Skoolar grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and thinks a lot about television. She is the creator of CHAiNLetter. Bring Your Imagination to Life in Seconds.
Synopsis: CHAiNLetter is a character centric drama about a group of teens who come across a chain letter that ends up sending them a “Profile Pencil,” a magic pencil that promises to bring characters from the imagination to life, and to their surprise… it works! Between helping their new friends adjust to a new world and learning secrets beyond their dreams, the teens must make decisions on what paths they choose to follow, but how do you make a choice when the first step is just as uncertain as the end?
Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I went to Portland Community College for Multimedia. There, I took a variety of editing and video classes that included screenwriting and video production.
What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
Speculative fiction. I love the exploration of “what ifs” in the real world.
Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
Contemporary fantasy, drama, and supernatural.
What was your inspiration for the story?
Online art communities like DeviantArt and young artists, as well as my personal experience with both of those.
Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
I have a mishmash of art and media that no doubtfully influenced my work, from Sonic the Hedgehog, Fruits Basket and Yume Nikki, to name a few. Spookydoom specifically had a major influence in my younger years to develop my own style of drawing.
What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
1. Write out a script (I like having at least a few chapters done).
3. Thumbnails, sketching out rough (very rough) pages. I usually do a few at a time.
4. Line art.
Is your comic a finished work? If not, how long do you think you think it’s going to be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will you just keep going for as long as possible?
It’s not finished and I still have a lot of work ahead of me but there is an ending in mind.
How many pages do you have completed at the moment?
Almost 500 Pages
How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
CHAiNLetter was a hobby creation I had started thinking about when I was 13, just a bunch of characters I would daydream about. I didn’t start making the first draft until I was 15 and then restarted at least two more times throughout high school. I started sporadically updating when I was 17.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making your comic? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
Making changes: because I had these characters and planned these story events throughout my teen years, they felt very concrete to me. But as I grew older, I had to learn how to change things for the better. Designs, events, art style, characterization. What benefits the story and what kind of message do I want to say?
If I could go back and tell my younger self something it would be, “Nothing is sacred. Do what feels good! Alice doesn’t have to be 2 feet tall!”
What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
Writing! I love writing drama, character conflict, and world building.
What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
Figuring out colors and time management. I used to color complete pages out of impulse. But I came to realize that as a singular person working on my passion project I needed to figure out a better way. So I relaxed and decided to pick and choose what I fully color. That way it wasn’t all or nothing. I could have more fun and use my color to draw the audience to specific moments.
Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Out of the current cast, it’s honestly Bethany because she’s so petty and I love writing the sass in her dialogue.
Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
Matilda because she’s had a complicated evolution from the moment I first made her to now, not to mention her canon history. I’ve had a lot of moments when writing where I had to stop and rethink a lot of her character and ask my friends whether her motivations made sense. I just don’t want to do her dirty.
Do you have a favorite character to draw?
I love drawing most, if not all my characters. But to specifically point to one, Vie Trance is a delight because I love mixing vintage and modern aesthetics together.
Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
As simple as he is, Andrew gives me so much grief. He almost never looks right. He’s just a teenage boy with a weird cowlick. It shouldn’t be this hard.
Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
I love people’s unapologetic creativity with original characters.
Have you read CHAiNLetter yet? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Also! Special shout-out to my ShadowBestie who’s been helping me edit and format these interviews behind the scenes, since time has been elusive for me. You da best <3