Illustration West 58, 3rd Judges’ Inverview: Kit Seaton by Co-Show Chairs Chuck and Wendy Grieb
all artwork © 2019 Kit Seaton and cannot be used without consent of the artist
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself or how you got started?
I’m an illustrator and an educator. I’ve taught comics and illustration at colleges in Denver Colorado, Savannah Georgia, and Fullerton California. Between earning my bachelor’s and master’s degree in illustration, I began self-publishing my webcomics online. Not long after, I began illustrating comics for two collaborations, one with a friend from college, and the other with my sister. Those projects both became Young Adult graphic novels: AFAR (March 2017) with Leila Del Duca, and NORROWAY (November 2018) with Cat Seaton, were published by Image Comics.
Who or what inspires you?
I think I get the most inspiration from my collaborators, especially working with my sister. We’ve had dreams of working together on projects since we were kids. My friends, students, and colleagues have been my greatest support and motivation. I also get a lot inspiration from theatrical designers since that is part of my background, and I find there’s some connections that I can draw between comics and the stage.
What are some favorite projects that you’ve had the opportunity to work on?
I’m still very excited about the projects I’ve worked on in the last few years, and what I’m working on currently. I’m excited about the next volume of NORROWAY and the project I’m working on with DC Ink, WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER, which will be released in January 2020, and a few other things I can’t talk about yet.
What advice do you have for illustrators, beginning and pro?
I can talk about what has been important for me for where I am currently in the professional world and in life. Cultivate a work/life balance. Make time for friends and family, not just online but in real life. I find as an artist, I need not only a support system and also I’m a part of support systems for others. I aim to be open and frequent in my communication and correspondence with the people I work with, but its also important to maintain boundaries and protect that time to rest and for the people in my life. I find that many of my teammates are looking to maintain the same balance and will be understanding, especially if I can be relied upon to meet goals and deadlines. I recognize that some of this is easy to say but different in practice. I may not always strike the perfect balance but it is nevertheless important and something I’m always working to achieve in both discipline and professional practice.
What do you love about your job and what do you find challenging about your profession?
Working in this industry, I find the most rewarding thing to be how my trust in myself and in my own creative process has grown. It’s also a great feeling to be trusted by teammates and peers to make good choices in both design and storytelling. Its definitely something I had to earn from experience, and it took me a long time to get there.
As you look to the future, what are you excited to explore, create, etc.?
I think about my trajectory getting here. As a young artist I’ve made a lot of mistakes, hit a lot of plateaus, and dealt with some significant emotional and financial struggles. These experiences have made me more empathetic and perhaps philosophical, and so they were instructive in how I define where I am now. This in turn I think, has made me a better storyteller. Not perfect, but better than where I started. I’m not even aiming for perfect anymore, just growth and balance. I’m excited to continue exploring comics, and perhaps even taking some time to experiment with unfamiliar mediums and materials in my personal work.
What question do you wish people would ask when you get interviewed?
I have a lot of ephemeral personal interests that I suppose tangentially inform my work that I would always love to talk about: folklore, theatre history, film theory, pets. Since I’m currently thinking about my own work/life balance, I like to hear how other artists are maintaining their personal interests while still accomplishing their goals.