Art of The Shepherd: An Interview with Laura Rimaszombati
Laura Rimaszombati is a Hungarian artist, specializing in comics and character design.
She is the creator (author and artist) for a Webtoon sci-fi drama series called A.C.T. (https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/act/list?title_no=388486). In addition, she has created comic book covers (e.g., The Snow Queen; Oz Vol. 1: A Gathering of Heroes; and Oz Vol. 2: Clash of Titans, Caliber Comics).
She has also illustrated independent comic books (e.g., Arthur Blackfrost and Unstiched).
In early March 2017, I had the good fortune of coming across her work on Facebook. I was immediately charmed by her artistic style. As will become readily apparent, it has a certain fairy-tale magic to it. Frankly, if ever there was an artist who was born to illustrate fairy tales, myths, and fables, it is Laura.
In any event, I knew that I wanted Laura to do a special promo art piece for The Shepherd. Roberto and I discussed what we would like her to do and quickly settled on a special dream sequence that occurs between Lawrence Miller and his wife, Margaret in The Shepherd, Volume 1: Apokatastasis.
Laura began her work in late March and finished on April 6, 2017. This video is a compilation of the work in progress images Laura sent me over this period. I share it so you can watch the evolution of the final piece just as we did back then:
And here is the final version. We call it, "Margaret's Dream":
ANDREA: How did you first become interested in art? Was there a moment or experience that you had that started you down the road to becoming a professional artist?
LAURA: When I was in kindergarten, one of my drawings got printed in the kindergarten's year book. It was not even a good drawing or anything special, but I felt really happy and proud about it. That was the first time I stood out with something I've made.
I admired the old Cartoon Network series, Disney, Witch, and Sailor Moon. And I remember making lots of fan art of them. Also, for me, watching various animated movies helped a lot to grow my interest in art.
ANDREA: You have a very distinctive style. I notice that your characters tend to have an elongated shape (tall and thin), your characters remind me a little of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. How did you come to this style? What were your artistic influences?
My biggest influences are the older Cartoon Network series, Genndy Tartakovsky, Nakamura Asumiko, as well as comics, animation and manga in general. Nowadays, I'm trying to work on my style and develop something between cartoony and a more mature look.
ROBERTO: By far, the most ethereal part of this piece is Margaret's hair. There is a very otherworldly and even spiritual quality. Was that conceptually driven?
LAURA: I was trying to give this piece a feel of comfort with Margaret's character, something like a guardian angel, to contrast with Lawrence, who appears to be worn-out and in need of consolation in this scene.
For me, warm lights equate with the idea of home. So I thought it could work for a character's appearance as well, and tell their story on its own by the color choices.
ANDREA: There is a tremendous amount of emotion in the connection between Margaret and Lawrence and this is very appropriate both for the Shepherd story as a whole AND this scene in particular. Can you tell us how you as an artist approach trying to convey deep emotion in your characters?
LAURA: I always try to show emotion by focusing on the facial expressions and the lighting, as they can rule an illustration with even the smallest changes. I tend to make variations on these two things a lot when I work on a piece to make sure it conveys the correct emotions of the characters.
ROBERTO: One's eyes are naturally drawn to the two figures, but there are little details all throughout in the "dark," as well. I am thinking particularly of the many pictures! What was the motive behind that and do you ever put pieces of your own life into these little details of your artwork?
LAURA: Not specifically from my own life, but I was thinking of adding these details to make this illustration more alive, and to have some place for the eye to wander around after looking away from the two main characters.
I really like the idea of creating images that require a little time to discover each part fully.
If you would like to see more of Laura’s work, we recommend visiting her Instagram page @laura_rimaszombati (https://www.instagram.com/laura_rimaszombati/).