Hi! My name is Jae (known by many as The Dog Leech) and I am trans-feminine digital artist operating out of Virginia. I have been an artist since I was a child, but I have only been serious about it for the last eight years. While I cannot make a living through my art right now, I treat it like a full-time job, and typically draw for 8-14 hours a day. I first found a small amount of success drawing people’s D&D characters and posting podcast fanart on Twitter. The confidence and growth I gained through these portraits eventually led me to my true dream: creating my own webcomic. I am now the proud author of Children of Carinia, hosted on Webtoon. It is a fantasy comic that features many LGBTQ+ characters, primarily two girls who find their feelings for one another over the course of time.
There were several goals I had when initially writing Children of Carinia, but first and foremost was a desire to give my female and LGBTQ+ characters an appeal not only to those who relate to them, but also to those who do not; to build my characters up to be respectable and amazing in their own right to any reader. My hope is for it to bridge the gap between straight/cisgender people and my very gay main characters, instead of excluding them and creating distance.
My characters all have a unique style, which I blend from many sources when I design a them, including (but not limited to): anime, 3D characters (think Overwatch, Pixar, etc…), western superhero comics and, perhaps most importantly, real people. Whether I am doing a commissioned portrait, or even the most insignificant panel of my comic, I take shading and lighting very seriously, typically adding at least 6-9 layers of light and shadow to each panel. I also emphasize the importance of environments in my work. This was not something I was originally skilled in, but over time I have grown to love drawing vast landscapes and complex architectural scenery for use in my comics and portraits. It is very important to me that I continue to enhance this skill as I grow. I take a lot of my environmental inspiration from the beautiful, ruined scenery in Dark Souls.
While I love working with others to bring their visions to life, my passion lies in continuing to build Children of Carinia into the vast epic it deserves to be. It is not an exaggeration to say that my involvement in the world I created has not only changed my life, but has probably saved it. While I don’t expect it to have that drastic of an effect on others, I do know that it already means a lot to a many young people who don’t feel like they are seen by the creators of serious stories.