Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Interview: Jocelyn Combe~

At The Stream

Welcome back to the Impossible typewriter. Today I am being honoured with a follow up Interview with Jocelyn Combe, Aka SapphireGamgee A prominent Artist in the digital method of media I am honoured to have been give he time for this one-to-one time. Thank you for doing this interview with me, I am sure you’re a very busy person with all those comissons flying through the note system on Deviant art.

Jocelyn: Thank Heaven for That! -And you’r more than welcome. It’s weird that anyone would want to interview me. Weird but good.

Me: As I am sure your aware by reading/glancing over the Spotlight I did on you the other day, I have indeed done some investigative snooping in to your art inclined activities. In your opinion how important is the internet in conjunction with all artists being noticed outside of their own swimming pool?

Jocelyn:  The internet is this incredible tool for a whole lot of things, which includes getting your name out there.  Never before has the world been so connected, and that can be both good and bad.  It's good in that I have gotten commissions from people I probably never would have met otherwise, even as far as Poland and Pakistan.  On the downside, which we must recognize, it can be a bit overwhelming for artists and buyers alike to see just how many of us there are out there, trying to eke out a living with what we do.  And when I say 'eke', I mean it.

This is absolutly true, not just from an artists stand point but everyone who tries to make a living in any froum that deals directly with the internet.  Keeping with the snooping I have been doing, You’ve worked for universal studios. What did you do for them and should I keep my eye out for your name scrolling in the credit wheels of my at home movies?

Oh, goodness no!  I was a caricaturist at the theme park.  I could use it to puff up my image, but even my former bosses would say, "Who?" if you asked about me.  It's very difficult to do anything with art and pay bills, but that's all I had at the time.  It was fun meeting people from around the world and astounding them by pin-pointing and then accurately mimicking their accents.  (One of my many completely useless superpowers.)

Me:  would you say it was difficult?

New gild in town
Yes, very much so.  A little-known fact about me is that I'm legally blind, so often I couldn't quite make out their facial features from where they were sitting.  However, it's considered rude to get three inches away and stare.

Me:  I can imagine the looks you would have received if you had done so.

Jocelyn: Not to mention the Restraining-orders.

Me:This is true. So back to my super infiltration of your Artistic history. I found that you work along side Unlikely-hers comix. Can you tell me and my readers who may not have access to the website and information there-in; What exactly is Unlikely-Hero?

Jocelyn: Well, Unlikely-Hero Comix (Alternatively called Orion Comics) is a brand-new start-up company, which is producing a comic-book series in the same vein as the beloved super-hero comics featuring Superman and Wonder Woman and the like, with a distinctly post-apocalypse setting.  Deonte Hollomon is the creator and promotor, and a nice, patient guy, I might add.  (His Twitter feed is here!/unlikelycomix).  The head line-work artist is Aga Delos Santos (I'm afraid I don't have a link for him, but he does fabulous work!)  So far I've only been involved with coloration of character images and comic pages, but there are some really interesting themes and concepts going on. If anyone's interested in learning more, the Facebook page is here

Me:  I am sure there are people out there who are dying to know, What is it like working for a comic book company?

Well, since this one is just trying to establish itself, I can't give too much insight.  Mostly Mr. Hollomon gives me commissions on a piece-by-piece basis, so there are no in-house dealings with staff, or even with him.  Things may change once UnlikelyHeroComix is able to get off the ground, but that may take awhile.  Starting your own business is always dicey.  It has been nothing but pleasant so far, however, so I would have no problems becoming their established colorist.

Me:  Do you find a lot of the time your struggling for deadlines?

On your second question, it depends.  Sometimes, I only have a few commissions in the queue, and so I can plod along at my own pace.  Others, I'm like a madwoman.  Having an uneven schedule can be draining, but I don't have a boss shouting at me.

Me: And those big fancey Artists at (no names no lawsuits) can't say that can they. *chuckles lightly*

Jocelyn: Oh, here's the link to Aga Delos Santos' profile and portfolio on Glass House
Must give credit where it's due! And that's very true!

Me: Outside of the digital medium what would be your favourite art form?

Jocelyn: got me there...  I'm not sure, but it would probably be either sculpting or sketching with graphite.  Or....painting....  Or using conte crayon....Basically, my favorite would be whatever I was doing at the moment.

Me: When did you decide to switch from traditional media to the digital format, and why?

Jocelyn:  When digital media became less expensive and easier to maintain.  Also, when I ran out of room for easels and such. Seriously- traditional media can be far more expensive and harder to keep up than just having Photoshop, a pen and a tablet.  Depending on the traditional media, of course. And landlords do NOT like paint in their carpets.

Me: Back stepping a little bit, When did you first figure out that Art was going to be your life?

Jocelyn:  If my mother is to be believed, in-utero. I have been compulsively sketching since I could hold a crayon, so take your inferences from that.

Me: So it could be fair to say that you where born drawing. *chuckles*

Jocelyn: Until proven otherwise, yes.

Me:  In all the time you have been a drawing whether for friends, or for people on the internet; What was your most memorable piece and why?

Honestly?  I don't think I have one.  I have several, but I don't know if it's possible to have 'one'.  I do remember drawing a girl in Kindergarten who looked like the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man.

Me: It can be hard to pick just one, but Stay Puffed Marshmellow man, that must have been interesting.

If you mean 'lately', I have to admit I remember less about what I've done in the last few years because there's just so much of it.  The first piece I ever sold was a painting I did of my cat's head in one of Rembrandt;s works...I think it was the portrait of Nicholas Ruts.  That was pretty nice for my ego. Also, having someone commission tattoos from me.  The very idea that anyone would want something I did indelibly etched into their skin is gratifying but odd.

Me: With your commissioned works would for people online  would you say that you do more Fan-Art based works or more original concept pieces?
Wufei and Ayame confrontation

Jocelyn: And, yes, I would say that. It's not anything I mind.  I kind of got my start because of the Fan Art community, particularly with Gundam Wing, and that's where I get the most commissions.

Me:  Which do you enjoy doing more, Original concept or Fan art?

Jocelyn: I enjoy both on a more or less equal level.  Naturally, I love drawing characters I'm already fond of, but there's something really visceral about creating something all your own, even if that creation comes from the ideas or suggestions of others.  There have been times when I got no more than, "Um, she's blond and she likes the color pink.  have fun with that." and I kind of bounce gleefully into the wonderful world of Artistic License. I especially love when I get to create a look for a new or established character based on historical research.

Me:  Would you consider ever leaving the fan art cluster of works and moving on to broader concepts?

Jocelyn: Oh, probably not.  I like being in both worlds.  If I had to choose one over the other that may run into problems.

Me: I bet every Wing fan on D.A. has just let out a sigh of relief.

Jocelyn: Basically, as long as you're willing to pay, and it's not on my "List Of Things I Won't Do", I'll do it.  But Gundam Wing will always have a special place in some corner of my mind.

Me:  On that note, as an openly admitted Gundam Wing and indeed anime fan, what would you say brought you in to the fandom?

Jocelyn: Quatre and Duo from the get-go.  Plus, the plot was a lot deeper and more thoughtful about issues like war vs. peace etc. than I expected.  The only anime I had really been exposed to before that was DragonballZ, which I will never be able to take seriously.  Even after I came to love GW, I stayed pretty well clear of the fandom at large for a long while, to be honest.  At the risk of sounding like a salty sea-dog, it was the Great Shipping Wars of '01-'0-Whenever-They-Settled Down that kept me from getting involved, though I watched the show and drew plenty of fan-art privately.  When I signed onto Deviant Art and started posting, things had mellowed out significantly by then.

Me: Do you still even now find that Fan girls can be over the top, and is this a good sign or bad sign that they like your art? *said with humor*
Jocelyn:I'm always pleased that anyone likes my art, so as long as people aren't bashing each other over their favorite ships and whatnot, it's none of my business if they wear their Duo wigs all day.
*also said with humor, because she would love to have a Duo wig*

Me:  Other then Gundam Wing and Princess Tutu what other anime do you greatly enjoy, or even love?

Jocelyn: Probably not as many as you'd think.  I haven't had the chance to watch most of the anime I've heard about.  However, I have to say I adore the works of Hayao Miyazaki, especially Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke.  Also, Millenium Actress by Satoshi Kon and Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda.  I don't know if that counts, but they are Japanese, and they are animated… I'm far more initiated into the world of Western Animation.

Me:  Other then myself, Has anyone else ever told you that you do the best Gundam Wing Art on the internet? If so, What was your reaction?

Jocelyn:  Why, thank you!  I'm afraid you must have had a rather limited sampling, but I do appreciate it!  I have heard that a few times, and it's always nice to be told you're on the top.  However, there are other Gundam Wing artists who do equally lovely or better work so....

Me: Not as far as this Fan-girl as witnessed through the glory of Google! though, i won't get sidetracked.

Jocelyn: You're very sweet!

Me: As the saying goes, Art is expression- What do you hope to express to those who look at any piece of work you create?

Jocelyn: It depends on the work, naturally.  One hopes that a piece of art meant to be serious doesn't make them giggle, for instance.  Mostly, if they can tell I love what I do, that's about all I could ask for.
Pin-up Catherine

Me:  So,  Tumblr… it’s the internets next twitter and face book, and I see you recently have created an account on there. How do you feel about tumblr as a newer user?

Jocelyn: I use Tumblr for posting sketches and silly things, mostly; the kind of stuff I wouldn't bother posting on Deviant Art.  That was the whole reason I opened an account, because I had all manner of random drivel I wanted to get off my computer.  It's also good for sharing things non-artistic that I find amusing.  Not very good in terms of interaction and sending messages, though.

(If anyone's interested, my Tumblr account is here

Me:  I have recently created a tumblr myself and I find it very difficult to use personally, I think this is mostly because while it labels’ itself as a blog site, it caters more to the artistically inclined; such as your self. Would you agree?

Jocelyn: I think so, yes.  Calling it a 'blog' site is a bit of an overstatement.  Or perhaps a misunderstanding in terms.  What do you use yours for?

Me: Mine started off as a place to put my signatures created out of gundam wing Images, but it has somewhat fallen by the way side.

Jocelyn: It cam be difficult to keep up with.  Still, we need more Gundam Wing out there!

Me:  Slightly off topic here but, If you where to give any aspiring artist advise what would you say to them?


Me: I see, And this leads us to the next question of, What of thos who may have spoken negatively or even hurtfully about/because of your art? How do you handle that sort of reaction emotionally?

Jocelyn: Love what you do, and learn where you can.  Other than that, I have no idea.

Me: What of those who may have spoken negatively or even hurtfully because of your art?

Jocelyn: People are usually lovely about my art, even if they don't particularly like it.  I don't know...negativity always hurts at first, but I don't really remember it.  I had a professor in College who would stand behind us, pinpoint an area of our work we were proud of, and say, "That's your favorite part, isn't it?"  Then, he;d swipe a paintbrush right through it.  Or he'd toss your sketchbook out the window if he believed you weren't rising to your potential.  I don't know...if the negative commenters can't even match up to that, it doesn't stay with me.

Me:Wow I couldn't imagine not knocking that professor out! Though, understandbly that would go a long way to building a thicker skin against the way some people can react to artistic vision (especially if it is not theirs.)

Jocelyn:Some people have genuine criticisms, and that's what I've gotten so far, if there is any 'negativity' at all.  I love it too much to stop anyway.

Me: Finally, The questions that shock and even make those being asked scratch their head wondering why anyone cares. *chuckles*

Jocelyn: You mean, have I gotten any such questions?

Me: Oh no this is the portion of the interview where the seemingly useless questions are asked, that Fans would love to know, but they leave those being asked wondering why anyone would care. Pour Example: WHat is your favorite Colour and why?

Jocelyn: Oh, marvy!  The useless questions!  I like those!(Not useless to me) Favorite color.....I don't have one, because...I don't have one?  I love blue, green, purple, green, deep red, gold, silver, white.....  Easier to say least-favorite color: a tie between brown and orange.  Blech.  Only nature can do those colors correctly, and even then it depends.

Me:  *chuckles* That is a very artistic response.
Alright, How about food, Least favorite, and favorite? What are they and why?

Jocelyn: Again you assault me with difficult questions!  I love food, so a favorite would be extremely hard to pin-point, especially because it depends on my mood.  If you were to say, "favorite dessert" or "favorite salad", that would narrow things down, but let's not be silly.  I love Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, French, name it, I probably love it.  Which would explain my waistline.  I admit, however, that I do not care for anything having to do with tendons or intestines or feet, and I'm not a huge fan of deep-frying everything. Basically, if it's not dangerous, I'll try it at least once.

Me: Alright, How about we go along with what I like to call the simple flash questions, they are just as useless as the other questions, but less thought goes in to them and the answers. I say two things and you just answer with the one you like most.

Jocelyn: I shall try to be brief.

Me: Up or down?

Jocelyn: Both.

Me: Right or left ?

Jocelyn: Both.

Me: Winter or Summer?

Jocelyn: Winter.

Me: Snow or Ice?

Jocelyn: Neither.  Ugh.

Me: White sugar or brown sugar?

Jocelyn: Both!

Me: Tea or coffee?

Jocelyn: Snapple.

Me:(LOL) Hot Cereal or Cold cereal?

Jocelyn: Cold cereal.

Me: Pen or Sword?

Jocelyn: Pen.

Me: Strength or wit?

Jocelyn: Wit.

Me: Cats or dogs?

Jocelyn: Both, and three-toed sloths.

Me: Day or night?

Jocelyn: Both.

Me: (LOL cute)

Jocelyn:(It popped in my mind, by Gadfry!)

Me: Anime or Manga?

Jocelyn: Anime.

Me: English Dub or Original?

Jocelyn: Depends.

Me: Did you like doing an interview/.

Jocelyn: Certainly!

Me: Well that concludes what i had planned for the interview, it's been a pleasure to chat with you. I hope we can do this again in the future!

Jocelyn: That would be very nice!  Thank you for being so kind as to want to interview me!

So that's the tell all as it would stand at the moment, Thank you for following up with us;and if you didn't see the article- please go on and check it out!

Until Next time my dear readers, I believe it's noodle time!


evilandmalice said...

This was wonderful! Thank you for interviewing Miss Saffie and for posting a few of the commissions I had asked her to create!

Mj said...

This was a great read, it's always fascinating to learn more about such a fantastic artist. :) I thought this line was hilarious:

"I bet every Wing fan on D.A. has just let out a sigh of relief."

You got that right! X)