Illustrator Trevor Fraley provided the artwork for our first issue of 2018. We fired off some interview questions to learn more about his work.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what drew you into becoming an artist?

I’m from the mythical part of New Jersey, made up of corn fields and country roads that they don’t show on TV. According to my mom I’ve always been an artist. She says that I was drawing since I was two and constantly references a picture of a bear with a foot in perspective that I have yet to see proof of but I’ll take her word for it. I would most likely say that my consumption of visual media (movies, picture books, video games) as a child influenced me to take this path along with the unwavering support and love of both of my parents.

2) What do you see as your biggest artistic accomplishment so far?

In the past few months I have had the privilege to work with some amazing people on some new and interesting projects. It’s hard to say really what is my biggest, but one that I absolutely loved was a comic that I illustrated written by Brian Winkeler called Agent G. It’s about Kenny G and Michael Bolton as secret agents. I don’t want to give too much away but I’d suggest that people check it out when it is available!

3) Where do you see yourself artistically in the next five years?

I the next five years I definitely would like to have produced at least a couple of my personal projects. I have had a lot of ideas stewing since I graduated college and at this time I can say that I feel confident in my personal motivations. It would also be ideal to work in a studio working on visual development for animated films or tv shows.

4) Are there any venues or companies that you would love to work with?

When I was younger I always said I wanted to be an animator at Disney. Now that I’m older I now know that I would still love to work at an animation studio but more so on the development side of things. I’ve recently been interested in networks such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.

5) Tell us about the cover work you did for FIYAH #5. How did you come up with the concept?

When thinking of “Ahistorical Blackness”, it’s not a very far reach to think of Marvel’s Black Panther and Wakanda. To think of a world untouched by

colonialism is to imagine the “what ifs” that could make that world shine! I’ve always been interested in sci-fi and fantasy imagery so I wanted to display these ideas while still giving the feeling that the scene is just everyday life in this world.

6) Who are some of your favorite black creators out there at the moment?

I’ve always been a huge movie nut. Directors Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay have blown me away with their recent work and outstanding accomplishments in film. They are really doing something special and I can’t wait until they are the household names that they deserve to be!

7) A more specific follow up to the last question, who are some of your favorite black artists out there currently?

Gyimah Gariba and Kadir Nelson have been some of my favorites. I would say that it’s simply because of how much I resonate with with both of their works. I can say that while developing my own artistic identity that I was heavily inspired by both of these artists.

8) You get to pick any property to do artwork for. What’s the property and why?

Because it’s one of my earliest ambitions I would really love to do concept or promotional artwork for Disney/Pixar. My second choice would have to be a to design a comic book cover for Marvel.

9) Where can people find your work?

You can find my work at and Instagram @trevor_fraley

10) What do you have going on project wise in the near future? Where can we expect to see you pop up?

I have a few personal ideas that I have in mind that are still in the planning stages. I do not have a high profile projects that I can speak about at the moment.

However, if you follow my Instagram or Twitter (@illustrevor) you can follow my progress and receive updates on my next projects!

L.D. Lewis is an award-winning SF/F writer and editor, and publisher at Fireside Magazine. She serves as a founding creator and Project Manager for the World Fantasy and Hugo Award-winning FIYAH Literary Magazine. She also serves as the founding Director of FIYAHCON, boardmember for Diverse Voices, Inc., Researcher for the LeVar Burton Reads podcast, and pays the bills as the Awards Manager for the Lambda Literary Foundation. She frequently authors studies about the treatment and experiences of racially/ethnically marginalized authors in speculative literature. She is the author of A Ruin of Shadows (Dancing Star Press, 2018) and her published short fiction and poetry includes appearances in FIYAH, PodCastle, Strange Horizons, Anathema: Spec from the Margins, Lightspeed, and Neon Hemlock, among others. She lives in Georgia, on perpetual deadline, with her coffee habit, two very photogenic kittens, and an impressive Funko Pop! collection. Tweet her @ellethevillain.
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