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Alumni Spotlight Rebecca Good

The MIAD alumni community is doing extraordinary things, and we want to shine a light on our alumni and their work. Through our Alumni Spotlight series we will feature the great work of the MIAD, MSA, and Layton alumni community.

Our frebeccagoodirst Alumni Spotlight features Rebecca Good ’13 (Illustration). 

MIAD: Thank you for joining us, Rebecca, tell us about yourself!
RG: My name is Rebecca Good (née McConnell) ’13 (Illustration). I am a freelance illustrator and Pulitzer Prize winning comic book colorist based in Milwaukee, WI. I have been freelancing since 2013, and I specialize in illustrating for tabletop games, sequential art, and in comic book coloring. In my career I’ve worked with clients across many fields, notably, Blue Juice Comics, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Image Comics and  Creating mood and narrative through color is my passion and my specialty. As a tabletop game illustrator, I love to tell a silly and whimsical narrative that would make me smile if I saw it in a board game I was playing.  When I’m not drawing or coloring, I enjoy petting my cat Vivian, and spending time watching cartoons with my husband Tom.

MIAD:  You’ve shared that you were a comic colorist on the comic How I escaped a Chinese internment camp which received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Illustrated Commentary and Reporting. Can you tell us a bit about the comic?
RG: This comic is a biography of Zumrat Dawut, a mother of three from Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang autonomous region in China. In this comic, she describes how the area turned into a police state, with Chinese authorities actively monitoring Uyghurs and taking anti-Muslim actions. This culminated in 2018, when she was arrested and sent to a detention facility for Uyghur women where she said she endured brutal living conditions and beatings. This comic, featuring art by Fahmida Azim, tells Zumrat’s story as told to Insider through a series of interviews as well as testimony given to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

MIAD: Interesting! How did you get involved?
RG: Someone in my network knew I was a colorist and reached out to me saying that had a friend who was a writer working on this project. That writer was Anthony Del Col, and the art director for comics at The Insider approached me via email to work as a colorist on this comic. I eagerly accepted and was very happy to work on something that was reporting such a personal and important story.

MIAD: What mediums did you use for the work?
I worked exclusively in Photoshop. However, I wanted to use a rougher watercolor texture for this story. I chose this purposefully as I felt that it suited the bold rough, and sometimes loose inkwork laid down by Azim. I also felt that it gave the work a very human and warm feel and was reminiscent of some of the watercolors found in traditional Chinese works.

MIAD: What does a comic colorist do, and how can a colorist help amplify the story elements?
A comic colorist simply colors in finished pages of inked comic work. A colorist is, I believe, most integral to shaping the emotional punch of a narrative. Color has been proven to affect one’s mood, and audiences often have strong cultural connections with certain colors. Using this knowledge, a colorist can skillfully change a comic reader’s perception of a story beat. Whether a beat in the story is happy, violent, unsettling, out of the ordinary, or any other emotion, that’s often communicated subconsciously through color.

MIAD: How did your time and education at MIAD help you get to where you are now?
RG: MIAD helped me get in the ‘business’ mindset of art.
I was able to get this job through maintaining good network connections, a skill that MIAD helped me cultivate in senior Illustration Practice classes.

MIAD: What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into the field of comics?
I would say practice your skills, make your own comics, and build your network through social media and other in person events, like conventions. As soon as you make your first comic, congratulations, you’re in the field of comics.

MIAD:  What projects are you working on now or are excited about in the future?
RG: Right now I’m really excited to be working on a creator owned property being published by Scout Comics, called Oswald and the Starchaser. I’m working as a colorist with a wonderful team, and it’s a classic coming of age story with an overly eager protagonist who learns to see the world as less black and white than he imagined. It’s set in a fantastical space kingdom in a galaxy far far away, and includes adventurous fights, space knights, and space chases.

MIAD: Thank you so much, Rebecca! Do you have anything else you would like to share?
RG: When I was working on (How I escaped a Chinese internment camp), I knew immediately I had to use a limited palette and stick to a lot of greys. I chose this because of the serious and heavy nature of this story, I didn’t at all want it to appear like a Sunday comic, or a superhero book. My second consideration was the cultural context of the readers of The Insider and to Duwat herself. It was most important to me to highlight the themes of freedom vs brutality, so I researched color meanings in Islam, and found that cyan was often associated with freedom and the sky. This made it the perfect color to illustrate Duwat’s periods of freedom from the camps, and of course her eventual escape to America.

Stay connected with Rebecca on Instagram or visit her website.

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