Interview with illustrator Anastasia Catris at MCM London Comic Con

anapicFor all those con-goers attending this weekend, we at MCM Buzz are here to shine a light on some of the excellent artists that you can find in our Comics Village this year! Prior to this weekend’s London Comic Con, we managed to speak with freelance illustrator, Anastasia Catris and we asked her these questions.

MCM Buzz: Welcome Anastasia! Tell us a little about yourself!

Anastasia: My name is Anastasia Catris and I am a freelance illustrator from Wales in the UK. I’ve been a professional artist since 2010 when I wrote and illustrated my first book ‘SuBo’s Cat’ for HarperCollins. I have since worked for Kerrang! Magazine and Dynamite Entertainment, as well as various international companies, as a comic artist and sketch card artist. I have also worked as a video game, film and comic book reviewer for various websites.

MCM Buzz:  When did you first start really getting into art and when did you realise – this is what I want to do!

Anastasia: Like so many artists, I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil, but I never really imagined it could be a career. I decided to pursue it to A Level with the hope of continuing on to a degree but actually failed due to comic book art not being considered ‘Art’ by my college teacher. I lost a lot of confidence in my art after that. I went on to study English Literature in university and ended up reading a lot more comics than the books on my course. It was here that I read ‘Understanding Comics’ by Scott McCloud, which opened my eyes to comic book art as a respected medium and I decided to go back to it. I ended up applying to The Kubert School and was lucky enough to be accepted. I jetted off to the States and studied under professional artists from DC, Marvel and Archie and finally started to see myself truly heading towards a career in art.

MCM Buzz:  When you are creating your work, what inspirations do you draw from?

Anastasia: I’m greatly inspired by art nouveau in a lot of my work. Cirque Du Mort is also greatly inspired by burlesque and tattoo art as well as vintage carnival posters and Toulouse Lautrec.

MCM Buzz:  Aside from your own work, if you could work on another, manga or comic book what would it be and why?

Anastasia: I think my dream would be to work on something like Rat Queens or Red Sonja, or anything for Neil Gaiman as he is one of my favourite writers.

anakickstarterMCM Buzz:  This year you will be promoting your highly successful Kickstarter project at London Comic Con, tell us about the project and the story behind it!

Anastasia: Cirque Du Mort is a collection of gothic stories about the members of a haunted circus and how they each came to meet their ends. The first volume, which I am raising funds for in my Kickstarter, holds ten stories about a diverse set of characters told in different styles from poetry to prose, each accompanied by illustrations, newspaper clippings, post cards and even ticket stubs. I started creating these characters based off my own experiences of clowning, but also my love of the style of the circus, gothic horror and penny dreadful literature.

MCM Buzz: Did you imagine that you would meet your goal so quickly?

Anastasia: I’ll be honest – not in the slightest. I could not believe the overwhelming support that came out for ‘Cirque Du Mort’ and I am incredibly grateful to everyone who funded it, but also to those helped spread the word on social media. It was absolutely everywhere on the first day and it was just so humbling.

MCM Buzz: How would you say that the introduction of Kickstarter has changed the world of Manga and Comics and is this change for the better?

Anastasia: I think that Kickstarter is helping a lot of independent creators to realize that anything is possible if you put the work in and can pitch a good idea. It also gives you a good business sense of how to deal with orders, deadlines and promoting your work to your audience, which is invaluable for any creative who wants to earn a living from what they do. I have seen some of the most exciting comics that I have read coming from independent creators (Afterlife Inc, 7String, Moon, Stiffs, The Pride, to name but a few) and if Kickstarter is encouraging more stories like these out into the open I can only hope it keeps going.

MCM Buzz: What are you looking forward to most about this months Con? 

Anastasia: I love MCM. It is always such a buzz for an artist to be surrounded by so much creativity. I love meeting new indie artists and seeing what awesome new comics and books I can find. But I am also a huge gamer, so I do love seeing what new titles are up to preview and test out. The cosplayers are always great fun too! The amount of hard work that goes into their costumes can rival the work of many of us artists.

MCM Buzz: Where can we find you on Social Networks?

@acatris on Twitter and Instagram on Facebook is my website on Tumblr – Kickstarter – Cirque Du Mort Facebook

We at MCM Buzz would like to thank Anastasia for taking the time out to speak with us and we wish her all the luck with her Kickstarter Project. You can visit Anastasia this weekend at CF8 in the Comic Village.

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