Q & A with 1000 Dead Draculas
By Jacob Chase
I recently reached out to one of our partnered artists and collaborators Natasha Petrović to find out the story behind her incredible artwork. Otherwise known as 1000 Dead Draculas, Natasha is an artist, designer, and comic illustrator based out of Baltimore, MD. Best known for her vibrant and expressionistic illustrations, Natasha has also worked on the ever-popular webcomic series Ophiuchus, and just launched her own artist store over on the Yeteemart! The universe that is created through someone’s own creative drive and artwork is absolutely fascinating to me, so I decided to find out what fuels Natasha’s own creative muse. Here's what she had to say to when I threw a few questions her way:
Jacob Chase: How long have you been creating artwork?
1000 Dead Dracula’s (Natasha): I’ve definitely been drawing all my life, but I only started practicing technique, observation, all that good stuff in my high school art classes. I was definitely not a child prodigy or anything. Just a passionate kid.
JC: Who or what were your biggest influences in you choosing a life in art?
1000DD: There were a lot of factors, but a surprisingly large one was a middle school math teacher I had. At some point, I started drawing weird little newspaper-style comics on the back of my math homework and he would keep telling me how much he enjoyed reading them. Weirdly, that was the encouragement I needed to keep doing comics and eventually expand into more and more complex stories and drawings. If you know a young kid who likes to draw, definitely be kind and encourage them! It makes a world of difference!
JC: How did you develop your unique style?
1000DD: It happened very naturally. When I finished college I needed to start doing art faster, so I cut big chunks out of my work method to save time. That’s how I stopped inking all my lineart and started going straight to painting in shapes. It worked really well for me and just kept developing from there!
JC: Where did the name 1000 Dead Draculas come from?
1000DD: I came up with it in college when I realized I could make my own “online brand.” Originally it was going to be an art collective sort of thing I did with my friends. We’d each get a “number” of Dracula to be. (69 and 420 were the first to go) But it never really caught on, so I’m hogging the name for my own persona, I kind of like being a legion unto myself.
JC: What aspects of your creative process excite you the most?
1000DD: Sitting down and coming up with ideas can be pretty fun! The sky's the limit at that point because it doesn’t involve any drawing at that point, haha. Figuring out the proper way to illustrate something can definitely be a challenge.
JC: Do you have a favorite stage of the creative process?
1000DD: After the sketching phase, when I get to do my final renders. That’s probably the most interesting for me. I get to make all the final decisions that bring the piece to life, including color.
—Actually wait. I also really like at the very end of a piece when I get to put in all the little stars, dots, and sparkles. That part is pretty sick.
JC: What sort of references do you use when creating?
1000DD: When I’m not sure how to draw something I’ll look up photos on stock image sites. If I can’t find what I want I have a little ball jointed action figure I can pose on my desk. (though I tend to get pretty frustrated with that little dude since his limbs like to pop out so easily.)
With environments, if I can’t find a suitable photo, I tend to just hop into Sketch Up and model my own stuff. Super helpful for getting the angle I want!
JC: Has apparel always been something you’ve wanted to create artwork for?
1000DD: Yeah, actually! I did some screen printing in college, mostly on paper, but I had pals who were making their own shirts and such. At the time for me it seemed like a pipe dream, but being able to work with The Yetee has made it a reality!
JC: What was one of your favorite memories when creating/releasing a piece of art for The Yetee?
1000DD: Getting to do a shirt design for GDQx in 2019 was awesome! I’ve been a really big fan of GDQ and speedruns in general for a long time, so it was really nice to be able to work on something that’s part of a larger community and is for a good cause.
It was also wild to attend MAGfest this year and meet a bunch of folks wearing my shirts! Everyone was so cool, and I’m hoping to table again someday!
JC: Is there an unreleased/upcoming piece of work that you would like to tease to your fans/readers of this interview on The Yetee?
1000DD: I can share some panels from an upcoming comic project I’m working on! A little sneak peek of a new design too, perhaps?
If you would like to see more of Natasha’s work, please check out her artist collection over at the Yeteemart, as well as her website and social media accounts:
Artist Store: https://theyetee.com/collections/1000-dead-draculas
Social Medias: Twitter & Instagram