as a colorist in many books from Boom!, Top Cow, Silent Devil, Studio 407, Devil’s Due and other publishers. Ringuet reports that he lives “in old and mysterious Suzhou, China.”

He is currently writing and drawing an iPhone comics project coming soon from Iverse Media. He’s also working on a multimedia project involving comics and a movie with some well-known international creators. You can find out more about JM at jmringuet.blogspot.com. His gallery is online at jmringuet.blogspot.com/2003_11_07_archive.html.

Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?

I was seven years old and my mother told me it was not a job. So that was that. Or was it? I was stubborn enough to make it happen. I’m very stubborn.

Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?

I’m not sure I have an answer for this question. I am self taught, self trained, self abused and I basically always did everything by myself. My biggest influence right now is my wife Lisa.

Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?

Well same kind of answer here, I don’t think anybody ever helped me in that industry or had an influence on what I’m doing. I would probably like to have an established old professional with infinite talent and infinite patience as a mentor — you know, like in old kungfu movies — but that just didn’t happen. I don’t think it happens a lot in reality. Most comic professionals toil in the dark, alone, trying to make something work and connect with far away much fantasized about readers. The closest I would have to an influence is Jonathan Hickman, who told me “Don’t listen to what people say, do it your way” and then give me a chance to draw one of his books. This man is smart.

Sparks #5, Page 10Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

I take one day off and try no to think about all the stories that accumulate in my head.

Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.

I don’t have a work routine actually. I put in 8 to 10 hours every day — sometimes even a bit more — whenever I can. I don’t like routines, they remind me of when I was working in an office. Routine is the creativity killer.

Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?

I do everything on computer, plotting, writing, layouts, pencilling, inking, coloring, lettering. And I do everything in Photoshop (CS4 at the moment). Being able to do everything on computer (preferably a laptop) gives an inifinite amount of flexibility and practicality. I finished some pages in coffee shops, at my in-laws, anywhere. It’s incredibly freeing.

Question 7: What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?

Seeing the page finished, ‘reading’ it. That’s when the satisfaction — or lack of — really comes in. The rest is enjoyable but it’s work and doubts mostly.

JM Ringuet artQuestion 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?

Sparks and Transhuman have been at that point the most rewarding projects because before doing those I had never done art for a whole book. I did four issues for Transhuman and six for Sparks. I learned everything.

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?

Do it, and do it your way. That also includes publishing it. It becomes increasingly difficult for a newcomer — for almost anybody actually — to be published by traditional publishers. Most don’t even want to look at pitches from people they don’t already know, so you’ll have to be creative on the publishing side too. But do it, don’t listen to what people say, get it out there and in front of as many people as you can. Don’t think that ‘breaking in’ — that old myth — means being noticed by a Marvel editor. Comics are a vast and rich medium. Try to make it bigger, not smaller.

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?

There are no rules. Art has no rules, life has no rules. If you keep doing what people tell you to, you will end up being them — which is probably not much. Be yourself, blaze your own trail, own your life.

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