T.J. STERLING

Words of Wisdom

What inspired you to create your comic/graphic novel? 

Okemus was inspired by all the cool things I loved growing up in the 90's. Sci-fi, anime, games, time travel, sentai-genre and much more. For me it was important to fulfill the gap of comics by black creators to tell pure narratives that weren't driven by sales but by soul.


What is your writing/drawing process like?

I write all of my thoughts about story ideas in a journal. Then transfer what I think is cool to a script and plot out the trajectory of the story.


How many hours a day do you write/draw?

7-8 hours combined of writing and drawing. Spend as much time as you can building your universe.


What does success look like to you? Reaching and exceeding personal and professional goals. As well as using the gifts I've been given to give back young creators.


What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Coming up with new and innovative ideas that defy the status quo.


Does doing this work energize or exhaust you?

It energizes me for real. I always wanted to be a comic artist and create unique stories. Now I have that dream as a reality.


If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be? 

To believe in every thought and entertain every creative idea that comes into your head.


What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a comic/graphic novel?

I spend months researching a specific character or universe or possible storyline. I like to make the things I create as rich as humanly possible.


What advice do you have for other Black comic creators?

Don't fight amongst yourselves. There's plenty for everyone. We all can eat. Be a real one and always put the fans first.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tjsterlingart/

Website: https://www.raecomics.com/

 

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