Susie Gander, Dan Butcher and Will Turner at London MCM
Alongside Dan Butcher Susie Gander is one of the longest serving Reynard City artists. She has recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has worked hard to raise money and awareness. She has also released a comic on Deviantart called Periwinkle, a semi-autobiographical story.
For those reading for the first time please introduce yourself!
Hi my name is Susie, I am a huge lover of art, comics and movies. My favourite artist of all time is Micheal Turner- A huge inspiration for me, taken from us far too soon.
I graduated from University with a degree in digital animation specialist and still enjoy some good old fashioned finger painting !
Where did the idea for Periwinkle come from?
Perry Winkle is quite a personal one. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Cancer of the Lymphatic system) in November last year and felt I needed some sort of outlet to put where I was feeling. Kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde scenario!
There is the realism of the situation, but then there Perry Winkle, the inner super hero, keeping morale up and kicking its backside. Its a mix of action/adventure with a touch of drama :)
A little bit different, but not all doom and gloom as you would think, quite the opposite in fact.
Did you create Periwinkle to take your mind off the illness?
Yes and No. Working on Perry Winkle and the “Pimp up your profile” keeps the mind focused on something else. So you’re not sat there mulling over the what if’s and maybes. You don’t get the chance to over think the situation your in. At the same time as an artist you picture EVERYTHING !
So when the doctor says “You have a blood clot in your neck” – I instantly stopped listening and can picture a huge monster squeezing my veins like Capri Sun and completely missed what the doctor said … luckily my husband was on hand to take notes!
Would you say that art has helped you as a creative outlet and a distraction and would you recommend it to other patients?
Most definitely, its a great outlet and it can be anything at all, textiles, fashion, pottery etc , the list is endless, whatever you makes you happy, just do it !
Macmillan actually hold art sessions for cancer patients. I haven’t had the chance to attend one of these, but highly recommend it for those who haven’t been yet or were wondering about it. You can lose yourself in a painting for near on 12 hours sometimes !
12 hours cancer free. Just you, the paint and your music.
What first attracted you to doing art for Reynard City?
It was just so different to anything else around. It was zany and reminded me of Saturday mornings when you used to run downstairs to catch the cartoons on SM:TV live or Live and Kicking (showing my age!).
AK is a great character, without a doubt my favourite of the group. She’s witty and a little sarcastic but still vulnerable. Not often you get characters like that, thats why Reynard City is so clever in what it does :)
AK Girl, Wondervixen and Periwinkle by Susie Gander
Who would you have on your superhero team?
Oh wow .. how long we got? Ok, i’ll break it down. IRON MAN – He a genius… and he’s Robert Downey Jr ( No Pepper Allowed!)
What are your plans for the future?
Main plan is to finish off Perry Winkle, then fly off for holiday after chemotherapy is all finished. Recharge the batteries. Once back would like to get stuck into a new project, would love to do a spooky horror or an adult based ( not that kind !) of comic book. I am however a horrendous writer, never know where to start.
I just want to say that I have been impressed with your professionalism as an artist. I would also like to add that you have been through a lot and I have admired how you have faced up to it. Whatever happens next I wish you all the best and will support you as much as I can.
Thank you so much! The JustGiving Page was raised for the Lymphoma Association, I had never heard of Hodgkins Lymphoma before and struggled to read all the literature provided. The LA website and documents simplified it all and made it easier to understand. You can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/SusieGander. We are just £1 away from the big £1,500!
You can read Periwinkle and check out some other excellent art by Susie on her gallery by clicking here. Please show your support and give what you can on her JustGiving page.
If you are doing something for charity please let us know and we’ll be happy to do a guest blog with you (email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!)