What's The Buzz? An Interview with SCAD Grad Hail Longoria

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

This last week, the SCAD HoneyDripper team arranged to interview a SCAD Grad, Hail Longoria, about their experiences after graduation, their artistic inspirations, and how they’re finding work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interview conducted by Editor-in-Chief of SCAD HoneyDripper Jackie Kuhn.

Kuhn: Hail, you have a very distinct style represented throughout your portfolio. What would you say some of your inspirations are for your artistic style?

Longoria: A lot of my inspirations for my art style are from studying other artists such as Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, and Jorge Jimenez. I look at concept work from video games and shows that I enjoy. I see a way one artist draws a rock, versus how another draws shadows, or hair.

Kuhn: Oh! I can definitely see influences from Young and Corona on your work. I've noticed a lot of fantasy and “Dungeons and Dragons” tags on your work! I personally love the game. Are you an avid player, and if so has the game impacted your artwork or storytelling?

Longoria: I have played all the games. I absolutely love the storyline and the fantasy world that has come from those games. I’m currently working on a commission involving drawing a long list of character illustrations for table top players and making promotional material for their campaign. It’s what has recently had me drawing “Dragon Age” characters. This project excites me so much because I have already played through all the games.

Kuhn: That's so exciting! I can't wait to see more of that promotional material, it's nice to see people working on projects they really love. That also leads into my next question: I've seen from your resume that you graduated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. How did this impact your ability to find work in your field? Have you seen any changes in demand for sequential arts since your graduation?

Longoria: Well my freelance work has been very on-and-off in the types of work that I have been doing. My resume is not fully updated at this moment, but since graduation I have done several logo designs for photography companies. I designed the interface for an app that was in production, done promotional material for a science fiction author and now this large project. I would prefer to do more with illustrations and stories and I’m glad that’s where most of my projects are leaning towards nowadays, but at first, I was taking any art job that I could find.

Kuhn: That's understandable, I've also found myself grasping at any artistic job available when work is scarce, especially during COVID-19 at its peak. Of course no one could prepare us for the pandemic, but as a SCAD Grad did you feel properly prepared for the work you got after graduation?

Longoria: I feel as if I would have been more prepared if there wasn’t a pandemic. We were taught how to work in our field outside of a global catastrophe, so there wasn’t much SCAD could have done about that. I found myself guessing a lot and learning as I went. But the knowledge SCAD gave me helped prepare me to be someone who can handle a lot of learning curves and think on my feet.

Kuhn: Do you have any tips for seniors graduating this spring who will be looking for work?

Longoria: Be open to new experiences and don’t get yourself down if you feel like you’re struggling to get your career off the ground. Everyone goes through it at first and the work will come. You just have to be willing to keep pushing forward. Also, don’t expect your best work to be when you are at SCAD. My best work came from after I graduated. Trust yourself.

Kuhn: That's some great advice, thank you. Finally, do you have any comic recommendations you'd like to share with our readers?

Longoria: Definitely “Middlewest.” The art is beautiful and taught me a lot about story structure and page layouts. It’s a wonderful story that I feel like many readers can relate to, along with being fantasy enough to bring your imagination into a new world.

Readers can find more of Longoria’s work on their portfolio site or on their Instagram. A selection of their work is featured below.

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