Friday, September 14, 2012

Talking Aliens, Trek and Salad with Colorist Kate Finnegan

By ladyvader99

Kate Finnegan is a robust, gorgeous 26-year-old ex-RN who currently makes her living as a colorist for Big Dog Ink and Azurek Studios. This Irish beauty hails from Pennsylvania and has a love for Batman that is unrivaled! Her interests include Batman, comics, Star Wars, Batman, Game of Thrones, Photoshopping herself onto men and her ideal mate must possess a strong physical build, resistance to most diseases, sharp eyesight, acute hearing, knowledge of wilderness survival, martial arts, and firearms/other weaponry.

L: Kate, I’m going to start off by saying you are my female soul mate. How does that make you feel?
KF: It makes me feel like a unicorn farted in my chest and then sang me a love song.

L: Hahaha, that is hilarious to picture! Here we go, question #1: if you were a Star Trek [or Star Wars] character, which one would it be and why?
KF: For Star Trek, I would be Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE because I would be bald, smooth, and sexy. Plus, I could run around telling people to “make it so.” For Star Wars, I’ve been told I’m like a female Han Solo even thought I don’t smuggle things on a regular basis. If I got to choose, I’d pick Chewie because then I would never have to shave my legs again and my lush pelt would be a thing of beauty!

L: Oh my God, you are cracking me up! Next question! If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what position would you want?
KF: I would want them to go the hell away because I am deathly afraid of aliens. If I could somehow refrain from soiling myself, I think I would make a fantastic Surgeon General. I wouldn’t be a stuffy type either, I would be the “cool” kind. I would follow the warnings on cigarette packages with something like: “It’s okay, we support you no matter what you choose to do, brah!” Since I’m an RN, I am so qualified for this!

L: If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you have?
KF: I don’t really eat salad. I do like fruit salad, though and I really like that strawberry cream cheese flavored dip that comes with it. That counts, yes?

KF: Okay, that’s what I’d pick. I’d like to be chopped in tiny pieces and covered in strawberry cream cheese dip (If you’d have said it didn’t count, I would have chosen thousand island dressing cause it sounds pirate-y)

L: Pirate-y is the best adjective there is. Now on to the serious stuff! Top Dog’s Penny For My Soul issue #6 is the first issue we get to see your work on. How did it feel getting to see your name?
KF: It was kind of surreal at first. I set a pretty hefty goal for myself and seeing my name in print was proof I made it. If you set a goal, dedicate yourself to it, sacrifice and practice for it. You can’t fail; I’m living proof! When reality sunk in and I saw the placement of my name, I had a very good laugh.

L: For those who don’t know, Kate’s name appeared beneath a very intimate encounter, hahaha. Kate, are you influenced by any colorists out there?

KF: I’ve read comics for a large portion of my life so I leave it up to the people looking at my art to figure out who influences me. I love old school fantasy art…Frazetta, Luis Royo, Boris Vallejo, and Julie Bell and the like. For comics, it depends on the style of the lines you are coloring. When I was younger and first saw Battle Chasers, the guys over at Liquid! Completely blew my mind. The times I color stuff for Stefano Cardoselli, I study stuff he himself has colored and folks like Mike Mignola and Les Dorscheid. Since I started reading and working for Big Dog comics, I just fell in love with Oren Kramek’s style. Take a look through Penny For Your Soul or Ned the Chainsaw Guy and those pages just pop out at you. For pin-ups and other styles, I’ve been looking at Jason Keith, Steve Firchow, Blond, Peter Steigerwald, and Nei Ruffino. I watch Nei livestream a lot; she’s awesome all around.

L: Are there any comics currently circulating that you’d love to color for?
KF: It seems like a lot of folks chase the “dream” of working for the big two but I gotta say, I am totally happy where I’m at and what I’m doing. I’ve met and am working with some of the most amazing people with totally fresh, brand new stories. Sure we grow up with DC and MARVEL and I will always love them, but I find myself drawn to small press. That is how Tom Hutchison found me. I was a fan of Penny For Your Soul and we started talking about it, and I was like “Oh hey, I totally color stuff” and it went from there. I’m not saying if an opportunity came along for me to color for the big guys I wouldn’t take it, but it would have to be something pretty damn outstanding and it wouldn’t be able to take away from what I’m doing now.

L: Why did you choose to pursue coloring?
KF:  I bought a Wacom tablet on sale on a whim. I was feeling pretty low, and needed a creative outlet. I’ve only ever taken art classes in high school and since they always brought me happiness, I figured I’d start drawing again. Shortly after posting stuff on DeviantArt, I fell in with a group of artists and found out you could just color stuff. That’s my favorite part so I started working at it. I never expected it to be more than a hobby and once I was laid off in October from my nursing job, I gave myself the winter to see if I could do it professionally. Now, here I am!

L: That’s awesome. What medium do you prefer to use when you color?
KF: I built my own rig with digital art in mind. I upgraded my Wacom Intuous 3 to a Cintiq 21UX recently and that made me happy. I use Photoshop and have been teaching myself through Google Sketchup as I would like to start drawing as well. I’m looking into purchasing Copic markers to do some convention pieces and I can’t forget my old standby: tub of crayons!

L: I feel lame; all I use is color pencils to color Pokemon! Do you have any advice for girls out there who want to break into the comic industry?
KF: The comic industry, as it stands right now, is still a boy’s club. You’re gonna have people come right out and insult you, belittle you, make inappropriate comments and advances just because you’re a girl. Never compromise your values to fit in and never let them treat you like less of a person because you aren’t the gender they think should work in/appreciate comics. There are many amazing creators out there that will respect you; be smart and find them. Tom Hutchison at Big Dog Ink is one of these people. I wouldn’t work for anyone who is disrespectful or lewd to women, which is why I’m happy to stay for as long as he’ll have me. Always be kind, supportive, respectful and appreciative of fellow fans and creators, no matter the gender. Just don’t try and take my job, ladies!

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