Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a graphic artist and writer, currently living in Dayton, Ohio. I was born in Cincinnati (historically, the divide line between North and South) and left for Pittsburgh when it was time to figure out who I would be without my parents. My mother was born in Czechoslovakia and left under gunfire. I visited once to figure out who I was through her. I’m married and a father of three, which consistently teaches me who I would like to be. I work as an art director/designer by day and as a comics cartoonist all night. I gave up poetry a long time ago but am slowly letting it sneak back in.
When you create, what inspires you?
I draw inspiration from narratives. Whether told through movies, songs, design, poetry, comics – and regardless of whether plot-based or focused on tone or abstract themes – it’s the creation in communicating that interests me most. I like reacting to strong narratives, seeing how they affect my own thoughts and artistic output.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted piece.
People usually outgrow punk rock, trading its simplicity for a more nuanced adult perspective. But I noticed I’ve been leaning on those rigid ideals lately, when lies are treated like truths or as acceptable alternatives. It’s a rock that I buried long ago, but still acts as a foundation.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
For comics, I tend to use pencils and watercolors. For me, they’re faster and more organic than inking and digital coloring. For sketches and warm-ups, I’ve fallen in love with Pilot’s parallel pen.
How did you first discover your love for creating?
I grew up with the stories my mother and grandparents brought from overseas, both the personal family histories and the regional folk tales. I can’t remember not being read to and making my own stories.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel anger?
Feeling helpless gets me angry. But I think we’re in a really tough position in America right now, where our anger and helplessness are pushing us farther and farther into ideological extremes. I’ve been trying to work on how to react without anger, without self-righteousness; to meet ignorance and spite with kindness and empathy; to see the issues behind the ignorance and not further the “others-as-other” mentality – while also standing up for what is inherently right, being more vigilant and steadfast in that regard. I think both those things are necessary from a lot of us if we want to get to a place of healthy community.
Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.
I also get really mad when people play Pokemon Go from their cars, rolling around the park behind our house. But that is a different, dirtier kind of war…