Rheic (pronounced Ray-ic) is a traditional artist, freelance writer and recent youtuber. She has a fierce love for stories in all their forms and will likely die on a hill defending her life choices.
Otherwise known as Melissa, she resides in England. She would like to say she lives in an abandoned mansion with several cats and a skeleton butler - though this remains to be seen. One day, maybe.
1. How did you get into art?
Well not to be cliche but I've been drawing ever since I grasped that I liked making marks on blank things, and that paper would get me praise whereas walls got me lectures.
But since I guess you're after a more detailed answer - I first started to draw with purpose when my dad, who is also artistically inclined, let me read his 2000 AD comics and told me to copy pages I liked in order to improve my anatomy skills. He also showed me the work he did for his O level art way back in the 1980's and little me was blown away at how COOL his art was. It was full of gory black and white detail, crammed with skulls and death and lots of cool gritty heroes standing against monsters on motorbikes.
I decided I wanted to draw like that. And while my style hasn't evolved as raw as his or the artists that inspired him, It's still full of skeletons and monsters. And I am very very fine with that.
2. What equipment do you use for Youtube?
Ok so I'll be real honest with you here; I am cheap as all get out. I record all my footage on my phone, a Huawei Honour 9 Lite. I have a phone clamp on a swivel that my dad got me for Christmas which helps me get steady shots and frees up my hands. I currently have no lights set up aside from the skylight over my desk, so filming is definitely on a daylight timer. My editing software is Lightworks, a free video editor that is perfect for my needs if a little unintuitive at times.
The only expense so far is the microphone my tech geek boyfriend blessed me with. Prior to that I used the inbuilt microphone on my computer. Now I use this fancy thang and audacity (another bit of free software) to amp up my voiceovers.
Don't get me wrong, I would LIKE a proper camera, more mounts and some studio lights, hell some soundproofing and a dedicated studio space would be amazing. On the purely art side of things I would greatly appreciate a scanner and printer at home too. But liking the idea of something and being willing to slam money down for it are very different things.
You don't need much to get started. You certainly don't need much to make good content.
3. Why don't you ever draw anything pretty?
Honest answer - because it bores me. I can appreciate flowers, and model-esque faces, and cute chibi style characters. But attempting to recreate these things myself makes my pencil feel like wielding a fifteen ton boulder. I am attempting to learn more flowers, as they are a versatile talent to have, but I draw creepy things and skeletons and weird characters because it makes my soul cackle and bounce around in my ribcage. It's fun. I recommend it.
4. Are you open for commissions?
Always best to message me to find out! There are times when I am rammed with work producing youtube content and convention stock, and other, slower times where I try to wheel this single person madhouse into a pretence of productivity. I don't do much fan art, but please be detailed in what you want and we will see what I can do for you.
5. What events do you sell at?
Ahh, the eternal question. I generally don't know where I'm selling until the end of January in any given year. Later depending on the responsiveness of the convention in mind. Generally speaking I try to aim for comic and film cons around Sheffield, Manchester and Birmingham. I would gladly consider cities farther afield provided my travel and accommodation costs don't go through the roof.
6. You write as well??
Yes! I don't make that much noise about it but I have several novels on the go at any given time. It's a long, slow process to get them on paper and somewhat presentable, hence why I don't tell people much because they start to expect regular updates.
I also get distracted by shiny new ideas and projects a lot. There's a feral part of my brain begging to make a comic book version of my (hopefully) debut novel. It doesn't listen when I tell it that we can't make an adaption of something that hasn't even been finished yet. One day I might make it. Maybe. Hopefully. (A comic book would indeed be pretty cool...)
7. WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR THINGS????!!
First of all I am beyond thrilled that you want to purchase something of mine. Thank you!
Now is the perfect time to mention that I've opened an etsy storefront! I'm working on a selection of evergreen stock to keep year round and will always update when given the chance. If you want to support me anywhere, I would most appreciate it here ESPECIALLY since you get cool personalised thank you notes and customisation, so we can both feel the love!
I also have a selection of art available on my Redbubble and sell face-to-face at comic cons in the UK, but the convention scene is on hold due to Covid 19.