Kendra Minadeo has been illustrating ever since she was a wee lass. With adorable characters and painterly landscapes, Kendra’s work often carries an emotional core and a story to tell.
Kendra resides in lovely Los Angeles with her hilarious husband, darling baby boy and a few hardy house plants. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for my artist interview series.
What have you learned so far about running a business with a newborn?
It’s a little early to tell how things are going to go. He’s only 8 weeks old and still on a feeding schedule of every 2-3 hours, but I have been able to fill orders as they come in through my Etsy shop and enjoy walking to the post office with my little boy in a sling. He often falls asleep on the way. I think things will find a steadier rhythm in the coming months and eventually he will go to daycare as he gets older and I start taking on more projects. As I write this, Finn is in a cuddle bug wrap sleeping on me. Babies this young pretty much want to be as close to the womb as possible. :)
How on earth did you manage to vend at Stan Lee Comic Con while 37 weeks pregnant?
My husband Josh is a big nerd and loves coming to cons with me. He has always made conventions easier by taking care of me while I vend. Getting me food, water, tea and watching my table when I need to leave. We did the same thing at Stan Lee’s Comic Con, but we also asked our good friend Fred to help just in case I went into labor. I sat a lot more and took a nap in the car at least once. :)
Do you have a favorite convention?
Wondercon has been my favorite to vend at so far. It’s fairly well organized, publicized, brings in tons of people to artist alley, and tables are reasonably priced. My favorite to attend, and hopefully vend at in 2017, is DesignerCon in Pasadena, which is one big artist alley with fabulous talent and superbly high quality work. It would feel like a badge of honor to be one of those artists.
How do you balance fan art and your original creations?
Most of the commissions and art shows I do are fan art but my long term goal is children’s illustration and picture books, as my work naturally veers towards storytelling. I already have an agent, so my immediate task is to make more original content in order to show publishers what I’m capable of. Fan art naturally does better at conventions, but I’m always a little surprised how well my original pieces sell.
I try to aim for a 50/50 balance of fan art and original creations since both are important right now. But I make sure to only make fan art pieces of subjects I care about. Early on I took some commissions for properties I wasn’t attached to, and when people starting asking for more pieces of those subjects, I realized I didn’t want to get stuck working on something I didn’t care about just because it sells. I needed to find that happy medium so I wouldn’t become disenchanted.
For the Tiny Wonderland show, you painted a series based on the show Stranger Things. Which character do you identify with most?
According to the BuzzFeed test, I’m Mike, but of course I’d totally love to be Eleven. You know, cause she’s a badass with super powers.
Kendra is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles (SILA). You can see more of her work on her website and purchase available pieces at her Etsy shop.