Liezl Buenaventura stands out as a prominent colorist in indie comics with over a decade of experience with some of the best independent publishers. Most recently Liezl has teamed with Clara Meath and Richard Rivera to work on the new hit series Shadow Play from Scout Publishing. Below, Liezl recently joined Comic Burst for another edition of our series Five Questions and a Creator.
This article has been edited for clarity and length.
Comic Burst: Having been in the comic industry now since 2009, working with publishers like Double Take Comics, Zenescope, Amryl Entertainment, Upper Deck, Alterna Comics, etc. you have certainly made impressions as a colorist all across the industry. What defined your early years in the industry?
Liezl Buenaventura: I’d actually been a fan of comics since I was a kid, and I knew I wanted to be an artist since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I wasn’t especially talented as a child, but it was something I really enjoyed so I drew and painted almost every day. I finished university with a degree in Fine Arts: Visual Communication, but I started submitting my work to comic publishers/agents/answering open calls on forums when I was about seventeen. It wasn’t until later on that I started getting replies back, of course, and for many years I worked a full time job in the corporate design industry to pay the bills while taking on everything comic-related after hours. Eventually, I started getting enough work in the comic industry that I was able to leave the corporate world, and I haven’t looked back since. My favorite artists include Alphonse Mucha, Auguste Rodin, and Gustav Klimt. I have a lot of respect for the classical artists because we studied them at length during university, and I personally enjoy their aesthetic. For more contemporary artists, I deeply admire Dave McKean and Yoshitaka Amano.
CB: Shadow Play #1 hit shelves on January 30th. What was it like to work on the project?
LB: The best part was getting to continue working with Richard and the Stabbity world. The main series is very dear to me as it has very deep indie roots, and I’m so proud of how far Richard has been able to take it. My creative process starts with reading the script and studying the line art, thinking about where I want to take it, color-wise, and then researching photographs of real life, similar locations to ‘check’ myself. I use a lot of bright and often unorthodox colors for scenes, so it helps when I lay down the colors I want to use, and then ground myself with a bit of reality after.
CB: Where would you like to see yourself as an artist in 15 years?
LB: I love coloring and painting so I’d consider myself lucky if I still get to do what I’m doing now, but I’d also love to be able to get some of the short comics that I wrote published. I have a handful that are in various stages of completion, some that I painted myself, others where I hired line artists, but personal projects do inevitably take a backseat to coloring work.
CB: Do you have any projects or con visits coming up that you can tell us about?
LB: My upcoming project releases include: “Stabbity Ever After” (series published by Scout Comics), “Disposable Legends” (mini-series published by TPub Comics; #1 is currently already out), “The Theory” (a Twisted Sci-Fi anthology by TPub Comics), and “Stereotypical Freaks” (a full color rerelease of an all ages graphic novel published by Animal Media Group). For conventions, I’m hoping to be able to attend SDCC this year, but it really depends on whether or not I can get my schedule and paperwork together in time. I’ll definitely post on my Twitter and IG when I know for sure though!
CB: Do you have a favorite project you have done in the past?
LB: All projects are special to me because I pour a lot of time, energy, and creativity into them, but I do have a soft spot for “Stabbity Bunny”. I started working on that series many years ago, way before it had gotten a publisher, and Richard’s dedication to it is incredibly infectious. He’s a fabulously talented creator, a really nice person, and has a knack for bringing out the best in the artists he works with. Working with Dwayne’s lines is also great fun, as he has this amazing kinetic style that really makes each panel pop. He’s also the nicest guy, a real joy to chat with, and I honestly couldn’t ask for a more pleasant work experience overall.