Cool Girls with Tag: comic

Riley Silverman

Riley Silverman HeadshotName: Riley Silverman
Age: 36
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Comedian/Writer

Riley Silverman is hilarious. This writer and comedienne extraordinaire has been slaying stand-up for over a decade, and making audiences laugh, ponder, and get inspired through her wordsmithing gigs and outspokenness.

Growing up in an Ohio suburb, Riley wanted to be an inventor, generally speaking. “I just wanted to [be] someone who could think of impossible ideas that could then be a reality. Like time machines and stuff like that,” she says. “Once I learned how hard science actually was, I shifted gears toward performing and writing, and never really left that.”

By the young age of nineteen, Riley was hitting the open mic scene. “I wasn’t even sure I’d be allowed into the club because they had a 21+ policy for customers,” she recalls. “It was my dream for most of my childhood, to be a comedian, so it was just kind of a thing I knew I had to do.”

Riley Silverman Stand-up Comic and WriterAfter years of making a name for herself as an active comic, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her goals. She’s been relentless, releasing a comedy album, Intimate Apparel, writing for a MaxFun podcast, and even being featured on a show that presented the diverse range of female comics living in LA.

After being an avid listener to MaxFun podcasts, and even getting guest appearances on some of their shows, she had the opportunity to apply for a writing job at International Waters, a show of their’s that is a UK vs US comedy panel. She got the job, and one year later was promoted to head writer. Every month Riley writes two shows alongside a British writer. “Mostly it’s a lot of notes to each other over email and in Google Drive due to the time difference,” she explains.

All of this isn’t to say that the life of a star has been all puppies, kittens, and rainbows for Riley. She still fights against transphobia, and the pervasive closed-mindedness of some fellow citizens of the Earth. “I still struggle every day with people not seeing me for who I am and it’s hard not to internalize that over time.”

But, not one to battle silently, Riley puts money where her mouth is. Whenever she gets a chance to be a part of a benefit show or a project where she gets to select a charity, she picks Trans Lifeline.

“I managed to raise over four thousand dollars for them last summer the day that Donald Trump announced his plans to ban trans service members for the military,” she says. “I was just angry and feeling helpless and I figured a lot of other folks were too, so I just was like “Well this is the thing I can do today.”’

When she’s not hitting the stage with her stand-up, writing for International Waters, SYFY Fangrrls, or any other of her numerous projects, she’s stepping out of the TARDIS. “I got pretty into cosplaying the last several years, especially for Doctor Who,” she says. “I’m slowly working on making a female version of every previous Doctor for cons and stuff, but since they also cast Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor, I’m shifting gears just a bit and working on nailing her outfit as close to screen as I can.”

So what does this wordsmithing, time-traveling comedy champion have to advise other young people wrestling with their authentic identity or trying to climb the ladder from a creative foothold?

“I think very few things in life are forever, even when they seem like it, for better or for worse. Know that nothing bad has to last, you can find ways to get out of bad situations, but also know to appreciate the good stuff while you have it and not take it for granted either.”

Some great advice from Riley Silverman, who we think is a very Cool Girl!

Chelsey Furedi

Name: Chelsey Furedi
Age: 21
Location: New Zealand
Occupation: Animator

When she was only 12, animator Chelsey Furedi was already beginning to create her own illustrations for her own stories. Now, at 21, the New Zealander is making art her career.

Chelsey began storytelling in her preteen years, and by 13 she was writing novels about romance and ghosts. Along with her equally artistic friends, she would spend lunch in the library crafting projects.

“I loved this experience because we got to share our stories with each other and help improve our works. I loved coming up with new worlds, and expressing myself through my characters…no matter how cliche they were,” Chelsey says.

After becoming involved in online art communities and fandom, Chelsey decided she wanted to study animation in college. As a result of those online fan-made animations, parodies, and music videos, she began to study character design, concept art, and storyboarding while in university. Now she is a professional animator, and the creator of the comic Rock and Riot!

“Rock and Riot is my passion project that soon turned into my side job!” she explains. “It’s a queer themed webcomic about 1950’s rivaling gangs. I made it because I wanted a story that everyone could see themselves in, and could finish reading it with a smile.”

When she’s not at her animation job, drawing comics, livestreaming herself drawing comics, she’s spending her spare time playing video games like Sims (“living my dream life with a wife and an art career”) or Life Is Strange. But drawing is more than a job. “I draw for my job, I draw for my hobby, and to wind down, it’s just more drawing,” Chelsey says.

Both her newest and oldest endeavor is Project Nought, a science fiction tale revolving around a time travel exchange program. She’s been dreaming of it since she was 15, and has finally paired the perfect plot with her now-six-year-old characters. “I’m excited to launch it and finally share it with the world!”

Beyond the challenges of creating 24/7, Chelsey says her largest hurdle at the moment is growing her presence online.

“I am aiming to make a full time living off my comics, so it’s all about networking and making the right decisions about where/how often I am present online,” she says. “I’m constantly working to grow my brand and put out great stories that people enjoy, and would like to pay me for. My dream is to own a city apartment with big windows, lots of plants, and have all  the time to work on my own things.”

A goal that this moving image maven is bound to achieve! And what advice does Chelsey have for budding artists and storytellers alike?

“If you have a passion, go for it! If you like to tell stories or draw, do it! Grab your old school book or some scrap paper, and make your stories happen!”

For her passion and her pictorial purpose, with think Chelsey Furedi is a very Cool Girl!

You can see more of Chelsey’s work on her website, http://rockandriotcomic.com/, and on her YouTube channel.

Lucy Knisley

Lucy1Name: Lucy Knisley
Age: 31
Location: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Graphic novel artist and author

Author and artist Lucy Knisley has been at the drawing board since she was a kid. She began publishing comics in her college newspaper at the age of nineteen, and published her first graphic novel with Simon & Schuster at twenty-one years old! Employing a literary agent, and asking for advice from fellow comic artists more seasoned on the business end, she was able to navigate the publishing world with aplomb, putting out several books and contributing to many publications and anthologies. This past year she put out another work, called Something New, and her most recent edition…a baby! (Lucy and her husband John Hortsman welcomed their son to the world in June.)

“Everything in life is an opportunity to experience something new and to write about it and make artwork, so I’m hoping this one doesn’t totally wipe me out with exhaustion!” Lucy said, prior to the baby’s delivery. One thing is certain, motherhood is something – like travel, food, and marriage – that Lucy will lend her ink, wit, and wisdom to on the page and the web.

Lucy2At an early age, Lucy channeled the inspiration she gleaned from reading comic books into making her own, scribbling out her own fan comics related to the Archie series, and using her craft to interpret her experiences as she grew up.

After her education she continued to create, and this multi-talented lady didn’t decide to go the tres chic “starving artist” route of suffering for her craft. Lucy chose to structure her art as though it were a conventional job, and by creating a routine she was able to cultivate professional clout.

“I think the insecurity and doubt everyone faces early on in a profession is tough to overcome,” she explains. “In the arts, it’s impossible to feel confident about the future when you’re at the beginning, and it took me years of working and developing my practice to gain the confidence to feel secure in what I do. It’s helped considerably to make myself keep to a regular office schedule, and to treat drawing and writing as a career, rather than a passion. It’s important to me that I feel respect for my own work, and important for others to understand that it’s a respectable job,” Lucy explains.

RelishLucy’s work is reflective and autobiographical—be it about growing up with a chef mom in Relish, jet-setting around the world in An Age of License, family and a cruise vacation in Displacement, or the mayhem that becomes marriage in Something New, she uses her own experiences and perspective to weave touching, universal works of comic art.

When she’s asked to reflect on the part of the process that is the most dear to her, Lucy is able to come up with a decisive answer.

“The inking stage of a comic. That’s when the possibility of a blank page, ready to be filled by the developed idea, is particularly exciting, and I can watch the comic take shape,” she says.

Lucy3

As for advice for young people who are trying their hands at making art, she has some simple, common-sense gems to bestow.

“Just work at it until it gets a little bit easier. And hydrate! And remember to take breaks and eat and pay attention to your body’s needs, like getting outdoors or moving or sleeping. You’ll not benefit from neglecting your body – it’s the basic tool that you need to do your job!”

Moreover, she believes that asking your peers for guidance and support is what is really key to the process.

“Other girls and women in cool professions are the best and greatest resource you can possibly imagine. Hold up your fellow lady, and your fellow lady will hold you up! My editor, agent, and most successful colleagues are all women I love and believe in, and I’m always meeting more incredible women and girls who blow me away with their talent and generosity,” Lucy beams. “It can be a tough and unfair world sometimes, but knowing you’ve got an arsenal of great ladies at your back can make all the difference in dealing with the nonsense.”

Lucy Knisley is one creative Cool Girl! Congratulations, Lucy and John, on the birth of your son!