Interview with Artist, Angy W (Lady Sif)

Every now and again, you come across someone with such obvious and raw talent, impeccable technique and versatility that you know she (opportunity permitting) is going to become something special, and you want to look out for her work in future. Angy W is still learning, but from her selection of art pieces we are showcasing here, you can see glimpses of her immense potential. Her body of work covers portraits, posters, landscapes, original characters, comic art, even plaster models.

RJD: To start off with, how long have you been drawing and painting?

Angy W: I’ve been drawing since I can remember.

Illustration by Angy   W. Fantastic Four © Marvel Comics

RJD: And did you ever take art lessons or have any teachers guide you?

Angy W: No, besides the normal school lessons, I haven’t been taught by a professional artist. Everything I know is pretty much self taught during practicing over the years. I would have liked to visit a professional art school though, but the possibilities are unfortunately very limited here.

RJD: That’s quite impressive that you were more or less self taught. Do you try to model your style on particular comic book artists or even artists outside of comics? Or do you try to find your own style while still learning from other pros?

Angy W: Well, I’ve been discovering comic books about 10 years ago. In my childhood I’ve been a huge Spidey fan, I never really read the comic books, though, ‘cause comic books are not very common here. Basically, I began to draw after other artists to gain some experience, how to draw superheroes. Later, I tried to do something on my own, but I’m still trying to find my own style in drawing comic characters. The latest Avengers portraits I did are pretty much the style I want to develop. Some great comic book artists have been an inspiration, but one of my favorite artists outside of the comic world has always been Victoria Frances. She’s doing a very dark romantic style of vampire artworks. I’ve never been much into vampires, but I loved her artwork at first sight and that was before that huge vampire hype. Her work is very detailed and realistic. I hope that I could draw like her one day. Not vampires though, I’m much more into Norse mythology, hehe.

Illustration by Angy W.   The Ultimates © Marvel Comics

RJD: The Avengers portraits seemed to evoke a simple kind of style, though not in a bad way. Alot like Alex Toth, Bruce Timm or Mike Allred, if you don’t mind me saying so. Do you consciously look at that kind of style more so than someone with more detailed works, like Steve McNiven or Alex Ross, even?

Angy W: In fact I’ve become a huge fan of the animated TV-show Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. From there I was getting the inspiration for those artworks. I based my art on their outfit, like Thor’s helmet for example.

Now, that you mention it, the drawings really look a bit like the work of those artists. I haven’t realized myself, lol. Perhaps I picked this easy style, ‘cause I’m not feeling too secure in drawing comic characters, yet. I’ve been more into classical art before. Portraits, landscapes and so on. To develop a nice comic style is still a challenge to me. Probably that’s why my comic style is yet kept so simple. It will sure become more complicated and detailed during the next few years of experience. It feels like I’ve only started to draw those comic characters, I still feel like a newbie.

Personally, I prefer detailed art. I like Mike Deodato, Olivier Coipel, Marko Djurjevic, Greg Land, Steve McNiven just to name a few. I hope to be able to draw a bit like those great art heroes one day. Which means a lot of practicing of course, hehe.

Illustration by Angy W. Thor © Marvel Comics

RJD: I can certainly agree that many of those artists are quite terrific.

Of course you are a fan of Thor, so do you think that informs you as an artist? Is it easier for you to draw a sword and a warlock verses drawing an armada of space ships? I noticed that you did have a few other fantasy-esque portraits other than the Marvel Superheroes pics you mentioned earlier…

Angy W: Indeed, I am a huge fan of Norse mythology and Thor comics combine both, my love for superheroes and mythology. He soon became my fave hero. I guess I’m good in drawing sword warriors, cause I’ve already done a few. The only space ships I’ve ever done were some silly looking UFO’s and perhaps a very few Star Trek related ships. Well, drawing is always based on practicing and if an artist draws the things he likes over and over again, he gets better each time.

Yeah. I had an idea of doing my very own fantasy story some years ago. I started reading everything about Norse mythology. Of course, I have known the basics, but there was so much more. It’s very fascinating. I’ve also studied a bit Russian / Slavonic mythology, which is basically similar to Norse, but yet quite different. First of all I was developing the main characters for my story and then I did a first sketch of Thorgar, one of the main characters. His name means Thor’s spear and he is actually named after Thor from the mythology, who is completely different to Marvel’s Thor. I wanted to create a hero, but a realistic person as well. Someone with doubts, fears and dark times. Soon, I came up with the others, like Gunnar his younger brother. It’s was much easier to get a feeling for the characters, after I’ve been drawing them for the first time. It was almost like giving a soul to those yet imaginary characters. One very bad fantasy novel, gave me the idea to start my own. I will use much Nordic influence in my story, but without the same old thing you can find in any books. I’m planning to do a different type of fantasy. Dark, bloody, tragic and epic.

The idea of writing something fantasy related gave me the inspiration of doing fantasy artwork, too. I connected my love for the Norse to writing and drawing.

Showcase: Interview with Artist, Angy W (Lady Sif)

RJD: This sounds like quite the fantasy story being told. And combining mythologies from different cultures, it sounds like you could be the next Gaiman or Mignolla. In a good way.

When creating this story, do you feel like you have different influences as far as being a storyteller, verses being an artist? Or do the two merge for you?

Angy W: hehe. Well, the Norsemen have settled in today’s Russia. That’s why the Russian mythology is so similar to the Norse. Especially the Russian mythology hasn’t been used this much in other novels. It’s darker than the Norse and should add a fresh new thing to it.

I’ve always been into horror movies. In my early teenage years I started writing short stories, basically horror and mystery. There are endless possibilities. Actually, I haven’t written anything fantasy related before. Like many people, I am very fascinated by the brilliant work of J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s amazing how detailed and dedicated he worked on his stories. Many writers try to copy his work. Elves, dwarves and orks are very cool, but they seem to be overused by so many writers who are not really into mythology or the historical background.

One very bad fantasy novel, gave me the idea to start my own. I will use much Nordic influence in my story, but without the same old thing you can find in any books. I’m planning to do a different type of fantasy. Dark, bloody, tragic and epic.

Illustration by Angy W. Sojourn © Marvel Comics

The idea of writing something fantasy related gave me the inspiration of doing fantasy artwork, too. I connected my love for the Norse to writing and drawing.

RJD: Do you believe that your love of Horror and Mystery might bleed into your Fantasy story? Some writers might try to use the common tropes of those Genres in a Fantasy Setting, such as Gaiman’s “Murder Mysteries,” which was very much in a Fantasy/Supernatural world, but it was essentially a mystery story. Or do you prefer to keep it “pure” in that it will only be a Fantasy story, with no other aspects from other Genres? And do you feel that keeping the genres separated results in superior work?

Angy W: Of course! That’s what I’m up to 😀  … It will have much more horror than an ordinary fantasy story. I want to keep it authentic and realistic, though. It will contain a lot of fictional aspects, but it should look like it’s not too far away from the European history we know. I thought about going back to the roots as far as possible, but also adding a lot of horror and dark creepy stuff to it.

RJD: Is this a limited story or more of an ongoing adventure?

Angy W: I don’t know myself, yet. The first story is quite unfinished. This is my first serious story ever, so I’m kinda brooding on it like a dragon on his precious treasure, hehe. But I can imagine to do more any time in the future. I think it could be continued somehow.

Thorgar Copyright © Angy W.

RJD: Mark Millar once said that stories set in the past have more of a timeless quality to them than a story that is trying to be “modern” by being set in the present day and reference the topical things.

As a fan of science fiction like Star Trek and historical fantasy such as Thor, do you think this is true? Is it true for one and not the other, since technological advancements can make sci fi look incredibly silly just a few years later?

Angy W: I think Millar picked up a good point. I see many people who are fascinated by those old sagas and also medieval folklore, cause the Norse and medieval knights believed in virtues like duty, honor and bravery. In modern days things have changed. I miss those virtues in today’s world. We are stressed, have no time, everything is fast and restless. People wish to escape their every day stress to a more simple world, without technology, but full of brave adventures. What I like most about Thor and other superheroes is that they never give up, no matter what. They are brave and honorable. We look up to those heroes and hope to find the same strength in the dark times of our own lives, as well.

Technological advancement has been inspired by Star Trek a lot. Some mobile phones look like communicators form the Classic Series, and the flat screens we are using already look even better than the screens on Star Trek TNG! Perhaps it is just me, but it feels like we are already living in the early Star Trek future. Everything is advancing so incredibly fast. Perhaps too fast and people want to go back to the roots, where everything was still more simple.

RJD: All we lack is space travel. lol.

Well that pretty much concludes the interview. Thank you for your time and answers, Lady Sif!

Angy W: Varily. Though, I’d prefer using Mjolnir for much more swiftly travelling through space, lol. ^_^

You’re welcome. It was a pleasure talking to you, comixkid2099!