We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Bellamy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mary, what principle do you value most?
Tenacity is one of the most important values to me. I will be the first person to admit I”ve failed a lot. I’ve not gotten jobs and have been rejected from projects. It stung but it’s just not in me to give up. With each failure, I learned something. Maybe the work I put up wasn’t my best work so I worked harder to fix that. Maybe I hadn’t communicated my idea as well as I could have so I worked on that. Maybe I hadn’t done my best so I tried harder. Sometimes it works and you get in and other times it helps you to realize that maybe you need to reorient your efforts so long as you don’t give up and stop trying altogether. Maybe your failure wasn’t as grand as you think and maybe you’re closer than you realize. With a little more effort and a bit of luck, you’ll succeed. I think keeping the drive and desire to keep moving forward is the one thing that can get you through all the failures and hardships you’ll encounter in your career.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
So, I’m an artist who’s done many different things. I’ve created entire properties like my graphic novel series Ah Heck!! The Angel Chronicles and Faux Facts – The Truth Can Be Strange! which are primarily targeted at girls. I set out to create girls-oriented projects that I would have liked to have read as a kid but that I noticed weren’t very prevalent. There are oodles of princess stories out there and I didn’t feel like I had anything new to say about that genre so I opted for comedy, supernatural hijinks, and stories themed around the afterlife. Many parents seek me out at conventions for that very reason.

Outside of comics and pitching stories to studios, my artwork is my best-known form of expression. My art style is a hodgepodge of western American styles influenced by Disney, Warner Bros, and 80’s cartoons with a dash of the eastern anime and video game aesthetic with an indie twist. I love to draw cute, colorful characters and sometimes I make merchandise for them. My Zorilita Guardian Dolls were an exclusive San Diego Comic-Con toy line that won the third coolest indie toy awards on Syfy in 2018. That was a great moment for me.

For a time, I was also in an all-girls drawing group called Girls Drawin’ Girls which put on some gallery shows and also exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con. I also do several panels and workshops at these shows including teaching Girl Scouts how to draw comics. I love these sorts of outreach programs.

Without delving too much into the negative, all the challenges and obstacles in my personal life forced me to become more self-sufficient, independent, and tenacious. I had to learn to become confident in my work and build trust by working hard, communicating effectively, and finding creative solutions to problems.

My brand is about embracing girls, much like myself, who don’t necessarily fit into the mainstream guidelines. It’s ok, to be weird, funny, and strong. They deserve to be seen so I wanted to write positive stories about that kind of girl and inspire them to be their unique selves.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wow! There are so many things I can think of to do in Los Angeles but here are a few of my top favorite things.

Little Tokyo is full of amazing shops. I happen to love anime, manga, and collectibles and there are several great stores in this area of Los Angeles. If you like toys, check out Anime Jungle and Anime Station for all sorts of figures, plush dolls, and more. If you’re more into independent artists, I definitely recommend checking out Qpop which hosts several art gallery showings and has art and toys sold by independent creators. While looking at the shops and you get a little peckish I’d recommend checking out Fugetsu-Do Bakery Shop, for authentic Japanese desserts, and the several smaller macaron and pastry shops like Tous Les Jours and Yamazaki Bakery. If you’re looking for sushi and noodle shops there are several to choose from. And if you’re looking to try out some groceries check out the Marukai market.

From there I love going to the LA Farmer’s Market and the surrounding Grove especially around Christmas time as it’s very nicely decorated. It’s nice to walk through all the small stalls in the market to see all the fresh baked goods, fruits, meats, and small restaurants. I really like going to T&Y Bakery for their cookies and macarons. If I’m looking for a nice meal I usually go to Magianno’s.

If you’re into museums, like I am, I would check out The Getty, LACMA, Natural History Museum, the Science Center, and the Exposition Park Gardens. I particularly love the gardens because there are so many beautiful roses that make for wonderful photographs.

Finally, as an independent artist, I love going to Stuart NG Books over in Torrance. He has mountains of the artist, animation, and hard-to-find art books, many of which are signed by the artists themselves. I’ve found good art of books here. It’s really easy to spend a lot of money here if you love the art behind your favorite animated movies and comics. It’s located pretty close to a Marukai and Mitsuwa store as well so it’s a win-win.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that have supported me over the years that it’s hard to think of everyone so I hope I don’t leave anyone out. Firstly my dad was my biggest fan his love of superheroes and comics was my inspiration to go into art. Mike and Carol Curtis of SFA and Elin Winkler of Radio Comix were the editors that gave me my first break into published comics and illustration. Girls Drawin’ Girls gave me the confidence to do my first gallery shows. Llyn Hunter for encouraging me to get my first table at San Diego Comic-Con and to put myself out to approach studios for work. Mark Irwin for getting me started in the sketch card industry. Bobby Curnow for giving me my first My Little Pony illustration job. The awesome folks at Renegade Game Studios who gave me my first gaming job. I also want to thank all my friends, family, and Patreon supporters for giving me their support.

Website: www.marybellamy.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/zorilitamarybellamy

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marybellamy/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/zorilita

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zorilita

Youtube: www.youtube.com/zorilita

Other: Online Store www.zorilita.com

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