Comic Con-versation with Louie Joyce

Louie Joyce is an Australian illustrator and comics creator.

After spending his childhood dreaming of becoming an astronaut, superhero, futuristic bikie punk, enchanted mermaid or something cool like that, Louie realised he'd been dreaming a little too long and most that stuff was impossible anyway. Luckily he can draw pretty well so he's able to experience all those things and more by putting pencil to paper.

Can you tell us about your journey as a comic artist/ creator? 
I think I've always dreamed of becoming a comic book artist. My Dad collects comics, a really great diverse range of them too, so I was exposed to all this different stuff as a kid and I just completely fell in love with the medium. The fact that all these amazing stories and worlds could essentially be created with pencil and paper was mind blowing! I've been drawing as long as I can remember and used to copy from my favourite comics and animated movies. I started trying to create my own comics or adapt movies I loved into comics, I created mini comics and would go to zine fairs to trade and sell with other artists. As I got older I always kept drawing to some degree, but it feel by the wayside for a time. Eventually after working in Graphic Design for awhile my passion for drawing reignited. I knew that was what I wanted to be doing, I wanted to be an illustrator. I studied illustration at the Enmore Design Centre, during which time the quality of my work progressed and I started focusing on creating comics. Now I work as a professional illustrator and comics creator, it's not the dream job I imagined as a kid, but I'm incredibly lucky to be doing something I love every day.

Your  work focuses strongly on narratives and experimenting with different techniques of graphic storytelling.Can you elaborate? 
I'm always trying to convey a story or narrative with my work. I think it makes for the most interesting images, the ones you come back to. With comics I like to experiment with different approaches to layout, style and format. I tailor my comics for reading on digital or traditional platforms, playing to their individual storytelling strengths (For example my comic 'A Life in the City' which was originally printed as a handmade concertina booklet, as well and online continuous scroller comic). There's so many possibilities in how you tell a story and it's inspiring and exciting to experiment with different ways to do it.

Do you have a favourite character or piece you have worked on? 
My self published books MISHMASH & HODGEPODGE are probably my favourite. MISHMASH collects short comics that I've illustrated, some collaborating with other writers and others that I've written myself, while HODGEPODGE collects drawings, sketches, process work and more. They form nice companion books and i try to get a new issue out each year. I have complete creative control and they feel like a pure expression of my work which is nice.

What's next?
Right now I'm working on a sci-fi series with Neville Howard called Sugar & Space, which I'm having an absolute blast drawing! I also recently finished a one shot with Alex Chung called Astral. It's about a relationship between two star-crossed lovers, literally! It will be available from my online store and at events/cons very soon. Other than that I'm working on a few new short comics for my book MISHMASH, and developing a longer form story which I hope to make some good headway on soon.

Do you have any advice for aspiring comic artists that you wish someone had told you?
Draw what you love, what you're passionate about. Whatever you're working on, find what excites you and focus on that. Comics especially take an immense amount of work and time to create and it can be incredibly challenging. But if you're excited about what you're drawing your passion will drive you forward and it will show in your work. Always be learning and challenging yourself, but make it fun too!

Find out more at Louie Joyce's Website and Facebook pages. 

This event is part of Comic Con-versation 2016. Comic Con-versation is an annual week long festival celebrating the best of local comic culture with events, talks, workshops, panel sessions, readings and exhibitions across Sydney libraries.

You can check out all the amazing upcoming ‪#‎ccv16 events and activities here