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After our successful first installment of Shards Volume One, In Hiatus Studios reached out for new talent to be featured in Shards Volume Two. Through a selective submission process, we were fortunate to discover the savvy storyteller Curtis W. Clow and the talented illustrator Liliana Vazquez Song. As we prepared for the release of Shards Volume Two, we were able to gain more insight into the artistic creators of the The Dragon’s Kin the fourth story included in the new installment of our anthology series.

In Hiatus Studios: Would you say you have a particular style? How would you describe it?

Liliana Vazquez Song: Not really. I find it hard to commit to a specific style because I get bored quickly and then I want to try new things. I’m constantly challenging myself and as soon as I start feeling too comfortable with a style, I feel the need to jump out of my comfort zone. However, I do have a certain aesthetic that I would describe as cute curvy and simplified.

IHS: How did you develop your style? or How do you determine your style for each project?

LVS: I just follow my instincts and draw what I like. For each project it depends on the topic and how it is handled, like the more mature the theme, the more realistic proportions and color palette.

IHS: How do you find inspiration, especially when you are stuck?

LVS: I like to read a lot, written word usually sparks my imagination. I also like to browse social media to look at what other artists are doing.

IHS: What drew you to the comic medium?

LVS: For starters, I have always liked reading comics so I guess it was only natural that I would want to join in the fun of telling stories through this medium, and give back some of all the enjoyment that I have gotten from it for all these years.

IHS: What do you love about storytelling?

Curtis W. Clow: I love the lessons you can learn from stories. As a writer, I think you can share your outlook of the world and certain subjects through stories. Even if every reader doesn’t agree with you, I think it can be mind expanding just seeing different perspectives.

IHS: Why have you chosen visual storytelling?

CC: I chose visual storytelling because I love art! There’s so many different styles and amazing artists out there. Telling a story through sequential art is unique. As a medium it’s somewhere in between prose and movies and I think that makes it something special for storytelling.

IHS: Why did you choose to write a female protagonist?

CC: Writing a female protagonist is fun for me. It’s getting into a headspace that’s very different from myself and someone that would make completely different decisions than myself. That’s the fun of writing a wide array of characters.

IHS: How is The Dragon’s Kin  different from your other works?

CC: The Dragon’s Kin is somewhat grounded in reality with feudal Japan and a mix of fantasy. Having that real world you can research and build upon is a lot of fun and changes up the writing process.

IHS: Was there something in particular that inspired The Dragon’s Kin?

CC: Miyazaki and studio Ghibli have definitely influenced the world of The Dragon’s Kin. The Dragon’s Kin also deals with the idea of destiny and the protagonist wants to know if it exists or not or if they have the power to change it. That’s sort of inspired by my own life, as someone in my mid twenties trying to find my way in life, I’ve realized you have the control and power to do what you want and be successful if you choose.

Inspiration can come from a ton of places. Sometimes it’s as easy as finding the right soundtrack or consuming some entertainment. But sometimes it might come from taking a break and going on an adventure in real life, whether taking my dog to the beach or going on a hike. That change in environment might open you up to whole new ideas.

We hope you enjoyed this exclusive interview with the creators of The Dragon’s Kin. And don’t forget to Pre-Order your copy of Shards Volume Two  today!

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