Interview with Brittany Naundorff
Interview with Brittany Naundorff by Natalye Childress for Silver Sprocket
Tell us more about your comic in As You Were.
I decided to talk about this because I think that sexual harassment in the service industry is kind of overlooked, and I wanted to talk about something that people might experience or come in contact with every day.
You're expected to be nice to customers, and sometimes they cross a line that's inappropriate and unwanted. When I was thinking about making this comic, I talked to so many people who have worked in coffee, and EVERY single one of them had multiple stories to share. That's not OK!
Can you tell us more about the job you share in the comic?
I actually really liked the job that this comic was based off of. It was in a super tiny coffee shop in New Jersey that totally embraced the local music and art scene with open mics, artist features, book signings, etc.
I started working there when I was fed up with retail and stayed for years until I graduated college. I left when I got this big-girl job and got the heck out of Jersey! I sometimes still fantasize about quitting my current job and going back to being a barista…
What is the BEST job you’ve had?
The job that I have right now is pretty awesome. I design children's books at a publishing house. Since it's strictly design, I don't get to illustrate or anything, but I kind of like that! It's still super creative, and I have learned A LOT about design programs and text that I never would have known before. My coworkers are great, and I have a nice cube that I get to hang up all the Christmas lights and horror movie posters I want in.
What is the value or purpose in making art?
For me, I just like to MAKE. I guess like a writer who has to write, or a musician who has to play an instrument, sometimes I get the urge to create something. It's just inherently part of who I am that has to come out.
The only downside for me is that I sometimes struggle with making really personal work. I don't like to be vulnerable, and I don't like letting people know how I feel sometimes — but I just kind of see this as a challenge that I'm going to overcome eventually. I'm workin' on it! I'm really inspired by autobiographical comics and artists who have the ability to be so raw and so SAD and let the world see it. One day I will!
Do you think artists have a social responsibility?
I think that artists have a social responsibility... only if they want it. For some people, making art is really personal, and an escape from this CRAZY INSANE world. I don't think fun frivolous art is any more or less important than something politically/socially charged. Just do what makes you feel good!
What are you working on now?
I've recently been doing a lot of pet portraits! Which is totally different from comics. My cat recently had to go to the vet and the bill was pretty huge, so I reached out to friends and asked if they wanted their pet drawn for donations toward the bill. And I got SO MANY requests. The bill was fully paid, and I just kept going with them. (I'll probably be stuck doing them now until I die, to be honest...) But they are a lot of fun and it's a nice break from the usual [work].
If someone liked your comic in As You Were, what would you recommend they check out next?
Honestly, anyone else in AYW (Liz Bolduc, Sam Grinberg, etc. etc.). You can't go wrong — I love them all!
For more from Brittany Naundorff, check out her art and comics Tumblr pages.