Instagram: @msmollym

 

1.​ ​What’s​ ​your​ ​story?​ ​Where​ ​are​ ​you​ ​from?

My​ ​name​ ​is​ ​Molly​ ​Mendoza.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​born​ ​just​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​Chicago,​ ​Illinois.​ ​I​ ​lived​ ​in​ ​Surprise, Arizona​ ​from​ ​high​ ​school​ ​till​ ​I​ ​started​ ​college.​ ​I​ ​moved​ ​out​ ​to​ ​Portland,​ ​Oregon​ ​for​ ​art​ ​school​ ​and wound​ ​up​ ​sticking​ ​around.​ ​My​ ​personal​ ​story​ ​is​ ​a​ ​pendulum​ ​swing​ ​between​ ​me​ ​getting​ ​all tangled​ ​in​ ​some​ ​dumb​ ​drama​ ​and​ ​being​ ​holed​ ​up​ ​in​ ​my​ ​room​ ​playing​ ​video​ ​games.

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2.​ ​Tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​your​ ​aesthetic.

I​ ​think​ ​my​ ​aesthetic​ ​is​ ​very​ ​crayola​ ​crayon​ ​melted​ ​all​ ​over​ ​concrete​ ​under​ ​the​ ​hot​ ​sun.​ ​I​ ​love bold​ ​colors,​ ​energetic​ ​patterns​ ​but​ ​I​ ​also​ ​really​ ​dig​ ​moments​ ​of​ ​still​ ​and​ ​quiet.​ ​There​ ​also​ ​is always​ ​a​ ​little​ ​burn​ ​or​ ​sting.​ ​I​ ​think​ ​that​ ​sort​ ​of​ ​describes​ ​my​ ​work​ ​in​ ​some​ ​ways​ ​too.

3.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​favourite​ ​medium​ ​and​ ​why?

My​ ​favorite​ ​medium​ ​is​ ​sumi​ ​ink.​ ​I​ ​just​ ​love​ ​the​ ​way​ ​it​ ​lays​ ​into​ ​the​ ​page​ ​and​ ​working​ ​with​ ​brush allows​ ​me​ ​to​ ​express​ ​moods​ ​through​ ​strokes.​ ​It’s​ ​also​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​manipulate​ ​and​ ​it​ ​smells​ ​kind​ ​of nice​ ​too.

4.​ ​What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​artistic​ ​process​ ​like?

Well,​ ​it​ ​doesn’t​ ​always​ ​come​ ​naturally​ ​when​ ​I​ ​want​ ​it​ ​to.​ ​A​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​times​ ​I​ ​really​ ​have​ ​to​ ​be​ ​feeling the​ ​energy​ ​of​ ​whatever​ ​I​ ​am​ ​working​ ​on.​ ​So​ ​much​ ​of​ ​my​ ​own​ ​personal​ ​emotion​ ​goes​ ​into​ ​the process.​ ​It’s​ ​not​ ​like​ ​I​ ​am​ ​crying​ ​right​ ​onto​ ​the​ ​page​ ​or​ ​anything​ ​but​ ​I​ ​just​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​in​ ​the​ ​right headspace​ ​to​ ​work​ ​on​ ​certain​ ​topics.​ ​I​ ​get​ ​in​ ​the​ ​right​ ​headspace​ ​through​ ​music​ ​or​ ​reading. Sometimes​ ​the​ ​best​ ​headspace​ ​is​ ​after​ ​taking​ ​some​ ​R&R​ ​time​ ​with​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​family. Technically​ ​speaking​ ​my​ ​process​ ​involves​ ​drawing​ ​the​ ​image​ ​using​ ​brush​ ​and​ ​sumi​ ​ink.​ ​After​ ​I finish​ ​the​ ​image​ ​I​ ​scan​ ​it​ ​into​ ​the​ ​computer​ ​and​ ​work​ ​at​ ​it​ ​digitally​ ​using​ ​photoshop.

5.​ ​Who​ ​and/or​ ​what​ ​inspires​ ​your​ ​work?

I​ ​am​ ​really​ ​inspired​ ​by​ ​the​ ​people​ ​and​ ​places​ ​that​ ​I​ ​interact​ ​with​ ​on​ ​a​ ​day​ ​to​ ​day.​ ​The relationships​ ​that​ ​I​ ​build​ ​with​ ​others​ ​or​ ​the​ ​relationships​ ​that​ ​they​ ​share​ ​amongst​ ​themselves inform​ ​the​ ​personality​ ​in​ ​my​ ​work​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​bit.​ ​For​ ​instance,​ ​I​ ​made​ ​a​ ​comic​ ​called​ ​The​ ​Worst​ ​for  Zainab​ ​Akhtar’s​ ​Shortbox.​ ​In​ ​this​ ​comic​ ​two​ ​girls​ ​on​ ​a​ ​swim​ ​team​ ​have​ ​a​ ​toxic​ ​friendship​ ​that deteriorates​ ​further​ ​and​ ​further​ ​over​ ​the​ ​course​ ​of​ ​the​ ​story.​ ​Their​ ​falling​ ​out​ ​is​ ​told​ ​from​ ​the perspective​ ​of​ ​their​ ​peers​ ​via​ ​gossip.​ ​I​ ​know​ ​this​ ​is​ ​something​ ​that​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​us​ ​have​ ​experienced whether​ ​we​ ​are​ ​the​ ​ones​ ​spilling​ ​the​ ​gossip​ ​or​ ​we​ ​are​ ​the​ ​ones​ ​getting​ ​our​ ​dirty​ ​laundry​ ​aired out.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been​ ​on​ ​both​ ​sides​ ​and​ ​I​ ​remember​ ​the​ ​relationships​ ​I​ ​sadly​ ​ended​ ​or​ ​the​ ​interactions  I​ ​spectated.​ ​Neither​ ​of​ ​those​ ​experiences​ ​felt​ ​good​ ​but​ ​that​ ​feeling​ ​put​ ​me​ ​in​ ​the​ ​place​ ​to​ ​make the​ ​comic​ ​and​ ​develop​ ​those​ ​characters.

6.​ ​What​ ​role​ ​does​ ​art​ ​play​ ​in​ ​your​ ​life?​ ​How​ ​does​ ​it​ ​change​ ​the​ ​way​ ​you​ ​view​ ​the​ ​world?

Art,​ ​for​ ​me,​ ​can​ ​act​ ​like​ ​a​ ​tool​ ​that​ ​I​ ​use​ ​to​ ​reach​ ​out​ ​to​ ​people.​ ​Sometimes​ ​it​ ​is​ ​easier​ ​for​ ​me​ ​to express​ ​how​ ​I​ ​feel​ ​with​ ​a​ ​comic​ ​or​ ​a​ ​drawing​ ​versus​ ​actually​ ​saying​ ​it​ ​out​ ​loud.​ ​That​ ​might​ ​be​ ​a little​ ​corny​ ​but​ ​I​ ​have​ ​found​ ​that​ ​when​ ​I​ ​get​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​conversation​ ​about​ ​what​ ​was​ ​made​ ​with someone​ ​suddenly​ ​we​ ​are​ ​talking​ ​more​ ​in​ ​depth​ ​about​ ​the​ ​topic​ ​and​ ​its​ ​surrounding​ ​topics.​ ​I​ ​feel the​ ​same​ ​about​ ​other​ ​people’s​ ​art.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​these​ ​little​ ​pieces​ ​of​ ​themselves​ ​and​ ​by​ ​engaging with​ ​their​ ​work​ ​I​ ​feel​ ​like​ ​I​ ​can​ ​get​ ​a​ ​glimpse​ ​of​ ​what​ ​they​ ​are​ ​thinking​ ​or​ ​feeling.

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7.​ ​Where​ ​did​ ​you​ ​study?

I​ ​studied​ ​at​ ​Estrella​ ​Mountain​ ​Community​ ​College​ ​doing​ ​photography​ ​under​ ​Peter​ ​Bugg.​ ​He really​ ​took​ ​me​ ​under​ ​his​ ​wing​ ​for​ ​a​ ​long​ ​while​ ​and​ ​had​ ​me​ ​help​ ​him​ ​with​ ​installations.​ ​It​ ​was awesome​ ​because​ ​I​ ​got​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​so​ ​much​ ​about​ ​art​ ​practice​ ​and​ ​gallery​ ​work​ ​by​ ​working alongside​ ​him.​ ​When​ ​I​ ​moved​ ​to​ ​Portland​ ​I​ ​studied​ ​at​ ​Pacific​ ​Northwest​ ​College​ ​of​ ​Art.​ ​I​ ​went​ ​in thinking​ ​I​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​do​ ​GFA​ ​but​ ​I​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​go​ ​with​ ​Illustration​ ​and​ ​see​ ​what​ ​happens.​ ​I​ ​am happy​ ​I​ ​did!​ ​I​ ​thankfully​ ​got​ ​to​ ​take​ ​other​ ​classes​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​illustration​ ​while​ ​I​ ​was​ ​there​ ​and experiment​ ​with​ ​different​ ​mediums​ ​and​ ​processes.​ ​My​ ​professors​ ​were​ ​awesome​ ​and​ ​all​ ​of them​ ​really​ ​helped​ ​me​ ​develop​ ​a​ ​critical​ ​eye​ ​in​ ​regards​ ​to​ ​my​ ​own​ ​work​ ​but​ ​also​ ​the​ ​tools​ ​to engage​ ​artwork​ ​out​ ​in​ ​the​ ​world.

8.​ ​Where​ ​do​ ​you​ ​see​ ​yourself​ ​in​ ​five​ ​years?

I​ ​am​ ​still​ ​making​ ​things​ ​and​ ​maybe​ ​I​ ​am​ ​not​ ​in​ ​a​ ​studio​ ​apartment​ ​anymore!

9.​ ​What​ ​about​ ​in​ ​ten?

I​ ​am​ ​making​ ​even​ ​bigger​ ​things​ ​and​ ​I​ ​have​ ​more​ ​than​ ​one​ ​bedroom​ ​in​ ​my​ ​apartment!​ ​WHAT!! Also​ ​my​ ​looks​ ​are​ ​on​ ​point​ ​and​ ​fully​ ​realized​ ​at​ ​this​ ​phase​ ​in​ ​my​ ​life.

10.​ ​What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​achieve​ ​with​ ​your​ ​art?

My​ ​art​ ​is​ ​always​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​someone.​ ​Sometimes​ ​I​ ​think​ ​the​ ​comics​ ​that​ ​I​ ​have​ ​made​ ​are me​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​myself​ ​when​ ​I​ ​was​ ​younger,​ ​my​ ​sister,​ ​my​ ​friends​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​people​ ​I​ ​grew​ ​up with.​ ​It’s​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​say​ ​“Hey​ ​you’re​ ​not​ ​alone.​ ​What​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​isn’t​ ​weird​ ​-​ ​it’s​ ​valid.”​ ​However,​ ​I can’t​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​them​ ​–​ ​the​ ​past​ ​is​ ​the​ ​past.​ ​So​ ​instead​ ​I​ ​am​ ​reaching​ ​out​ ​to​ ​people​ ​now​ ​who​ ​may have​ ​had​ ​similar​ ​experiences​ ​growing​ ​up​ ​or​ ​may​ ​be​ ​experiencing​ ​those​ ​things​ ​now.​ ​I​ ​hope​ ​that my​ ​work​ ​brings​ ​a​ ​comfort​ ​to​ ​people​ ​but​ ​also​ ​emboldens​ ​them​ ​in​ ​their​ ​future​ ​endeavors.

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11.​ ​Now,​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​little​ ​more​ ​about​ ​you​ ​as​ ​a​ ​person:​ ​what​ ​is​ ​your​ ​favourite​ ​food?

I​ ​know​ ​my​ ​“brand”​ ​is​ ​that​ ​I​ ​love​ ​hot​ ​dogs​ ​and​ ​it​ ​is​ ​true​ ​I​ ​LOVE​ ​HOT​ ​DOGS​ ​but​ ​I​ ​think​ ​my​ ​favorite food​ ​as​ ​of​ ​late​ ​has​ ​been​ ​egg​ ​on​ ​rice.​ ​When​ ​I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​college​ ​my​ ​roommat ​and​ ​wonderful designer,​ ​Erica​ ​Larson​ ​showed​ ​me​ ​how​ ​to​ ​eat​ ​cheaply​ ​with​ ​a​ ​fried​ ​egg​ ​on​ ​rice.​ ​She​ ​helped​ ​me not​ ​burn​ ​the​ ​rice​ ​and​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​the​ ​egg​ ​was​ ​super​ ​runny.​ ​Years​ ​later​ ​I​ ​went​ ​on​ ​a​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​Tokyo and​ ​I​ ​had​ ​raw​ ​egg​ ​for​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​on​ ​rice.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​so​ ​delicious​ ​and​ ​it​ ​brought​ ​me​ ​back​ ​to​ ​little me,​ ​uncertain,​ ​barely​ ​can​ ​take​ ​care​ ​of​ ​themselves,​ ​etc.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​like​ ​“Wow!​ ​Look​ ​at​ ​you​ ​now, Mendoza!”

12.​ ​Favourite​ ​book?

That​ ​is​ ​so​ ​difficult​ ​to​ ​answer​ ​why​ ​do​ ​you​ ​have​ ​to​ ​do​ ​this​ ​to​ ​me.​ ​I’ll​ ​have​ ​to​ ​go​ ​with​ ​my​ ​favorite manga​ ​which​ ​is​ ​One​ ​Piece.​ ​One​ ​Piece​ ​is​ ​super​ ​good​ ​-​ ​and​ ​although​ ​I​ ​have​ ​definitely​ ​read​ ​other things​ ​that​ ​are​ ​amazing​ ​and​ ​astounding​ ​and​ ​made​ ​me​ ​look​ ​into​ ​my​ ​very​ ​person​ ​-​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been reading​ ​this​ ​comic​ ​for​ ​13​ ​years​ ​now​ ​and​ ​I​ ​know​ ​I​ ​am​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​wreck​ ​when​ ​Luffy​ ​and​ ​co. finish​ ​their​ ​adventure.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​all​ ​my​ ​friends.

13.​ ​Favourite​ ​genre​ ​of​ ​music?

I​ ​really​ ​love​ ​R&B,​ ​Hip​ ​Hop,​ ​Rap,​ ​and​ ​Electronic​ ​music.​ ​I​ ​dig​ ​folk/alternative​ ​too.​ ​But​ ​if​ ​we​ ​are talking​ ​karaoke​ ​then​ ​there​ ​is​ ​only​ ​one​ ​genre​ ​and​ ​it​ ​is​ ​The​ ​Killers​ ​Mr.​ ​Brightside.

14.​ ​What​ ​are​ ​your​ ​hobbies?

I​ ​really​ ​love​ ​talking​ ​to​ ​my​ ​brother​ ​and​ ​sister.​ ​I​ ​also​ ​love​ ​playing​ ​D&D,​ ​grinding​ ​on​ ​Monster Hunter,​ ​filling​ ​shopping​ ​carts​ ​online,​ ​beer,​ ​watching​ ​sport​ ​anime,​ ​and​ ​goofing​ ​off​ ​with​ ​my​ ​friends.

15.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​weren’t​ ​an​ ​artist,​ ​what​ ​would​ ​you​ ​be?

I​ ​would​ ​be​ ​all​ ​of​ ​your​ ​wildest​ ​dreams​ ​come​ ​true.

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