For the past 10 years, an art society in South Vancouver has been helping comic artists explore their craft.
Cloudscape Comics is one of the largest comic societies in B.C.
Cloudscape Comics is a 10-year old art society that has operated in a fieldhouse on Memorial South Park for the past four years. This space allows local comic artists to connect and network with each other. The society also offers weekly events throughout the year for its members that are open to the public.
Jeff Ellis, founder of Cloudscape Comics, said that he wanted to build a community that would help aspiring artists hone their skills, develop better storylines and discover viable outlets for publication. Getting a base of operations in the park made it easier to nurture that community.
“Just having a brick and mortar facility gives you a certain amount of legitimacy that people don’t give when you meet at coffee shops,” said Ellis. “We had a lot more interest from the media. We got a lot more grants approved.”
According to Ellis, the space also drew more people in. It made the social connection stronger. Weekly meetings at the studio are often standing room only.
Cloudscape Comics prides themselves with having a safe environment for artists to work and share their art
Monica Disher is an urban fantasy comic artist who joined Cloudscape Comics in search of artistic friends.
“It’s really important to have arty friends around you when you are trying work,” she said. “It’s an environment thing. It keeps you motivated.”
The meetings also help hone her craft.
“You can bring in anything you’re working on and get feedback, get helpful comments,” she said. “And, if you’re stuck, it’s great to have a community of artists to bounce stuff off of.”
Hannah Myers, one of Cloudscape’s Studio Resident Artists, agreed that the space provides a positive work environment.
“Its really easy to get into a downward spiral when you’re just working at home and doubting yourself constantly,” she said.
Oliver McTavish-Wisden is the group’s current President. He said that the goal for Cloudscape is to grow and increase their reputation so their artists can thrive.
“We want to continue to be B.C.’s largest comic society,” said McTavish-Wisden.