An Interview With Illustrator Autumn Patterson

by NJB // // Broomfield, CO

© 2023 Nantucket E-Books LLC

CC-BY-SA 4.0

A book cover shows a statue of a woman with six bat-ears, enormous bat-wings, and spider-legs. The statue is built into a cave wall and integrated into an underground mountain. Below the statue, bat-like people fly. To their left, a spider-like person holds a club over his head to strike. Next to him, a spider-woman spins silk. Next to her, a human man reaches over a cliff edge to hold the hand of a fairy-like woman. At the bottom of the page, a human woman, with curly hair and scarred skin, holds up her hands in a questioning stance.

Pre-order The Woethief by clicking here

Yesterday, I interviewed author Seth Patterson about his upcoming novel The Woethief. Equally important to the book is its illustrator and cover designer Autumn Patterson. Autumn, who previously worked under the pen name DiosYubi, has illustrated the covers to many of Seth Patterson’s short stories. She was also the artist for the comic-book adaptation of Cocoon, one of the most popular stories on this site.

I interviewed Autumn about her work as an illustrator, her methods, and the collaborative process. I also asked her to select one illustration from The Woethief that she would like to discuss in detail.

NJB When did you first become interested in drawing?

AUTUMN PATTERSON Growing up, I was always interested in art. Around age 11 or 12 I decided I wanted art to be an artist.

NJB What tools do you use when illustrating?

AP I start with pencil sketching and then use a Wacom tablet to refine the lineart in Krita. I use Krita for most illustrations and to color comic pages. I use Inkscape for the covers or if I need something like the door in Cocoon to be a consistent, easy drop-in.

NJB Who are your artistic influences, and what draws you to them?

AP I take bits and pieces from everything as artistic influences. My biggest inspiration is Raven Saga by Chihiro Howe. The half-Japanese, half-American style is simple and beautiful.

NJB The Woethief is the first title on Nantucket E-Books to be designed from the start to use the platform’s ‘flippable image’ feature. If the reader enables dark mode, the black-on-white illustrations will become white-on-black, creating a seamless reading experience. Were there additional considerations when planning to use this feature?

AP To make it easy, I did lineart with some shading, so it could be flippable.

NJB You have previously illustrated under the pen name DiosYubi. Where did that name come from?

AP When I made an account with Deviant Art, I first tried a username that said, “God Grace” in Japanese, to mean “God’s grace”. I wanted to be reminded that I draw for God’s glory and not my own. That name was already taken, so was the Spanish equivalent. So I did a mashup of both languages. “Dios” means God in Spanish and “Yubi” means Grace in Japanese. I was trying to learn both languages at the time.

NJB What does the collaborative process look like for you and Seth? Are you drawing during the writing process, or do you wait until the text is finished before starting the illustrations?

AP It looks different for every story. The Woethief’s outline was done before Seth and I met. Cocoon was kind of the same story, drawing after at least the story outline. With one of his stories, Fountain of Strength, I am drawing the comic before he has even written it. I draw characters for Seth so he can describe them better. He generally is the one telling me of thoughts or dreams and has me draw them so he can see them.

NJB You are the artist behind the comic-book adaptation of Cocoon, one of the platform’s most popular titles. Can we expect more comic books from you and Seth in the future?

AP Yes, I am making the mock-up of The Woethief comic. I am on the blue sketch phase of the Fountain of Strength comic; I am on page 22 out of 64. It will be book one of Crystal’s series, The Wishgranter. There are three other comics about Crystal in different phases of development.

NJB Are there any webcomics you are reading right now? Are you reading anything right now? If so, what, and why?

AP On WEBTOON, I really enjoy Africa and Raven Saga. Africa is impressive because it is done in colored pencils. I love learning and studying different media. Raven Saga and Pepper & Carrot are my go-to inspirations.

I am reading The Birthing Tree by William D. Burt, it is the seventh book in The King of the Trees series. Seth grew up on the series and loved it. I am partly reading it to catch up on Seth’s childhood, but I also think it is super fun.

NJB For this interview, I asked Autumn Patterson to select one illustration from The Woethief to talk about. She selected this illustration from the first chapter.

Illustration from first chapter of the Seth Patterson novel The Woethief, illustrated by Autumn Patterson. A young woman holds a baton as she falls backward. Her curly hair escapes her hood. A man, with bat-ears, spider-legs, and a loose tunic, swings a club at the woman.
Illustration by Autumn Patterson for the first chapter of The Woethief. Enabling dark mode in your browser or operating system will display this image as white-on-dark.

AP I love how the first illustration turned out. Even thought it is digital, it looks just like a pen sketch, which I am happy about. I drew it before The Woethief was finished and it was a recreation of an old drawing where I first designed Ankor. I was proud of how much better it looked this time.

The illustration is of the opening fight. I had fun capturing the movement of WoeNyl staggering away from Ankor’s angry swing before stealing his anger.

I drew WoeNyl trying to hide under her hood, with her hair popping out. The hood is also floppy to show that it was made for a different race.

Lastly, Ankor has metal shoulder pieces to show his social status. Because metal is rare, only rich and/or royal people wear it.

The Woethief will be published on October 20, 2023. To pre-order the e-book or a comb-bound paperback edition, click here

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