One of our absolute favorite things to do at conventions (besides chattin' with comics pros, cosplayers and DC comics fans) is taking a walk through 'Artist's Alley' to scope out the wares of local illustrators and artists. We keep our eyes peeled for any art featuring DC comic book characters. It's really interesting to see how different artists portray their favorite DC characters. Currently, it would seem that *most* convention illustrators and artists are producing anime-influenced art, which I''m sure appeals to the gaming crowd [these are fandom conventions after all, so I'm sure artists are trying to hit as many audiences as possible]. That being said, I'm always drawn to art that looks "different" from whatever else is displayed en masse out there, and I'm a sucker for painted and mixed medium art. Amy Spaulding hits all of the above-mentioned points quite effectively. Visually stunning, her painted/mixed medium art stands out among the crowd and makes use of interesting motifs - really, who isn't a fan of the realist painted art [Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, etc] most prominently found in 1940s/1950s americana?
Amy studied fine arts with a concentration in painting at Queen’s University and then went to Sheridan for illustration. Sheridan is where she became interested in narrative visual storytelling and comics. In studying illustration she found her inspiration was in mid century pulp, pinups and advertising. Anything from Zane Grey covers, Gil Elvgren’s pinups, Robert McGinnis to 50s kitchen ads.
Amy's appreciation of female comic book characters is apparent in her art. Surprisingly, Amy really didn’t read comics growing up. "I devoured fantasy novels", Amy told us. "My favorites were Terry Brooks’ works, in particular The Sword of Shannara Trilogy, Terry Pratchett and Tolkein."
"I really dove into comics in my late twenties and my instant favorites were golden age Wonder Woman and Shazam. They embodied everything I loved about mid century in terms of style and a healthy dose of kitsch. Wonder Woman is still my go to, I am obsessed with Cliff Chiang’s run at the beginning of the new 52 and Yannick Paquette’s work on Wonder Woman Year One."
"Kelly Sue DeConnick and Gail Simone are writers that have never disappointed me and I will usually pickup any of their projects. Pretty Deadly is one of my favorite pieces of writing ever."
Meeting with Amy at the Ottawa Comicon was a real treat, and I'm really luck I got to catch up with her. In the past few years she's been quite active on the convention circuit and has made appearances at Toronto Comic Con, Wonder Con, Megacon and she just got back from HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC which she couldn’t speak highly enough of. You can all catch her at Montreal Comicon in a couple weeks, Boston Comicon, Toronto FanExpo and Hal-con in Halifax.
Amy is currently opening up her commission list for Montreal Comiccon. Posts with price breakdowns are all over her social media and any more specific inquiries can be directed right to her email firstname.lastname@example.org. Commission slots can be purchased directly on her Etsy shop as well.
Amy also told us that she's working on some fun side projects that will showcase her love of retro kitsch. She has some fabric designs and tiki inspired resin jewelry coming out this summer which she will be displaying on social media very soon.
Amy's website: Amyspauldingart.com
Amy's Instagram: amy_spaulding
Amy's Twitter: @acspaulding
Amy's Tumblr: amy-spaulding
Amy's Facebook: facebook.com/amyspauldingillustration/
Amy's Etsy page: awemeillustrates.etsy.com