Nadia Rasheed

Proof That Creativity is Contagious

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madeleine-flores

Comic artist Madéleine Flores of Portland, Oregon is definitely one to watch. She’s already drawn a graphic novel – entitled THE GIRL AND THE GORILLA – and has been solicited by the likes of Cartoon Network! It comes as no surprise; Madéleine’s work is both endearing and amusing – a testament to her creativity. Watch this space – she may be drawing the next big thing on your television screen.

Who are your biggest influences?
Naoko Takeuchi (creator of Sailor Moon) and Rumiko Takahashi (creator of Ranma 1/2, InuYasha and so much more) are my biggest and constant influences. Fun stories, funny moments and gorgeous art! They are my comic heroes and were my first introduction to comics.

What is the most challenging part of your work?
Having to get used to being paid at irregular intervals. Up until now I’ve been working a Customer Service job and was always getting a cheque every two weeks. Now I have to work my budget around because I might get one cheque a month but it will last me two months. It helps that my mother was in finance and she was kind enough to help me figure out how to survive.

What opportunities have come your way since you started putting your work online?
I was contacted by Cartoon Network to do a storyboard test after someone read my comic online. I was so excited! I started jumping on the bed and then I got right to work. I did well enough on the test that I have been able to do some work on Adventure Time.

More recently, I am now a writer on a show called Bee & Puppycat! I was contacted by the creator, Natasha Allegri, after she saw some of my comics on Tumblr and she said super nice things about them.

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Tell us about your ‘Post-It-Love-Notes’ series. Where did the idea come from?
For the first three months of my current relationship it was long distance, so when I would visit my boyfriend I would leave little post its around his apartment, he’d find them randomly while I was gone. Eventually they just became a journal of our relationship. Unfortunately my boyfriend has gotten a big ego about them and is always pestering me to do more! He likes it when other people compliment them, haha!

You’ve also drawn a graphic novel. Was that always something you wanted to do? And how was it different from your other projects?
When I started making comics I thought that making a Graphic Novel was the be-all and end-all to comics, so I was really driven to have that under my belt so I could officially call myself an artist. It was drawn while I was still in college, I pitched the project as an Independent Study class and went to work! It was different from what I do now because I had two deadlines- one for my publisher and one for my class.

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THE GIRL AND THE GORILLA is said to depict “how much our world would suffer through the lack of hope and creativity” – why are these two things in particular important to you?
I think people take for granted how important creativity is and how much it enriches our lives. The United States is not known for its Arts programs – my own high school art program funding was cut, they stopped paying for school buses to pick up the students, but my parents knew how important it was for me so my dad would drive me to the school with the art program so I could follow my dreams.

Encouraging creativity to people of all skill levels is important because it’s such a personal experience. Writing a short story, keeping a diary, taking photographs, doing sketches of whatever you feel like – it can keep a lonely kid company; build their confidence and who knows what awesome things could come from a confident person!

How do you stay creatively motivated?
When I’m feeling a little frustrated I’ll draw the things around me. I’ll sit in my kitchen, pull out all the pots and glasses and start drawing them. I also try to do at least 10 minutes of life drawing every night before bed. There are so many resources available, I like to use Posemaniacs.com

If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Oh gosh – I’m currently working with one of my art idols, Natasha Allegri, so that’s one person I can cross off my list! Naoko Takeuchi, definitely – in fact, I would even be okay if I could just to watch her draw for a minute, haha!

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What advice would you give to other young aspiring artists?
Everyone’s career will take a different path – some will be successful in their dream job right away, and others won’t break in until many years later. Don’t lose hope and work at it everyday!

Where do you hope to be in the future and how will you get there?
I would like to keep making comics and have drawn a couple more graphic novels. I would love to work on a friend’s television show full-time- I’m learning a lot about the animation industry and with every project I work on I feel like I’m getting better. I would also like to have a dog!

To view more of Madéleine’s work, visit her blog.

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