Extra! ifelldownthestairs interviews taradaga of Good Taste!
skoolmunkee at 10:13AM, Nov. 22, 2009
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of taradaga, whose comics are: Good Taste, ghost, and others!
(interview conducted by ifelldownthestairs!)

1. I read in Good Taste's about section that you live in China. How is it there? Was learning the language as daunting as they say? Also, any particular reason why China?

I actually moved back home to Canada in July, so I suppose I have to update my about section! I really loved China a lot and would recommend it to anyone. The people are, for the most part, super friendly, and the country is amazing. A lot of beautiful things to see.

The language is also very beautiful but I didn't learn as much of it as I wanted. This was partly because of the priorities I had when moving there, which was living on my own in another country, and working on my creative projects. I learned enough to get by, but I also cheated a lot because one of my best friends there was fluent in the language. I think I know more than I think I do, though.

I moved to China as a foreign teacher, teaching children. China was recommended to me as a good place to go when you are just starting out as a foreign teacher. That, and I'm a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. (Ridiculous though it sounds!)

2. So you probably got to walk on the great wall of China, eh? Just the idea is making me insanely jealous.

I did walk on the great wall of China! Twice actually! It was very cool.

3. Your style is very quirky and dark. Any particular influences you'd care to share? (Ooh that rhymed! I'm a poet. And I didn't even KNOWIT!)

Oh thanks! I really haven't had my style described to me, so I'm happy that it comes across as ‘quirky and dark’. Growing up a lot of my art influence was from anime and manga (if not immediately apparent), and even though I still read manga occasionally nowadays it's all indie and webcomics. I can't really place specific influences in terms of art. Sometimes I might pick up one way to draw noses here, a way to draw someone's hair there, and just build on it.

For story my influence comes from Kiyohijo Azuma's Yotsuba&! and Linda Medley's Castle Waiting. Although in no way about what my comics are about they helped me realise what I wanted to see in comics, which is people doing normal things. With some drama or magic thrown in, but normal things nonetheless. Another big influence was the British show Skins which I started to watch just after starting the comic. It's way more dramatic and crazy than my comic, but the way they focused on one character per episode as a kind of ‘day in the life’ really influenced me, especially chapter three where you see all the characters at their homes.

4. Did… did you know I'm a poet?

Now I do! ;D

5. Each of your comics comes with a profile for every character. I think it's cool how you flesh them out to that extra degree - what gave you the idea?

The characters came first, the comic came after. There is actually a lot I know about the characters - a lot which won't end up in the comic. You might notice on my site the comic is done by: “tara and larklight”. Tara being my online name, “Larklight” that of my friend and writing partner. We had been writing with these characters for five years when I decided HEY I'mma write a comic! It was actually supposed to be kind of a alternate dimension fanfic where I could make all the characters happy because they were never happy in our stories. But the characters had minds of their own - apparently they didn't want to be happy - other characters showed up, and it got super complicated from there.

6. You've said that Ghost is based on a dream you had, what exactly was it?

If I answered that it wouldn't have a surprise at the end! I base a lot of my stories on my dreams, actually. This is the first time I've tried to turn my dream into a comic, though. It's a lot different then my dream, though, especially since I didn't look down at what I had written when I woke up so when I went back to look at it I was like “whoa, the boy had long hair? weird.” But dreams tend to not make sense, so I gleaned the best of it for the comic.

7. Fair enough! So do you have plans for Ghost, or is it just kind of on the proverbial backburner at the moment?

I would love to do more Ghost! But I've been pretty terrible about updating lately, so I am trying to focus any energy I have for drawing into Good Taste since that's the one that is 92 pages long right now. I owe GT more right now. But I really love the character design I came up with for Ghost, so I want to complete it one day.

8. In your profile you mention a fondness for road trips; where's the last place you went?

Sadly haven't been anywhere on a road trip for a while. I'm being a poor artist/author right now. But I did a lot of traveling while I was in China so that has to hold me over for a bit.

9. Your art is very worthy of all the praise it gets; the backgrounds are so intricate, and the characters have such life to them… what's your preferred medium, and how long on average does it take to draw a page?

Wow, thank you! I'm actually like, AUGH! about the art right now, which is why I haven't been motivated to update lately, so thanks a lot. For the comic I draw it on paper first:

(The colour of the page I draw on is pink right now, because once I bought blue paper by mistake and now it's tradition that I use colourful paper). Then I scan it in, and do the inking and colouring in Photoshop. It takes me around 10 hours - give or take. Depends on the page.

I don't really like the quality of line that I get in Photoshop. I don't know if it's because I'm stupid, or what. But I would love to be able to ink on paper, and would like to try that for my next comic. It's love to use a brush pen. I love that organic feel that I can't seem to get on the computer. But I draw super heavy with a lot of sketchyness so I needed to use a computer for inking. Now I got a lightbox so that I can try more natural medium next time, I hope! I think I'll be colouring on the computer for a while yet, though.

10. I saw that Good Taste got featured back in February, that must've been exciting!
Oh shit… that's not a question. Um… was.. it…. exciting?

Ha ha! Yes! The biggest honour. I danced around and jumped for joy the moment I saw it. A lot of the time as a comic artist thingy you feel that you are drawing in the dark, so it's worth everything when you get a smidge of recognition. I just wished I could have utililised it better. Continued on that good path. Still a work in progress!

11. I noticed that since October you've been mostly away; has life been a bit hectic for you lately?

Yes and no. As I mentioned I semi-recently moved back home, I got a new job. I'm also writing NaNoWriMo which has been sucking up a lot of my creativity. (One of my first loves is the novel.) So I am busy, but I also know I could be doing a better job. My website needs an update. I need to continue my comics. As I mentioned I'm also feeling a bit ‘bleh’ about my art right now. Which I know a lot of artists go through, and a lot of artists keep going through. I need to keep going!

12. You seem to be very much into art in general; when did it all start? It can be comics, paintings, music.. anything! RAP WITH ME, SISTA.

It's true! I cannot tell a lie! I've always been into anything creative. Ever since I was small. I would fill up notebooks with illustrated stories. I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen. I'm always waiting for the newest music, and I have some experience in singing and musical theatre. But I also kind of feel like I'm okay at a lot of things, but master of none. I like to do a lot and I haven't put in the time and effort to excel at one thing. I've got to focus, and I'm kind of terrible at that.

13. Damn, that's an early age for such a writing endeavor! What was it about? And more importantly, as you work on another novel now, especially next to your body of webcomics, how do you feel about how far you've come?

My first novel was about a boy who could turn into a dragon. It was a big cliched mess. The novel I'm currently working on is being written in a hurry, and isn't turning out exactly as I want but I know I've improved a lot. Just not as much as I wanted in novel writing. My WRITING is good, but not the construction of a novel. I didn't really focus on that, I think.

I need to really work on both my novel writing and my comics if I want to go somewhere!!

14. Well I guess that about wraps it up, is there anything else you'd care to say that maybe we haven't talked about?

I'd like to take the moment to thank all of the people who have read my comic, left a comment, friended me, drew me fanart, read this interview. You keep me feeling guilty! 'Hem. I mean. I really appreciate all of the support.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
Gillespie at 11:46AM, Nov. 22, 2009
posts: 194
joined: 2-23-2009
Great interview! I really like that you posted a picture of the artistic process, that way people who come here are given a preview of what your style is if they don't know you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
curlpop at 4:33PM, Nov. 22, 2009
posts: 24
joined: 12-9-2006

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:59AM
dueeast at 10:04PM, Nov. 22, 2009
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
This is a very good interview! I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Little Swan at 11:43AM, Nov. 25, 2009
posts: 32
joined: 4-12-2009
Excellent interview, both in answers and questions, well done to both! It'd be great to see Good Taste and/or Ghost start updating again too, so I hope this interview gives you a boost, tara!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
taradaga at 2:12PM, Nov. 25, 2009
posts: 30
joined: 5-12-2007
Thanks for posting this and the comments!!

Yes I am working on comic now. ;D
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
taradaga at 2:13PM, Nov. 25, 2009
posts: 30
joined: 5-12-2007

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
harkovast at 7:37AM, Nov. 26, 2009
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
I dont think the phrase “Good Taste” has ever been used in the same sentance as “I Fell Down the Stairs”

Great interview though, it had some fun, interesting questions, especially about the authors life in china.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:44PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 7:47AM, Nov. 26, 2009
posts: 3,785
joined: 1-16-2009
I dont think the phrase “Good Taste” has ever been used in the same sentance as “I Fell Down the Stairs”

Ditto. Who doesn't like China?

Really cool interview. It's weird seeing Ifelsownthestairs being positive when talking about/with someone. (hence his review comic w/ harkovast)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM

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