Q&A with GeekGirlCONLINE Merch Artist Ragon Dickard
Each year, our team works with a new artist to create custom GeekGirlCon merch for the con. Most things about this year are different, but we do have an amazing merch artist for you to meet: Ragon Dickard!
To give y’all a better picture of the person who created the works of art that are this year’s designs, I asked Ragon some questions about her background, art, and surviving quarantine.
So read on to learn all about Ragon, and when you’re done, check out our 2020 merch here.
Tell us a little about yourself. What are your pronouns? Where are you from? Have you always been an artist?
My name’s Ragon Dickard, pronouns she/her and they/them, and Ragonia is my business name/online handle! I was born and raised in Virginia and moved to Seattle with my partner after we graduated from SCAD in 2016.
I started making art as a kid and am one of those people who never really stopped. I took a little career detour during college (I studied Architecture) and after college (I briefly worked at a vegan restaurant), but I couldn’t stay away from art for long. I started working as a freelance artist in 2018 and have slowly been building my career since.
What are your mediums?
Digital (Procreate), Posca markers, gouache, block printing, polymer clay, a little bit of watercolor and colored pencil. I get bored easily and have to mix up my medium a lot to stay engaged.
How do you like to describe your illustration style?
Colorful, funky, happy, cute with a hint of a weird edge.
What do you like best about being a freelance artist? Least?
So much! Of course I just love making art and making other people happy with my art. I LOVE seeing someone else get so excited over my art because I know that feeling exactly and it rules.
I love being my own boss and having control over all aspects of my business and career and being able to define my own version of “professional.”
As an ambivert, I also love that the job appeals to both sides of my personality: I get to extrovert with social media, conventions, and streaming, and I get to introvert with working quietly at home.
My least favorite part of being a freelance artist is the lack of boundaries between work and life, especially because I work from my living room. It’s way too easy to just check emails or Instagram first thing in the morning and get sucked into working right away.
Source of inspiration? Today or generally, whichever is more applicable.
I’m inspired by fashion, interior design, animation, pop culture, folk art, niche subcultures, and video games. I’m also inspired by plants, animals, fruits and veggies, and nature in general.
Have any works-in-progress you’re especially excited about right now?
Generally this year I’m just trying to hang on (like a lot of us probably are), so there aren’t a ton of cool new artsy things happening with me. But I am working on a pretty cool project that will be announced in 2021, and I’ve got a slow simmering series of character portraits of the Critical Role Campaign Two characters!
Favorite artist(s) on the scene today?
This changes frequently, but my favorite artists lately have been photographer Michelle Norris, cartoonist Rebecca Kirby, and illustrators Tess Smith-Roberts, Natalie Andrewson, Charlotte Dumortier, Pam Wishbow, Eva Stalinski, Haley Tippmann, and Natalí Koromoto Martínez.
What are your fandoms?
Here we go! Critical Role, Dungeons & Dragons, Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall, Gravity Falls, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, The Witcher, Legend of Zelda, the McElroy Family everything (especially MBMBAM and Monster Factory,) and the general concept of Halloween and the National Park Service, baby.
Favorite ways to engage with the geeky community?
Conventions! I miss them SO MUCH!
What are some of the ways you’ve been taking care of yourself during quarantine? What are some of the ways you’ve been staying connected to your communities?
To take care of myself during quarantine I HAVE to force myself to take news and social media breaks regularly; it’s the biggest thing that stops me from spiraling into a pit of anxiety. I also have to take daily walks in my neighborhood with my partner, do yoga in my living room, and journal regularly.
My partner and I also just took a week long staycation after finishing a big project, and it was incredibly restorative. We blocked social media and news, got a bunch of tasty treats and drinks, and just spent the week doing anything that reminded us of a summer vacation, but all at home: making a fancy breakfast spread, reading books in the park in my bathing suit, having a spa day, listening to summery music, sitting in our hammock.
I stay connected to my communities via the magic of video chatting. We play D&D every other week, meet up to talk about art and politics, and play Overcooked and Jackbox games.
Where can we find more of your work online?
I’m most active on Instagram (@Ragonia_ ) !
I sell my work through Etsy (Ragonia.Etsy.com) !
I share all about my freelance art career at my Patreon (Patreon.com/Ragonia) !
And my portfolio and all other links are on my website (RagonDickard.com) !