Artist Spotlight: Liz Climo

Liz’s Portfolio

climoCould you give us a brief overview of your art background (when you first became interested in art, education, work history, etc…)?
I have always wanted to be an artist, and I took dozens of art classes as a child. After high school I attended San Jose State where I had hoped to graduate with an MFA in Animation & Illustration, but my portfolio was rejected. I was hired soon after on “The Simpsons” where I have worked as a layout artist & storyboard revisionist for 10 years.
Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.
Working as a layout artist on a sitcom has helped me consider the importance of acting & selling a joke in the clearest way possible. I’ve also done a few freelance jobs as a storyboard artist, where I’ve learned the importance of staging to best tell a story. This is coming in very handy as I complete my first children’s book.
tumblr_mbb12iJN491r5ml59o1_1280Has working professionally around so many other artists influenced your art and comic style? If so, in what way?
Definitely, but not in the way you might think. I draw inspiration from them as funny people handling day-to-day interactions, which helps me come up with ideas for my comics.
Has it been difficult balancing a full-time art job with your personal artistic commitments?
There are days where I sort of want to just crawl under the covers and sleep for a week (especially with having a new baby on top of everything else) but I’ve found ways to get everything done & still manage to have fun doing it. There are so many wonderful things happening so fast, that I’m more grateful than anything else.
When did you create your comic? What was the inspiration behind starting it? How did your particular comic style evolve?
Comics are something I’ve done since I was little, and continued to do for fun as an adult. My husband eventually convinced me to start a Tumblr page and share them. These particular comics just sort of came from pushing myself to keep posting until I figured out what it was I was posting (if that makes sense).
Why did you choose animals?
I’m terrible at drawing people! Also, there are a lot more options for physical comedy with animals. Sometimes if I’m stumped I’ll just be like, what situation would make a giraffe look really funny? And I’ll get my idea from that.

tumblr_m5ox5pNMbZ1r5ml59o1_1280Do you have a preference between working with digital or traditional methods? Could you give a couple reasons why? 
I was definitely late to the digital world, but now It’s just what I’m used to. But I would love to do a show someday where I could do some original drawings with pen and watercolors.

Are there any artistic disciplines (sculpture, painting, photography, fashion, etc, anything….) that you have a passion for? 
I’m really interested in interior design. It doesn’t come naturally to me (at all) so I have to work really hard at it, but having an inspirational & beautiful space is very important to me.

Is there a type of art that you’ve always wanted to learn? 
I’d love to learn how to paint. I tried it a little in college, but felt a bit restricted by what was expected of my as a student.

Based on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists? 
I was always very self conscious about my work, especially after being rejected from my college art program. I felt l was supposed to conform to a certain style & idea of what’s “good.” It was this reason that I resisted doing my own work for so long. I’m finally over that and able to say I’m really proud of what I do. It isn’t even half as good technically as the work some of my colleagues do, but it is in my own language and style. My advice is to always be unapologetically proud of your style and keep striving to make it the best possible version of your own work, not everyone else’s, that it can be.