About Stephanie Ruble (a.k.a. sruble)
In first grade, I decided I was an artist (because I was the kid who could draw Snoopy). A lot of kids are artists when they're in grade school, but stop thinking that as they grow up. I never stopped thinking I was an artist, so I kept drawing. I started telling stories to go with my drawings in grade school too. Not much has changed since then. If you look hard, you can see many of my early creative influences (listed below) poking through the layers of my writing and art.
My Creative Influences:
* Kitty: When I was little, I had a stuffed animal named Kitty. I made up stories and adventures for her. Kitty went through the hole in her hollow tree to have adventures in a different land. It was an escape route to a place more exciting than real life. Unfortunately, I don't remember the details of the world inside her hollow tree.
Kitty was also my first attempt at creating a character's voice that wasn't my own. She liked to talk to my family and say things that I wouldn't (or couldn't) say. She said what she was thinking, without thinking about the consequences (and since she was a stuffed cat, there weren't any consequences for her - though there were sometimes for me). A few years ago I created a zombie cheerleader character with a really strong voice. After a while, I realized that she was Kitty, all grown up, and transformed into a zombie girl! And now Kitty has come back in my art as a mischievous cat! There's new Kitty art in my portfolio, and here's a side by side view of Kitty, then and now:
* Comic Strips: A lot of kids grew up reading comic books, but I was more into newspaper comic strips. I loved reading The Peanuts (and drawing Snoopy). Charles Schultz was a genius! After that came Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Bloom County, The Far Side, and For Better or For Worse. These days, my favorites are Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy, and Zits. I even tried my hand at creating comics, hoping to one day have a syndicated strip. I drew a comic for the newsletter at one of my jobs and drew a zombie mini comic that I took to MOCCA one year. There's a cow comic in my current portfolio.
* Halloween: It's my favorite holiday, which probably isn't a surprise, given that I like to write about zombies and other things that go bump in the night. Also, I was born two days after Halloween, on Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). So for me, Halloween seems like part of my birthday. You can see some of my more recent Halloween art in my portfolio.
* Winter: Even though I grew up in Minnesota, I'm not a huge fan of snow or freezing cold winter weather. It makes driving impossible and slipping inevitable. In first grade I wrote a poem about how much I hated winter and ended by calling it a pig, which was the biggest insult that Kitty and I could think of. Despite this, I like drawing winter scenes. Maybe it's because I liked to go skating and sledding, and liked making snowmen and snow angels when I was little. There are winter and summer self portraits I drew as a kid at the top of this page.
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