1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a cover artist from Australia. I started out doing portraiture and tattoo designs in my earlier years and then slowly found myself in the sci-fi world of art. It was thanks to an editor at Paper Tiger who insisted I make a trek to a sci-fi con and show my work that I won my first national art award and then mainly worked in the publishing from that point on.
Now I am settling into the comic pin up world while I illustrate my first book Tempest's Reign. It's really been interesting to jump from sci-fi to comics. Two very different worlds!
2. Which piece in your gallery is your favorite?
This is a really hard question, like asking me which is my favourite child, and while I struggle with two pieces (a Batgirl by Brian Stelfreeze and Tempest by Brom) I will say that the Tempest might JUST edge out the Batgirl purely because it was one of my favourite painters drawing my character. It really doesn't get much better than that. The painting was so popular, it was even turned into a garage kit. Seeing my girl in 3D sure makes me smile.
3. How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start?
I started collecting about five years ago. It was due to my love of Michael Turner art, specifically his new Grace character that made me look into this whole new world. Before I knew it, I bought my very first page, a Michael Turner Witchblade/Tomb Raider crossover splash, and that was it. There was no turning back. I started to slowly find a plethora of artists that really inspired me, and was also thrilled to see that many comic artists were putting out colour pieces which is still my favourite thing to collect I think. Brian Stelfreeze is without a doubt at the top of that leader board, the man is pure genius, and Budd Root has a great sense of humour that makes his pin ups really appeal to me since they are both incredibly sexy and really funny. But the likes of Terry and Rachel Dodson, J. Scott Campbell, and Art Adams have completely convinced me of the power and beauty of an inked image. These incredible artists are solely responsible for my always being broke!
4. How do you display/store your collection at home?
I have very limited space but also love the art I buy so want as much of it up on the walls as possible. My studio looks like a rainbow threw up on the walls and I love it! Everything else that simply can't find space on the walls in in archival portfolios, but to ensure that I enjoy everything, I actually rotate the art from time to time. All of my Stelfreeze art is above my desk and doesn't budge, and my J. Scott Campbell Black Cat sits above my computer. That reminds me, I do have a teeny space above my Joseph Michael Linsner art by the door, could squeeze something in there...
5. What are your top five most wanted original pages or commissions?
Is this question created to make all us collectors cry? Cause I know I will be sobbing by the end of it.
Ok, top five in no particular order (as far as I am concerned, they are all #1!)
#1 Dejah Thoris commission from J. Scott Campbell.
#2 Lucille Ball portrait by Brian Stelfreeze owned by the OH SO lucky Brian Mulcahy
#3 Mina Harker commission by Adam Hughes
#4 Arthur Adams Catwoman commission owned by Bill M (I know he will NEVER sell and it hurts!)
#5 Catwoman from Who's Who in the DC Universe by Dave Stevens owned by Kelvin Mao (seriously! Who gets that lucky???)
Officially depressed. Don't you hate this collecting bug? It's just never enough.
View Conny Valentina's Gallery