“You got to handle every line and page likes it's your best."
Creator of the comic book series Curves and Bullets. Will Eisner & Russ Manning Award nominee. Comic book & storyboard artist. Owner of Rolo Wear. Son of world class Dominican painter Clara Ledesma.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in New York City
Where did you grow up?
Manhattan and Queens, New York also some time in Montreal, Quebec.
How did your experiences affect your art?
In my early years living in Queens then in Manhattan the graffiti and Hip Hop music molded my vision then the combination of all forms of animation and comic books from American to European helped shaped my style, creativity and coloring also watching mom doing her paintings.
Your mother is Clara Ledesma. A very accomplished and phenomenal artist from the Dominican Republic. How has she and her work influenced you as an artist?
As far as mom's art, its her discipline to complete what she started and her work ethic. She never failed a deadline. It's why her name was never tarnished here (In the United States), in Dominican Republic or Canada, etc.
Her strong vibrant coloring influenced me too. I love using it in my art.
Learn more about Clara Ledesma:
What type of stories do you like to make comics about?
I mostly do action-adventure comics and children's books. Children books are fun- I get to draw in a whole other style that is much gentler and soft but still brings aspects of the way I do my comics such as angles, expressions, etc.
Whats your process? Elaborate on how you work through your projects. How do you break up your time for your projects at different stages?
I mostly draw my projects at night after I'm done drawing storyboards at ad agencies during the day, the peace and stillness of the evening helps. I put on my headphones put on my music and away I go!
Most people don’t have the determination to do something and stick to it from start to finish.
If you actually sit down and write your story, if you draw it out in panels, you put yourself several steps ahead. Set goals for yourself.
Give yourself a few weeks or a few months to go over an idea, to do sketches of it in your sketchbook, to talk to friends about it.
Once those weeks or months are over, you’ve got to move on to the actual writing and drawing it doesn't matter how scared you are time put the first line on the paper.
Worst practices. What to avoid? Biggest waste of time? Biggest Novice mistakes? Common mistakes seen at pro level from artists.
I a lot of times procrastinate, its normal we can't just turn on the switch and draw, etc ...but at that moment you need start looking at things that inspire you art, comics, music, film..and you will see how the flow will come back.
Sometimes it shows in the art if you are not feeling the characters or the storyline (it happens to everyone from pros to newcomers), its ok but you got to handle every line and page likes its your best work, step back for a few and go back to it if that feeling occurs.
Thats how I do it if it happens to me . We all have different methods- feel whats comfortable to you.
Who should/ shouldn’t pursue a career in comics?
To pursue a career in comics is not easy that's the first thing. If you have determination, the heart and end goal also working lotsa hours and from day or evening late hours to create something everlasting then jump right in its a beautiful thing creating comics.
If you can't stick to deadlines and go through changes in the process that happen such as the changing of layouts or characters, the costumes, panel works, and story, etc and can't take critiques then comic books might not be a field for you.
To newcomers, if you have that spark to create and love for illustrating start with a plan look at your inspirations.
We all have inspirations, see the process and study layouts in you favorites books and study their style too imitation is ok to a certain extent then you need to create your own style- it will come as time moves on.
What do you recommend to aspiring artists that you wish you had known much earlier? What would you advise yourself 20 years ago?
Something I wish I had learned earlier is anatomy, it's super important , thats a must no matter what style you draw in (comic or manga style). I tried out to Marvel many moons ago and the submissions editor at that time Mr. Lewendowski told me, “ Your talent is raw but your muscle structure needs help.” He recommended Gray's Anatomy, a great book to use and Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art book ..two amazing books that helped me so much.
What do you love best about making comics?
What I love about making comics is to create new worlds, seeing the images in your head then putting them on paper and seeing the pages come alive basically and having a team of like minded people that write and also color your stories is very key in that process.
Well me being independent so many years I love being a creator-owned illustrator and self publishing comic book creator. I can always have freedom to do and create anything I desire.
I was nominated a few years ago for the honorable Wil Eisner /Russ Manning newcomer in the comic book industry award, that alone in itself was amazing for me.
It was doing my art with a small indie comic book publisher here in NYC ..working with Seen, the graffiti legend among others that helped shaped the book with Brian Ferrara writing and Phetus, another graff legend that made that book possible. Its funny how that book I drew it in the classic Looney Tunes / Ralph Bashki style was nominated compared to my other traditional comic style.
What do you wish was different about the comics industry?
Many of the big houses are amazing but you are some what limited once you are hired.
Which books do you recommend artists should have in their reference library?
Books I recommend. I always have em on my self ...
Draw Out the Story: Ten Secrets to Creating Your Own Comics
Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators: Mastering the Art of Drawing from Memory
Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist
My favorite artists are mostly the legends I grew up with, met and became friends with (Something I never even thought would happen) like Jim Steranko and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. I wish I would of met John Buscema. I love and admire the works of Alex Ross, Brian Bolland and Nick Manabat.
Top 5 favorite comic characters. Why?
Judge Dredd, the gritty and amazing art and storylines.
Batman The Dark Knight, what is else there to say ..lol 75 years strong.
Spider Woman, the original version Marie Severin created, an amazing character.
Cable, hard nosed mutant and awesome character with multi-levels.
Deathblow by Jim Lee kinda obscure but i loved the storyline and art technique and
Cybernary Nick Manabat's finest beautiful dark and gritty work and sadly his only work due to his passing
Top 5 favorite comics and graphic novels?
Judge Dredd meets Batman vol. 1
DC vs Marvel Crossovers graphic novel
Tintin Objectif Lune
Asterix Vs The Galles
Milo Manara's Gullivera: Oversized Deluxe
What type of work are you interested in doing?
I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing now...storyboarding and comic books.
How can others find your work?
You can find me at: