Almost everyone seems to have at least some appreciation for art and beauty but, unfortunately, there are many talented artists in the world who are little appreciated despite their awe-inspiring abilities. Noting the lack of outlets for up-and-coming, underground, or outside artists to showcase their work, I decided to start an “Artist Spotlight” series where I will interview various artists in order to gain a deeper insight into what inspires their creativity and what they plan to do with their careers.
Pam Wishbow is an illustrator based in Seattle Washington who agreed to be interviewed for this series. Pam’s artwork is very detailed and often contains dark and adult themes. Pam went to school for illustration and she excels at painting, drawing and playing drums. She is also an avid book reader. Below are Pam’s responses about her life as an artist:
Q: What influenced you to become an illustrator?
I have always really loved to draw, but jumping from the grammar school idea that all artists had to be a famous painter to the idea that I could draw things that explained abstract ideas or things going on in the world? That suddenly made things real. The inspiration to be an illustrator came from being surrounded by it, mostly. My parents subscribed to multiple newspapers, and a whole slew of magazines that had a lot of illustration work that I can distinctly remember. Some of the first realizations that illustration was a job I could have outside of children’s books was by looking at National Geographic, getting paid to draw dinosaurs was a childhood dream and I mailed them multiple drawings as a kid. As I got older the feeling stayed, went to school for it, and it only solidified that it’s what I want to do for life.
Q: In terms of subject matter, what are your cartoons about and what inspired the ideas for them?
The majority of my work has a slightly dark leaning, I’ve always been interested in the occult, witches, creepy things that go bump in the night. Everything I do seems to at the very least have a hint of that. My personal work, zines and comics I make myself, are usually inspired by a collections I have or history I have read about. For example, spending a week every summer as a kid in a victorian beach town filled with antique shops really fueled my imagination for that kind of stuff.
Q: As far as working in illustration, what has been your most rewarding experience so far?
I worked a few times with a company called Skullastic which is always a blast. Not only are they extremely easy to work with, they also have a great sense of humor and liked and encouraged the fact that girl-geared stuff doesn’t have to be girly. It was great to work with a company that was making things I would buy with ideas I agreed with.
Q: What are your ultimate goals for the future?
I have a few goals in mind, ghost story illustrations are high up on that list. Seeing other women doing illustration and comics getting recognized with dark themes has really gotten me excited about the idea of doing something like that one day.
Q: Are there any up and coming projects that you would like to mention?
I just put out a mini art zine called Dead Wood, and have a mini comic based on the folk song Fatal Flower Garden coming out soon for some fall shows I’m going to be at here in the PNW. I’m pretty excited to get them out there!
Q: Where do you hope to be, career wise, in ten years?
I would like to be busy, very busy. I would like to be pretty well established and being challenged with new projects. Games, comics, animation? I haven’t really done anything with them but I’m sure game!
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To learn more about Pam’s artwork visit her official website: