I got to catch up with one of Long Island’s sons and local artist Kyle Horne. For those that don’t know Kyle, he is a familiar face on the local convention scene in Long Island. He is also the illustrator for the children’s book titled Amazing Annabelle, written by Linda Taylor. Hi Kyle, How have you been?
I’m doing great. Not only working hard to improve my artwork and skills, but also getting to work on some amazing projects with other creators
For our readers tell us a bit about yourself. What got you into art, what have been some of your inspirations?
I’m a freelance artist based in Long Island. I graduated with my bachelor’s in Visual Communications from SUNY College at Old Westbury in 2014.
I volunteer my time with nonprofit organizations while also illustrating projects Like children’s books and graphic novels.
I always wanted to to be an animator since I was 7 years old. I like how different characters would react to their situations in animation. It just astounded me and it’s always been my goal to have projects I worked on influence others just like The Simpsons and Looney Tunes influenced me.
Who has been some of your influences in pursuing art?
Well, Pop culture of the late 80s to now has shaped my artwork in amazing ways.
From music icons like Michael Jackson and Prince, to actors like Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy
Even television shows from the Ninja Turtles and Dexter’s Lab or Even the American boom of Japanese animation in the late 90s with shows like Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon.
If it was on television in the 90s and 2000s, I was definitely into it.
You got to illustrate for a children’s book called the Amazing Annabelle. Can you tell us a bit more about this book?
Of course, Amazing Annabelle is about an amazing little girl as she goes through the course of 3rd grade school year, making friends, helping others and just being the best person she can be.
The book series is written by educator Linda Taylor and incorporates Common Core lesson into each book
We just finished the first series and we are currently working on a follow-up series called Daring David, which will take Annabelle and her classmates into the next school year.
We are also doing audiobooks, a comic book based on the series, and an animation pilot.
Can you tell us a bit about some other projects that you are working on?
Sure, another project I’m currently working on is called Beyond Conditions
it’s my first published project that I’ll be both writing and illustrating.
It’s about a boy with a condition called ulcerative colitis as he travels to another world and embarks on a quest of courage, knowledge, and empathy.
To realize that his condition or people’s words don’t Define his life, but it’s his own will and the determination that the Define what he can do
What are some of the things you like to tackle in your stories?
I hope to tackle issues with having a chronic illness or disability and overcoming adversity to achieve your goals.
I have ulcerative colitis myself for about 15 years now and trust me it hasn’t been the easiest time
Like going to a supermarket and hearing from the teller “ do you understand how much this is” every time you pay for the expensive medication that you need or dealing with aspects such as making friends or even dating where they lack the compassion to understand what it’s like to have serious or lifelong medical condition, illness or disability.
Over the years I’ve grown as a person and In that amount of time, I have accomplished so much. Overall My hope is that I can influence others in a positive way of doing my artwork and projects. So when someone looks at another person with a difficult situation. They gain a sense of empathy and understanding, instead of a feeling of judging them for it
As an artist, what is your dream project that you would love to work on?
My dream project would be working with DC or Marvel to create a series of books centered around having a disability and overcoming the difficulties. To be the best they can be.
From your experience, what advice would you give to an artist looking to break into this field? Like what advice would you give them about networking? Doing Cons? Working with a writer?
I would say my top 5 tips would be
1) work hard at learning basic anatomy, perspective, light, and Shadow etc. Having the fundamentals down, because once you know the rules you can then break them.
2) If you have a project regardless that is a comic book, animation, children’s book Etc, don’t wait around for others to make it happen. You need to do your best to make sure that goal/dream becomes a reality no matter what your situation is.
3) If you’re looking to do conventions, it’s best to go to some and find out what artists are doing well to make it a feasible venture for yourself. Ask questions, get tips, it doesn’t hurt to ask others for advice especially when you want to do what they do.
4) Collaborations are good, especially when the project is something positive in the community that could lead to better things. If you’re working with a writer, make sure you both are on the same page in terms of the :
A) contracts / compensation for your time
B) what is required of you as the illustrator/artist
C) ownership / rights
As long as you’re understanding things from their point of view, amazing things can happen when it comes out of that collaboration.
5) when networking always makes sure to have a business card on hand. Value both you and the other person’s time and present your best qualities
Kyle, we want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Can you let our readers know where they can find you, get your stuff and if you have any future convention dates coming up?
Sure I’m on most platforms