Angela is the author of "Angelic Visions: Create Fantasy Art Angels With Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil" and an alumni of the University of West Georgia and the Savannah College of Art and Design. She works in many mediums, including watercolor and digital media, to create whimsical Art Nouveau and narrative fantasy art. She is also a leather artisan and mask-maker in her spare time. In the next few years, she hopes to expand her skillset into writing and illustrating her own novels.
How did you first discover art, or that you wanted to create art yourself?
I had always been a crafty child, thanks to my very crafty mom. I was always devouring coloring books, making my own pop-up books, and doodling my own little illustrated horror stories. Scariest Stories Ever Told provided so much inspiration for my young mind! That series and unicorns (what a mix!) activated my joy for the fantastical and the strange very early on.
When I was around 8 years old, I read the book Saint George and the Dragon over and over. I never got tired of finding the faeries and creatures its illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman, had hidden in the expertly crafted borders. Magic permeated every corner of the book’s fanciful illustrations. The first time I looked at the book's credits, I realized that a human being just like myself had taken a story and created imagery for it. I wanted to be a person just like that, whether I brought life to someone else’s stories or to my own.
What do you see as the primary link between writing and art? (If you think there is one.)
As a writer and artist, myself, I find that both activities fulfill different sensory needs and oftentimes one will inspire the other in an amazing feedback loop of inspiration. I do my best work when I am both writing and drawing.
For example, a viewer looking at a painting can get an immediate read of a painted scene and impress upon it their own thoughts, feelings, and narrative, while a written scene can provide a deeper sense of lyricism, of hidden history and emotion put into words. I tend to write to get to know my characters as people, while drawing those characters and scenes gives me a sense of atmosphere and physical presence. One activity most certainly enriches the other!
If I had to put a word to what this primary link is, I’d call it 'immersion'. Stories, whether told in video games, art, writing, or any other media, all give us a piece of the puzzle to an immersive experience, one that lets us form an empathetic link with the characters.
Are you a fan of The Wheel of Time? If not, what is your favorite book or series?
I’m a newcomer to the series, so ask me about this at the next convention you see me at after I’ve had a chance to finish reading The Eye of the World! Brandon Sanderson’s work has drawn me into the series via Mistborn, which I’m also currently reading. So far, I’m intrigued and can’t wait to dive into this rich, complex world!
My favorite book series, the one that first hooked me into mature fantasy is undoubtedly the Kushiel’s Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey. Imagine if the spies and courtesans of Game of Thrones were the main characters of the series and you have a hint of the intrigue of the world of Terre d'Ange. Add the mysticism of fallen angels, an amazing female protagonist, and a complex sex-positive culture and you have all the things that make the world of Kushiel’s Legacy stand out in a way that’s inspired my muse for years.
What's the one thing you most enjoy about attending conventions?
I’ve always felt like the geeky outsider with my love of tabletop games, fantasy EVERYTHING, and video games. Conventions are magical places where I get to feel normal, like everyone I meet is a kindred spirit who understands my passion for these things. It’s also a place I get to ramble endlessly about fantasy art without people’s eyes glazing over! The sense of connection I feel at cons helps me when my small world of the art studio starts to get lonely. My profession as an artist is an isolated one and it helps me feel less insane to get out of the art cave and bond with other like-minded humans!
I wanted to thank the Art Show staff and JordanCon con-goers for making my first year at JordanCon last year a special one and welcoming me to the JordanCon family! Winning Judge’s Choice award in the Art Show last year was a wonderful surprise and the first time a convention has given me a trophy with an award. I have it displayed proudly next to my favorite Assassin’s Creed and Horizon Zero Dawn statues! I’m looking forward to taking part this year and diving back into the thick of things. Please do feel free to drop by and say hello to me at my table in the Dealer Hall. I’d love to chat and geek out!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working on a series of Art Nouveau paintings that I hope to turn into an art book next year! I’ve been toiling on this birthstone-inspired series of goddesses for the past few years and can’t wait to share their dreamlike visages with everyone in a beautiful cohesive volume. I also plan to Kickstart a coloring book based on this series in the next few months, since I have a glut of meticulous line art that came out of this series and would love to share that detailed insanity with coloring fans like myself.
After this series has been fully wrapped up, I can’t wait to venture further into the world of writing! I’ve always wanted to indulge my writing muse, but haven’t had the time with my art muse having a majority vote. Once my latest series is wrapped up, I look forward to adventuring into my story world of cursed princes, has-been monster hunters, and snarky elves! I look forward to sharing more about this venture in the coming JordanCons.
If you'd like to find out more about the authors and artists who share their work at JordanCon, check out our other "Meet the...." blogs.