Danielle Otrakji - ComicsVerse

Kay Honda gets a chance to have a tête-à-tête with working comic book artist, Danielle Otrakji, a young, talented, multi-lingual illustrator about her creative process, her personal preferences in storytelling, and other fun things about her art!

HEAR: Want more ComicsVerse interviews? Artist and Co-creator Declan Shalvey stops by the ComicsVerse podcast!

Danielle Otrakji is not only a fantastic artist, but also has a wide variety of skill sets, keeping herself creatively active at all times by modeling and playing music. I had the great chance to interview her on the phone, and perhaps it can be blamed on the very nature of the interview, but I personally can say I had a fun time talking to her much like good friends would. There were beers (Danielle) and many glasses of whiskey (me), that created a more authentically friendly vibe to the interview. While there might have been much more unfortunate, stupid, drunk interruptions on my end, Danielle handles the interview with the poise and sincerity of not only a professional artist, but a very good person. Her answers are thoughtful and heartfelt–when I give her the chance to talk, that is–and she’s equally modest and self-effacing when it comes to the quality and versatility of her artwork.

Cover of Danielle Otrakji’s creator owned comic. Art by Danielle.

When you take a look at her art, you can see that she does not commit to one genre or style, showing not only her interest in finding new, innovative ways to express herself, but also the artistic ability that many lack in exploring different approaches. We briefly talk about how she favors comics or art that combines two different genres, being stimulated by something new. But she did admit to more oftenly leaning towards horror, understandably, citing Mike Mignola and the comic series SANDMAN as notable influences. Horror touches upon the true heart of human life in that it sheds light on our dark selves; that of fear, terror, and darkness. However, it can also have an element of the fantastical and mystical, giving it an otherworldly feel that makes it just relatable enough to be frightening, but a good distance away to draw intrigue. That is the kind of interest you’ll find in Danielle’s artwork. She is unafraid of creating art that evokes a strong emotion, as horror typically does, and often will push her own limits to incite a reaction from herself. You can see that in her art pieces, and in her interest in Alan Moore’s SWAMP-THING and Mike Mignola’s HELLBOY, that her creative flow is all but limiting.

Danielle Otrakji's Comic Convention Artist Commission of SANDMAN's Morpheus!
Danielle Otrakji’s Comic Convention Artist Commission of SANDMAN’s Morpheus!

It comes as no surprise that her art is gaining so much traction on the Internet. She’s now working on her own original graphic novel called, “lui qui traverse,” on top of any commissions she’s busy on, so definitely check out what she’s up to, because sooner or later you’ll be seeing her beside Mike Mignola himself, holding her own as a noteworthy artist in the comic book world.

LISTEN: Want to hear more Kay? She might be a little less drunk, but she does a kick ass job hosting a podcast about the origin of Black Panther!

Looking to hire Danielle Otrakji to illustrate your comic book or graphic novel? Want a specific commissioned piece of art? You can check out Danielle’s fabulous artwork on www.danielleotrakji.com and http://danielleotrakjiart.tumblr.com/.

ComicsVerse-ians who appeared in this interview are:
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