We recently got a chance to chat it up with the crew over at Virtual INKS, Inc. to find out what they are all about. It’s a collaboration of artists featuring Mark McKenna, Nikkol Jelenic, Michael Oppenhemier and Victor Castro. We asked a few questions to find out more about what they do and this is what they told us!
1. What exactly is Virtual INKS Inc. and what sets it apart from other studios?
The plain and simple answer is that we live in a digital age and in this digital age a virtual studio is a studio that we don’t need to be at physically to achieve the goals that we want to create or get offered.
We all know each other, have hung out with each other and live within 100 miles of each other. But thats still a fair amount of travel time between artists with no actual studio to house us nor do we have to deal with the expense of a studio set up. We are all accessible via the internet and we all have availability to create or deal with digital artwork as needed which makes this studio run on virtually no expense at all
My hopes are that we can get together physically every so often because theres a tangible connection that needs to be reasserted from time to time to invigorate the creative process as a studio.
2. What has been the greatest challenge so far in setting up Virtual Inks?
The greatest challenge so far has been communication. The success of this studio is rooted in the individual success of each member and their contribution to the studio as a whole. All of this works because of the leadership and mentorship of Mark. The entire comic industry knows Mark McKenna, he has created an environment that any level of production can leverage his expertise.
The communication train from Mark to the individual team members is crucial and vice versa. If the conditions permit he will assign a project to an artist and authorize direct contact to the customer. If he wants to manage the project himself than all direct reporting of progress goes to him.
Effective communication that leverages technology is also a mainstay of this studio’s success. We have multiple ways to communicate between artists, transfer data and coordinate collective ideas while still maintaining a scheduled face to face meet at key points in the year. At this point each member of the studio can bring new business to the table for a collective approach towards the customer’s success.
3. What kind of outreach service do you offer that can help aspiring artists?
At Virtual Inks Inc. We are all dedicated to constantly honing our skills. Nobody is perfect but we strive to be the best visual artists and story tellers that we can possibly be and we are willing to share our knowledge and experience with other aspiring artists. Both Victor and Mark have been very active in the community, hosting lectures and workshops throughout New York and New Jersey. From West Point, Bergen County, Woodbury, Purchase and Walkill they have shared their collective wealth of knowledge and years of professional experience in interactive workshops where young artists can learn the necessary skills to become comic book creators. Our social media outlets are also a great way for aspiring artists to follow our process of creation and get a more intimate perspective on how we work, as well as providing an interactive experience where they might ask questions and share ideas.
4. Are there any projects that you all are working on that you can discuss for people to look out for?
We as a studio have a horror anthology that Mark, Michael, Victor & I are involved in collaboratively called “Tomb of Darkness”. The story will feature 3 different horrific storylines that will merge together for the final 4th tale. This book will be published by the studio with the stories created by its members & also featuring contributions by other artists set to come out later in the year.
If you want to find out more, just do a search for them on Facebook and also check out their website by clicking here.