Studio Sunday: Jessica Abel
Comic book illustrator Jessica Abel is pictured above at an artist’s residency studio at La Maison des Auteurs in Angoulême, France. The artist creates fictional comic book series as well as non-fictional explorations of storytelling within a comic form. Abel is also active with workshops and creating systems through which other artists and storytellers can express their creative ideas.
It looks like Jessica has a pretty neat set up in her studio here. There’s a full-sized drawing table as well as several computer monitors and tablets that the artist is sitting in front of. It’s nice to see a comic artist working with this combination of digital and traditional methods. The space is small but it looks as though there’s a lot on the go.
The filing cabinet on the right hand side of the photo is being used as a side table to hold some traditional art implements such as ink brushes, pens and pencils. I wonder what’s inside the cabinet – maybe old drawings or photos and other material for reference use. When this photo was taken, Abel was working on her non-fiction comic book Out on the Wire, which explores storytelling techniques used by contemporary radio programs.
Stylistically, Abel’s drawings are simplified and cartoonish while still portraying a great sense of emotion and movement. She seems to be able to oscillate between fairly realistic depictions of people and faces into high cartoonish ones, depending on what the subject matter calls for. Abel’s studio space for this residency reminds a bit of Alison Bechdel’s studio space in an Italian residency. For more comic art studios, check out our features of Daniel Clowes and Art Spiegelman.