Eisner award winning sequential artist Rashad Doucet says he wishes there were 75 hours in a day to get everything done–he’s got that many ideas in his head! As a kid, his imagination was fostered by his grandmother. She’s the one who encouraged him to draw in church (most likely to keep him quiet!) and told him superhero stories at bedtime. He’s been a fan of comics since he was 8, but it wasn’t until he moved to Savannah after Hurricane Katrina that he studied sequential art officially at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)–where he earned his MFA.
Now a professor at SCAD, Rashad enjoys teaching because he gets to meet a whole new generation with new ideas. He also gets the opportunity to help people, which he learned from his grandparents growing up–and something he finds extremely rewarding. His creative process involves reading or watching something, and then remixing it, or mashing it up to make it his own. For his latest project he teamed up with friend Jason Reeves on the graphic novel Pax Samson Vol. 1: The Cookout. Main character Pax is loosely based on his own life. Representation is important as Rashad says kids idolize what they see, so creating a black superhero family meant a lot to him. His work is primarily created digitally using Clip Studio Paint on his iPad, and he surrounds himself with posters, toys and other things that inspire his imagination.
A huge fan of anime, Rashad shares that he started watching back in the ‘90s when it was hard to come by. Not only does he admire the action of anime, he appreciates the fact it doesn’t shy away from difficult or dark concepts. Rashad’s advice for his students is to “study, learn, and find out what works best for you”. Study doesn’t have to mean school, either. He says “learn from whoever you can” and then work hard. Something he certainly lives by every day.