"I guess you could say I am interested in three big things: illustration, animation and comic making."
Two years ago, Alex Cline, senior majoring in studio art with a concentration in drawing, heard from a friend that The Daily Beacon was looking for comic artists. After submitting some comics, he was given the position and ever since Alex has made a comic for all five weekly issues of the Beacon and in that time became a design editor for the paper as well.
However, that was not his first foray into the art form. He had years of experience making comics well before then. It all started, he said, when he was given a project.
"A friend of my parents knew I could draw ... and commissioned me to make a comic or something about their dog or something really stupid like that. I did it and really liked it," Cline said. "I was probably like 8 or 9. I've been making them ever since I could gather thoughts enough and put them into picture form."
He also says that watching "a ton of cartoons" when he was young, and still to this day, contributes to why he makes comics.
Cline, at only age 21, already has a hefty resume. His third comic in MAD Magazine is about to be published, and his first comic in Sunday Morning Comics, a publication that publishes comics in "an authentic format," is coming out as well.
"Alex's illustration and comic work is extensive and worth a thorough investigation. His visuals are incredibly appealing in color, texture and content," wrote Sunday Morning Comics on Cline's work.
Beyond comics, Cline also has published illustration in MetroPulse and the Phoenix Literary Arts Magazine. Cline has also done additional work for music projects.
"My friends have a band called Calico Cat and I've done a lot of work for them in the past. I really like doing album artwork," he said. "I also have friends who make movies and I like making the posters for that. Movie stuff is cool, but I suck at shooting actual video of people, but I can have that same kind of mindset on an animation 'set.'"
Cline's creative process goes against the idea of doing what is expected. He said he tries not to make art about what he knows.
"People say write what you know, or draw what you know, or whatever but I try not to do that because I feel it is kind of unoriginal," Cline said. "If artists only did what they knew, never experimented and went further, we wouldn't have much of the art we have today. So what I try to do is just jot down the first thoughts in my head and try to get some stream of consciousness going and then link words together and get new ideas like 'Oh, that's interesting. I've never drawn anything like that before' or 'I've never seen anybody make a comic about that before.'"
This process creates original comics that, as Sunday Morning Comics said, "always prove for an oddly hilarious read. They travel through loose narrative from strip to strip, either concreting the relationship between characters or detracting from it."
Cline's comics and more of his illustration and animation work, as well as more information on him, can be found on his website, www.babycline.com.