Emi Lenox is one of the rising stars of the exploding Portland comics scene, best known for her sweet, adorable autobiographical webcomic EmiTown (which, by the way, has been thankfully compiled into a 400-page graphic novel from Image Comics). So if you're someone who's chosen "struggling artist" as a career path, heed Emi's words of scholastic wisdom.

Are you a millionaire yet?
Hells no—but I still have my soul intact, which I think is better for the long run.

What's your current employment status?
Self-employed. Survival-mode.

Do you consider yourself "successful" in your chosen field?
Mmmmmreeeeggghhh. If you consider the fact I have a book published and another on its way "successful," then yeah! If we are talking dollars and cents, then not really. AND if we are talking about my soul still being bright and beautiful, then most definitely.

Tell us about your education. Anything you regret doing or not doing?
I'm a high school graduate and an art school dropout. I went to the Academy of Art in San Francisco and didn't survive to experience a second year. If there's anything I regret, it's not having the "college party" experience. I feel that's a part of growing up that I missed out on.

What advice would you give to artists who want to make a career of it? (Besides "Don't do it, I don't want any more competition.")
Don't do it for the money. There's a reason the term "starving artists" exists. You also have to have the drive. Without the drive, times can be pretty depressing. There's a reason why we drink a lot. Not me... but artists... in general... is that a blanket statement? You've heard that? No? Forget I said it.

Any advice for those just starting out in college?
Ummm... Do your homework first, then party?

What's the best name for a dog?
For a beagle: Pants.

Check out Lenox's work at emitown.blogspot.com

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