Welcome to the second of our blog posts introducing the creators working with Lyrebird Tales. Today's willing subject is Steven Walsh, the artist & author of Kya and the Key to Nowhere. Click the button below to reveal the interview.
Our questions are in italics, and Steve's responses are in normal type. Please enjoy this brief interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Oh god, okay well I'm an Aussie born and raised mainly always lived in Melbourne (with the exception of the 1.5years of tropical life when my parents thought it a good idea to live in Queensland). I have two siblings and live with my partner in the Mornington Peninsula.
When did you start drawing? When did you start drawing comics?
Well I started drawing when I fell in love with animation. The show that sparked this love was 'Batman the animated series' in the early 90s by the amazing talent, Bruce Timm. I didn't start drawing comics until I was about 22 (quiet some years ago now).
What was the first thing you ever drew?
Well your testing my memory now, but I do remember as a child being mesmerized by my dads ability to draw and always sat down with him and tried to draw what he was drawing which would have been something fairly like a person or animal.
What was the first thing you ever wrote?
Hahaha well I was a dork as a child (well okay, I was a teenager) and would write my own tv shows and movies (I think I still actually have them all) and I actually submitted a story outline in a magazine competition once and won the first prize which was a lego film making set. I believe the title of my idea was called "double trouble".
What's your favorite graphic novel?
The Wizard of Oz series by Skottie Young
Which creatives influenced you most in writing/drawing Kya and the Key to Nowhere?
Skottie young is my main influence as far as my style of drawing goes. With the story of Kya, the inspiration has come from my love of children's books like Alice in wonderland, wizard of oz and my love of Greek mythology.
Where did the idea for Kya and the Key to Nowhere come from?
Before Kya, my stories were all superhero orientated and just very generic. Then during my first ever comic con, I found a graphic novel that changed everything. It was "ozma of oz" by Skottie young, I had never heard of him, bought the book based on the cover art. Read the book so quickly and the all ages feel and fantasy world of the book inspired me to write my own child friendly adventure.
Do you consider yourself a writer that also draws or an artist that also writes?
Oh definitely an artist that writes. I love creating stories but art is definitely my strongest trait when measured with my ability to form an English sentence.
Any advice for other writer/artists?
I guess I would say that the only person that can stop you from achieving something is yourself (I know this all too well), especially given that a relationship with drawing is generally a love/hate kinda deal. But if you have a dream, don't stop until you get it.
Anything you wish you could tell non-artists about the realities of drawing?
It's frustrating when it's at it's worst (like pull your hair out and throw your computer out the window kind of worst) but there is nothing better than the feeling that comes with creating and telling stories through whatever medium that may be.
Anything you wish you could tell teams of artists and writers about working on both sides of the process?
Stick to doing it in a team lol it's such a long process when you write, draw, Colour and letter yourself. But in saying that it's been a challenging and rewarding experience that I wouldn't change.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yup - look out for Kya and the key to nowhere next year, she a spunky little red head that I'm sure you'll all fall in love with.
Thanks for your time Steve.
No worries at all.
Join us next time as we chat with the artist on the last of our first lot of stories; Matt McGrillen.
Until then, may your story be told well.