Arizona Artist Alley
by Alfred Trujillo
So we meet again. For the first time! Well. Here I am. Doing what I do. And what do I do? Well. Short answer: I make comics.
When asked at conventions HOW I am doing, a lot of people get a little smile from me saying "living the dream." I realize most people that say this phrase do so with a hint of sarcasm. Not me. I really mean it. Punch any date on your time machine between 1984 and now, and you can probably find me drawing, writing, or expressing grand proclamations of my aspirations to make comics.
I technically got a late start; at least at being a pro. But I have come a long way in the last three years. With my aspirations well within reach, JOIN ME and let's journey together as I take you through an adventure into the land of comic book living. Let's begin!
Phoenix International Airport. We open 'mid-battle'. No sleep, muscles ache, my kids, numbers and words run through my ringing head. A hard shell golf club case rolls behind me full of trade show banner stands and supplies. My lovely wife hauls about as many things as I do. The usual suspects are enclosed in suitcases: art prints, business cards, table cloths, and copies of our creator owned book, Project: Shadows. We'll get to the book later, don't worry. A suitcase handle breaks. Jerry rigging, I don't even have to use duct tape. An hour of sleep on the airplane, then touch down, rental car and GPS into town.
A delayed landing has us rushing to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver to set up for the second annual Denver ComiCon. The place has a line around the building before it even starts and during the next three days I draw my heart out, sell a whole suitcase full of art, modeling prints, and comic books while talking to a good amount of exhibitors on my routine sketching-while-walking/talking/eating etc... We break sales records, reconnect with a friend who was there when I started, and catch my favorite nerd rock band, Kirby Krackle, before the weekend is over.
I speak at a panel with Ben Templesmith, then I make a presentation on art by myself when just the weekend before at Phoenix I had the same panel with the help of Frank Cho, Mike Debalfo and other excellent artists. Collaborative art pieces for charity auctions I draw on pull a pretty penny for children's foundations, I meet two of my wife's childhood friends and just for kicks, we hit Casa Bonita on the way out of town. AWESOME sopapillas, don't eat anything else!
This is just one of many conventions. I was at 13 shows in 2012. It's been about 20 in the last 12 months. I make my living on the road, make art on the road, and even got married while at a convention (Thanks, Galaxy Fest!). It helps that my beautiful wife who is also my business partner is also a renowned cosplayer, Cara Nicole, aka AZ Powergirl (she also writes, edits, designs and even letters). We live the life many wish they could.
In my journey thus far, I have had my share of successes and I won't lie, some failures as well. But focusing on the positives, I now have a high profile (and funded) Kickstarter campaign for my comic book, a couple of television appearances, published books nationwide and...and... I'm even a model on a very cool D&D illustration!!
Want to know how I got started?? Tune in next month!
Having a childhood spent traveling; comic books were often the only friends available. Many of the characters in the 4-color worlds served as inspiration since early on. Alfred has worked professionally in the grand industry of comic making since 2010. Zenescope, Big Dog Ink, Chameleon and Moonstone were the beginning. In 2012, Alfred gave up life behind a corporate desk and began his own company 183 DEGREE STUDIO writing and drawing his first creator owned book PROJECT: SHADOWS.