We had the good fortune of connecting with Lyndsey Little and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lyndsey, what are you inspired by?
I have found inspiration, not just from other comics, artists and writers- but practically everywhere. My partner could tell you how often we’ll be watching a movie or tv show, when suddenly it sparks an idea, and I quickly have to write or sketch it down before it’s forgotten. I have endless photos of food and desserts on my phone, that I can’t bring myself to delete, because I might draw them in my comic later. Because I could go on forever about the things that inspire me, I will say that the two major things that my comic draws inspiration from are: monsters, and my own personal life. I grew up in an abusive environment and never quite felt accepted anywhere. It has taken me my whole life to rebuild my own self-worth, and even still, that will probably be a lifelong project. My comic draws from these experiences, and uses monster characters (that are part-human or human-like in appearance) to explore themes like the duality of our natures, the journey to self-acceptance and self-worth, and whether the people we surround ourselves with help achieve that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Because most of the work I created prior to OniGirl was digital illustration, it has been an interesting challenge evolving the way I approach art from one medium to another. With my illustration work, I really enjoyed playing with vibrant color palettes and using dreamy textures like clouds, stars, or nebulas, to convey a sort of fantasy aesthetic. My portraits or characters are always stylized (in a cuter way), primarily by enlarging the eyes and exaggerating other features, even if a portrait is based on a real person. I have been told my illustration work is like anime Lisa Frank on psychedelics- and I am totally okay with that comparison! The biggest difference in appearance, after transitioning from illustration to comics, is that OniGirl is primarily black and white versus the explosion of color I used to use. For the few pages I have colored, however, I do use a limited color palette containing only 4 colors: two shades of pink and two shades of blue, derived from the color branding and logo I created for OniGirl. For these pages, one of the fun challenges for me has been figuring out how to convey emotion or tone for one panel versus another- while still maintaining my limited color palette. In a way, it would be easier for me to color my pages with unlimited use of color- but I think you can still convey just as much with so few colors. Additionally, I really enjoy the the nostalgic look it achieves, which is a nod to the monochrome pages you might find in published manga! As if I didn’t make it hard enough for myself, I also primarily draw my comics traditionally. Originally, in the first few pages of my comic, I also used screentones for the shading! My process involves sketching my pages digitally, then I draw the finished lines with ink on paper, which I then scan so I can shade with digital screentones and add text. Again, there is no need to make this process so difficult and time-consuming- except I believe it gives my pages character and personality that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Anything worth doing is going to provide some degree of challenges. Experimenting with screentones, creating a panel layout, or coloring with a limited color palette, etc., are all individually challenging tasks. However, I enjoy learning new things and I have certainly learned a great deal from every aspect of making a comic. I am sure I will learn more and more as I go, and I expect that will keep the work interesting and fun for me!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Though safe options are limited these days, I still enjoy visiting and introducing friends and family to the places I enjoy in my area of Midtown-Houston (or close to it).
-One Fifth Houston
-Wings of Houston
-The Pit Room for Texas-styled BBQ
-The Breakfast Klub
-Anvil Bar and Refuge
For Artsy DIY Activities and desserts:
-Honey Art Cafe
-Local art galleries such as Archway Gallery and Insomnia Gallery
-Nan’s Games & Comics Too
-The Museum of Fine Arts- Houston
-Houston Museum of Natural Science (pre-COVID-19, my partner and I really enjoyed attending the lectures as well!)
-The Drive-In at Sawyer Yards
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Though I first had the idea for OniGirl in 2015, and made slow developments towards creating the pages, I couldn’t bring myself to dedicate more time to something I didn’t feel wholly confident about, and eventually put the project aside for a few years. In late 2019, I decided that I wanted to revisit OniGirl again. Though I had a finished script for the first chapter, drawn 4 characters at various angles in a distinct style, and completed several comic pages– I scrapped EVERYTHING. I knew my passion project had potential to become something substantial, or else I wouldn’t have pursued it in the first place, but it wasn’t reaching it’s fullest potential. I rewrote the script for Chapter 1 entirely, and when I was finished, I had my partner read it. I had never had the confidence to share my script before- but my partner is a very creative and talented writer himself, which is why I valued his input so much. As he began to read the script, I remember going into the bedroom to anxiously wait. When he finished reading the script, he came into the bedroom to tell me he enjoyed reading it, and detailed which parts he liked best, and which parts made him laugh. I felt such a boost of confidence that I had never felt before! Ever since then, I have worked diligently on my comic with my partner’s support- but it goes far beyond emotional support and creative feedback. My partner has prepared more than his fair share of our lunches and dinners, taken care of the grocery shopping, the majority of our household chores, etc.. Honestly, if it weren’t for his support and generosity, OniGirl could not exist, and I owe a great deal to him.