Finding A Blinding Original Fantasy: Interview with Kadi Fedoruk

GameStop, Inc.

The Internet is a jungle of webcomics that is full of mediocre works that fail to inspire more than a couple clicks. While trekking a RSS comic feed, one comic kept appearing on my screen called Blindsprings. The art was different than other comics, it was captivating. My desire for new fantasy story pushed me forward, then a couple hours passed and Blindsprings trapped me in its story. Kadi Fedoruk discovered me trapped in her comic, freed me, and gave me this interview.

Whitney Grace (WG): Tell us a little about yourself such as name, education, and professional background.

Kadi Fedoruk (KF): I’m an art director at a social games studio in Vancouver.  I attended Capilano University’s Commercial Animation program, graduating in 2008, focusing more on visual development than animation.portrait_me

WG: What is Blindsprings?

KF: Blindsprings is a webcomic that started on Halloween, updating twice a week.  It’s a fantasy webcomic about a young girl, Tamaura, who is “rescued” from a forest, despite her protests that the forest had protected her for hundreds of years.  Now she has to deal with a society that has cast her brand of magic aside.

WG: Why transform Blindsprings into a webcomic?

KF: Since I want to work in visual development, I felt it was a smart choice to develop my own property.  Comics are one of the few forms of media where I have complete control of what I’m working on, but that also means ample room for failure. It’s been an excellent learning experience.

WG: How do you draw the comic?

KF: The comic is 100% digital, though I am mimicking the look of an earlier run through of Blindsprings that I inked with an oil based pencil.  Generally speaking, I plan the comic with thumbnails, blow up the thumbnails and ink them, and then color the pages.  I experiment a lot with how I ink or color or do the backgrounds, so it’s hard to give an exact step by step. I’m currently using Photoshop on a iMac and using a Cintiq 22HD.

WG: Your drawing style reflects a modern medieval and anime style.  How do you personally describe it?

KF: Thank you!  I think it’s hard to describe your own style, so that’s pretty apt.  I guess if I had to, I’d call it cute girls with big hair looking angry.

WG: Why did you decide to write a fantasy comic that includes fairies and other supernatural creatures?

KF: I’ve always been fascinated by the world of magic, especially beings that have their own rules and ideas that are frankly alien to mortal people. I had a very strong imagination as a kid, and would often imagine that the patch of woods on my bus route led to another world, that the dark areas in the lake where I grew up hid secrets, that I could control birds with my mind. You know, the usual kid shenanigans.

WG: Please give us a few more details about the main character.  Who is she and what is she trying to accomplish?

KF: Tammy is a bit mysterious, isn’t she?  She’s the youngest daughter of the old royal family of Aberwelle, and over three hundred years old. She’s promised to help the Spirits of Kirkhall break the chains that bind them, in return for keeping her older sister, the last member of her family, alive.  Tammy’s twelve at heart though, and she doesn’t quite know who she is or what her dreams are yet.

WG: The world of Blindsprings combines modern sensibilities and old world fairytales, but how would you describe it?

KF: I wanted it to be a world that you could easily see yourself in, not so far from our own, but fantastic enough to be interesting.  I wanted to do something like Howl’s Moving Castle, where it seemed almost timeless.  It wasn’t quite any era.

WG: How does your background as an animator influence the art?

KF: I think a fair bit, though I’m not a great animator– I still use a lot of tools that I picked up from going to school for animation.  I have a good background with life drawing, and I’ve done storyboards before, so I have a pretty solid core to start.  I definitely look at my pages with a cinematic eye, and fill in a lot of details in my head, so my pacing is a little fast.  Need to work on that!

WG: What are some of the influences that inspired the comic?

KF: Discworld, Harry Potter, Russian history and literature, magical girl manga, Studio Ghibli, Diane Wynne Jones (particularly Fire and Hemlock), Amelie’s soundtrack and hurdy gurdies, to name a few.  Melancholy kids books and movies, like The Secret Garden.

WG: How long does it take you to draw a page?

KF: About eight hours per page, plus the thumbnail stage, that can be anywhere from one to two hours per page, if not more.  I put a lot of work in my thumbnails, as I just blow them up to ink directly from.

coverWG: How far do you have the story plotted out?  Do you know how it will end?

KF: I have the first arc plotted out, chapters and everything, and I do know how it will end, but I’m leaving the later arcs more open ended, in case something great happens to shake it all up.  As I near the end of the first arc, the next arc will be plotted out in more detail.

WG: What are some of your favorite animated movies and comic books?

KF: Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Ratatouille, and Mulan are some of my favorites. I actually have read a lot more manga, so my choice for western comics is the 70/80’s run of The Avengers with Beast and Wonder Man’s bromance. Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon are childhood favorites.  My favorite anime is Eureka Seven.

WG: Blindsprings is too good not to be snapped up by a publisher.  Any nibbles?

KF: I actually do have a publisher, I’m part of the Hiveworks network and will be publishing my books with them.  I’m going the indie route for publishing Blindsprings.

WG: Who are you writing Blindsprings for?

KF: I’m writing Blindsprings for twelve year old me, sort of a precocious weird kid who like mummies and mysteries and princesses.

WG: Do you have anything to declare?

KF: I’m about halfway done the opening of Blindsprings, so if you’re confused, you’ll get some answers soon!

 

 

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