Each day with Anita Zaramella is a lucky day ! Welcome to the secret of Dawn Of The Dad.
Hi Anita !
– What time do yo wake up and how do you start your day’s work ?
I’ve got a very regular schedule, so I wake up at 8 every day…mostly because I like it. I cannot dedicate every day to drawing, as I have a day job; but those lucky days start with a big cup of coffee and Twitter.
– Do you have a schedule for each day ?
I schedule the work by weeks, and each day I set a goal. I’m currently running at two completed pages/week, plus extra content. The daily goal is based on how much time I can dedicate to the comic, but it sometimes get screwed because I feel like drawing something else, and I don’t want to force myself too much. I mean, you must be committed, but it’s not mandatory.
– Do you need a particular environnement or music to be inspired ?
No, I mostly create on the go. Consider I write the stories on my commute to the day job! I usually work at home with some tv shows in the background, but he absolute best is working in a room with my friends or family going on about their lives, and me drawing in a corner.
– What about your workstation ?
I have a dedicated room in my little home, equipped with a reclinable table, an A3 printer and scanner, good light and a laptop. I work here most of the time, but my tools allow me to draw on the go and in almost every situation. I do the whole comic work on an iPad PRO, and all the rest on Moleskine sketchbooks. I don’t like being forced at home, so I sometimes finish the pages while waiting in the car, or in the rehearsal room while my boyfriend plays, or simply during family gatherings.
– What are the main steps of your creative process ?
First of all, the script. I write it as it was meant for someone else, because it takes up to four months for me to complete an episode, and I need everything to be understandable even when I had a terrific week and don’t even remember what I’m doing. Layouts are somewhat part of the script creation (see how little and confused they are?) Next step, the storyboard. Very simple, mostly focused on gestures and dynamic lines. When I have lot of dialogues I add it on the storyboard to make sure I’ve left enough space, but most of the time I don’t need this step.
I don’t pencil anymore, because it used to make the whole page too still. That goes when drawing both digital and traditional. I guess I’m too impatient, so third step is inks.
I also consider myself a terrible colorist, but I do feel DAWN OF THE DAD needs color. Last steps are flats and a bit of shading, just enough to tell apart the various layers.
And if I didn’t letter the storyboard, here come the text.
– Do you use a 3d assistance or photographic documentation ?
Ehhrrrrrrr…no. But I should. Kids, take note, always use references.
– How do you light a scene ?
In my hands it’s all about the storytelling, panels and page composition. I try my best to give a good rhytm to the page, nailing the lenght of the scene and the right moment to turn the page. I don’t really have tips to share about this, as the timing is something you feel when writing and re-reading, built on what you’re used to read.
I don’t focus only on the facial expression: having your character communicate with all of its visible body is key. They’re all actors on a stage, and no one sleeps on stage!
– What about the daily loneliness of the webcomic artist ?
It’s so damn boring. I live in a very small town with little to no comic presence, so I rely on working on the go while I’m with friends and family. Attending comic conventions is the best to get a relief: you’re not alone, and most comic artists are crazy.
– What is the rule according to you for good dialogues ?
Make it short, make it personal. Show more and tell less.
– How do you know that the page is finished?
Ah, I love how this question always pops up and no one really knows how to answer! Really, it’s all very staged from the beginning. It’s finished when I’ve filled up all the panels. I know, it’s harsh to read.
– What relationships do you have with your readers and fans ?
Most of my readers are people I’ve met in real life. I have little to no contact with those following me online. But I’ve got three anectodes that I love :
– this boy who bought the series at the local comic book store, and when I did signings did everything he could to come meet me…but he didn’t know what to ask! It was so awkward. Like when you’re 13 and on a date. Weird but lovely.
– that time my boyfriend befriended this younger, more talented and professional comic artist at a convention, and forced him to buy the first episode of my stuff. He clearly bought it just to shut him up, and I felt really bad, because right now what I want is readers, not sales. Anyway…
…he came back half an hour later to buy the rest because he actually liked it, and THAT made my day.
– my boss on the day job is one of my biggest fans. She’s always asking for the next episode, and even trying to set me up for more drawing jobs. It kinda seems like she wants to fire me, but in a good way !
My main social is facebook, so hit me up there for frequent updates, news and events: facebook.com/anitacomics
The comic itself is hosted on Tapastic: tapas.io/series/Dawn-of-the-Dad
I’m also on Twitter as @anitakajika
And last but not least, my daily sketches go up on instagram.com/anitacomicsI do sell and ship printed copies if someone wishes to support me. Just drop me a line anywhere, and we’ll arrange it !
Webcomic series : Dawn Of The Dad