Thursday, September 20, 2018

NATTO Scholarship Winners 2018


This year, we had the pleasure of selecting three recipients for our NATTO scholarship—a huge increase from last year's sole recipient.  We also increased our promotional efforts, contacting podcasts, bloggers, librarians, and teachers to request that they help spread the word.  Although we only received 21 applications, we were impressed with the quality of art sent in, and it was difficult to choose just three deserving artists.

However, with Joseph's help, I was able to narrow it down to our three wonderful recipients!



Our first place recipient is Aicha Barry, who hopes to create Dalienation, the personal journal of an extraterrestrial.

Aicha Barry's lush art.
Our second place recipient is Vivian D Pham, who hopes to create Private Messengers, a story of the two delivery agents of children's memories and dreams.

Vivian Pham's expressive art.
Our third place recipient is Danny James Barnfield, who hopes to complete The DEVIL'S HAM, a delightful story about paratrooper pigs kicking Nazi butt.


Danny Barnfield's adorable art.
We would like to thank all 21 applicants for their wonderful stories and art portfolios, and to congratulate our three recipients!  I hope readers will look forward to our upcoming interviews with our finalists.

For those not familiar with the NATTO Scholarship, it is a small arts scholarship funded entirely by Joseph Coco, and hosted by me, Becca Hillburn.

Inspired by Joseph's generosity, Tyler James of ComixLaunch agreed to award Aicha, Vivian, and Danny a ListLaunch course voucher, which aims to aide comic artists and writers in building an engaged audience willing to support their work. Thank you Tyler for helping a new generation of comic artists get a head start on their careers.

Joseph is a developer who works at Vanderbilt in the biomedical informatics department, and has been an invaluable ally to comics for the past half decade, interviewing comic artists of all levels, abilities, and skills in our ongoing series, Up and CONing Artists videos or audio podcast.  Not only has he brought attention to unknown artists through his interviews, but he is a huge financial supporter of indie comics, particularly zines and minis, making it rain on comic artists at every convention he attends.  He is also instrumental as support staff, providing insight, editorial advice, blog and Youtube suggestions, as well as encouragement to artists particularly in need.  I am a kid-lit comic artist and illustrator who has spent 20 years in the thrall of comic craft, sharing my education (an MFA in comics), experience (conventions, comic craft, merch manufacturing, and watercolor), and enthusiasm for almost a decade here on this blog, a half decade on the popular convention resource How to be a Con Artist, and nearly half a decade on Youtube.  The NATTO Scholarship is a joint brainchild, formed through a desire to help other artists pursue or continue their art education at a physical school, through workshops, or online.