Red Deer-raised artist Micaela Dawn. (Contributed image).

Red Deer-raised artist wins the chance to exhibit at San Diego Comic Con

Micaela Dawn said courage can’t exist without fear

Passion won out over fear when Red Deer-raised Micaela Dawn decided to make art her career.

The Lindsay Thurber high school graduate dropped the “safer” psychology courses she was taking at Red Deer College and enrolled at the Alberta College of Art and Design to become an illustrator.

Four years after graduating from ACAD in 2014, her decision is definitely paying off.

The Calgary-based artist’s work has appeared in the art compendium Spectrum 23, she created six comic book covers for Victor Lavalle’s Destroyer series, and a variant cover for Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott comic.

She has also won the rare chance to exhibit her work in a booth at the San Diego Comic Con International next month.

“This is a huge thing for me,” said Dawn (who uses her first and middle names as her artist moniker — she was known as Micaela Blondin de Boer in high school).

As winner of the Kevin Workman Foundation’s Sponsored Artist Program, she will meet a lot of influential people who could ignite her career at the world’s biggest comic/pop culture convention.

Each year the San Diego-based foundation gets contest entrants from around the world. Dawn was chosen as their 2018 sponsored artist because of her unique “colourful, confident style” — which reflects the same boldness she has shown in life.

Dawn admitted that fear has been her constant motivator — always challenging her to push through her doubts and be true to herself.

At art school she overcame a personal stigma: That being a digital artist was somehow “lesser” than being a conventional artist — even though she uses the same drawing skills.

Before that, Dawn faced up to a bigger challenge — coming out as a lesbian while still living in her hometown of Red Deer.

While she can still remember the nervousness she felt getting off local transit buses with her pride pins stuck to her backpack, Dawn doesn’t think this city was any more intolerant than anywhere else at a time before society’s shift towards inclusion.

She recalled Lindsay Thurber as a pretty supportive place. She connected with many people in the local arts scene. Among her Red Deer influences is painter Susan Woolgar, ceramicist Dawn Candy and the Harris-Warke Gallery — which often carries experimental exhibits on the second floor of Sunworks on Ross Street.

Being a professional artist has pushed Dawn to become an entrepreneur. She still works full time as a designer for a children’s health care app, but makes a point of regularly posting her art images on social media.

She said editors at comic-book company Boom! Studios saw her angular, graphic works on Twitter and asked her to make covers for the Destroyer series.

The artist, who also performs as part of The 404s improv/comedy group, believes it helps to be an extrovert when marketing your work. But “the Internet’s also your friend if you’re an introvert,” she added, since anonymity can be an option.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


The Owl Hunt, a digital artwork by Micaela Dawn. (Contributed image).

The Lost Lenore, by Micaela Dawn, who likes to reimagine the backstories of literary heroines, such Lenore of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven. (Contributed image).

Just Posted

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

Nurse leads Canada over South Korea 82-63 at FIBA Women’s World Cup

TENERIFE, Spain — Kia Nurse poured in 29 points to lift Canada… Continue reading

Aretha Franklin exhibit debuts with eye toward her legacy

DETROIT — The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin’s public visitations after… Continue reading

‘Anaana’s Tent’ passes Inuit songs, legends, language to a new generation

In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on the eastern tip of Baffin Island, Rita Claire… Continue reading

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation, say realtors

TORONTO — Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data… Continue reading

Ty Long kicks winning field goal, Lions come back to beat Ticats in OT

VANCOUVER — Ty Long was eager for a special moment, and he… Continue reading

Indigenous eateries take centre stage in Canada thanks to increasing awareness

VANCOUVER — Since Paul Natrall started serving Indigenous cuisine from his Mr.… Continue reading

Canada’s capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

OTTAWA — Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after… Continue reading

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns… Continue reading

Most Read