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purple kecleon Interview

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With sweet stories in Floraverse, we knew that we would enjoy all of purple kecleon's interview responses. Check them out here!

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When was the first moment you decided you wanted to be an artist?

There's never been a moment in which I've not been an artist - it was more a matter of realizing that I really didn't want to do anything else! Not a lot of schools encourage people to pursue art, so when I realized I could actually do that, I was pretty ecstatic.

Where do you find your inspiration?

All over! Lately I've been pretty into Steven Universe - I'm really into fun stories that have serious emotional moments. I like trying to do that in my own work, so I tend to find inspiration in similar works.

We love the adventures in Floraverse!

If you could work with another artist, who would it be? / who is your favorite artist?

Gosh, that's hard to choose. I can pick out favorite aspects of other artists' works, but it's so hard to go "yes, that person's work is my favorite" because I love lots of different things about different pieces! Hmm, as for working with someone... I might say, the Japanese artist kawayoo! Their colors are phenomenal, and their pieces are so incredibly atmospheric.

What has been the best moment in your career?

That might have been when I was selling at Anime Expo this July! Rebecca Sugar (creator of Steven Universe) came to my table to specifically comment on how she liked the variant cover I did for the Steven Universe comics. I was dumbfounded because it was so unexpected for her to just stop by - but it was definitely a huge highlight to receive kind words from someone whose work means so much to me! (I put a lot of effort into that cover!)

How exciting, congrats!
What is your ideal day?

I actually live an ideal day every day! I work on my own projects and put them out there. That's really all I do, and it's my favorite thing to do. I spend almost every hour working on or talking about something I'm currently trying to finish or develop.

Who is your role model?

I don't know if I have any particular role model. I try to regard my fellow artists as peers, even if they're doing some incredible stuff. I have a hard time wanting to put anyone on a "pedestal", which is sort of what "role model" seems to be, sometimes!

If you could do anything, what would it be?

Hmm, I'd probably figure out a bunch of different artistic things I wanted to get done. I have a bucketlist filled with things like: release a game with my art direction / story, put out an animated short, etc. So, I'd probably choose something from that.

A Floraverse game? We'd be down!

Why do you create art?

I don't think it's possible for me to not create art in some form! I always want to learn more to do more things with it. I love putting it to a practical use. What's the point in any of this if I can't tell a story or create an experience? That's what it comes down to, for me. I really like being able to figure out a way to get my voice out there, and art's just such an incredibly effective way of doing just that. I love it.

We want to vacation wherever they're vacationing!

What art do you most identify with?

Really emotional stuff, the stuff that tears at your heart and soul. That's the art I'm most interested in creating and consuming. I guess there's something very "real" about that emotion, and I like when I can get so invested that it really doesn't matter if it's fictional or just a drawing - it becomes "real" by being consumed by someone who's in a dialog with it. I enjoy that a lot. I want to really, really feel what the person was feeling when they made the art! It's another way of connecting with others, to me.

How has your art changed throughout your life?

Oh man, my art from even a few years ago wasn't very cohesive at all. I was still learning about storytelling and how to do it effectively. I was still exploring the idea of working with central themes to be present throughout a work... so my stuff was all over the place and really just focused on learning how to illustrate and how to use color. I think you could say my art has gone through "stages" - from being a teenager and doing it because I loved it, but not being focused on anything in particular... to taking it more serious in college, and trying to study color some more... and then after I left college, I started trying to learn about storytelling by telling a lot of mediocre stories. I really wasn't very good until somewhat recently, in my opinion. Though, I'm pretty sure I'll be saying that for the rest of my life, haha. It just means there's always something new to learn!

We think your storytelling is great!

What is your dream project?

I'd have to say, I'm pretty much already working on it! I wanted to save my Floraverse project (floraverse.com) until I was "good enough" in my mind, and that didn't happen until I told a bunch of so-so stories to get into storytelling for a couple of years. I wanted to get an idea of what I was doing before crafting a huge world for others to take part in! So, currently Floraverse is my ideal project! It's a collective of stories in one world setting, so I explore different characters and ways of telling stories. It started out as just a comic, with some written stories here and there, and now it's evolved to a visual novel type format. The VN format is extremely nice - it means I get to collaborate with my husband (who is a writer) on these projects, and my boyfriend puts them together so they look slick and nice. And I make music for it, too. So really, being able to express myself creatively however I want is something I am, happily, doing every day! That's the dream. I'm also currently in the middle of planning a game project, which is another one of the things I want to achieve in the next few years.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Hmm. Being told "don't focus on the details - put an equal amount of work into everything". My art teacher told this to me in regards to a piece I was working on... I was just rendering the parts of a piece that were fun to me, not really paying attention to the rest of it. It's better to work on everything at once and kind of "bring the picture into focus" instead of zooming in on one spot... which is actually really versatile advice, and applies to planning art or projects, even! You don't want to just rush into something when you haven't figured out the overall plan. I mean, for instance... it's probably not a good idea to make a fun illustration for the final scene of a thing you haven't written yet. It might turn out completely differently after you write it, meaning all that work was useless! And since I have so little time to spare, I'm always trying not to waste time in this way.

 

So, planning is pretty important to me. I like to have a good idea of where I'm going, but I like leaving room for good ideas to crop up and change the direction of the story and art, and I have no problem "killing my darlings" (as Stephen King puts it), which makes art-making and story-writing a really enjoyable, fun, and fresh experience, every time!

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Find out More about purple kecleon
http://www.furaffinity.net/user/purplekecleon/
http://glitchedpuppet.deviantart.com/
http://floraverse.com/

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