Laura Watton-Davies is a games artist professionally as well as a freelance illustrator since graduation. She’s been publishing her own comics since the mid-90s and has always juggled her day job and education with making comics and illustrations. She was actually involved with a lot of fanzines before the internet took over anime and manga print ‘feeds’, and even making Biomecha (her ongoing tragicomedy comic series) around her GCSEs. After doing her own comics for a few years, she co-founded Sweatdrop Studios and was part of it for eight fond years.
When she started doodling her own comics, she grew up with a lot of 80s and 90s anime and manga, especially a lot of shonen (guy orientated manga) as that was what was mainly being released by Manga Video and Viz Media back then ie. Dragon Ball Z, Ninja Scroll.
When Tokyopop started releasing more shojo (girl orientated manga) she got a further influx of influential styles. Amusingly, 80s and 90s styles are sort of ‘in’ now, so is enjoying drawing with a more knowing ‘feel’ in regards to fashion. Being raised with a huge comics awareness surrounding her, she has been influenced by all sorts of publications, including TMNT, Strangers in Paradise, How to draw comics the Marvel way and others.
Eventually she started copying and making characters when pausing VHS tapes and referencing illustrations printed in old ‘Previews’ magazines before collecting comics, which is probably why she has a special place in her heart for Kimagure Orange Road, Ranma 1/2, BubbleGum Crisis and Urusei Yatsura.
Apart from doing online game art, her freelance content has been published by Letraset, Neo Magazine, Ilex Press, Quarto Publishing, Tokyopop’s Rising Stars of manga UK, IR #3 and a few others publications. Also collaborating with sexy gals for Corporation Nightclub, who run Skool Disco up in Sheffield, to which she does manga caricatures for audiences occasionally.
As well as illustration she is also quite the crafter, indulging in crafts, paintings and sewing. She tends to move around from project to project to keep going. As well as Biomecha she has her other side project comics, such as the mini-comics Squishy-chan’s Adventure and Team Player. With a strong passion for music her and her partner ran an alternative pop/rock/electro party in Cambridge every other month called PsychoCandy. She also DJ’ed at CamCon last year.
In 2012 she attended many conventions with comics, prints and crafts but is looking towards 2013 when she would prefer to to attend a few for fun rather than selling, just as an anime and manga fan. This is due to concentrating on wrapping up her Biomecha series, which has been a long-running series. Book 1 is in print, there is enough material for book 2 and there is now enough for a third and final book. She also has some ‘floppy’ editions of issues 5, 6, 7 and 8 online for £1 in her online shops, so if anyone is interested in a sampler of Biomecha, please take a peek below!
*Laura Watton-Davies : : Illustration & Comic Art*