We had the good fortune of connecting with Carrie Tupper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carrie, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
A lot of people in the art world will tell you to, “Never work for free,” and I feel like that’s a really simplistic view. While yes, when Joe Dude or Becky Karen shows up and wants free work on the get go, that’s ridiculous. But if someone comes to you with a plan, an idea that you’re passionate about too, or willing to partner with you while also doing the work to make sure you’re getting legit work later? That’s a different story. My company simply would not have started without the help of other creatives willing to pitch in. We didn’t want to get something for nothing though, so we worked our butts off to make sure those creatives were getting opportunities and experiences they wouldn’t otherwise. We invite them to events and ensure that they get paid later on. If someone simply doesn’t have the money, it’s okay to say no. But if someone has an idea you believe in, they’re willing to work with you and willing to share profits based on sweat equity? Maybe it’s a risk worth taking.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Many folks in the corporate world expect the square peg or the round hole, and ignore the star all together. The instant a star comes along they’re not sure what to do, because the star obviously has gaps, but still fits both holes. One day bosses expect the most out of you, but being a star you obviously have some skill gaps so they’re disappointed. The next day they’re shocked and delighted when you do something outside their expectations. This constant back and forth is exhausting. I was tired of trying to be anything other than what I was. So, I took a risk and created a comic with my husband and one of our best friends, Havana Nguyen. Together we created Kamikaze, an award winning scifi comic series. Kamikaze is about what happens when a courier becomes a fledgling covert operative and the city that comes to see her as a symbol of rebellion. It’s a story that’s speaks to the unique struggles and experiences of people today. My team and I are committed to telling diverse tales with resonant stories that let our audiences know, “We see you. You’re worthy of love, and you aren’t alone.” Apparently that idea’s got some legs, because now have an active fanbase, three successful Kickstarters, are about to release two more books in the series, plus an anthology, and soon an animated short. Best of all, I finally feel like I’m doing what I’m meant to. My partners see my strengths and my weaknesses so they know what I can and cannot do. They push me to try new things and when I do those things it’s not a shock to them, it’s a cause for celebration.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend were to visit the Atlanta area the first place I’d take them is Takorea in Dunwoody. Think of the perfect taco paired with korean flavors and it’s just a win. As a vegetarian I adore the multiple veg options, while the carnivores enjoy themselves too. If your guest is in more of a festive mood heading to The Bone Garden is never, ever a wrong answer. With traditional Mexican food with lots of veggie friendly menu items and their tamales are the stuff dreams are made of. For the more brunch fare you can’t go wrong with Flying Biscuit! A visit to the Georgia Aquarium is always a must. It’s easily the best attraction in Atlanta to me. If you can go on a weekday morning at non-peak hours, the experience is amazing. I love to build up visitors during the experience. First taking them to the Georgia Explorer (especially for the kids), then the River Scout, Tropical Diver, Dolphin Tales, Cold Water Quest, and Ocean Voyager – in that order. I’m really excited about the new shark exhibit they’re putting in too! The Beltline is always great for a walk, but it can be a bit over crowded for me. I prefer BrookRun Park, the tiny Big Trees Forest Reserve, or making a daytrip to Sweetwater Creek State Park. Hang outs are always great at the Urban Grind on Marietta Street, or Moonbird Coffee in Chamblee. I never fail to take visitors to Cafe Intermezzo either. My mom always wants to go there when she’s in town! For the geeky set you can’t go wrong hanging out and reading comics with Jami and Chris at Infinite Realities Comics in Tucker. The store is beautiful, open and inviting. They even have events for kids and adults alike. For older geeks definitely check out Joystick, Battle and Brew or my personal fave My Parents’ Basement a comic book bar! Comics and beer. What’s not to love?
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be anywhere with out the love, support and above all, unwavering confidence my husband Alan Tupper, and our business partner Havana Nguyen have consistently blessed me with. Knowing both of them has made me a better writer, a better artist and a better person.