The Tokusatsu Network’s Artist Feature continues with artist Lindsay Smith, who grew up in Santa Rosa, California before making her home in Los Angeles. She’s the creator of the webcomic, Daisy is Dead and her illustrations and fabrication work has been featured at a number of shows at Q Pop Shop and Gallery in Los Angeles, California. Her work can be found on her official website at ComicSmith.com, DeviantART, as well as Tumblr.
How did you discover your passion for art?
It’s always just kinda been there. My mom is an artist, so our house was always filled with art and craft supplies. I drew a ton as a kid. My school notebooks and folders were covered in little doodles. I wanted to be a comic strip artist from a very young age (that, or a marine biologist.)
Do you prefer working with 2D art (drawing, etc) or 3D (making hats, etc)?
Hm, [it’s] hard to say. I get a lot of satisfaction out of both. I guess I’ll say 3D, because I love playing with different materials and seeing what new kinds of things I can create.
When and how did you discover tokusatsu?
Like [fiancée] Kyle [Carrozza], I watched Power Rangers when it first started. I loved the goofy acting and giant robot dinosaurs. Then the robots were suddenly cars and I got very annoyed. Who in their right mind would replace dinosaurs with cars? Now I understand why that happened, but at the time it made me lose interest. Fast-forward to my early 20’s, watching Magiranger in my garage with Kyle (“They’re still making Power Rangers? And they’re Harry Potter themed??”) Then a few more years go by, Kyle starts getting into it again, there are Pirate Rangers, and a guy with a rocket for a head, and yes, yes, we’re doing this. This is awesome. Let’s watch it all!
Are you into any other genres other than tokusatsu?
I love animation (anime or otherwise.) Kyle got me way into Sgt. Frog, and I’m head over heels for Kill La Kill. I love Studio Ghibli movies. I’m also into documentaries, and sciencey shows like Mythbusters.
Where do you find your inspiration?
All over the place. I work as a graphic designer for a pet store chain, so I get a lot of inspiration from the dumb faces animals make. Also web comics and cartoons, my friends, people on the street.
Do you have a favorite art medium you work with?
If I’m just doodling in my sketchbook, I like using brush markers in a variety of colors, or sometimes a ballpoint pen. Watercolors and ink are another favorite. But if I have the time and space, there’s nothing that makes me happier than diving into a hat (that sounds weird.) I like making my character hats a lot. I get so lost in my work that Kyle gets worried sometimes.
Can you walk us through the process when creating a piece?
For the hats I start with a sketch, figuring out how it’ll sit on a person’s head, what materials to use, etc. Then I start building on top of a baseball hat, usually foam and embroidery mesh, and hot glue (careful kids! I burned myself pretty horribly while I was making the Amazon hat.) Then when the base is done, I’ll start covering it in fabric, fake fur, feathers…whatever is needed. Crayola Model Magic air-dry clay is good for smooth features. Round or egg-shaped candy molds are fantastic to make eyes with. Position, glue, repeat until I’m done. For my paintings I’ll start with a light sketch or freehand inks. Then put down some basic colors, and keep building until I’m satisfied. Sometimes I’ll add details with colored pencils or paint pens.
If you could be a tokusatsu hero, who would you be?
A-MA-ZOOOOON! I adore him. He’ll try to make friends whenever possible, and failing that, he’ll tear your arm off. Either Amazon, or Gabutyra, who is always helpful, but puts up with no nonsense.
What if you could rock one tokusatsu suit, which would it be?
Haha, DEFINITELY Gabutyra. That suit looks amazing! More conventional answer: Again, probably Amazon. I love his weirdly-shaped head.
And finally, do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
Hm. [There’s] one that I can’t really talk about. I’m also teaming up with a friend to do artwork (and more!) for Bronies: The Musical, coming to the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June.