I sent Karin a few questions about her work and her life, and what I received was unabashedly detailed and thorough. Because of this I'll split up this q&a into two sections, which just gives us all more to look forward to.
I very well might publish some of this correspondence in an issue of T&Y, but for now, it'd be criminal of me to keep these to myself any longer. And so I give you the first part of a question and answer session with artist Karin Rindevall.
JM: Tell me about your art...what are you working on now? You've done some colors for Teddy and the Yeti, but you have more on your plate, I'm sure.
KR: Right now I am working on my own comic project called "Forsupen" - a plot based on a story I wrote when I was 13. It's a hobby project and since I am a full-time student, the progress is pretty slow.
Forsupen means "drunken" in Swedish, in a somewhat "abandoned/fallen" kind of way. The comic's story is really wide and follows a lot of characters from casual everyday problems to really critical issues like surviving in war. It begins with a man with alcohol problems, which is why I used the word "Forsumen", because the word is old fashioned and fascinates me.
Aside from coloring Teddy and the Yeti, I am taking on other freelance commissions once in a while. Sadly, I don't have much time to draw on other projects than [those] these days because right now I try to focus a lot on my studies, so I am trying to stick to coloring Teddy and the Yeti and working on one or two other commissions. Usually I am the multitasking type - I like getting involved with as many projects as possible!
JM: So you study art in school?
KR: I am not entirely an art student. I study a game graphics program, specializing [in] animation. I love to animate! I went to a 2-D animation college where I developed a lot of my artistic skills before entering the University of Skovde. Within the university's courses, I take part in projects that develop games in real development settings (six-eight hours a day). Thus far I have been part of four different game projects during my time at the university, one of them being "official", and my current fifth project soon to be official/commercial (in a year). I will graduate in May and hope to be able to use my artistic talents within a game development team really soon!
JM: What's the process that you go through while creating your art? How much of what do you depends on technology and how much, if any, is by hand?
KR: When it comes to coloring Teddy and the Yeti, I am working entirely digitally. I work in Photoshop, which is standard for me when it comes to work in high resolution (like comics). Even though I have been working digitally since 1998, I haven't learned until recently that it is very important to use references for coloring to make it look more "real". This is important even if you don't necessarily want [the artwork] to look photo realistic because you can learn a lot from studying colors, shading, highlights, different mood settings, etc. - even if you intend to color or draw in a cartoony way.
As an artist, I actually started digitally and learned to respect and handle natural mediums after that. Computer graphics and art fascinated me as soon as I got the Internet, and I started experimenting with it way before I practiced to use real pencils and brushes. Things I learned in digital drawing were really useful for me when I started to paint on real canvas - like how to blend colors by hand by remembering the RBG values and how to mix layers in Photoshop and such. Traditional mediums were not really appealing to me before I learned to paint on the computer.
JM: So which do you prefer? Computer-mediated or traditional?
KR: If someone would ask me to pick computer tools or traditional tools when it came entirely to drawing, I think I would have to pick traditional tools because there is just something about them that you can never achieve on a computer (the feeling of it?). However, this choice all depends on what period I am in, because sometimes it's easier to sketch and color on the computer and sometimes it's easier on paper.
I am also very dependent on the computer because it's so easy to find references for colors or objects/creatures I need to paint. And these days, since I work a lot in 3-D, I could never live without a computer.
JM: What do you like best about the creation process?
KR: The freedom in storytelling. Don't get me wrong, I love to write as much as I love to draw, but when I find a really, really amazing piece of art, I could really agree to the phrase "a picture could tell more than a thousand words." One of the moments I like the best about creating art and comics is the moment I can achieve something [in relation to] that phrase; to show something other than simple colors and a motive in a piece - to show a story - to show something that means something to someone else, even if it means something different than it meant to me creating it.
JM: What's your level of involvement with Teddy and the Yeti?
KR: Right now I do all my best to color the pages of Teddy and the Yeti. I have a pretty tight schedule, but I always enjoy coloring and I think working on Teddy and the Yeti is a good way for me to develop my coloring techniques. I get to work with other professional comic artists and that is a great experience for any artist, I think.
I'll stop there for now...the remainder of the interview will be posted in the next few days. Be sure to check out Karin's website at http://www.karrey.com!