Do you have any advice for other illustrators and/or comic artists when it comes to "making it" in the industry?
Mostly it’s just to try to figure out what type of work you like to make and why. Make as much of that work as you can and show it to people. There are a lot of different avenues for illustration these days, and it’s most important to figure out what drives you to make artwork first, rather than try to fit your work into a prescribed template for what you think illustration or comics are. You might flounder in one part of the industry but blow up in another. It’s important to figure out what your strengths are and where you can best utilize them.
I never really wanted to make comics. I don’t live and breathe them, like I know a lot of people do. I don’t actually read very many, and they weren’t a part of my life growing up. After a few years of working, however, I sort of came to terms with the fact that I’m more a story-teller than a conceptualist, and comics are obviously a good avenue for telling visual stories. They’re more effective than, say, a series of finished illustrations. And I was always a doodler. These things sort of fit together, though it took me a long time to figure that out.
I don’t even feel like I’ve really “made it” in the industry, no matter what kind of work I’m doing, despite all of my money coming from drawing. There’s always something I could be doing better.