Rehab Exit Interview: Amber Carvan


1. Briefly describe your experience at comic artist rehab:

The four days would go very quickly! I’d be chuffed about finishing one comic and then it felt like I had barely caught my breath before another was due. It was good though. I enjoyed the challenge. I loved reading the comics that Claire, David and Bowb made and found the support from commenters really encouraging – especially at the beginning! It went much better than I had imagined. Actually, I feel kinda sad that our round is over.

2. What, if anything, did you learn from the program?

I learned that drawing a comic doesn’t have to be preceded by *days* of high drama and agonising. It’s actually not such a big deal. In fact, it’s quite possible for me to just sit down and do it. Also, I learned to open myself up to to the creative process again. I remembered what it’s like to look at the world with my ‘artist’ eyes.

3. Which one of your own comics are you most pleased with and why?

I like the last one, the valley. It was a challenge to write/draw about a macabre/taboo subject in a frank and honest way, but without having people think that I was about to top myself. I haven’t received calls from any concerned friends so I figure I must have succeeded!

4. Which one of your own comics are you least pleased with and why?

Probably walking in the bush. I drew heaps of comics that day trying to get something good. All of them were ok but nothing special. I regret not using this one instead:
The idea of the salada as the embodiment of four-panelled perfection has stuck with me.

5. Do you hope to keep up drawing comics after rehab? If so, how often.

I *really* want to start doing a mini-comic again. A no-frills, no drama, mini-comic that is photocopied on copy paper and read by a small circle of people. Something that has no crazy ambitions to be a graphic novel or an ignatz award winner. Just a simple mini-comic. I really like the idea of that.

6. Any suggestions for future rounds?

There was a point in this round where there was a real lull in energy. I could see that it was happening but didn’t really know what to do about it. I think that if this happens again I might jump in with a surprise challenge or something…. I don’t know. Ideas/ suggestions are most welcome.



3 Responses to “Rehab Exit Interview: Amber Carvan”

  1. Sarah Howell Says:

    Now the Exit interviews are done who will be entering the field next? I’m desperate to know!

    Definitely put me down for a future round!


    p.s. the salada is exquisite and hilarious.

  2. Justyna Says:

    Back in 1999 on my first trip to Melbourne to hang in your house that Tabitha and Anthony were ‘sitting’ for you while you and Richard were away (Fiji – from memory), I read your mini-comics for the very first time, one evening sitting cross-legged on your couch. Your sister would then supply me with following copies. I thought they were brilliant. It was my first entry to the world of comics. Now I cannot get enought of them.

    Please do another one.

  3. m pee Says:


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