Good morning! I'm glad you're here, because it means that today's illustration caught your eye and you're curious to find out more about today's artist. We've welcomed a lot of different artists with a lot of different backgrounds; there are those who gave up everything to follow an art education to be sure to work exclusively in illustration. And there are those who are aware of how difficult being an artist is, and have all sorts of educations while having a webcomic on the side. Today's artist fits perfectly into the second category. What they have in common with the rest? They all end up in FML's illustrated section, for our great delight.
-Let's start this interview by asking you your name, surname and nickname?
-Online I go by Orinocou, after the Orinoco River in South America. Back when AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) was a thing, I wanted “Orinoco” to be my screen name, but it was already taken, so I added a “u” at the end. I guess I just like names with a lot of O’s in them.
-How old are you Orinoco(u)?
-Currently 28 years old. Honestly, I keep rounding up and thinking of myself as 30. I’ve been 30 in my head for over a year now, haha. It’s added something of a sense of urgency to the things I do.
-Where do you live?
-A little town about 2 ½ miles south of Chicago, Illinois. I went to school here and never really left.
-What's your job?
-I’m a receptionist at a very quiet office. It has exactly nothing to do with what I studied or what I want my career to be, but it’s the best non-career-oriented office job I could ask for.
-What's your journey?
-I wanted to study art in college but was too scared that I would never get into a program, couldn’t pay for it, and wouldn’t get a job in art anyway. Those might have been true, but I never even tried taking that first step. I studied something else that interested me but never forgot art. Now I’m older, tired of the reasons that tell me “no”, and am finally going for it.
-What are your inspirations?
-Right now I’m taking a lot from nature. When the weather is clear, its fun to go out into the country and see the stars. You can see them even clearer if you go out west to America’s National Parks. My husband and I went to a few locations in southeastern Utah to hike and see the stars. It was the first time I saw the Milky Way! Before that point I thought people were making it up! There were so many stars in the sky my brain shorted out and I couldn’t pick them apart. I’ve been in love with that part of the country ever since. Birdwatching is also a lot of fun. I hear that’s a hobby that older people like, but what can I say. Birds have an appearance and mannerism that’s just charming.
-What are the webcomics you're reading?
-My favorite right now is Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell; the story is engaging and the art is spot on. The artist is doing this comic full time, which is super cool. I wish I could give him all the money. Another fun one is Red String by Gina Biggs.
-Tell us more about your DA?
-I’m currently retelling the story of the video game Final Fantasy 6 in comic form, and have a website for that, but it needs updating. I’m not good at creating or maintaining websites, hah. That project’s been going on since 2007, and I thought I’d be farther along in the game’s story by now. But it’s a labor of love, and above all else, it’s drawing practice for me. It makes me happy when people leave comments saying they’re enjoying the story. I think a lot of readers remember this game from their childhoods, and it’s a bit of a nostalgia trip to see the characters again. I also sell handmade Doctor Who pillows, Doctor Who children's books, and art cards on Etsy.
-How do you work?
-Mostly digital with a tablet and Photoshop, but am moving into watercolors and marker work recently.
-And the last question, why did you choose this FML story?
-I wanted a story that I could communicate in comic form with no words. Wordless stories have a great appeal because it requires you to focus more on the characters’ expressions and body language to tell the story.
-And you nailed it. Thank you Orninoco(u) !
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ILLUSTRATED FML
Orinocou's DA: http://orinocou.deviantart.com/
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. 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!