Studio Feature: Michel Rodrigue
When artist and author Michel Rodrigue was a boy, he’d stand in the wings watching his puppeteer grandfather perform. Later, Michel worked in a theater and a circus. These unique experiences allowed him to be around creative things and people. “It all gave me a taste of imagining lovely stories,” Michel says.
Besides having a well-fed imagination, the French/Belgian comic creator says that going to art school helped him get where he is today. “For drawing, it will give you sound basic skills,” he says. While in art school, Michel would share his drawings with other artists to learn more about developing his craft. He also got to draw every day. “I would often copy entire pages from comic books and learn a lot on my own,” he says.
Juniors earning a Drawing badge or Cadettes working on their Comic Artist badge will appreciate Michel’s step-by-step process for making a comic page come to life. Michel describes how he created the settings and characters for his book, Sybil the Backpack Fairy. The many steps require a lot of planning and accurate, consistent design, showing the hard work it takes to get from a blank page to a piece of art.
But it all begins with your imagination. “To create a new character or a new universe,” Michel advises, “first sit quietly and let your imagination go wherever it wants to. Then write down or draw some of the things that occur to you. Be curious about the world or character you are creating, and think of questions about them.” Most of all, Michel says, believe in yourself. “Never get discouraged; believe ever more strongly in your imagination.”
Read more details about how Michel creates his comics and characters on The Studio.