We’re kicking off our third quarter with another whopper–Issue 047 has 19 phenomenal speculative fiction tales by emerging woman-identifying authors! You can read it online, or snag a print or digital copy for yourself. And of course, what would a new issue of LSQ be without a fantastic piece of cover art? This time our cover has been graced by Amagoia Agirre, who took a moment to chat with us about art!
LSQ: Please tell us about the cover image “Woodlands.” Is there a story behind this image? How did you decide on all the different elements in this art?
Amagoia: When I first started drawing this piece my idea was to portray an autumn forest inspired by a beautiful place not very far from where I live. I decided to add some storytelling to it: a character who looks back as she leaves unscratched from some kind of battlefield. The sword in the corner hints at some kind of confrontation outside of the picture for the viewer to wonder about.
I usually draw armored women with swords, but this time I wanted her to be a powerful mage who wouldn’t have the need for a weapon. She leaves surrounded by a protective shield, a greenish blue that contrasts with the rest of the picture.
LSQ: Nature plays a major role in many of your pieces. What is it about nature that draws
you in and makes you want to capture it in your art?
Amagoia: I love spending time outdoors, away from the city. I’ve practiced hiking for almost all my life, both as sport and as a stress-relieving hobby; I spend a considerable time observing plants, trees and even rocks.
I feel like nature is the place we can always come back to and reconnect with ourselves, and so, I like to reflect that on my art. Many of my art pieces consist of characters strolling or relaxing in the woods, which is something I very much relate to and probably why I enjoy so much drawing them.
LSQ: Women with swords and in armor also appear often in your work. What about this image do you find so appealing?
Amagoia: Medieval castles, armors, and swords have been of my interest since I was young. Most references in pop culture about medieval knights involve men. However, what fascinated me was the idea of the female knight: strong female characters which combine elegance and power. This is a topic I’ve touched many times in my art as I focus mostly on fantasy and it is something that I always come back to from time to time.
LSQ: When did you realize you wanted to focus on fantasy in your art? Did you start out as a fantasy artist, or have you noticed changes over time? Please tell us a bit about your art journey!
Amagoia: I’ve never considered myself a very imaginative person; as a fact, my drawings as a child didn’t include any fantasy element. It wasn’t until I developed an interest in sci-fi and fantasy genres that my art started to turn that way. The moment I started reading fantasy books (The Lord of the Rings was a huge influence when I was a teen) my art became more fantasy centered. I discovered the joy of drawing scenes and characters from the books I loved and this eventually evolved into creating my own fantasy pieces. It was a natural evolution for me, as I started consuming the genre, I also began producing it.
LSQ: Do you have a personal favorite of the projects you’ve worked on? Or one that was memorable due to its challenges? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
Amagoia: There’s this short comic called Blanco color NADA (White color NOTHING in Spanish) which I drew in collaboration with a writer colleague. It is the first comic project I managed to complete, thus an important milestone, and it feels so personal even though I didn’t write it myself. It also mixes some of my preferred topics (women in armor, nature, and fantasy are all in
there of course) and it was such a joy to work on. Even though it is not perfect, it is a project I’m most proud of.