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Illustrator and Comic Book Artist Matti Beal

Matti Beal has always had a passion for comics and storytelling from a young age, she is a graduate of Glyndwr University in Illustration for Graphic Novels.

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‘Where most kids wanted to be doctors or firemen, I was always steadfast in my will to become a comic artist. Storytelling has always been my passion and Comics appealed to me primarily because of the balance between narrative and art. When I discovered the Illustration for Graphic Novels course at the North Wales School of Art and Design at Glyndwr University, I knew I’d found the course for me.

Three years later, I do not regret that decision. I found The university experience invaluable; learning how to structure narratives, correctly pace sequences and consistently design characters and backgrounds has given my work direction and given me more confidence in it. Living in a creative environment with other creative people who we’re passionate about the same thing also helped me to push my own boundaries.’

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‘I find most inspiration from films and animation as well as illustrators and graphic novelists. Particularly Craig Thomson, Judith Vanistendaeland, Katsuhiro Otomo and their methods of visual communication. What particularly interests me is the way in which these artists use imagery to add a subtext to their stories.

For my own work, I like to write long narratives, focusing on emotive subjects, but with unusual characters in unusual contexts. I tend to work without a script and plan a comic through multiple drafts of page thumbnails based off a mountain of narrative notes, plans and structures. I find this approach more fluent than writing a traditional script as I feel matching visuals and dialog simultaneously help you get a feel for the pacing.’

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‘I am currently working on a comic called Shadows on a Dear, Distant Earth, about a cosmonaut struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression after surviving a space crash. I believe it is important to write from personal experience to add credibility to characters and, in this case, this comes from my time working as a holistic therapist for sufferers of PTSD in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pages in this article are part of a project in my third year of university and takes place in the middle of the story where Sergei, the protagonist, has a conversation with what he believes to be the ghost of the other cosmonaut who did not survive the crash.

With projects like this, I tend to work with a limited colour pallet to coincide with and influence the tone of the narrative. I am in the process of pitching this to publishers with the hope of turning it into a 300 page graphic novel.’

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Website | @MadGoatStudios