Local creator April Reyna has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in computer animation, but since graduating from Arizona State University, she has focused her creativity and artistic skills on comic book illustration, saying, “I love to draw and feel that that is my goal in life.”
April began her comic art career with Heroic Age Studios where she worked on color separations for DC comics including Justice League of America, Teen Titans and Wonder Woman. She has since worked as a freelance artist on projects including Devi-licious Recipe Adventures, Alien Heart Bigfoot and her comic book series Mark of the Pterren.
April also creates phenomenal pin-up pieces and sketch cards as well as other commissioned work and she was named one of the New Times Top 100 Creatives in 2010. She’s busy prepping for her appearance at the 2012 Phoenix Comicon, but she took a few minutes to answer our Nerdvana Artist Profile questions about her art and artistic influences.
My secret origin? A very small town called, Sullivan, Illinois. Nothing but corn and soybeans as far as the eye can see.
How do you describe your artwork?
I describe my art as a journey to self-discovery. I’ll never know for sure what I’m capable of until I try, and I know I have a long way to go until I’m truly happy with every piece I produce.
What is your goal/ambition with your art?
My goal is to someday be devoted exclusively to my trade (aka – quit my day job [laughs]!)
What projects are you currently working on?
I just wrapped up issue #2 of Mark of the Pterren and I’m anxiously waiting to start issue #3 soon. Melissa Stacy is the writer for this awesome comic book. I’m the artist (pencils and inks), Andy Bohn is my letterer, Alfred Trujillo did the pencils to the variant cover and Krista Ward is the colorist for said variant. A HUGE cast of people are contributing to this book and I couldn’t be more pleased.
The first artists to make their impressions upon me include J. Scott Campbell, Michael Turner and Marc Silvestri. Gen13 and Witchblade were the first books I read sitting on Melissa Stacy’s floor as a teenager and I’m so happy I found them. It was instant love.
Who is your favorite local artist?
I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite local artist! That is like asking which finger I wouldn’t mind hacking off [laughs]. I learn so much from all my peeps and it never gets dull seeing them in and out of the comic scene. I admire them all and you know that there are so many of them down here in this neck of the woods. Natalie Sanders, Jean Arrow, and Bianca Thompson rock my world on the ladies side. Shelby Robertson, Ben Glendenning, Andy Bohn, Alfred Trujillo, Jeff Pina, Mike DeBalfo and Chris Wood also hold a special place in my heart. There are three times as many more names that I’d love to drop in there too [laughs]. These guys make me feel like family and I love them… Squee!
What is your favorite music to listen to while working on your art?
Gosh, I haven’t reinstalled my itunes since that unfortunate computer issue a few months ago, but I do love my NIN. What I usually do is play a TV series in the background, something that I’m familiar with so that it isn’t too distracting, [like] Family Guy, Firefly, Arrested Development, Witchblade, etc.
What is your favorite movie and how has it influenced your art?
Favorite movie is a tough question as well. I think I would have to say The Cell. Its references to actual works of art and its twisted interpretations are impressive and I love works that make me feel, make me think, make me analyze and discuss what is at play. I find that I start to layer things from the background to the foreground to show depth and importance to whatever figure that is in that panel. It has also made me realize that you can have a wonderful story amidst a morbid and dark subject matter and our comic book, Mark of the Pterren, is not meant for the faint of heart.
I’ve been looking forward to PCC all year long. I know that I’m definitely getting some comics signed by David Mack, David Finch, Greg Horn, Mike DeBalfo, Eric Basaldua, etc. It is gonna’ be EPIC!!!
Are you offering any special exclusives for fans at Comicon?
Yes, Mark of the Pterren will have a variant available and I will also have an exclusive print available too. I took a snap shot of it and posted it on my fan site ReynaArt. The pencils that Alfred Trujillo did for the Mark of the Pterren are on that fan site. So go check ‘em out and show some love! Squee!
What is the craziest thing you’ve been asked to sketch?
I think the craziest thing I’ve been asked to sketch was mafia kittens, from last year’s PCC. It was a lot of fun to do that panel [laughs]. My favorite, however, is this blank cover that a fan continues to bring me at every show starting from my first one. I continue to build more and more sketches onto it and I can see this progression in my work and that makes me feel very excited. I think there are 4 sketches on it now.
If you had a superpower, what would it be and how did you acquire it?
Honestly, I have thought it over and I would want the power to find that perfect parking place everywhere I go. Yup, it’s boring but it would be awesome for everything. I would acquire it magically from pretend shanking Shelby Robertson in the kidney, and sure, I’d carpool with him since he’d have granted me my super power [laughs]!
For the 2012 Phoenix Comicon, April can be found at booth #726. She will also be participating in the con panels for Unity Project: Women Unite, Sketch Off Friday #2 and Artists’ Jam Off . April can often be found at events hosted by local comic shops including Pop Culture Paradise, Hero Comics, Gotham City Comics and Coffee and Drawn to Comics. You can also follow April on FACEBOOK.
Arizona catches a lot of heat in the media and from the nation as a whole, but nevertheless our crazy ‘Hellscape’ is proudly called “home” by some of the greatest pop culture artistic talent in the country. So leading up to the 2012 Phoenix Comicon (May 24 – 27), Nerdvana will showcase a series of posts profiling some of the amazing local artists that will be appearing at this year’s convention. Read ALL the Nerdvana’s Artist Profiles!