Steven Doty is a Louisville, Kentucky, artist who has drawn comics including Myriad, Evil Inside, Chaos Campus Special Edition, and Demon’s Redemption (all for Approbation Comics) and Ami’s Kiss, M.A.P.C.C.A.A.R., The Sitter, and The Cure (all from Streetlight Graphics) and Hatfield and McCoy (Better Than Your Comics). His current projects include Armored Warrior, Z Reaction, Hass, and The Beast. Find out more about Steven at streetlightgraphics.com.
Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?
Truthfully, I would love to make a living from comics but so far I usually only get supplies paid for. However, I mainly do it out of love for the art form. Money will hopefully come later as I get more established in the craft.
Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?
my father I must say is and was my biggest influence in life. He only had a third grade education but was the smartest and wisest person I have ever known. He taught me more than even I know, I’m finding that out every day.
Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?
Well, there are a few who influenced me in this pursuit; my boss, who convinced me to go to a signing and show my art; Bart Thompson, who let me join his group; Samal McNeely, who convinced Bart I had strong storytelling abilities and for having faith that I would stick to it. Will Eisner for showing me how it should be done. And of course, every artist and creator who’s comics were so much a part of my life.
Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
That’s easy: comics!
Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.
I typically work 10 hour days at my real job, the one that pays my bills, get home around 6:00 PM, change out of the grundgies, wash up, eat, by then its 7:00 PM, then I usually work on pages till about midnight. Saturdays I have my weekly meeting with other creators who live here in Louisville. By the way, if any locals are reading this come join us, its free and held at our local library’s main branch between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Otherwise I hit the pages as often as life allows.
Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?
Any pencil I have handy, Blueline art boards, and Pitt pens, especially the brush pen. On my next couple of projects I will be trying to use the brush only, which will be a challenge I look forward to.
Question 7: What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?
Another easy one! It’s simple: the finished page.
Question 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?
That’s a tough one. I am never satisfied with my past work; I see all my mistakes. I guess it would be a toss up between the Evil Inside I did for which I got some half decent critiques on, Demon’s Redemption, which I think I did pretty good on, or the 30 character designs I did for an upcoming CCG based on wrestling.
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?
Keep at it or quit now! I have enough of a haul without people who aren’t willing to go the long haul being in my way. You clutter the field! But if you’re serious, then by all means go for it. Keep practicing and always seek to improve your craft. And please keep a sense of realism to your attitude; you are not the next big thing! He or she was discovered yesterday. I hate egos!
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?
Probably Bruce Lee’s philosophy: absorb what is useful and discard the rest. Too many times we get so wrapped up in what’s not really important that we tend to let the truly important stuff get by us ‘cause we ain’t paying attention.
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