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: Will Hensley
Your published credits:
Where do you live:
Your current project(s):
I’ve got a couple of ideas brewing but nothing is quite announcement ready yet. Stay tuned though, I’m 99.9% certain there’s another Will project involving robots, monsters and possibly sentient food heading down the creativity pipe.
Website for readers to find out more about you:
When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics as a career?
Well, It’s not something I really decided to have a career in, as much as it is a hobby I dabble in. As far as WHEN I decided to dabble, it dates back to about 2007ish when I would make very very simple one page comics using only mechanical pencil and SUPER rough sketches. They were really dumb and fun, but and I always had fun making them.
Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?
I suppose my biggest influence outside of comics would be my buddy Josh. He’s constantly pushing me to do better and is always teaching me new tips and tricks to improve my artwork. Whether he realizes it or not he often gives pretty great sage-like advice too.
Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?
I don’t know that I have just ONE biggest influence, but rather a myriad of creators and artists I often strive to imitate and reference in my personal work as often as possible. Here’s a shortlist though for those who are curious: Matt Groening, Osamu Tezuka, Ralph Bakshi, Jhonen Vasquez, and Ray Harryhausen. All of them have influenced my drawing style or even just the way I view things from a creative standpoint in some capacity.
What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
I like to re-watch or re-read something I really love in order to get ideas or even just analyze what it is that I love about it and see if I can plug that into my own work at all.
Describe your typical work routine.
My typical “art time” setup involves playing podcasts over a bluetooth speaker and making sure I have a Batman mug full of something caffeinated. Then I’ll make a pile of all the pens and markers I plan to use on a little side table next to my drafting table. Usually I’ll have a sheet of paper or a big piece of mat board or whatever all ready to go.
Once I have all of that stuff one of 2 things happens: I either mess around and make a bunch of nonsense doodles to work myself up to a serious project or I’ll just jump right in and get cracking on whatever the project at hand happens to be.
What tools do you use to create comics and what makes them the “right tools” for you?
I’m an analog guy all the way, I use bristol board, pentels, microns, a 2H pencil and various types of markers. I’ve always enjoyed the hand drawn / rough look of artwork and older comics. For whatever reason I happen to like working in this way and find that it suits my art style.
What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?
The finished product, or rather what I end up referring to as the finished product gives me so much satisfaction. There’s nothing better to me than the feeling of an art session that I know was not only productive, but also provides me with this thing I made that I can be proud of and show off if I feel inclined to.
In fact there are even times where I can’t help but share the things I make that make me laugh as well because of how strange I made certain characters look.
What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?
My most rewarding project was easily my aforementioned student film I made back in 2012. That was my first taste at working with a team and overseeing the execution of a vision I had, and somehow bringing it all together and making something kind of entertaining. It made all the stress, long nights, and hustle of that project so worth it!
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?
One time I was at a Bruce Campbell book signing with a friend and when my friend went up to meet him, he told him he was an aspiring filmmaker. Bruce Campbell’s advice to him was very simple: “Don’t suck.”
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?
Ooh, that’s a tough question, but I’ll do my best here. Probably the most important high concept life idea I’ve learned, kinda goes back to my previous answer (the “don’t suck” answer, remember?). That big idea is the fact that more often than not rejection is a big part of any sort of pitch you could potentially make to a big publisher or studio depending on which medium you’re shooting for. Always keep grinding, always keep up the hustle and never ever give up on your dreams, no matter how often you hear the word No.