FAQ: Flippin' Awesome Questions
1. How did you learn to draw?
Like most kids, I was allowed crayons and markers once I stopped trying to eat them. I drew a lot of cats, dogs, and skunks. Thanks to an overeager primary school teacher, I learned how to do pencil realism from step-by-step booklets in grade five. I drew elves obsessively for a few years after that. I took art classes throughout highschool but generally refused to complete assignments, instead doing my own self-designed assignments and somehow managing to win the favour of my art teacher at the same time. My first comic strip project, at age 11, was about a baseball-cap-wearing, skateboard-riding Chihuahua named Max.
2. How do you draw the comic?
At the beginning of the comic I used black Pilot pens and sketchbook paper; now I use one of those dipping kind of pens, a variety of nibs (which I suck on, my tongue usually has ink splotches on it after I've finished a comic), a bottle of waterproof ink, and a pad of logically-named Paper for Pens. I inevitably have to clean things up a bit in Photoshop. The originals all have some major screw-up like smeared ink, because I ruin everything.
3. How do you come up with your ideas?
When something happens that I think is funny, I write it down. I have a whole file full. Every week, I either select one from my archive or draw something that happened more recently. Yeah, autobio comics are kind of a cop-out in the "how did you think of that" department.
4. Who are the people in your comic who aren't you?
If people don't have arrows pointing out who they are within the comic, usually I try to list them in the description. My mom makes a lot of appearances because she is excellent. Every now and then the people are invented to represent a certain stereotype rather than a specific person.
5. Why is it called Lifelines?
My name, Maisha, means "life" in Swahili. Since the comic is primarily linework, and it's about my life, I thought that "lifelines" was incredibly clever as titles go when I first thought of it.
6. How are you so awesome?
I'm fueled by chocolate.
7. Draw me in ur comic!