Today we’re featuring an interview with the artist who illustrated the lovely cover of Issue 029, the very talented Priscilla Kim!
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
I’m a genre illustrator who currently works primarily in RPGs and books. My style is largely centered around fantasy realism, and I tend to focus on portraits and heroines with a narrative element, although I’m also exploring some side paths here and there.
What got you on the path to being an illustrator? Was there a defining moment that made you decide to make art your career?
I’d drawn pretty consistently all through high school, but elected not to go to school for art, due to uncertainties about my own capabilities and desires. I didn’t decide to actually go for it until maybe ten years later, but it was more of a slowly-rising tide that eventually crested in taking a SmART School online mentorship with Dan Dos Santos, which finally tipped me over the edge into thinking I could do it full-time. (Admittedly, being laid off a few months later also helped.)
The cover of Issue 029 has gotten great feedback. What was the inspiration for Fin’Amor?
It was actually initially done as a sketch idea when Lightspeed Magazine commissioned me to do the cover for their Queers Destroy Fantasy! special issue. The editors decided to go with a different option, but I liked the idea enough to do it up later on my own. It was definitely inspired in part by Dicksee’s La Belle Dame sans Merci and by this lady and knight image by Steen (although I didn’t realize until I just looked it up now that I happened to use the same hair colors, hah – that was more based on the Dicksee painting and the actual hair of my models).
What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money what would you create?
I would paint lots of faces, mostly. But the current project I’m batting around is of a YA-oriented post-apocalyptic Arthurian take.
Because LSQ is all about stories, I have to ask. What are some of your favorite tales?
My current favorite series is Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence books. Probably my first fiction loves that I remember were Tamora Pierce’s books (the Lioness Quartet really started my love of heroines, I think, along with a few others) and Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books. I’ve also had a long-standing fondness for fairy tales and mythology.
Are you reading anything right now? And does what you’re reading/watching/listening to inspire any of your work?
Currently alternating between Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds and La Morte d’Arthur. It’s probably impossible to avoid picking up inspiration from the media I consume, but I’m not immediately aware of any direct inspirations between recent media consumption and my recent work. I do occasionally do fanart for media I particularly enjoy, like Dragon Age, Mass Effect or Life Is Strange.
Do you think that women illustrators have had an even chance of success in the field in the past? And has that changed or is it changing now?
Have women ever had an even chance of success in any field they didn’t dominate (sometimes even ones they did)? I think this is still the case, societal prejudice, unconscious bias and the long-standing tendency to favor people more like yourself being what it is. Finding any field that isn’t touched by these pervasive issues would be difficult. But I think it is slowly shifting, abetted by people talking about these issues and sites like fantasticalwomen.com and womenwhodraw.com.
Where can people learn more about you and your work? Are you accepting commissions?
My website priscilla-kim.com is the main touchpoint for all the rest of my online presences, but I can also be found at Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/
I am accepting commissions right now, particularly for book covers.