Dundee comic book artists illustrate diverse range of creative careers


TWO university graduates are challenging stereotypes surrounding careers in creative industries in their newest comic venture.

Ashling Larkin and Cat Laird, both graduates of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), plan to launch their second comic anthology ‘Working In: The Arts’.

The collaborative comic includes interviews with nine creatives working professionally in the arts, a number of whom are also Dundee graduates, giving an insight into their different careers and how they entered the field.

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Photo by the University of Dundee. Ashling and Cat hope the comic will show that there’s more than one way to break into the field and to break stigmas and negative stereotypes attached to creative careers.

Cat, who graduated with a degree in Illustration from DJCAD in 2016 said: “There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding artists that have led to the ‘starving artist’ trope, and this isn’t the case for all creatives.

“People still tend to view a career in the arts as risky because of tropes like this.

“That’s why I think it’s really important to get out this kind of information.

“A career in the arts doesn’t need to be a scary thing, it doesn’t need to be risky.”

The comic looks at careers in animation, comics, games, graphic design, illustration, jewellery, textiles, photography, and fashion photography, highlighting the variety of potential career paths and opportunities available to other aspiring creatives.

University of Dundee - Scottish News
Photo by the University of Dundee. Each story is illustrated by a different comic artist who also has a page in the book to tell their story about how they found their way into their artistic careers.

The pair want the comic to reach anyone with an interest in knowing the behind-the-scenes workings of the professional art world, from students thinking about studying a creative subject to parents and schools wanting to better understand to give support.

Ashling, who graduated with a degree in Animation from DJCAD in 2016, said, “It’s important to shine the light on just how diverse these careers can be because a lot of people who haven’t had much exposure to the creative field don’t understand it.

“We’re particularly interested in helping younger people who are interested in pursuing a creative career and in helping their parents.

“This comic is an informative resource that can offer a more solid idea and give peace of mind.”