Let me wish you a happy new year dear readers! Last week, you were in good company as Julien was the first to welcome you in year 2013 with nothing less than spermatozoon, so let me continue this brand new year of illustrated FMLs with adorable creatures: the animals of Liz. When you're a webcomic reader, you often end up on webcomics starring chickens, bunnies, but Liz isn't that kind of artists, she loves every single animal on the planet (well, except those lazy hamsters, what's really the point of having/being an hamster?) so she draws them all on her fantastic Tumblr. Let's get the chance to know her!
-What's your name?
-My full name is Elizabeth Climo, but my married name is Elizabeth Heck. I go by Liz rather than Elizabeth because I'm an informal person, and I chose to go by Climo as my professional name rather than Heck because that was my name when I started my career, so it felt strange to change it when I got married. Also, I liked the idea of keeping the name that I share with my grandmother, Shirley Climo, who was a children's book author and a very inspiring person in my life.
-How old are you and where do you live?
-I am 31 years old, and I live in Los Angeles
-What's your journey?
-I have always loved to draw, and always knew that I wanted to be an artist. I took all of the art classes they offered at my High School, and, after that, attended San Jose State University and studied art there as well. I have always had sort of a "cartoony" style, meaning I oversimplify things in a way that is not always ideal, especially in an art class. When I was 23, I applied to my university's department of animation and illustration, and I was rejected. I was totally heartbroken. I thought my life as an artist had come to an end, and my future was really unclear. Around the same time, a longtime family friend of mine called to tell me that they had a position open at the The Simpsons, and asked if I was interested in applying. They sent me a character layout test, which is basically an animation test to check that you can draw the characters and move them around in space successfully. Amazingly, a couple of days later they offered me a job. That weekend I moved from San Jose to Los Angeles and I've been here ever since.
-What's your job?
-My first job on The Simpsons was as a character layout artist, but I currently work as a storyboard revisionist. What that means is that I work with the storyboard artists to help make their boards a bit more clear by adding acting poses and cleaning up the characters. I've been working on the show about eight years now, and it's still a lot of fun and has been very good to me. Growing up, it had always been a dream of mine to work on The Simpsons (it was my favorite show) so being able to have been a part of it for this long has been really amazing.
-What are your inspirations?
-I find the inspiration for my comics in the absurdity of everyday life. The little things that happen that are ridiculous but somehow still make you laugh. I keep a list of ideas on me at all times, and write them down whenever they come to me. Other times, if I don't have any specific ideas, I'll look at pictures of animals. Sometimes just a pose or an observation of behavior will inspire a new comic. I only draw animals because I hate drawing people (unless they are from Springfield).
-Do you read webcomics?
-Some of my favorite web comics are Hark! A Vagrant Kate Beaton, Gemma Correll, Marlo Meekins, Pusheen, Pleated Jeans, Sebastion Millon, and a couple of favorite blogs are Tastefully Offensive and The Frogman.
-Tell us more about yout Tumblr.
-I didn't start doing comics until about a year ago, when I started my Tumblr blog. Working in animation is great, but I wanted to do something that was just mine- my own work, my own ideas. I always doodled and drew little jokes on my own, but kept those drawings between me and my friends. My husband kept telling me that I should start doing web comics, and it took me a bit of time to work up the courage but I finally started as part of my New Year's resolution. The response has been awesome, better than anything I could have hoped for, and I feel extremely grateful. At this point, if I can keep working my day job, keep doing my comics when I get home at night, I will be a happy girl.
-And last but not least, why did you choose this FML story ?
-I chose this story because I liked the idea of an animal in boxer shorts with his paw glued to his forehead. I thought it would look funny, even if the joke was kinda stupid. I always use that as my safety net- funny drawings in case the joke is dumb because, well, it usually sort of is.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ILLUSTRATED FML
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DA. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!