FIYAH SUMMER 2023 Carnival coverArtist Manny Edeko brought the CARNIVAL theme to life for FIYAH #27. We asked about their inspirations, lessons learned, and what we can look forward to.
What inspired you to become an artist?

I was always drawing. I remember making silly little comics as a child, and making up weird gadgets as a teenager. The thing that pivoted me into going into the Animation Industry was reading Violent Pink, and realizing that I wanted to be a part of this industry too. Anime is an influence as well. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with Tekkonkinkreet for a whole host of reasons. That movie has inspired so much art from me. Basically anything from Studio 4°C is gold.

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?

That’s a varied question. I think, depending on the artist and their career you get different sets of challenges. For instance, I feel like my problems may differ from somebody who’s a fine artist, because I am more of a commercial artist. That being said, I think all professional artist struggle with a degree of not feeling good enough at certain points with their career, but ultimately, you kinda have to trust that the people who want the work from you believe in you enough to pay you. I think also for professional artists, time management can be a bit of a struggle. So, learn how to set boundaries and prioritize your time is a very important skill.

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

Seeing my name and credits never gets old, to be honest.

Manny Edeko art
Who are some of your favorite artists currently?

Robbie Valley, hands-down. The way he’s able to caricature and use shape to build characters is some of the coolest shit I’ve seen in the animation industry. Takeshi Koike is right up there as well for the same reasons.

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

I think the theme being “carnival” definitely help drive the piece in this direction, but I really like high-fantasy, celestial genre pieces with the touch of sci-fi in them.

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

You’re not always gonna have a good day. Sometimes you are not productive and that’s fine.

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

My Insta is @Manny.oe. That’s where I live most of the time.

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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