Hire This Woman: Artist Natasha Alterici
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.”
Natasha Alterici has been making comics for a few years now, has a successful Kickstarter for the comic LUCID under her belt, and has two new projects launching this summer. She primarily sticks to art but has also written a few of her projects including some anthology work and one of her upcoming projects.
ComicsAlliance: What's your preferred form of creative output?
Natasha Alterici: Given the non-traditional nature of my art style and methods I've become a bit of a jack of all trades. I prefer to do all art elements, usually combining hand drawn pencils and digital coloring. I've also begun to dabble in scripting a few of my own brain children. Penciling will always be my favorite part, it's the ground work, the crucial first stages that ultimately determine the success or failure of the work. Though that seems like a lot of pressure, it is also the stage that is most creatively open.
CA: Do you work on paper or digitally? Why?
NA: I've developed my own methods which combine work on paper with digital elements. Most typically I do just so much in pencil and ink (sometimes no ink at all) and then finish it digitally. I am particularly interested in the possibilities the combination of traditional and digital work has to offer, particularly in texture and color.
CA: What’s your background/training?
NA: I received a Fine Arts degree from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma back in 2009. I've been doing freelance art projects of all varieties over the last nine years, getting into illustration and comic book work just in the last two years.
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
NA: Overly elaborate or cluttered pages jar my eyes, so I very much believe in the old "less is more" philosophy. I aim for the most expressive and emotive ways to visualize a story, using line and texture and value to achieve that.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past?
NA: Last year I finished my first comic book, a one shot called LUCID, which the writer and I launched via Kickstarter. I also wrote and illustrated a short comic called Girls Don't Like Dinosaurs and later collaborated with DC Comics writer Sterling Gates on a project for an anthology to launch later this year.
CA: What are you currently working on?
NA: Currently I'm working on a new series, Illustrated Girl, with writer Jackson Compton; and a solo untitled project about a fiery Viking exile who journeys to find and rescue the Valkyrie of Norse myth, Brynhild. Both upcoming projects should have an issue out by the summer.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to draw a 20-page issue?
NA: I haven't reached the point where I can do comics full time, but I'm close. And with that goal in mind I'm working to tighten up my deadline to 40 days or less for a standard comic.
CA: What is your dream project?
NA: Illustrating any story that moves me is the dream, but if I was given the chance to work on a Xena: Warrior Princess comic, I would run through the streets singing like Charlie Bucket.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
NA: You will find no bigger Ashley Wood fan that me, I scour comic shops for his obscure and rare comics.
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
NA: I came into comics late -- I didn't start reading until college. Some of my favorites so far have been the big graphic novels like Maus, Watchmen, Batman: The Long Halloween, Persepolis, Hellspawn, and Ghost in the Shell. But I've started getting into mainstream comics now. I'm currently loving Saga and Black Science from Image.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
NA: While I feel like I still have a long way to go, this is the year I hope to prove myself professionally and take on comic work full time. It'd be great to reach a point where I always have at least one collaborative project and one solo project going on simultaneously. Also a shelf full of dinosaur toys and about twelve boxes of cereal.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
NA: My work doesn't look or feel like the old school comics. I don't think this is a good or bad thing, just something unique. I strive for visuals that are emotive and thoughtfully crafted.
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?