Emily Layne, a senior at Fryeburg Academy, is an aspiring artist with an interest in graphic novels. She recently did a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's “The Cask of Amontillado” as an assignment for Mr. St. Pierre.
When did you get into art?
When I was younger, my dad started dating a woman and she was an artist and worked with art. She influenced me. Whenever we'd hang out or when I went over to visit them we'd do art projects and draw all day.
What sort of things do you like doing?
When I was younger, I mostly focused on anime, but since then I've kind of moved out of that into my own style, but it reflects a lot of cartoon and anime mix as far as the style goes. Abstraction. I like to draw that people might be thinking rather than what's really there with a lot of stuff, I mean not all the time, but a lot of time I like to look at how things look in the mind versus how they look actually in the world.
What are some of your influences?
I like to look at other artists' works and I find a lot of stuff comes from that, not their work itself, but…I don't know how to describe it. I look at other people's work and integrating concepts or just thinking. My friend printed me off all kinds of stuff to draw like silence or running water and just stuff like that seems so every day, but when you try to do draw it really makes you think.
Do you have any particular artists that you are a fan of?
Jhonen Vasquez, the man who did “Invader Zim” and he does “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac” and there's another one, what's his name, he does an online comic called “Serenity Rose” — it is on heartshapedskull.com — but he does really funky stuff. I can't think of anyone's names. That's awful. A lot of them are just screennames that I can't even think of. If you were hoping to hear me list of really famous artists...
No, no, no.
OK, good because I don't know any famous artist names. I know Van Gogh and all that stuff, but I could never look at their paintings and tell you who did what because I am terrible with that smart people knowledge.
Before you did this comic book/graphic novel for St. Pierre had you had any interest in doing that before?
Yes, I had. I found “Serenity Rose” a long time ago, a couple years ago, and that influenced me and I started doing comic books. I did my own kind of comics a while ago. When I heard we were going to do a graphic novel class at school I was like, “Oh my God, that's awesome.”
What do you want to do when you are older?
Oh gosh, the ever famous question. I am not really sure actually. I want to go to art school and I want to do something with art. It might be doing comics and it might be doing signs for…anything. It doesn't really matter. I just figured I'd find what I find.
Are there any particular graphic novels or comic books that you are really fond of?
The manga series, like mangas from Japan. I was always really fond of “Jing: King of Bandits” and “Gundam,” but they are all pretty much the same style. The stories, I always enjoyed the stories, they were really cool. As far as American stuff would be concerned it would be the “Teen Titans” and most of the superhero stuff. I wasn't ever really fond of just regular day-to-day life stories. Reading them is fine, but when they're on paper you kind of want action when you're looking at pictures. You want to see some blood and gore.
Click here to watch the video version of this profile including samples of Layne's work.