FIYAH Issue 25 coverArtist Raki Sy created the utterly horrific cover for FIYAH #25. We asked about her inspirations and what’s coming up next.
What inspired you to originally want to be an artist?

I’d say it was my fascination with making-of’s, I watched a lot of Disney/ Pixar movies growing up and some of the VHS tapes we had had making-of segments after the credits. Or I would watch them in the “Bonus” section of DVDs. I loved seeing the process of coming up with ideas and concepts and thought I want to be like them.


What advice would you have for people looking to become an artist as a career? What are some of the highs and lows they can expect?

I’d say to try your best to find ways to keep the process fun. When it becomes a career it’s easy to only focus on the outcome while neglecting your enjoyment. A few highs are definitely starting to get reached out to for the exact type of work you like to create and improving your artistic skills / realizing your art looks more and more like how you envision it in your head. One of the inevitable lows is rejection but you get used to it.


What would you say have been the top highlights of your artistic career so far?

I’d say it was seeing my art on the cover of a legit sci fi book (“Freedom Runner” by Paul C. Darden) and getting to draw this cover!


Who are some of your favorite artists currently?

Some of my favorite artists currently are H. R. Giger, Kentaro Miura, Takato Yamamoto, Audrey Benjaminsen and Alphonse Mucha.


What inspired the FIYAH cover piece? Was it one particular thing or a convergence of inspirations?

I was inspired by the manga Berserk and the movies Pan’s Labyrinth and Annihilation a lot. It was definitely a convergence of a lot of things. Music was also a big inspiration, I had songs like Ptolomaea by Ethel Cain, Harm of Will by Björk and The Alien by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow playing to influence the atmosphere of the piece.


What was the most difficult lesson you had to learn as an artist?

It was learning to accept and move on from failure quicker to focus on what could be next. I’m not an expert at that yet but it’s gotten better.


What projects do you have coming down the pipeline? Anything you’re particularly excited about?

I’m excited about starting to sell my own work! I’ll be creating more personal illustrations (fleshing out a world I have in mind) and selling those as prints.


Tell us where we can find you. Social media, website etc.?

You can find me on Instagram, on Tik Tok @ki_art_ and on my website here:

Nelson Rolon is a Black Hispanic writer based in Ohio. His debut novelette, Saudade, was published in FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction (2018), reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine (2021), and mentioned in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy (2019). His writing explores transhumanism, interstellar migration, and faith. Nelson lives in a cozy apartment with his wife and two cats. Follow him on Twitter @oldmannelson

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