Comic books, animated TV and yo-yo with illustrator and author Kelsey


Kelsey took the time to chat to us about her practise and interests



Interview by Hugo Ross

Illustration by Kelsey Wroten

May 19, 2019


VM: What is new?

KW: Well, my first graphic novel just came out! Cannonball from Uncivilized books! It's about Caroline Bertram a short fiction writer who has recently graduated from college and her struggles with her ego and her friends as she enters the working world. It's been a really exciting time for me.

VM: How do you seek inspiration and how do you document it?

Primarily, like most I'd guess, I use the internet. I organize what is important to me in saved tabs on Instagram and I also use Pinterest, especially when I am brainstorming for a project. Most recently I've used Pinterest to create mood boards for character design in a secret project I'm beginning to toy with at the moment. I also get a lot out of other things I just enjoy, like tv shows, books, and video games. I can't help but be inspired if a game has a super strong aesthetic. I'm playing Dark Souls 3 for the first time right now and I'll I want to do is draw my character.

VM: What daily struggles do you have to overcome, working Freelance or on your own?

KW: Working freelance will never be as monetarily reliable as working in-house. There are dry spells to contend with that can make you feel blue and down on your skills. However, these dry spells force you to find another way to spend your time. I like to use these to work on personal projects and get into new interests. Every freelancer needs to know how to tighten the belt from time to time. I think that, above a lot of other more obvious skills, is essential to your tool kit ha.

VM: Are you particularly interested in any sub-cultures or genres and if so how do these play into your working practise.

KW: I am a fairly curious person. I tend to have whirlwind romances with many different weird interests. I got really into yo-yo last year and now I can do quite a few simple tricks. I like magic the gathering, writing comics and (embarrassing) fan-fiction, playing the ukelele and guitar, biking, video games, memes, making playlists, even teaching a couple of times. I think when I'm struggling in my work doing something completely different and not tied to money that can help to get the gears in motion again without the perceived seriousness of client work that often leads to creative block.

....I am a fairly curious person. I tend to have whirlwind romances with many different weird interests. I got really into yo-yo last year and now I can do quite a few simple tricks.........
— Kelsey Wroten

VM: Talk us through your perfect working day.

KW: I am a bit of a night owl, so I wake up around eleven am and usually go to bed around three or four am. I walk or bike to my studio in Ridgewood and usually get there around noon. I drink like 50 cups of coffee throughout the day, it's a problem. I then work through the assignments in my planner for the day and answer emails. If it's a really perfect day, I'm done with my projects for the week and I can just doodle around for a while or work on comics ideas. I usually stay in my studio until eight or so. I go back to my apartment and spend most evenings with my partner, Allyson and our cat, Maggie.

VM: Who is your dream client and why?

KW: I don't really have a specific dream client, but I'll instead describe a dream project. I am always fantasizing about coming up with an animated tv show pitch with a few friends of mine and trying to get it greenlit and working on it together. I know so many talented people who have strong voices I'd love to work with. People who make music, are hilarious, great at character design, great writers... It'd be so cool! Not to mention we'd all be employed haha

VM: Working on an animated TV show is a dream we have in common! Thanks for taking the time to chat Kelsey :-)



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