School of Illustration Senior Roks Out
Illustration by Katie Longua
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At San Francisco’s 10th annual Isotope Comics, Academy of Art University’s School of Illustration
Senior Katie Longua, won the award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. The event was created to celebrate the thousands of unique, hand-produced mini-comics that are created each year. This annual award focuses on the creatively vibrant and often overlooked segment of the comic industry and their creators.
Having no idea that she was going to win, Katie welled up with tears when the announcement was made that she had won. “I’d seen three people win the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics before…I never imagined I’d win!” Katie said. With encouragement from friends and her desire to see a large project through to the end, Katie entered her comic ROK.
ROK was inspired by a roommate who said she would never buy a comic unless it contained everything she liked in it. Seeing this as a challenge, Katie set off to create a comic in which a masculine magical girl adventures with Viking gods and heavy metal. “It started as a joke, but has turned into some of my best work,” Katie said.
Katie sites instructor Dan Cooney, Academy of Art University Instructor of Illustration
, as a major source of encouragement for her and her work. “Sometimes I have a hard time believing in myself, and it really meant a lot that he was so supportive,” she said. Building confidence was greatly attributed to completing her second comic. “Everything I learned from the first issue, I put in the second and the improvement was obvious,” Katie said.
Working on a mini-comic for the web currently, Katie is excited to continue with ROK and do illustrations for all different types of media with the techniques she has obtained from Academy of Art University. “The Academy has given me a place to discover what I want to draw, and how to do it,” Katie said.
The key to success for Katie is setting your sights on a goal that seems too big to be completed, and turning it into a personal challenge. “If there’s some big project you’ve been thinking about doing, don’t put it off any more, just do it! The experience is invaluable,” said Katie.