Today, we hear from Doodle Town creator Melissa Lomax!
I’ve been drawing, doodling and cartooning since I was a very little girl. I found that by being creative I could "make my own fun," and because of that, there would never be room for boredom!
As a child, when the Sunday comics arrived, I’d read them all… but my favorites were the ones that I’d skip to first. Among those were Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. I could relate to Calvin’s wild imagination and his soft spot for a stuffed animal best bud. I also really liked For Better of For Worse by Lynn Johnston. I thought it was so unique to see the Patterson family growing up and moving along in life.
As an adult, when I saw my first graphic novel, I was super excited! The idea of telling an entire story for kids or adults with pictures was like a dream come true. I think that Craig Thompson does this brilliantly in his novels "Good-bye, Chunky Rice" and "Blankets."
My career as a cartoonist took flight when I discovered Doodle Town. It started as a Valentine’s Day gift for Christian aka Patch (my now-fiancé). I doodled myself as a cat, Patch as a dog and tried to capture some of our funniest and sweetest moments together. A year later, the gift sparked an idea for a handmade book called "Summer with You." Patch and I took the book to the Small Press Expo in Baltimore during 2013, where Shena Wolf (the Acquisitions Editor at GoComics) visited our table and took an interest in my work! I knew something "magical" was about to happen, but I wouldn’t fully realize the potential until I was posting weekly on the GoComics site!
Doodle Town by Melissa Lomax
I’m still inspired by many of the things that intrigued me during my childhood. My mom introduced me to artists who sparked my imagination and moved me to create worlds of my own. I grew up fascinated with Richard Scarry and the intricate workings of "Busytown," Mark Alan Stamaty and his elaborate drawings in books like "Yellow Yellow" and the magical artwork in "Jelly Beans for Breakfast," with pictures by Beverly Komoda. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Muppets -- I consider them be living and breathing and off on an adventure somewhere right now. Jim Henson made me feel like anything you could imagine was possible.
The greatest source of inspiration in my life is my fiancé Christian Patchell (Patch). We have been together for nearly 15 years. He is an amazing illustrator and cartoonist, a constant source of creative energy to his art students and an extremely optimistic and humorous six-year cancer survivor. He’s one of my biggest supporters, and he’s the Pups to my Kitty Lo-Lo!
I’m a full-time greeting card artist at Kathy Davis Studios and have worked in the greeting card industry for nearly 15 years. My cards and product have been sold in stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, Wegmans and in American Greetings locations.
Some of my work has been printed in children's publications. My proudest moment so far has been to see several of my "Hidden Pictures" in Highlights magazine!
I am a member of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society. As a group, we have worked with and donated artwork to charities such as The Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness and The Children's Crisis Treatment Center.
As for my workspace, I like to think that I can draw just about anywhere on just about anything! But I will say that I love working alongside Patch in our art studio. When it comes to my workspace, I’m a bit of a neatnik, but I also like to surround myself with collections of things that inspire me. I have a clipboard where I keep all of my comic ideas and a folder where I gather all of my sketches. I ink the final artwork with a micron on tracing paper, scan it into the computer and color it on my iPad in a program called Procreate. I love that I can take my iPad outside and color my comic while relaxing on the lawn or in my favorite coffee shop!
Currently, I have a book idea that’s in the very early stages, based on Kitty Lo-Lo and Patch the Pups. It’s geared more toward children -- or adults who are kids at heart -- and will be full of adventure and fun!
Read Doodle Town here or find Melissa on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and her blog.