Shadowind is the artist who created the cover of Oneshi Press Anthology #09—the Justice Anthology! We chatted with Shadowind about her work, her journey to cover art, and her obsession with fantasy creatures.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Shadowind! How did you become an artist?
I’m 34-year-old artist living in the northern part of Indiana. I like to use a variety of mediums. Although I find myself creating mostly digital paintings and artworks, I also have dabbled in traditional mediums in the past and continue to do so. I love nature, wildlife, and fantasy creatures, so that is what most of the subject matter of my art focuses on. I’ve been drawing [since] I could hold a pencil/crayon in my hand. From a very young age, I’ve always found a drive to create things; both as a means to express and entertain myself and a way to channel the ideas and images within me. When I discovered others around me seemed to enjoy what I created, too, it only fueled my passion to continue my art.
Who are your art heroes? Who inspires you?
Oh wow, that’s a tough question because there are a ton of other artists that inspire me! Plus, I discover more all the time, so it’s hard to just pick out one! Some of the more famous ones, I suppose, are artists like animator Hayao Miyazaki, Brian Froud (and family, because his wife and son are also great artists), Jim Henson. I also really admire the works of Melody Peña, Susan Seddon Boulet, and Terryl Whitlatch…just to name a few.
How did you come to create a comic book cover?
Well, I stumbled upon Jayel Draco’s Twitch channel. It was probably in a raid after watching Jacey Chase. I really enjoyed watching him create artwork for the comics and anthologies that he was making with Lynsey, and it really inspired me. I also really loved that they were not only creating their own amazing content but helping other artists and writers get their work out into the world, too.
So, I came to be a regular watcher, and Oneshi Press felt like something really cool that I wished I could be a part of. Due to my love of animals and my frequent work doing pet portraits, I had the idea to do some fan art of the good doggos in PACK. Jayel really liked it and had published in both PACK #2 and in Anthology #08. I kept thinking how cool it was to have my work published and how I would love to do more, so when Jayel contacted me to ask if I was interested in designing the cover for the next anthology, I was super excited to get to work on it!
What does the world need that comics, or art more generally, can provide?
The world can be a dark place. A lot of bad things happen that affect us—our minds, bodies, and spirits—in a negative way. If we focus too much on the horrible things in the world, it can really drag us down. Comics and art in general can help us deal with that. They can take us to other worlds were we can escape and relax, and help lift us up. I’ve always believed little things matter, and if a story and/or artwork can lift someone’s spirits and bring them joy even just a little, or make them feel less alone, and inspire them, I think it can have a chain reaction that goes beyond what we can even begin to perceive. I think there is always room for more stories and art in the world. There can never be too much!
What are you currently reading, listening to, and watching?
A Christmas gift I got, a book called Dragon Apocalypse: The Complete Collection by James Maxey. It’s a huge book so it will take a while. I am also currently reading Oneshi Press Anthology #9 and loving it! I just finished watching Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts on Netflix. I’m not listening to anything at the moment…but that doesn’t mean I don’t like music. I love it! But sometimes silence can be good, too.
How do you make your work immersive?
I try to use compositions that will draw the eye around and back over and into the art so that hopefully you see more details and every time you look at it, it draws you into its own little world/environment. I also like to use color to bring a sense of magic and fantasy into my art that will evoke a feeling of otherworldly-ness and emotion in the viewer and help them connect.
My style tends to be somewhere between realistic and illustrative, so I try to use that to my advantage to create a unique look that can feel both believable but also surreal and even whimsical. I think over time my art is continuing to change and evolve as I find new inspirations, experiment with new methods, and gain more skill.
The two that are coming to mind at the moment are Luna Lovegood and Newt Scamander, as I’ve always been a bit of a misfit and I love animals and strange creatures.
What are some other projects you’re working on now?
I’m sort of between projects at the moment, trying to decide what to work on next. I recently finished polishing of my Curl-Crested Aracari which was the animal feature for December’s Fauna Focus, I have a ton of concepts I could work on but seem to be struggling on and off with lack of energy and motivation. January can be a hard time for me creatively; the weather is so nasty here, and it affects me a lot both physically and mentally.