Name: Star Prichard
Latest Work: “Castoff” (ongoing)
TrunkSpace: You teach English in Japan by day and freelance as an artist by night. You sound a bit like a superhero yourself! What drives you to pursue your career as an artist?
Prichard: Honestly, the biggest driving force for me is my love of creating things and sharing them. I love making art and writing stories, but the ability to share these things with the world is what really gets me excited. I’d keep drawing even if I was the only one who could see it, but the ability to spark an emotional response in the people who see my work is what drives me to keep creating on a regular basis.
TrunkSpace: How would you describe your work?
Prichard: Bright. Colorful. Lively. I try to give my art the sort of energy that makes people excited, because making it makes me excited!
TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Prichard: One of my biggest inspirations for making comics when I was young was actually “Calvin and Hobbes!” I had several of the giant omnibus volumes that I would read through in my spare time, and fell in love with the way a comic could tell a story in just four panels. I was eventually drawn to 4-koma manga like “Azumanga Daioh” for the same reason. Comics are great!
TrunkSpace: Where do you find your inspiration for your work now?
Prichard: I think “Where DON’T I find inspiration?” would be an easier question to answer! Movies, video games, anime, other webcomics – I think it’s possible to get inspiration from anywhere! Art-wise, games like “The World Ends with You” and “Ghost Trick” are some of my favorites. I love the bright colors and thick, bold line art. I also love the type of action sequences you can see in shows by “Studio Trigger” and many video games. And series like “The Adventure Zone” and “Fullmetal Alchemist” inspire me to constantly improve my storytelling.
TrunkSpace: You have an award-winning online comic, “Castoff.” Can you tell us how you got started and a bit about the story?
Prichard: “Castoff” is a fantasy-adventure story about a boy who gets kidnapped and has to find his way home, and all the trouble that comes along on the journey. It has magic, adventure, big flashy fight scenes, EMOTIONS – pretty much everything I love in a story, really.
“Castoff” was inspired by a dream I had in college – but I was working on a different comic at the time, so I didn’t have the energy to pursue “Castoff” until much later. That first comic was eventually shelved, but it helped me learn things about writing and comics that I eventually applied to “Castoff!”
TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Prichard: As much as I would love to work on published comics, what would make me happiest is continuing to work on my own series! I don’t know what I’ll be doing after “Castoff” is finished, but I don’t plan to stop making comics anytime soon!
TrunkSpace: What would you say is your greatest strength as an artist?
Prichard: Of all parts of comic craft, I’d say my strongest point is probably inking! I love strong, bold inks in comics, and have been constantly trying to make my linework better!
TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Prichard: Technology has absolutely been a huge influence on my process! I’d say the best thing about working digitally is the time you save. I script entirely on the computer – typing is just so much faster than pen-and-pencil writing, you know? And when you have that spark of inspiration you have to write it down before it disappears completely. Also, digital in general is much cleaner – it’s easier to rewrite/redraw something when erasing doesn’t add gross smudges all over your paper. I like to keep my work neat.
TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in illustration?
Prichard: I think that anyone trying to make it as an artist needs to have a good mix of skill and determination. You can be an amazing artist but without the drive to keep creating new work and putting yourself out there, you won’t get anywhere. Likewise, if you have the determination but not the skills to back it up, all you’ll be doing is spinning your wheels. You need to make sure you’re improving your skills as an artist, too. Find a good balance between self-promotion and self-improvement!
TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2018?
Prichard: More “Castoff!” Always more “Castoff.” The story has got some interesting scenes coming up in the next few chapters, and I’m excited to finally share them! Aside from that, though, I also have an 11-page comic in the upcoming “Spiderforest” comic anthology for this year, and I’m planning on doing another holiday special when winter rolls around! I hope everyone is as excited for those as I am!