A Chat With: Rachel Smythe

Hey gang!

Have I got an awesome interview for you today! I came across Lore: Olympus as an ad on Instagram a couple of months ago, and after reading the very first chapter I knew I needed to have the writer and Artist on the blog! The coolest part, is that they’re both the same person! Lore Olympus is a webcomic about the romance between Persephone (my favorite goddess) and Hades, and includes a huge amount of gods and goddesses from Mt. Olympus. Rachel Smythe is super cool and I had to pick her brain about her creation.

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 NAL: Tell us about yourself.

RS: I'm a small, angry woman from New Zealand.  I have wrinkles around the upper nose from being judgemental. I really like coffee, snacks, and podcasts.   

NAL: Walk us through a normal day.

RS: I'm self-employed, so I work from home. That being the case, I always make sure that I get up before 9 am and follow a regular routine to avoid bad habits.  

I normally do about half an hour admin before I settle into drawing for the day.  I use a lot of timers to keep myself on track. Using a timer also helps me remember to stretch and take breaks.  I used the pomodoro technique to keep myself focused.  

If the weather is good I'll take my ipad pro and go draw somewhere that's more interesting than my office.

NAL: Do you have any tattoos?

RS: I have one on my wrist. It's an abstract pattern in a circle shape. I know what it is, but no one else needs to.  

NAL: If you could live in any fandom what would you choose and why?

RS: Probably the Dragon Ball Z universe because I like their goofy, expressive eyes.  

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NAL: As a creator, who would be in your dream team up?

RS: I'm not sure if this counts but I'd really like to share an office with James Baxter.   

NAL: What are some of your favorite movies?

RS: Dancer in the Dark, Neon Demon, Fantasia and it’s not a movie but Hannibal.

NAL: Who are some of the people that inspire you?

RS: Don Bluth, James Baxter, Mary Blair, Rebecca sugar, My family and friends. 

NAL: Why Greek Mythology?

RS: I love these Gods, they are flawed and relatable.

NAL: What's your creative process?

RS: In terms of writing, I'll draft out some key dramatic events. Then I'll try to join them together.  For Example:

• Hades and Zeus are buying matching watches.

• Hades and Zeus wake up from being blackout drunk in the fitting room a wedding dress shop.

How did they get from point a to point b? That's the fun part.   

For each chapter, I write a script and then make a draft comic based on the script. I don't always stick to the script, sometimes the drawings will help me write better dialog.

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NAL: How would you describe your art style?

RS: Expressive colour blocking?

NAL: If you were a part of Olympus, which God or Goddess would you be?

RS: Nike the goddess of victory, for sure.

Lore Olympus is updated every Sunday. Don’t forget to visit Rachel Online!

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