Hire This Woman: Artist Meghan Hetrick
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Artist Meghan Hetrick recently broke into comics with work on Fairest, Joker’s Daughter, and DC’s recent Lois Lane one-shot. You might also know her from this informative and entertaining tutorial on how to draw breasts correctly. She’s got a variety of other projects on the horizon as well, as she told us in this Hire This Woman interview.
ComicsAlliance: What is your preferred form of creative output?
Meghan Hetrick: My editors might shoot me for this, but i prefer painting. But painting comics, so it still works.
CA: Do you work on paper or digitally?
MH: I stick to traditional work mainly because I’m stubborn, but also because there’s just something captured with physical artwork that you can’t get with digital. Not knocking digital at all, the work is beautiful, I just prefer the texture and process of working on a physical piece. Plus, then you can sell the original 😛
CA: What’s your background/training?
MH: Aside from the requisite art courses in grade school, and one year of community college, I’m completely self taught. Sometimes being extraordinarily stubborn and inquisitive can be a good thing
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
MH: Umm… I don’t know if i can, really, as that’s one of the more difficult questions to answer as an artist. I can describe it best by listing my influences, which generally tend to be mid-’90s comic artists (yes, the Marvel and Image era), as well as a healthy love of Frazetta, Renaissance art, Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Eastern art…. y’know what, the list could go on forever. I’m influenced by everything that catches my eye, and sparks my interest, and if I really like it, I’ll try to figure out how those effects are achieved, and it ends up getting integrated/assimilated into my own work.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
MH: Past projects, for the comics end of things, are a few pages in Fairest #20, three stories in the Fairest: In All the Land graphic novel, Joker’s Daughter #1 (the one shot), and a few pages in Lois Lane. That’s the published stuff, at least. As for what i’m currently working on, I have BODIES through Vertigo, and a few others up my sleeve that i can’t talk about just yet.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to draw a 20-page issue?
MH: I generally average about a page a day, for pencils and inks, so including doing the breaks, about 25 days or so. Keep in mind that i tend to do about 12-16 hour days when i’m on a tight deadline.
CA: What is your dream project?
MH: Can’t talk about it, because it’s no longer a dream. Wait until Comic-Con in San Diego for that one. But, to whet people’s appetite a bit, I’d freaking LOVE to get my hands on the Darkness, Witchblade, or Magdalena. Still love those characters.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
MH: Oh man, this is going to be a long list. I learned to draw from copying pages of Joe Madureira and Michael Turner’s. Adam Hughes’ work introduced me to Art Nouveau (yes, it’s because of him that i looked up who the hell Alphonse Mucha was, and that opened the floodgate of obsession). Chris Bachalo for storytelling. Marc Silvestri, Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo for setting the tone of a page, in terms of the darker, moodier, yet still beautiful artwork. Scott Hampton introduced me to painted comics, with David Mack reinforcing it. And then pretty much everyone else ever, who i’ve bought a book of, just because of the art.
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
MH: I had a weird phase starting out, in that I used to buy comics not really for the story, but mainly for the art. The story was a bonus, and if i got hooked I’d track down everything that I could for it. Because of that, my inspiration map is all over the place. Joe Mad’s run on Uncanny X-Men, Chris Bachalo on Generation X, and Michael Turner’s Witchblade were the foundations of my art.. Lucifer and Fables were my jump off points in terms of “Hey, there are comics without spandex? AND THEY’RE AWESOME!” so those will always have a special place in my heart. I’m hooked on American Vampire. I still love Deadpool and other highly irreverent comics that aren’t afraid to poke fun at their own medium.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
MH: Sunny, surrounded by my critters, and with a cup of fantastic coffee within arms reach.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
MH: That it’s an ever evolving process. What i do today probably won’t look like what I did two months ago, or will do two months from now. I’m still very, VERY new to this industry, at least at a professional level, and i really hope that i can share some of that exuberance and just awe with people.
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?
MH: My website is probably the most professional way of going about it, which is www.meghanhetrick.com. I guess that means i should probably update that thing, eh?
Black and white scans via Wednesday’s Heroes, where you can buy Meghan Hetrick originals.
If there is a woman you’d like to recommend or if you’d like to be included in a future installment of this feature, drop us a line at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Hire This Woman” in the subject line.