SIX BOMB BOARDS: Jae Johannsson

Throughout April Octane is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Kentucky’s elite group of comic art creators, the SIX BOMB BOARDS. Get to know them and celebrate with them on Avengers Day at the SIX BOMB BOARDS LIVEART CON AT MOVIE TAVERN APRIL 27, 2019 FROM NOON TO 8PM.


Your name:
Jae Johannsson

Your published credits:
None (YET!!!)

Where do you live:
Lexington

Your current project(s) that we should mention:
I’m making mermaids for a show at Limbo Bar in Louisville. Its for Mer-May. Haaaaa

Website for readers to find out more about you:
Instagram: @starfall_art
Facebook: @starfallart
Etsy: Etsy.com/shop/starfallart

When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics as a career?

I wish I made comics. As it is, I am working towards getting my nursing degree, with the hopes of getting into medical illustration!

Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?

My biggest influence would have to be my therapist. Is it weird to put therapist? My past was not so great, and she helped me through some really dark times, as in I wouldn’t be here without her interventions. She was the one who pushed me into art to help process my trauma.  She gave me the tools I needed to become who I am today. There is no shame in my mental health game. ( And no shame in anyone else’s! Do what you must, get the help you need if you need it!)

Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?

Freaking Joshua Penrose and Justin motherfucking Stewart. Josh introduced me to all these amazing creatives I’m lucky enough to call friends now, and Justin, well this guy has been dropping great hints about things to think about in my art. Without these two dudes, my art wouldn’t be what it is now.

What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

I like to pretend I’m in a quiet room and no one is touching me. But since I have kids, husband and pets, I usually try to veg out with them, doing something requiring no brain power.

Describe your typical work routine.

Sketch a few thumbnails of what I want to do. Decide on one. Realize that idea was shit. Start over with a different thumbnail. Second guess myself. Yell at myself in my head to just go with it. Starting over 12 times is a wee bit overkill. Tell Kira ( youngest daughter) she cannot use the copics or my watercolor paper. Yell at the cat for jumping on my desk. Start painting. Stare at the cat who is now drinking paint water…. (whhhhhhyyyyyyy) push cat off desk. Look for cat hair in the painting. Dig them out. Repeat until painting is complete. Put the painting away because otherwise a kid will draw on it.

What tools do you use to create comics and what makes them the “right tools” for you?

It depends on what I’m feeling for that piece. I use Bombay inks, watercolors, iPad Procreate, copics, acrylic paint, pencils…. some weird amalgamation of all of the above… just depends on the textures and feeling I want in that piece.

What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?

My favorite part of my work is when I work in watercolors or ink, and the colors swirl perfectly. I paint a lot of wet into wet, and I’ll get wildly excited when I see textures coming through or colors blending in an unexpected but wondrous way.

What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?

Well this will be silly. But my most rewarding project was making a piece of art for the LexArts public works project. I found out The Nest selected it for use in their building. I cried when I found out, because it’s like my art has come full circle. I started creating as a way to deal with past abuse, and here is my art, now hanging in this place created to help families through the worst of times, including escaping abuse. I can’t begin to explain how meaningful this is to me.

We’ve seen very talented newcomers who are trying to get their first professional projects. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator?

Find your community. Your community will raise each other up, and help each other grow as a person and artist. And if someone says, let me introduce you to this person, let them. 🙂 Making friends and connections is important. 

Let’s get deep: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?

Stop comparing yourself to other artists. Everyone has their own style, find yours and run with it. There’s enough room in the world for all of us. (Even you paint cup dump artists.)

Author: octane

Designer, blogger, crafter & content creator. Follow @octanedesigns on IG