Loot Wear is teaming up with female artists throughout geekdom to design and curate for our apparel lines! Each month we’ll bring you a one on one with each artist we collaborated with, making unique apparel designed by talented women in the field.
This month we bring you star artist Becky Cloonan! Becky designed some amazing Dark Phoenix items for us this month!
Where are you from originally and where do you call home now?
I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, then I moved to NYC for college and spent a while there too. After I left NYC I bounced around for a few years, then I ended up in Austin, TX with my partner Michael! I really like this city, it’s an easy place to live.
What is your artistic background and did you have any formal training?
I went to the School of Visual Arts in NYC for animation, but I dropped out after a few years. I always hear the debate about whether or not art school is worth the expense- for me it was formative. I moved to a new city and immersed myself in art and music, and met so many incredible artists I’m still friends with today. I even ended up teaching there for a few years! I say take what you need from art school, and leave when you’re done. Most of my learning was done on the job anyway! I still learn every day.
How has geek fashion played a role in your life and can you tell me about your personal fashion style?
Fashion for me is deciding what black t-shirt to wear in the morning, haha. I don’t know if you can call what I have style – I only really own two pairs of pants, and most of my shirts are of friends’ bands or art! I sometimes think I should elevate my wardrobe, but then again I hate shopping for clothes! I much more enjoy drawing clothes than buying them.
Which artists are your influences?
My biggest influences I think come from outside of comic books, definitely Pre-Raphaelites like Waterhouse and Millias, filmmakers like F.W. Murnau and Akira Kurosawa, and illustrators and designers like J.C. Coll, Alphonse Mucha, Arthur Rackham and William Morris. I like to joke that everything I draw I basically steal from Fritz Lang, but it’s kinda true, haha!
What are your current fandoms?
I will watch any period piece, period.
This month you’ve designed a Dark Phoenix item for us! What’s your favorite Dark Phoenix moment?
When she first becomes Phoenix, setting the Marvel Girl costume and name aside – it’s such a revelation! It’s like, “Aah, this is who the character is meant to be!” Dark Phoenix also leads us to Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey and one of my favorite characters. Shout out to Chris Claremont who basically defined the character, and wrote so many of my favorite childhood comics!
What was your favorite part about coming up with this design?
Phoenix is such a powerful character, so trying to convey that strength, through the illustration was a challenge but so much fun!
Can you tell us a little about the design process behind your item?
I designed a few pieces for Loot Crate, one was a baseball tee – so I went with a highly graphic image to almost mimic a sports logo. I’d gladly play on the Dark Phoenix’s team, even if she decides to kill our entire team at the end of the game. The second shirt is more about the character, bringing Jean Grey front and center. Fire is such a big part of the imagery surrounding the character, so I drew a lot of that – for the Kimono I took inspiration from a traditional Kranok pattern, and the idea of the Phoenix being locked in a flaming cycle of death and rebirth.
Tell us one fun or quirky thing about yourself!
For the last few years I’ve played D&D every Sunday with a group of people who all grew up in the same town that I did. We call ourselves the Moss Babies. It’s become a weekly ritual that I look forward to so much – I play a half-orc Sorceress who was raised by goblins, and if you get me started talking about our campaign I might not ever stop… We even made a zine about it!
Do you have any words of inspiration for other women looking to go into your field?
Surround yourself with people who are better than you, people who raise the bar who make you strive to be better, people who inspire you and are supportive! Set goals, strive to reach them, and never stop learning!
Thanks for chatting with us, Becky! You can see more of Becky’s art and upcoming projects on her website, as well as on Twitter and Instagram!
Before we get to the amazing pictures of one of the May NEMESIS- themed Loot Wear items, make sure you’re ready to grab yours before May 19th at 9pm Pacific!
We’re proud to reveal the incredible design made just for us by Becky Cloonan! SPOILER WARNING: If you don’t want a spoiler yet, scroll no further!
Ready? Okay…. introducing, Becky Cloonan’s awesome Dark Phoenix raglan tee, available as this month’s Loot Wearable!