10 Questions for Greg Harms

Greg Harms is an artist and comics creator who is currently inking 10th Muse: 800 mini-series for Bluewater Productions. As a commercial artist he’s produced brochures, signage, point-of-purchase displays, phone cards, school annuals, and more. His background includes work as a newspaper editor and graphic artist in the entertainment industry.

Harms lives in the Texas Panhandle with his wife and two kids. You can find out more about him and his upcoming projects on MySpace, ComicSpace, Facebook, and the Christian Comic Art Society group on Ning.

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

When I was a kid, my mom, dad and grandma, grandpa would take me to the grocery store and let me get comics from the newsstand there. It spurred a lifetime love of the medium. I love the comic medium and art in general.

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

My religious beliefs, my wife and children, mom and dad; they all make me be the best I can be or push me to try harder.

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

There have been several, for the past couple of years it’s been Roman Morales III. Roman has “forced” me to produce work and keep producing it, while increasing speed and quality.

Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

Time with the family, a walk, listen to music, watch a good movie, play with the animals: a dog, cat, goats — until recently, a horse that passed away of old age — or whatever stray may have happened on to the property: opossums, bobcats, coyotes, etc. I like wildlife photography.

Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.

There is no typical workday. I have ‘day’ job as a control room operator working 12-hour shift work. The shift work gives me about 15 days a month off, plus occasionally I get to work on inks, character designs, or comic pages at work. It really works out well, it gives health insurance, retirement for me, and financial stability for the family, and I get to create.

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

For writing, Ticonderoga #2 pencils with a real wood sheath and a note pad or blank sheet of paper — or the computer. For drawing I use a Ticonderoga #2 pencil, or a mechanical pencil. For inking I use whatever is available, from brushes, quills, sponges, toothbrushes, etc. When I color, I use everything from traditional methods to computer and airbrush.

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

Doing an art show or receiving feedback from fans. Giving art lessons and seeing a concept click.

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

It’s always nice to win art shows, or get something published and appreciated by others. A lot of times the most rewarding thing is the project I’m on at the time or the one coming up next.

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?

Don’t give up. Continue to produce work everyday. No matter how many rejection letters you get — I once got 30 rejections in a single week: one even told me to give up on comics because I would never get work in the industry — continue to improve. If it’s what you really want to do, keep at it.

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?

It doesn’t hurt to help. Leave things better than you found them.

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