Cover Artist Interview: Sara Kipin

Today we’re featuring an interview with the artist who illustrated the lovely lady knights who are gracing the covers of LSQ this year! 

Hi Sara! Tell us a bit about yourself and what got you on the path to being an illustrator. Was there a defining moment that made you decide to make art your career?

Ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an artist! I remember getting up and watching Pappyland every morning before school and loving the drawings so much. Having two supportive artistic parents helped a lot too!

The cover of Issue 025 has gotten great feedback. What was the inspiration for the lady knights that will be gracing the covers of LSQ this year?

Honestly, they were based on a piece of armor that I saw at the Walter’s Art Museum in Baltimore! Coupled with my love of fantasy art, the craftsmanship in the armor really got my imagination going. The set was originally intended to be apart of a larger knight zine of mine that never got made.

Who are your favorite women illustrators, past or present?

I would have to say Mary Blaire and Tove Jansson!

What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money what would you create?

I would love to be able to art direct my own animated film or even be a part of one! I have such a love for animation and I hope to collaborate on one someday.

Are you reading anything right now? And does what you’re reading/watching/listening to inspire any of your work?

I’m actually doing my re-read of the Tolkien series! And definitely. I love listening to music and/or watching old favorite films while I work. I love background noise and it’s a good way to keep myself entertained but not distracted.

Around LSQ we’re strong supporters of fan art and fiction. I found your work through the Dragon Age fandom on tumblr, in fact. Do you feel like fanworks are a stepping stone for young or less experienced artists and does it give you more opportunities to find work?

Oh it totally does. I think it’s really helpful for a developing artist to take in inspiration and use it as a base for their growth. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met one artist who didn’t start out drawing fanart as a kid. It’s also a good way to gain a following on your work. And once you’ve become comfortable with your own personal vocabulary of art, you can begin to regurgitate your inspirations into works that completely represent you as an individual.

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?

Absolutely not. The women themselves had the same ability to create beautiful works of art as their male counterparts, but were not given the same publicity or the respect within the community. There’s a reason why female artists usually get overlooked, and it has nothing to do with the quality of their work. I believe we are better off today with the creation of the internet and our ability to curate our own work, but there still is a long way to go.

Where can people learn more about you and your work? Are you accepting commissions?

As of now I only post about my art on my tumblr! And unfortunately due to my upcoming graduation, I’m not taking commissions at this time. I’m sorry!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Sara! Good luck with your graduation and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of your work soon.