This artist’s spotlight is on @chsandcrax!
1.Tell me a little about yourself.
“My name is Miranda, I’m 38 years old, and I live in Kansas City, Missouri. I have always been artistic, but I really didn’t start getting serious about it until I was in middle school. My art teacher saw potential and encouraged me to start honing my skills. Since I was already into comic books and video games, I practiced nonstop by drawing what I saw in issues of Jim Lee-era X-Men and Electronic Gaming Monthly. Psylocke, Rogue, and the ladies of Fatal Fury were my favorites to draw. As I got older and my taste in comics changed, I fell in love with the works of Todd McFarlane, Greg Capullo, Joseph Michael Linsner, and Terry Moore. High school was really rough for me, because the way I drew was not tolerated by my art teacher. She didn’t consider comics as art. My assignments were continuously made examples of what NOT to do. I didn’t get the encouragement I needed at that formulative stage, so I was talked out of applying to the Kansas City Art Institute. I ended up going to a different college and got my BFA in studio art. I fell out of habit after college because life happened, and other things required all my attention. It wasn’t until I met my best friend Marc a couple of years ago that I was reintroduced to comics, and eventually drawing again.”
2. What is your favorite piece of work you made and why?
“Over the years I’ve made a lot of really cool pieces. If I had to choose one from recently, I’d say the Empress.
It got a huge reaction from people when I shared it. A friend from high school messaged me, saying his daughter saw it and was inspired to start drawing. She asked him to send me pictures of everything she drew, and it was amazing! It blew me away that my work actually inspired someone. I also shared it with Baldemar Rivas, a local comic artist who is currently working on Image Comics’ Unearth. He liked it a lot too, and even complimented on the linework. A family member is also turning it into a quilt! I realized that with work I could get back into something I really loved, and perhaps even go places with it. It was the boost of self-esteem I desperately needed–encouragement I had been missing for years. It made me realize that I am talented, and it’s not too late to try to make a name for myself.”
3. How did you get interested in doing tarot card pulling?
“Most people would call it a happy accident or mere coincidence, but I don’t really believe in those anymore. I was meant to become interested in Tarot! I met Jessica (AKA Palm Tree Priestess) through Instagram, and we hit it off. She did a few readings for me, which was exciting because I had always been interested in that kind of stuff…just never had access to it before. As we got to know each other better, she began to encourage me to give it a try. She saw the potential in me, and knew I could blossom if I just listened to my intuition. So I got my first deck, started learning, and here I am now! Collecting decks has become a somewhat mild obsession– 10 decks and counting! I just recently bought a Golden Girls Tarot deck that I am obsessed with. It’s been a lot of fun to do because I’ve learned more about myself, and I’ve helped several friends through issues of their own. They’ve told me that my readings were spot on and really creepy which I take as a huge compliment! Wouldn’t mind making it a business someday.”
4. You did a series of tarot card theme drawings. Can you talk a little bit about that and your inspiration as to why you did it?
“You know those ideas you get that just click? As an artist, those can be really hard for me to come by. But when Jessica came to me with the idea of drawing up some coloring pages, I really wanted to make it work. The first 2 I did where the Sun and the Moon.
Pretty simplistic compared to more recent drawings, but I loved them and so did she. My gut told me to run with this idea and do other cards. The Empress was next, followed by the Magician. As I moved from card to card, it was awesome to see the progress I was making. I liked each new card a tiny bit more than the one before! It’s fun to push myself to draw things that I’m not usually comfortable drawing. I found that I love the composition and design aspect of it, as well as spinning my own interpretation of each card. Every new piece is an opportunity to revisit art basics and get familiar with everything again. It’s amazing practice. I love making things that people really seem to enjoy. “
5. Are you working on anything in particular in terms of your art?
“Right now I’m actually debating where I want to go next. I plan to keep doing Tarot drawings (working on the High Priestess at the moment), but I’m not sure if I’ll end up doing all 78 cards. I’m toying with the idea of starting an Etsy shop, making the drawings available as coloring pages, prints,or even t-shirts. I feel like doors are opening all around me! But until then it’s practice, practice, practice. I have to get comfortable with myself again, and eventually take those risks I couldn’t before. I’m ready to have fun, and I’m always open to suggestions!”