We all have our favorite Pokemon team. Mine? Charizard, Pikachu, Scyther, Mew, Magikarp and Snorlax. Those were the real Pokemon, I mean, how a Tepig can compete with a Squirtle? If you're (old enough) the type of person who likes things the way it was before the yellow version of the greatest game of all time, this article is for you. If you're not, well, we still love you and this article is also for you. Go read'em all!
-What are your name, surname and nickame? And why did you choose this nickname?
-My name is Monica Ekabutr and I think I'm spelling that right. My username for my artsier sites is eelhips. I came up with it by looking up old 1950's sayings like "the bee's knees" and I came across "eel hips" and it made me laugh. Most usernames I pick were decided because they make me laugh. I mean, I'm not sure if it was used to describe a good thing or an insult. Either way, I think I have to go by a surname and eelhips is way easier to pronounce than my last name.
-How old are you?
-Where do you live?
-I'm currently a desert dwelling native of Arizona but I'll soon be in Valencia, California for school at CalArts.
-What's your job?
-My job is to work on my various art projects and do something that contributes to my main goals everyday. Which could also be known as being straight up unemployed.
-What's your journey?
-My journey's route has changed slightly over the past few years--all relating to the end goal of being paid for art. I've always had a passion for drawing and knew that making art is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I've always loved to tell stories through my art and there was a point in my life where I wanted to be a comic creator. I read a lot of comics growing up and in high school I became a huge fan of comedians. So I kinda loved every definition of the word "comic". Later when I entered college and I finally had a choice to learn about more topics and I allowed myself to explore my other interests such as fictional and script writing, improv and stand up comedy. I would eventually come back to my love of drawing and discovered that I could combine my new-found talents to fit into one occupation--and that was animation. It all seemed to click from there and I animated a short to make sure that I could handle the grueling redundancy of drawing frame by frame. Turns out I kinda enjoy it. My main goal through all of this is to be good enough to animate my idea to pitch it and ultimately be the creator and director of my own 2-D animated show.
-What are your inspirations?
-I'm really inspired by fantastical imagery with whimsical subjects and odd, bright color choices like those seen in comics. I was really into the whole anime/manga scene growing up. Sailor Moon inspired me to draw and create magical girl stories of my own. I dug how the Japanese pushed the definition of the mediums and told whimsical or mature stories I wasn't getting from anywhere else. A current inspiration is Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time. It's exactly what I think a kid's cartoon should be. I'm also pretty inspired by video games and the feeling I got as a kid while playing them.
-Do you read webcomics? If so, which ones?
-Perry Bible Fellowship is a classic. Not only is the humor there but I like the perspectives he choose to write from as well as the different art styles he experimented with. Currently I follow Kate Beaton's work along with Madeleine Flores' and Adam Muto's Tall Penguin. I've also been reading Hitmen for Destiny recommended by Pendleton Ward at some panel for Adventure Time I saw on youtube. It all seems nonsensical at first but I got completely sucked in. If you can get past the art style (I grew to kinda love it) it's the most fun and unique webcomic I've ever read.
-Tell me more about your website and the creations you're selling?
-I created my Tumblr site because it's 2012 and who will know of my existence without one? Tumblr's actually a great tool for emerging artists. I get almost instant feedback when I post something and one of my comics got 16k+ notes on there. So I've gotten a lot of love from the Tumblr community. As far as my creations on Etsy goes, it's mostly a challenge to me--a challenge to see if complete strangers think the stuff I doodle up is worth them giving their money to me. In retrospect, it does sound like a crazy thing to want. But people have given me positive feedback by writing nice things on my Facebook artist page and purchasing my prints on Etsy. Illustrating is just another outlet to share my stories. Honestly, I'd love to be able to be some sort of illustrator on the side and sell prints of my work and I would love to contribute to a gallery like Gallery 1988 (which does a lot of pop culture related group shows) because just sitting down and making a drawing still feels good to me.
-Why did you choose this FML story?
-I choose this FML story because I respect this fella for reppin' the originals. The 151 are the eelhips, man.
Monica's webcomic : http://flavors.me/ekabutr
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!