Every year, in the countdown to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, we bring you a series of interviews with guests at the event. Over 70 are attending in 2018 in October (and that’s not including creators you’ll find in the Comics Clock Tower).
This Festival Focus for 2018 is Kripa Joshi, the creator of Miss Moti, a plump character who blurs the line between fantasy and reality.
Originally from Nepal, she studied Illustration at the School of Visual Arts, New York, with a Fulbright scholarship. In 2016 she started the Miss Moti-vation series, a weekly illustration of Miss Moti with a motivational quote.
Miss Moti has been featured in BBC Women’s Hour, BBC Asian Network, the Guardian and other international publications. Her work has also been exhibited at the House of Illustration, London as part of the Comics Creatrix exhibition, which showcased 100 women in comics.
Besides creating comics and illustrations, Kripa has co-edited the Strumpet, a women’s comic anthology, and conducted workshops for children. She lives with her family in Surrey, UK.
Kripa, What are you working on, comics-wise, right now, and when will it be published?
Kripa: Right now I have taken a break for maternity leave as I had a baby in February. In the meantime, I am trying to get my Miss Moti-vation book published.
Which comic project you've worked on are you most proud of and where can people see it or buy it?
Kripa: The anthology called Home which I co-edited with my friend Elena Vitagliano.
My daughter and I were caught in the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015. It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life and I wanted to help those who had suffered. So Elena and I invited contributions for the anthology and more than thirty artists generously volunteered their work.
The theme of Home was chosen as so many people had lost their home and loved ones in the calamity. All the funds we raised from the book went to provide art therapy and empowerment workshops for children in Nepal.
How do you plan your day as a creator? (Do you plan your day?)
Kripa: It is impossible to plan the day while I am a full time career for my children. I think once my eldest starts school in September there will be more of a routine and I can carve out some time in the afternoon for work.
What's the best thing about being a comics creator?
Kripa: To be able to tell a story and to have created the character of Miss Moti who is a positive role model that can motivate others.
And the worst?
Kripa: Self doubt.
What most distracts you from getting your work done?
Kripa: My children. One is four and the other is just six months. I also suffered from postnatal depression and anxiety after both of my pregnancies.
Have you ever been to the Lake District before and if so what did you think of it? If you haven't, what are you expecting?
Kripa: I have been to the Lake District but not to the Festival. I thought the area was beautiful and look forward to visiting again with my family as a part of the festival.
Which one comic creator would you most like to meet, and why?
Kripa: I have been fortunate to meet a lot of the creators whose work I enjoy. But if there is one artist I could choose it would be Winsor McCay, who created the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic in 1905. It was beautiful and the stories blended dream and reality. It inspired the creation of Miss Moti.
How do Festivals and other comics events help creators most, do you think?
Kripa: It helps us to meet other creators and feel a sense of community and also the ability to get in direct contact with our audience.
What one piece of advice do you offer people looking to work in the comics industry?
Kripa: Seek feedback and work in anthologies so you can get your work published and get in touch with other creators.
What's your favourite comic right now and where can people get it?
Kripa: Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez, published by Nobrow. It is beautiful and colourful but also haunting and a little scary :)
Kripa, thank you very much for your time and we look forward to see you at the Festival!
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will be back in Kendal 12th – 14th October 2018. Tickets for the Festival are on sale now from: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast