Interview with Lisa Cummins

It’s always fun to find a new British take on a classic idea and Lisa Cummins’ comic about a British, tea drinking mother and titular hitwoman Madame Butterscotch is just that. Lisa recently took the time to tell us about her future plans with MCM, her comic series and gave us tips on getting noticed at conventions. Sound interesting? Then read on.

Laura: For those who don’t know, could you introduce yourself?

Lisa: Hi. I’m Lisa Cummins, better known as Baggy on the web. I’m a 24 year old freelance comic illustrator and sprite animator.

Laura: Could you tell us a little about Madam Butterscotch?

Lisa: Madam Butterscotch is the hitman alter ego of mother and tea shop owner Tilda Llewellyn. Having come out of hiding and moved to a quaint little seaside town, she is forced to re-enter her old world to ensure peace and happiness for herself and her daughter – but can she balance being a killing machine and a mother? It’s full of great characters, witty banter, English satire, plenty of action, mystery, intrigue, guns and tea.

Laura: Who are your creative inspirations?

Lisa: Oooh wow. Erm, ok so I have a fair few, but here are the one’s closest to me. Glenn Fabry – massive fan of his works and his teachings. I highly recommend Anatomy for Fantasy Artists for any beginners out there. Linda Ravenscroft – I fell in love with her work from a very young age. Her traditional fairy art is awe-inspiring and is what got me into painting. CLAMP – grew up reading the likes of Rayearth and Cardcaptor Sakura. I was a big magical girls/princess’ fan. Hayao Miyazaki – to this day Laputa and Princess Mononoke are still two of my all time favourite films. Sonia Leong – I remember first seeing her work in NEO magazine a few years ago now. I adore her work and she really inspires me to do what I do. Rob – yes I know that sounds really cheesy mentioning my boyfriend, but I had some low points in my early days and he’s always giving me the creative pushes I need to get better as an artist. He’s always there giving me advice and making sure I’m doing well with my work.

Laura: Do you ever face writers or artists block? If so, how do you overcome it?

Lisa: I go through periods of mass drawing and no drawing at all. In the latter of periods, I put down the pencils and pens and just step away. I read through some of my books or explore some of the talent on the web and eventually you do pick up that inspiration again. Never force yourself! You’ll only drag yourself down and tire yourself out and then next thing you know, you hate everything you’re drawing – I’ve been there, trust me. I have a wall dedicated to all the fantastic art I’ve bought from various conventions, commissions and my own work to give me something to look at when I’m taking five minutes away from my work. I find it really helps having something to always be looking at and inspiring you.

Laura: What challenges do you have trying to get noticed at events like the MCM Expo?

Lisa: So in the past I’ve had what I like to call the “Shadow Table” where you’re sandwiched between two very successful and well-known artists and you feel completely over-shadowed by their awesome. I’ve learned to overcome these moments with clever marketing. Banners – Best.Advertising.Ever! I recently received a roller banner for my birthday and it’s the best. Everyone knows where I am on the floor, everyone knows instantly who I am and what I do and with the right design, sums up exactly what I draw and what my style is. They do work and they are worth having, albeit awkward to assemble if you’re 5 foot 2 like me :). Networking – TALK TO PEOPLE! It baffles me when I visit artists and they’re so timid and just ignore you to draw. Engaging with people is the best way to advertise your work and get people to buy your stuff. You never know who you’re going to talk to.

Laura: What sort of response do you get at conventions?

Lisa: So far, very positive. Everyone seems to like what I have to offer. I now actually have regulars! It’s a great feeling, knowing people are coming back for more and that my work can keep attracting new people. It’s been an incredible experience, I’ve met lots of fantastic and interesting people over the couple of years I’ve been doing it and I hope to get bigger and better with every event.

Laura: Are you planning to attend any other MCM Events this year? If so, what might we see from you?

Lisa: YES! Absolutely :D. I plan on being at Manchester Expo as well as October London Expo. Towards the end of the year I hope to have Chapter 4 and Volume 1 of Madam Butterscotch finished as well as the upcoming art book Bullets and Sugar-cubes: The Art of Butterscotch.

Laura: Lastly, do you have any final words?

Lisa: To all the aspiring artists. Never.Stop.Drawing!


You can see more artwork from Lisa and learn more on her DeviantART page and her official website.

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