An Interview with E.D. Watkins

You can view E.D. Watkin's portfolio here and learn more about E.D. and her artwork by visiting lifesfingerprints.wordpress.com/ and 12milesperhourcomics.wordpress.com.

Tell our readers a little about yourself, your background, and your work.

My name is E.D. Watkins. I was born and raised in the South. I've always been an artistic soul. I have always loved art and what moves an individual through art. Before I took on art full-time, I studied psychology and I am completely self-taught in photography and drawing. I come from a family of creative spirits so I really feel at home with what I am doing in art.

I do art full-time. At the moment I am working toward having my own exhibit in the coming months. I would like my work to reach even more people. I will have more info on exactly what the exhibit will be about and more very soon.



How do you use art to express yourself?

I begin doing photography in 2009 but I got more serious about it in 2013 after the death of my father. My photography is my therapy and I also then wanted to share it with the world. After losing my father suddenly I began to appreciate life even more and capture it in every way possible. So my favorite thing to capture is nature.

"I've always been an artistic soul."

I began in comics by just constantly drawing every day. I literally just decided one day that I was going to draw and experiment with it. Once I would finish a drawing I could see that there was a story there in the faces that I would draw. So I gradually went with it and developed these characters for 12 MPH Comics. Each character stands for something and so does the title which will all reveal itself as 12 MPH Comics continues to unravel. So I hope that viewers stay tuned! The main art forms at the moment that I use to express myself come out through photography, painting, and drawing mainly.


How would you describe your style of art

As for my photography I hope it evokes some type of feeling or emotion if it does then I know I am doing something right. For the most part "Life’s Fingerprints Photography" is all about peace.

I would describe my drawings as being fierce, strong, and mysterious. I would also definitely say it is in the category of being mythical and portraying fantasy. I would say my art style in a lot of instances is based on real life as well. In my drawings as a whole I like to capture mystery or wonder. No matter if I am drawing comics, or real life things, or painting even.

"Art is... capturing something and letting the wonder of it all take over."

I want to create pieces that leave the audience wanting more because that is what art is about: capturing something and letting the wonder of it all take over. I want to create wonder and let the audience take from it what he or she will.



How does your approach to photography differ from your approach to comics?

When I begin to take photographs I usually take photos of nature. One thing I also do is find things that are interesting going on in nature that are unique and I take pictures of them. I try to take pictures that would stand out among the rest.

My approach to comics differs because I come up with the scenes completely. It is literally like a movie that plays in my head for a character from "12 Miles Per Hour Comics" and I draw it out. I like to draw things again that stand out and are unique but that every person can relate to. I then mesh that with things that people wonder about, fantasy which I will explore more in the comics so I would encourage people who are following to stay tuned and for those who have no idea what I am talking about to go and check out 12 Miles Per Hour comics at 12milesperhourcomics.wordpress.com


What kind of gear do you use? i.e. camera body, lens, tripod, filters, flash, camera bag, etc.

The type of camera I use is a Polaroid a930. It’s a really simple camera easy to use and also gives great results after taking the photo.


What are the typical settings you use when you shoot? What is your workflow?

The typical settings I used include:
Max aperture: 3
Shutter Speed: 1/2083 sec.
ISO: 50
White Balance: Auto
Manual/Auto Focus: 3 min.
I use a JPEG format.

For the most part I rarely use any post processing tools. When I take a picture it usually involves a lot of work before with lighting and placement.



What makes the great picture stand out from the average?

The thing that makes the great picture stand out from the average is the thing that is the most unique about it. For an example I took a picture of a huge cacti that was distinct because it had yellow flowers on it; what really made it made it unique was the fact that a bee was buried deep down in the flower. So I had to take several shots of this.

"My inspiration comes from life and wanting to capture it."

When I draw for my comics I try to draw it from the perspective of the character and how he or she is feeling. When I draw I do have the characters speak of course but rarely and that is because I want the reader without words to understand exactly what the drawing is capturing without any words. So that no matter where you are from or what language you speak but that an expression tells the reader everything he or she needs to know about a scene.


Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration for photography comes from life and just wanting to capture it. It’s also for me just about finding the beauty out of anything or the light in anything. For my comics I am mostly inspired by music. I can literally hear a song and a scene for my "12 Miles Per Hour Comics" will play in my head like a movie and so I sit down and draw it out from start to finish as mini scenes.



Do you have a particular method when you start a new project?

When I take photos I look for anything that stands out to me and once I’m done I gather all of my photos and come up with a theme and then I name each photo as it pertains to that theme.

When I start new scenes for my comics then I just brain storm about one of the characters story lines. For the most part like I said before music really helps me come up with a scene for the comics.


Final thoughts?

The biggest thing right now for me is coming up next month I am working toward making an exhibit happen and all the details will be stated next month. I will make sure to put updates up on 12milesperhourcomics.wordpress.com and lifesfingerprints.wordpress.com/ I would also encourage people to continue reading the 12 Miles Per Hour Comics and stay tuned for new photos from Life’s Fingerprints Photography.

You can view E.D. Watkin's portfolio here and learn more about E.D. and her artwork by visiting lifesfingerprints.wordpress.com/ and 12milesperhourcomics.wordpress.com.