Artist Spotlight: Bee Rohlfs proudly stands out just like her inks. - Terminus Veil

Artist Spotlight: Bee Rohlfs proudly stands out just like her inks.

By Jack Harris Jr.

Published Mar 16 2022

When I first got to work with Bee on the Terminus Veil project I was super excited. She was experienced and very easy to work with. I watched a few of her videos on Youtube and instantly knew it was good decision bringing her on the team. She has been a pleasure to work with and I hope you all enjoy this interview with her.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Debra, also known as Bee. A transplanted New Jersey artist now residing in central Florida. Not one to be okay with trying to blend in with others around me. Weird and proud!

Debra “Bee” Rohlfs inking a page from Terminus Veil #2

What got you into drawing comic books or graphic novels?

I’ve been drawing since I was a child, but my favorite art teacher in high school introduced me to the basics of building a comic strip, and I kind of fell in love with it. My mother knew I loved comics, loved drawing, and creating fun characters, so she told me about this school in Dover, NJ, that went by the name of The Kubert School, which taught the art of comic creation and animation. Applied, was accepted, and was introduced to a whole new (to me) world. And I absolutely fell in love with INKING.

Who are your influences and inspirations?

As an inker, my biggest inspiration has always been the amazing Sandra Hope. I was introduced to her work back when she worked with Humberto Ramos on his vampire series, “Crimson”. Her incredibly detailed, crisp, and BOLD inking style fascinated me, and still does to this day.

On the whole, as an artist, outside of inking, my biggest inspirations would have to be:

  • Rumiko Takahashi
  • Don Bluth
  • Brian Froud
  • Humberto Ramos

My great great grandma on my moms side as well. I have a few of her paintings, and they are an amazing color study, considering the basic paints and tools she had on hand at the time.

What tools do you use?

Traditional mediums:
I love my Raphael Kolinsky sable hair #2 round brushes and Speedball Super Black India ink, and the Kuretake Bimoji medium brush pen. For straight edges, a simple set of nibs, india ink, and a raised straight edge.

Digital mediums:

I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with using Procreate for inking now a days. I created a brush that replicates the look and feel of my beloved Kolinsky brushes.

What led me to use all of these? Truth be told, I was introduced to the Kolinsky brushes at Kuberts, and they’re the only ones I really like inking with. The tips stay super sharp if you keep the brushes clean and store them properly. All of my brushes get SPOILED ROTTEN. ^^

But for on the go, the Kuretake Bimoji is fantastic. Comes with the ink already loaded, is super comfortable to hold for long periods of time, and no having to haul around a bottle of ink.

Do you have a favorite genre of comics?

My favorite genre? Probably dark fantasy. Leaning towards horror. LOVE the spoopy side of things!

Do other art forms often seem more attractive to you?

Not really. I love multiple art forms: comics, painting, sculpting, etc. Could never really get into modern art, though. Not my cup of tea

Is comics your main thing or just a side hustle?

Comics IS my main thing, but I tend to integrate my comic work with my work for non-comic related businesses. Youtubers and Twitch streamers are some of my biggest clients currently.

What was the most challenging thing about breaking into the comic book industry?

The most challenging thing would be, for me, really telling myself to ignore what others around me think, who think that being a comic artist ISN’T a worthy job, because being an artist isn’t a REAL job in their mind.
It’s not an easy thing to break into, you do have to put a LOT of work in to, and often, you’re doing all the work yourself if you don’t have support from others.
HOWEVER, I feel more satisfied knowing that this comic I might be holding in my hands or reading online is something I helped create. Be it drawing it, inking it, or doing the color flats to help the final painter out.

What does your drawing space look like?

I’m FAR from finished with decorating my space! Need more shelves to be able to display figurines.

What was the experience working on Terminus Veil?

Getting to ink over the pencils of two very awesome pencilers with two VERY different styles. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of enhancing the already fantastic pencils.

Who is your favorite character?

So far? Ooooo… you know I’m going to say Connor. He may be a jackass, but as a character in a story, I find those to be the most interesting often. Aaaand, of course, the first time I inked him via Jordan’s pencils, I DID go, “Oooooo, he pretty!”. I can’t help it! I love the pretty jackasses in stories! Heck, I love Dark Schneider, for gods sake!

Can you tell us anything interesting we should know about Terminus Veil?

Spoiler alert, kinda sorta. There’s a scene in the second issue that made me go, “The heck?! OW.”. That whole scene was fun as heck to ink, though!

What’s the most challenging thing about working on this project?

Adjusting from one pencilers style to another. It happens though, and inkers DO have to be able to ink over various different pencilers, all with different styles. Some pencilers have SUPER tight pencils, some do not, so you have to be able to adjust.

What kind of advice would you give someone trying to become an inker?

If you’re trying to break into the comics industry as an inker, STUDY THE INKS OF OTHERS ALREADY IN THE INDUSTRY. Study study study! Hit up your favorite comic shop, and look through issues, checking out the actual inks.

And PRACTICE. Don’t just assume that inking is just, “tracing”, over a pencilers pencils. You are essentially RE-DRAWING the page, especially if the pencilers pencils are super lose and are basically SKETCHES. Understand the balance of black, white, and grey in a page, because your inks should be portraying light sources, shadows, distances, and often, textures, as well as the tiniest details that might not be there in the original pencils. You’re also possibly fixing anatomy. If the penciler can’t draw a deer, or basic human anatomy, it might be up to you, as the inker, to fix it.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions! Do you have any parting words?

Thank you all so much for showing interest in the Terminus Veil project, and a BIG thank you to Jack for bringing all of us together to create this, and for having the patience of god with us! XD

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