Monday, June 8, 2015

Comic book artist breaks stereotypes

Jenevieve Broomall, a comic book cover illustrator, explains drawing proportions Wednesday during a comic book workshop at the Gadsden Public Library’s Teen Zone.
Laura Catoe | Gadsden Times
Published: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 10:06 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 10:09 p.m.
Jenevieve Broomall, a comic book cover illustrator, led a comic book workshop at the Gadsden Public Library’s Teen Zone on Wednesday. Broomall has done covers for several publishing companies and is mostly known for her portrayals of female characters — but she also enjoys drawing monsters and creatures.
A self-taught artist, Broomall has been doing this professionally for about five years. “You can start at any age. You’re never too old when it comes to this medium.”
Broomall took some of her work to a convention when she was 22 and got discouraging feedback. “I was told I was too old, too raw and that since I was a woman, I’d have kids and not have the time,” she said. “I wanted to prove him wrong.”
And she has. Broomall is a stay-at-home mom.
“I draw during nap time and at night.”
She said it is difficult with small children. “They want your attention 24/7.” So she has toys in her studio and her daughters role play making their art deadlines.
Broomall’s parents were artists — her mother’s style is realism and her father is an architect — and she learned the basic tenets of drawing from them at an early age. She did not attend art school.
“I did not draw at all in college,” she said. “I have a BA in Musical Theatre. It’s why I’m not afraid of crowds.”
Broomall began to focus on her drawing after the birth of her first daughter. She decided to pursue a career in comics.
She told the teens that sometimes it’s about forcing yourself to draw what you don’t enjoy (like hands or feet). “And this is over a time frame of years, not days.”
A big lesson for Broomall to learn was to stop looking at other people’s work. “I had to understand how I put things together.”
“If you’re learning from looking at comic books, it’s the wrong way to learn,” she said. “You have to study reality.”
he suggested figure studies to see the shapes, mass and form of the human body.
When asked if she listens to music when she’s working, Broomall answered that she listens to fast-paced music.
“It makes me draw faster. A of electronic, so I’m not getting distracted by lyrics.” She also keeps a lot of anime on in the background.
(Before she studied anatomy, she drew “really bad anime.”)
Broomall told the teens they have to pursue something they are passionate about.
“If you’re not passionate, it shows,” she said. “Then your work suffers. Then you become mad at it.”
Broomall is currently passionate about IDW publishing’s “Jem and the Holograms” series. She has been submitting at least one cover proposal a month. She plans to keep submitting until she’s accepted to the project.
She is also working on a five-page pitch to shop around to publishers later this year.
If none show any interest, she will pursue funding via Kickstarter.
Broomall’s thoughts on the industry are that “if the talent level is good enough, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, or situation, it’s all down to the hard work and love for the art.”

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