Jennifer, AKA Volkmanart, has been on Deviantart, among other art platforms, for well over a decade. Her comic series, Slàinte (slanj-ah, a Scottish Gaelic word that means cheers), is one of my favorite strips of all time. It’s about the various funny moments that occur in Jenny and her husband’s lives, ranging from snuggling in bed for “baby time” to farting on kids at Disney World. As a husband myself I showed Slainte to my wife and we both laughed pretty hard. As a hilarious couple ourselves it’s good to know that other duos out there understand the oddities that marriage can bring.
While Jennifer has been drawing for as long as she can remember, comics are relatively new for her. “I started with them in my 1st year of Grad school when I had a comic elective.” She explained. “I was trying to focus on development for pitching in animation, but I did so well in the elective that the professors suggested that I take the pitch and make it into a comic instead. A lot of it came from my struggles in Grad school. It was never really something I had considered, I had always more pictured my content as animation. Comics are a much more realistic way for me to actually get a story out there for people to see. Right now, my slice of life comics are fun little ways of practicing storytelling techniques while I work myself into maybe someday trying something with a long term story.”
Take a look at some of her other artwork, such as this:
It’s easy to see the potential for a comic series with a longer story. Jennifer’s talent and imagination combined would be well more than enough to make an awesome story come to life through comics. Only time will tell if she finds the time in her busy schedule to bring such a project to fruition. Fingers crossed! 🙂
When asked what other comic artists she looks up to, Jennifer had quite a few awesome examples. “I’ve been reading a lot of webtoons right now and following several on Instagram.” She said. “I basically downloaded Webtoon just so I could read Lore Olympus, the character design and color work is great. I also really love My Giant Nerd Boyfriend, Sarah’s Scribbles, The Wrath and the Dawn, Brass and Sass, Suitor Armor, and The Blind Prince. With these in particular, some will have amazing story telling or beautiful art. Some are very sweet and funny. These all have things that I’d like my stories to have as well.”
So what advice would Jen give to up-and-coming comic artists who are just starting out? “Take your time and read LOTS of different kinds of comics,” she says, “there is so much to learn from so many different genres. But also to just jump in, it can be scary to start, but it all gets better the more you draw and make. I probably would have told myself to be a sequential art major instead of an Illustration major. I would have had to practice environment and prop design a lot more.”
Jennifer is no slacker either. Using her Ipad pro along with Procreate and Photoshop software she is able to make most of her strips in less than a day, including coloring. I found this to be quite impressive (it takes me at least two days to make one of my strips). You can tell she is a natural at what she does. While she doesn’t have any immediate plans for the near future beyond continuing to put out her Slàinte strips, Jen is definitely an artist that you should follow and keep an eye on. With a talent like hers only great things will come, and they will likely come sooner rather than later. So add her to your watchlist today and go check out her strips! Your sides will be splitting in no time! 🙂
If you would like to check out her work beyond DA, here are some links to get you started!
Thanks for the interview, Jennifer!