Kamilla Sims created beautiful art for “Shortcut,” a cautionary tale about the misuse of magic written by Andrii Ostapenko. It’s coming soon in the Destinations Anthology—click here to support now on Kickstarter!
Kamilla Sims is a comic artist and illustrator who specializes in colorful and expressive work. In the rare moments, she’s not drawing she can before reading or chilling out and enjoying her favorite streaming shows. She has published stories in anthologies; Fairytales from Mars, Tales from the Breach by Fugitive Poems, and Aradia Beat, as well as, a collection of short stories on Tapas.
Tell us about yourself, Kamilla! What’s your background, and how did you get into illustration?
I’m from Wichita, Kansas in the United States and I’ve been drawing pretty much all my life. I started to get serious about the craft in high school and illustration seemed like one of only a few logical paths for me in college. It was at the University of Kansas were I recently graduated with an illustration degree that I realized what I really wanted to do was tell stories with my art.
How did you come to work with writer Andrii Ostepenko on “Shortcut”?
I saw Andrii was looking for an artist to help him with “Shortcut” on Reddit and since magical adventures are some of my favorite kinds of stories, I figured we would be a good match for the project.
If you were going to create a magical portal, like the one in “Shortcut,” where would you go?
Currently my top destination is Prague. I’ve always wanted to visit the city and I find its long history fascinating. A close second would be Amsterdam since I’m a big fan of Dutch baroque art, followed by Istanbul for its amazing architecture.
Who are some of your art heroes or others who inspire you creatively?
I’m a big fan of Kamome Shirahama, Yuko Shimizu, and Mike Mignola, among many many others.
What are you currently reading, listening to, and watching?
I’m not watching much right now but I have lots of opinions on things to read or listen to! As far as comics go, I’m currently reading Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe, Ingrid the Plague Doctor by Harry Amoeos, and The Strange Tales of Oscar Zhan by Tri Vuong all on Webtoon.
I tend to prefer audiobooks to physical ones since I can listen to them when I’m drawing. I’m currently listening to Deborah Harkness’s Discovery of Witches series, and I just finished The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Muller. Both are good but the latter I very highly recommend.
Podcast-wise, I like Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser and both History of Rome and Revolutions by Mike Duncan.
What does the world need that only comics can provide?
I think the best part of comics, and stories in general really but especially visual ones, is the way they can not only transport the reader to a whole other world but in doing so allow us to become more empathetic people through the way we learn to see the new world through the character’s eyes.
Tell us about some of your other illustration work. What has been most fun or fulfilling?
Right now I’m mostly working in comics. One of my favorite projects I had a chance to work on besides “Shortcut” is a story I did with Leland Bjerg called “Daughter of Phobos” for the anthology Fairytales from Mars with Bad Neighbor Comics. The anthology is currently on Kickstarter.
I also really enjoy writing my own stories and I’m hoping to get into more of my own personal projects soon. I’ve done several short comic stories on my own, which I’ve posted on Tapas for lack of a better platform for short comics. You can find it under The Mysterious Monster of Canary-Flight.
What else are you working on now?
Right now I’m mostly finishing up a few projects. In addition to Destinations and Fairytales from Mars, I have short stories that will soon be ready to publish with Fugitive Poems and Aradia Beat. I’m also working on a longer project with a writer, Edward Wythe, called “plea” involving a dystopian future where the right to choose has been eroded away. I’ve also got some personal projects in the planning stages.
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