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Sionra is both an artist and bank employee who works in asset management along with a mathematics and psychology education. At one point in her life, Sionra wanted to become a cartoonist, but passed up the opportunity and has not regretted her decision because she cannot imagine drawing something she does not like for money.
Plus, if she had become a cartoonist the works she has now created would never have been thought of. This would have been a tremendous loss to the art community. Sionra is quite happy with how her life has turned out thus far and credits her family and close friends with making her the person she is today.
ToonariPost (TP): When and how did you first decide to commit yourself to art-related work?
Sionra (S): I will not be original in my answer that I draw from childhood like most people. It’s my main hobby, which allows me to express my thoughts and ideas on paper. Unfortunately, I don’t have any special art education, so I try my best to improve by myself.
TP: How would you describe your artistic style?
S: I think my main works belong to a mix of anime/cartoon style, sometimes I use a semi-realistic style for my works. I wish to grow in several directions.
TP: Can you tell me about the tools you use to create your pieces and the process behind them?
S: Sure. I’m still not brave enough to make fully digital works, so my main drawings always have a traditional beginning. I start from a rough sketch with my beloved red pencil; after correcting mistakes I make clear line art with mechanical pencil. I work a lot to make my lines smoother than they were before. After, I scan my drawing and color it in Photoshop or Paint tool SAI. I always work at standard resolution 300dpi because I do not need more to print it out later. I also use a Wacom tablet.
TP: When you get frustrated with a piece you are creating, how do you overcome this obstacle?
S: I was frustrated with my piece or process mostly in the past. Also, I was really annoyed by making very time-consuming works. I couldn’t spend more than 5 hours on one drawing, so I started to learn how to concentrate on a single work for more time and how to work on a few pieces at the same time. Now, I very rarely feel frustrated, even if I see mistakes in the finished work.
TP: I usually ask artists how they deal with art theft if it has happened to them, but I noticed that you have posted a journal that already addresses this issue. I have to say, your view on how to deal with it is a complete curve ball from some of the responses I have seen. What has made you take this particular stance on art theft?
S: I don’t support real “art thieves”, but I saw many times how people started bullying other people, harass them and saying cruel things. I’m old enough to see the big difference between a young artist who uses my work as a reference and a big print-shop that tries to sell my works without my permission. The first case is much more innocent than the second one. I understand that it’s much harder to try to resolve a situation peaceably than it is to start drama. Really, it’s harder. You need to be very calm and polite, but in the end you have resolved the situation without the drama. Double profit, as I say!
TP: I see that Japanese ball jointed dolls (BJD) are a hobby of yours. What made you decide to make them a hobby?
S: Oh, well, BJD is a really amazing hobby for people who want to create their characters in real life. For me, it’s an opportunity to make their designs and practice my photo-skills. It allows you to give your character a face.
TP: You say that you admire those who are able to catch the personality of the dolls in a photograph. What is it that makes these dolls’ personalities so elusive?
S: The love of the owner first of all. Joke. I think good makeup and outfits make your doll look pretty, but even a pretty doll could be photographed not very well. That’s why good photography adds more personality to a doll. You could do portraits or a big photo-story that allows the dolls’ personalities to show more clearly.
TP: Can you tell me more about the inspiration behind your comics (“Once Upon a Time”)?
S: I have been drawing comics since childhood and have many stories on my shelves. But in 2008 I started role-playing (RP) with my best friend Kimir-ra, we shared our worlds and our characters, and created a new story with them. RP is the biggest inspiration for our stories. Since it contains many thousand of pages of text we try to put the most interesting part of it in the comics. “Once Upon a Time” is a comic about our characters Sif and Yaroslav, a fantasy, romance and adventure story.
TP: Out of all the characters you have designed, which one is your favorite?
S: My oldest one, Eva Lambert. I think she was created in 1996. She is my biggest treasure. I think that’s the reason why I draw her rarely.
TP: If your characters were transported to modern day life, how do you think they would survive? What would their new roles be?
S: My characters are immortal or long-livers in 99% of cases. For now, my story takes place in 2024 and after. For the most part my characters conduct business or political activities. For example, Ms. Lambert owns an antique store.
TP: Do you have any other comic or character ideas for the future?
S: Yes, too many to list them. I want to share my story with people who like it. I will work on the illustrations and comics about it. After finishing Chapter 1 of “Once Upon a Time” I plan to start working on the second chapter.
TP: Who are some of the artists and/or authors that have driven you to continue to grow in your artistic talents?