HOW DID YOU GET STARTED DRAWING AND CREATING COMICS? There’s different points in my life that I could pinpoint as my first step towards comics, or things that pushed my thoughts into creating comics but I think one of the main ones that stand out to me is when I was struggling trying to write a book and I kept fumbling over my words and I was having a hard time saying what was in my head so I thought that if I can’t say what’s in my head maybe I can draw what’s in my head to help me tell my story.
WHERE DO YOU PULL YOUR INSPIRATION FROM? I pull from a lot of different sources but for my inspiration for storytelling I pull from what’s happened around me, what I’m currently going through and need something to help encourage myself.
For my comic inspiration I love the old school Garfield books and for manga inspirations I love the comic styles of Kazune Kawahara and recently Amu Meguro and of course Rumiko Takahashi.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST POPULAR COMIC? I recently finished Love! love! Fighting! and that one seems to be getting some very kind comments on my different platforms.
HOW DID LOVE, LOVE FIGHTING COME ABOUT? I first started Love! Love! Fighting! for a comic contest for Manga-apps back in about 2010-2011 I can’t remember that well because all three of my children were still babies. I had always struggled with my own body image, as a child I was teased for be short and chunky. As a teenager when puberty hit I was teased for being a stick, so by the time I became an adult I had a terrible perception of myself. I decided that I was feed up with not hearing what I wanted to hear from other peoples about my appearance and took it upon myself to vent out my frustration about my struggle with self-love. Then find the healing that I needed by speaking encouraging things to myself through my comic. This is how Love! Love! Fighting! came about. It’s my own mental battle that I wanted to manifest in a physical and positive way to help me get through all these years of hurt and self-abandonment.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT AMBW RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITIES? I’m a big introvert and I haven’t really socialized with all of the communities or those within mixed culture relationships online so I don’t think I have an opinion to give.
I personally don’t see anything abnormal about a Black woman and Asian man being in a relationship now that I’ve gotten a better understanding of my own self-love and that one culture isn’t better than the other. I used to think that in the past because I wasn’t showing myself the love that I needed, I had this misperception that in order for me to feel like I was of worth I needed the love or approval of someone else. I learned over the years what it was that would really making me feel loved and valued and it wasn’t the love of someone else but for me it was finding that self-love for myself and doing things that made me happy.
Finally fixing my own personal misperception of different cultural relationships, I don’t really see it being this abnormal. Oh my gosh, look at that situation! but instead I see it as just another beautiful coming together of a man and woman in love~ *Cue mushy feels XD*
AS A STAY AT HOME MOM, IS IT HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS AND SOCIALIZE? I’ve never been much of a socializing type of person, I tried it as a teenager by going to dances and I hated each one and even when I became an adult I tried different mommy gatherings and it’s just not my cup of tea. Some people love doing that and I don’t think it’s too difficult to find local activities to go to where you can meet other stay at home mom’s but for me I prefer to just stay at home and chill with my rabbits while I help my kids and hubby not burn down the house because they’re all very accident prone.
WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY THINK ABOUT YOUR CAREER? HOW DO THEY SUPPORT? My mom and my sisters have always been so supportive of my art and I remember them constantly sharing it with others. When I was little my mom would usually tell others “Yes my daughter draws those Mango drawings.” or my sisters would say “Yeah, my little sister makes those anime things.” I’ve had to correctly them over the years that I don’t do anime because that’s a cartoon not really a comic book and I would tell my mom that Mango is a fruit and don’t worry about saying manga just say comics. I’ve never really had to deal with fighting with them about what I wanted to do.
DO YOU PLAN ON EXPANDING YOUR BRAND FURTHER THAN COMIC? WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS IN 3-5 YEARS?Right now I would like to start getting into making stickers and stationary things but I’m not the m1ost creative with product design so I think I’ll just stick to what I enjoy doing for the time being. As for my 3-5 year plan I don’t really have one for my business since most of my focus is on making sure my 3 little ones are equipped with everything they need to face the world on their own when they grow up. Right now I just want to just continue to create more stories, sort of like how Mother Goose has all of her stories in one big book, that’s what I want to achieve.
YOU’VE ADDED ACCESSORIES TO YOUR BRAND, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT? Since I received a lot of positive feedback on my Hair struggle illustration I wanted to test the waters with a pillow that has that same illustration on it but it doesn’t seem to be of much interest so I don’t think I will continue that on my store for very long.
DO YOU INTERACT WITH FANS OR CUSTOMERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS? Yup! I love reading comments about how people enjoyed the comic on the different media platforms and it’s so much fun to find others that are like minded. I’m not much of a long term conversationalist but I do enjoy random happy conversation pop ups that last maybe a few seconds, again I’m a very big introvert and get drained very quickly or my anxiety starts to kick in really quickly so I don’t tend to talk for very long.
DOES SOCIAL MEDIA MAKE IT EASIER TO GET YOUR WORK OUT THERE? I think it can really help. I’ve received a lot of messages and have people tell me in person how worried they are of sharing their comics or novels online because they don’t want anyone to steal it. Depending on what your personal goal then you have a few options, if you want to share your stories with others and possibly get published then you’re going to have to take that risk and put that puppy online, we can’t control what other people do so theirs a chance that you may get your work stolen; a lot of the big companies also have to deal with their work being stolen but try not to focus on things that won’t make you happy like that and get you your copywriter protection and get your work seen. Now if you just want to create something for your own personal goal and don’t want to share it with others then you don’t really need social media for that. I have a lot of other comics that are just for me in my office that I don’t plan on putting online because they’re just for me.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A HIGH PROFILE CLIENT COMMISSION YOUR WORK? The only high profile commission that I can think of was back when I was in school and the teacher had us students participate for the Art and Music festival for Macy’s and they ended up using my art for their big screen animation at the stadium. I never saw what it looked like in the end and I think I got the butt end of all of that because I got maybe fifty dollars, which now that I think about it that’s really very bad for a project of that size but you live and you learn.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE POC (PEOPLE OF COLOR) WHO WANT TO TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES THROUGH CREATIVE OUTLET LIKE WRITING, DRAWING, STARTING ON BUSINESS ETC.? Do what brings you happiness and what’s loving to yourself not what you think other people want and doesn’t really speak to you but you do it anyways because of tradition or custom. Tell the story that speaks truth to you and that you enjoy because if you try to please the masses you’re more than likely end up burnt or and frustrated because you’re giving your all and only feeling drained.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT CREATING PROJECTS, WHAT DO YOU DO IN SPARE TIME FOR FUN WITH FAMILY OR TO RELAX? I watch Netflix or sit down with a good comic book. My husband and I have taken up weightlifting so that’s been a lot of fun. There’s not much else that I do, I’m a pretty basic type of person. We play outside and let the kids scream or we’re up at our church for different activities or just for church services. Nothing out of the ordinary.
DO YOUR STORIES EVER GET POLITICAL? No, I personally don’t think they do. The only politics I’ve spoken about in my comic was between the Jedi Order and their misconception of attachment but that’s another story in and of itself and I won’t go into it. My husband feels other wise but he’s wrong and I’m right, they should have let Anakin save his mom or should have never let him start training to become a Jedi knight, further more-
WITH HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS RIGHT NOW, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE POC ON LIFE, LOVE AND CAREER? Do what makes you happy, take care of your own self-love. If it’s not loving to yourself and mental wellbeing to see something or talk about something then don’t do it. You’re wellbeing is the most important thing in your life so you make sure you take care of you.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON SUCCESS? I think my thoughts of success is a little different from others. I had a kickstarter for Volume 3 a few months back and it ended unsuccessfully so according to those standards I don’t think I’m very successful, also I’ve had my comic pitches rejected or ignored from different companies so business wise I don’t think I really add up to being very successful.
Now personal growth wise I think I’ve grown successful because now I’m focused on doing work that makes me happy and not have to worry about being accepted by everyone or make everyone happy. I can find my own value and make my own value for my comics and it seems that be realizing my own value in my work has come off as successful to others, it’s interesting how that happened. I used to think that success was being published or backed by this big company and having constant daily feedback each day from readers but instead I feel like I’m successful because I finished my first story, I self-published it even after two failed Kickstarter (Volume 2 was successfully funded but a year later volume 3 wasn’t but I learn from those failures and keep moving forward.) and I’m able to maintain creating stories that I love while homeschooling my children. My goals have changed and I’m glad that I learned this through my past failures.
IF YOU COME CHOOSE BETWEEN FAME OR MONEY, WISH WOULD YOU CHOOSE? Money. I want to make sure my family and loved ones are taken care of so I have more value in having the funds to take care of them instead of being well known by many and not really able to have the funds to help all of those peoples.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO TALK WITH US. PLEASE LET US KNOW HOW PEOPLE CAN REACH YOU AND SUPPORT YOUR WORK.
Main Website: http://www.s-morishitastudio.com
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