7AT1STROKE – that’s seven questions a day for comic artists and illustrators. This time: Ali Fitzgerald.
Ali Fitzgerald was born in California, USA. She is currently living between Paris and Berlin.
Why did you start drawing?
I started drawing pretty early, perhaps around six or so. I was a shy kid and had trouble expressing myself verbally, so drawing and writing became useful ways to articulate my thoughts. I also fell in love with weekly newspaper comic strips, and would try to come up with my own.
How would you describe your style?
Hmmm, expressionistic and lyrical, I hope.
Which topics are particularly close to your heart?
Generally, I’m interested in how we relate to our environment, like this comic about the flora and fauna behind the Berlin Wall. I am also interested in how we process death and the afterlife, like in this comic I made about purgatory.
How do you find inspiration?
My favorite morning routine is to take a walk, get a cappuccino and space out. While people-watching, I jot down ideas—some good, many bad. I also spend a lot of time reading news and pop culture articles for my satirical comic column for the New Yorker.
What can comics, cartoons and illustrations accomplish that other media can‘t?
Images tend to be read more emotionally, and I think this is used to powerful effect in graphic narratives. I agree with the premise that Scott McCloud makes in his book, “Understanding Comics,” that comics allow readers to empathize more with characters.
Your most beautiful/worst experience as a comic artist/illustrator?
My most recent project, a series of murals made for the Humboldthain S-Bahn, has been one of the most fun and satisfying projects I’ve ever done. The curators involved were great to work with, and I felt a real sense of community as I was painting. Plus, painting on walls is one of my absolute favorite things to do. My worst work experience was also a mural. I will only say that it involved craft beer and not getting paid.
Can you complete the sentence: „It matters to me that…“ for us?
It matters to me that we critique systems and not just individuals.
I would like to advertise this project of mine:
I’m currently at my parents’ house for a month, working on my upcoming graphic novel, which will be published by Fantagraphics in 2023. It’s an all-ages eco-fable about evolving animals and biospheres. In the future, I’ll post in-process images on my instagram or my website.