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Yumi Sakugawa p3

Southern California comics artist Yumi Sakugawa talks about the Brooklyn Zine Fest and gives some good tips for new comics artists...

READERSVOICE.COM: Did you end up going to the Brooklyn Zine Fest in May? Where do you stay and how did you get around and what was it like?

YUMI SAKUGAWA: I did go to the Brooklyn Zine Fest in May. Fortunately, my fellow table-mate and artist friend Kelsey Short (nowhereplace.com) lives in Brooklyn so she was kind enough to let me crash at her place. I personally know the organizers of Brooklyn Zine Fest, so it was really great to be a part of a super-successful, high energy event that gave so many self-published artists and writers such an amazing opportunity to share their work with so many people.

Getting around Brooklyn and New York City is extremely easy, far easier than where I am from in Southern California, if you have a Metro card and a smart phone with GPS features. Though it is such a cliche to say this as an indie comic book artist in her twenties, Brooklyn is probably my favorite place to be in the United States.

RV: What sorts of habits or routines would you recommend to aspiring comics artists, so that they’re regularly producing comics and improving?

YS: Absorb new work frequently: books, comic books, artwork, movies, plays, etc. For me, absorbing challenging work gives me the permission to make my own challenging work.
As I mentioned before, the best thing I have done for myself is to put myself in a position where I am forced to fulfill a comic deadline on a regular basis. See if there are any websites or blogs looking for a regular comic contributor, or make a commitment to your blog readers to make a weekly comic.
Write and draw every day. No exceptions.
If you’ve never made a comic book or zine before, sign up for a comic and zine convention. Having the deadline to make something for an event you are exhibiting at is a really great way to make yourself make something.
Meditate. Meditation clears your mind and expands your sense of discipline and focus.
Just get it done.

RV: On your blog you had a rough drawing on lined paper for a comic. What does the whole process involve once you have the comic worked out? Do you go straight to ink pen or do you pencil first?

YS: I make a lot of thumbnail drafts on really low-quality paper. I probably make two to four super-rough drafts before I feel comfortable penciling the actual comic on bigger paper. Once I am done penciling, I ink over the pencil lines with a Round 2 Windsor & Newton watercolor brush and India ink.

For shorter web comics, sometimes I go straight to ink and use an ink brush pen.

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– copyright Simon Sandall