Student Feature: Braden Huggins
Years ago, our staff Kyla interviewed Braden Huggins, one of our students in the 2015 School of Cartooning and Animation for Missions. Braden is an intelligent, sharp man with a strong dedication to comics and learning Japanese. Although we are no longer running the SoCAM, our two current training programs, AniMissions and the Frontier Comics Seminar, cover most of what the SoCAM covered during it's ten-year history.
K: Where did you grow up? When did you decide you were an artist?
B: I was born in Oklahoma but moved to eastern Florida at age 1, where I grew up near Satellite Beach. I decided I was an artist around age 10, though I was drawing before that.
K: How did the SoCAM develop your artistic skills?
B: SoCAM introduced me to a lot of digital art programs that I'm really starting to appreciate, as I'm using them more for my artwork now. It also gave me plenty of opportunity to practice traditional mediums, especially in pen and ink, sketching and color pencil work. I loved the speed and vast variety of different styles we studied during the first phase, I grabbed lots of helpful info from those.
K: What's your favorite thing to draw? What is it about this thing that is so special to you?
B: I LOVE drawing comics of all sorts, combining my art with a powerfully written story. I love drawing character designs, and my favorite of those is the main character of a story I've been working on for a long time.
K: What's your favorite medium? How did the SoCAM expand your technical skills?
B: I adore black and white line art. My favorite traditional
medium is Japanese dip pens, combined occasional watercolor pencils. So far I've replicated a similar, more crisp style digitally with Manga Studio.
K: What's the best part of the creative process? What's the hardest part?
B: The best part of the creative process is, I think, when you connect all the dots you've set up into a perfect picture in your head, where you're thinking, "OH! That goes perfectly with this! This worked out great!" The hardest part is getting that perfect picture on paper exactly the way you want it and finalizing it!
K: What are some things you learned, formally or informally, from fellow artists during the SoCAM?
B: All my friends at SoCAM were exceptional artists in their specific fields. I gained a lot of creative inspiration, useful drawing advice and of course, learned how to work and brainstorm as a team.
K: Is there something that you have created that you are most proud of?
B: I have a webcomic called Concerning Justice. Outside of SoCAM, running this webcomic has been one of the most beneficial methods of practicing and learning art, and its an amazing way to watch your style improve. I'm also incredibly proud of the film we created during my SoCAM class as a team.
K: If someone were curious about the SoCAM, what would be the first thing you would want them to know about it?
B: I'd want them to know its one of the most fun and intense art courses I've ever attended; I have no clue where else you can have such a quantity and quality of teaching in such a short amount of time.
K: What are your long-term artistic goals?
B: In the long-term, I'm working my way to creating a long running comic for a living, either through an online business or working with a publishing company. I prefer the business style Japanese Manga companies are using.
K: What advice would you give to an artist struggling with artist's block?
B: Go for a walk or talk to somebody about a completely different topic. Focus your mind on something else or give it a break.
K: Where can we see your art online, or get in touch with you?
B: My website is http://concerningjustice.the-comic.org/comics/ And anyone can contact me through my Facebook.
- Kyla W.