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Julia Griffin earned her BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. She lives and works in NYC and specializes in mythology, fairytales, and meticulously rendering things in colored pencil. Most recently she self-published a retelling of "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen. Her work can be found at www.juliagriffinart.com.

She provided art for this week's story, "Strange Waters" by Samantha Mills.

This interview was conducted by email in March 2018.

 

Tory Hoke: As an illustrator, how did you get where you are today?

Julia Griffin: I graduated from SVA's BFA illustration program, which was a really good starting point for me. But I think I've gotten the most out of building relationships with other artists in the incredibly friendly and supportive F/SF community. Surrounding yourself with talented and determined artists and learning from them is the best thing you can do to grow and motivate yourself. 
© 2018 Julia Griffin, "Black Heron"

© 2018 Julia Griffin, "Black Heron"

Tory Hoke: Your art features interlocking compositions and a world of different textures. How do you go about planning a piece? What special challenges do these elements present?

Julia Griffin: I always start with a small thumbnail to get the shapes and composition right, then do a larger sketch to develop my values. I make sure I have all the reference I need before I start on the final drawing. Because I work in colored pencil, I don't have much wiggle room once I've rendered something, so I build up color and value through lots of layers.

Tory Hoke: What is it about mythology and fairy tales that inspires you?

Julia Griffin: Fairy tales and myths come from a time when we knew much less about the world, so I love the sense of mystery and wonder they have. They often feel universal; they reflect some of the deepest fears and desires we have as humans.

Tory Hoke: What effect do you hope to have on your viewer?

Julia Griffin: I hope that my art helps immerse readers more fully in the story, and leaves them wanting to know more! I want my art to have the same sense of mystery and wonder that a great story does.
© 2016 Julia Griffin, "Lissar & Ash"

© 2016 Julia Griffin, "Lissar & Ash"

Tory Hoke: What is the art community like where you are?

Julia Griffin: The art community in NYC is amazing. Everyone is very supportive and welcoming. It's a bunch of friendly, enthusiastic nerds!

Tory Hoke: What other artists inspire or interest you?

Julia Griffin: I'm inspired by Shaun Tan, Nico Delort, Rovina Cai, and so many of my artist friends.

Tory Hoke: What would you like to see more of in contemporary F/SF art?

Julia Griffin: I would like to see a wider variety of artistic voices and better representation of a diverse range of people.
© 2017 Julia Griffin, "Moonlight Weavers"

© 2017 Julia Griffin, "Moonlight Weavers"

Tory Hoke: What's your dream project?

Julia Griffin: My dream project is doing a cover for Neil Gaiman.

Tory Hoke: What's next for you?

Julia Griffin: I'm working on an original fairy tale that I hope to publish eventually. It's dark and magical and everything that I loved in stories when I was a kid.


tory_hoke_50kbTory writes, draws, and codes in Los Angeles. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Drabblecast, and PseudoPod, and her art has appeared in Strange Horizons, Apex, and Spellbound. She is art director for Strange Horizons and editor-in-chief of sub-Q, a magazine for interactive fiction. Follow her work at toryhoke.com.
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We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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