We're delighted to welcome the wonderful Jess Bradley as our guest at TBCF2017.
Jess is an illustrator and comic artist who lives in Bristol. As well as writing and drawing Squid Bits for The Phoenix, Jess draws children's books, makes greetings cards and a bit of everything else. She enjoys reading, drawing, watching films and playing video games. She also hopes that her 5 month old son will one day be as big a fan of Captain America as she is.
To celebrate Jess joining us and being a part of the True Believers Family, we put 5 Questions to her...
What’s the secret origin story that led to you working in comics?
Boring answer: There isn't one! XD I've always loved comics and throughout the years have always drawn them (I have a Predator comic that I made when I was about 14 that will never see the light of day. I also made a comic about the Codemasters character Dizzy when I was 11 still kicking about!) I started to get serious about making comics when I worked in a comic shop about ten years ago; I saw all of the self-published books people brought in to sell and started to make my own. It was called Guide Dog Detective and had two issues, even though I had twelve planned. I doubt I'll ever go back to it but people still ask about it which is really nice. I kind of went from there to making more self-published books and eventually ended up writing and drawing for The Phoenix which has been brilliant.
What inspires you to create?
Everything really. I'm really influenced by films, books, video games and cartoons and my own work is an extension of the things I like. My style has really been shaped by all of the stuff I've watched and played over the years. I also just want to create artwork and comics that make people laugh and getting a good response to my comics makes me want to draw more.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Getting to make a living from it is a big plus but the fact that I get to make up lots of silly stuff and have people enjoy it is very addictive! I meet a lot of Phoenix readers at comic conventions and workshops in schools and I love hearing them get excited about their favourite characters. Seeing kids respond to my work is fantastic, especially when they show me art or comics that they've made themselves.
Since you started, what moment – so far - has been your highlight?
Getting to work for The Phoenix. I have a lot of freedom in what I create for them and they're so supportive and encouraging. The other creators are all so amazing and are lovely people too and it's really awesome to be part of such a great publication. My work has definitely developed over the couple of years I've been working for them too and it's been an invaluable experience!
If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?
"By Grabthar's hammer...what a savings!"
Be sure to stop by Jess' table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello" and check out the links below for more Jess online;
Website / Twitter @VenkmanProject / Tumblr