LBCC: Artist Alley Spotlight on Kalgado


In case you didn’t notice, the Collective gals were at Long Beach Comic Con last weekend and we had a marvelous time. It was our first time at this particular Southern California convention, and after the mayhem and madness of SDCC, the smaller event was more intimate and very inviting. My favorite part of any convention is wandering the exhibition floor and, in particular, browsing Artist Alley. (If you’ve ever attended a convention with me, you’ll know I usually come home with several pieces of art in hand!) This time, the Mutineer and I had a particular mission: find an appropriate piece of SPN art to hang in the living room.

We were not disappointed: LBCC’s Artist Alley spanned nearly half the exhibition floor (and made my fangirl heart so, so happy) and by pure chance we stumbled on this glorious artwork:

spnnouveau So, of course, the Mutineer and I had to stop and peruse the artist’s portfolio because, you know, reasons, and then there was this artist, Kalgado.  

And at that moment, I knew I’d found someone special. Turns out, the artist, Karina, and we live in the same dumpsters of fandom, and we quickly decided to become “trash friends.”

Karina is so incredibly talented that after the con was over, I emailed her and asked if I could feature her work and share her awesomeness with all of you. So, enjoy some of her beautiful art and bask in the utter glory of her brilliance. And then, go and buy stuff from her Etsy or Teefury. (Note: all art has been reposted with permission of the artist. )

il_fullxfull-1012888809_n88bHow did you first become interested in creating fandom artwork?

If we go way way back, I was probably drawing and creating my own Pokemon back when I was a kid and writing awful self-insertion mary-sue Digimon fanfiction that is buried in the depths of But fandom has always been a part of my life, and I’ve always wanted to participate in it.

What inspires you to create art?

Pop Culture! I love doing pop culture mash-ups. For a while, I was looking at a lot of old classic film posters to mix up with super heroes, but I also love working with different themes and styles. Sometimes, I purposely choose to mash up things just because I want to try out a new art style (it’s why I started making my Atsume Assemble charms and patterns).

Do you have a particular process for creating art?breakfastatnats-copytumblr

I have to have a really solid idea down. Sometimes my idea’s not finalized and sometimes it changes dramatically throughout the process, but I have to have some solid idea of what I want to illustrate. I can’t just sit down and begin drawing without having a plan of what I want to do. Sometimes I’ll make a few thumbnails, and a few sketches, and sometimes I just start digitally painting and carving out shapes. I’m kind of all over the place when I start a project, haha. 

However, I always make sure that I’ve had at least one cup of coffee for the day, and I’ve got something playing in the background. It can be music, something on Netflix, or even a YouTube video. Whatever it is, I can’t work in silence. It drives me crazy. 

What is your preferred artistic medium?

I’ve worked in so many mediums, but almost everything I do is digital these days. I mostly work with Paint Tool Sai, Adobe Photoshop, and occasionally Adobe Illustrator. Lately I have missed working traditionally, and I want to go back to painting with acrylics again! I just need to find the time!

spidergwenprinttumblrWho is your favorite artist?

Oh gosh, here’s a HUGE list of artists that I love. 

Pascal Campion is a huge influence on me, as is Mary Blair. I also absolutely love Erte, Mike Turner, Cliff Cramp, Liana Hee, Brittney Lee, Fiona Staples, Irene Flores (Beanclam), Sean (Cheeks) Galloway, and Adam Hughes. They’re all vastly different but a lot of them do influence my work. 

Do you have any favorite piece(s) that you’ve created? stevefourthnew

That’s a hard question! I’m always trying to look ahead and see what I can improve, so I tend to look at older pieces and pick them apart as the months go by, haha. I’ll notice things like tangents and shaky line work or something off. However, if I had to choose, I still like my Audrey Hepburn style Natasha, Spider-Gwen painting, and even my Captain America painting. 🙂

I am so looking forward to seeing more of Karina’s work in the future and, with any luck, spending more time with her at future conventions. For now, I’ll be hanging out with her in the dumpster on Tumblr.

You can find Karina (Kalgado) on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, and Teefury.

Go show her some love, Collectors.

xoxo -The Collectress