Written by: Abi Clayton and Cait Milner, edited by Ruby Jenkins
Our monthly maker for February 2018 is our Make Baltic resident James Stampone, an illustrator and graphic novelist. He is a self-taught illustrator finding influence from graphic novels like V for Vendetta to detective novels like The Big Sleep. His ideas range from historical settings to magical realism and he is currently working on a neo-noir mystery, we talked with James to find out more…
What do you make?
- I make illustrations and graphic novels.
What sparked your passion for making ?
- I fell in love with cartoons growing up and was a huge fan of the batman and x-men series!
What has been one of your favourite projects you’ve ever worked on and why?
- The current project that I am working on is a graphic novel set in a fictionalised world of the 1930’s Weimar Republic. The main character in this story, Milo, is a private investigator hired by Cabaret performer Wilfreda (femme fatale) to capture a stalker interfering with her personal and social life. As Milo’s investigation continues, he must muddle through kidnappings, the plague, cults, the mafia etc. The characters which I portray in my work tend to struggle with psychological and mental episodes. The story is inspired by The Tempest (William Shakespeare), Aesop (Fables), The Big Sleep, March Violet, V for Vendetta and Blade Runner.
Tell us one new and interesting thing you’ve learned recently.
- I’ve recently read the life and history of Alfred Dreyfus, the French Artillery officer, whose false imprisonment led to civil unrest in France at the start of the 20th century. For inspiration I’ve been looking at films such as Blade Runner and The Big Sleep and like I said before I watched a lot of Batman and X-men which has also influenced my work.
What would your advice be for anyone who wants to work for themselves?
- I think the best way to achieving self-sufficiency is independent thinking and self-education.
What are you working on next?
- Once I’ve finished illustrating and writing my Graphic Novel, I am hoping to get it published.
Where can we find your products and services ?