Wild Horses: The Art of Sara and Agnes for My Little Pony

by Vince Brusio

The My Little Pony: Art is Magic TP (SEP150363) is the first MLP art book from IDW for the property. Highlights of the book have been the announcement that there are new pin-ups by each featured artist. But we decided to go beyond the highlights, and talk to the people that were directly involved in making the book. Two of the creators involved in the project were artists Agnes Garbowska and Sara Richard, and in this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, the ladies explain in detail what makes their clocks tick when working on one of IDW’s hottest properties.

My Little Pony: Art is Magic TP (SEP150363) is in comic shops November 25.


PREVIEWSworld: Now that IDW has decided to release an art book with My Little Pony: Art is Magic TP (SEP150363), what do you think that has to say about the appeal of the property?

Agnes Garbowska: I think that with the release of an art book the appeal of the property has really grown and the comics are now a huge part of it. The comics are being enjoyed by all ages and everyone reading the comics are really enjoying the art. Enjoying it enough that we were able to put together a fantastic art book.

Sara Richard: I feel My Little Pony is a property about expression and showing how different artists express their takes on the characters just needed to happen in the form of a big beautiful book. Throughout the comics, everyone's favorite characters have the same core features but to see how the various artists accentuate Rarity's locks or Pinkie Pie's energy or the epic stunts of Rainbow Dash is just so fun!

PREVIEWSworld: As an artist, what do you get out of playing in the My Little Pony sandbox?

Agnes Garbowska: I get to draw super awesome pastel-colored ponies all day. *Insert happy face* 

What I love about My Little Pony is the team behind it. I am teamed up with so many amazing writers that give me the freedom to interpret their stories my way and trust that I can do justice to their amazing writing. I also love that Hasbro does let us play with the house style and add a little bit of us into it. This makes it really fun to bring life to the characters in the comics.

Sara Richard: I get the artistic equivalent of an ice-cream sundae. I'm so happy to paint such fun, sweet and colorful characters! The whimsy of the property allows me to explore my swirly, pastel style too.

PREVIEWSworld: What helps you get your ideas when it’s time to sit down and start sketching?

Agnes Garbowska: Deadlines. The fear of deadlines is a strong motivator to sit down and work. If I hit my deadlines I get more work since I can show I am reliable and I can put out quality work in the requested amount of time. If I don’t hit my deadlines then most likely I won’t get hired again. I would say that motivating really keeps me going. I want to make my editors proud of the work I am doing for them.

I also like to start off my day looking at art from other artists. I find this is very inspiring and also great at getting me motivated to work. During my morning tea or coffee, I look to see what other artists posted online or grab a comic to look through while my brain wakes up.

Sara Richard: Definitely music. If I'm working on a moody piece I'll listen to something dark, if it's an illustration of something happy and energetic, I have a whole bunch of Korean Pop Music to help me out!

PREVIEWSworld: Have you ever been to BronyCon, or other fan convention? Have you had the chance to interact with fans at the conventions, or are you more of a keyboard commando? How can fans reach you on social media?

Agnes Garbowska: I actually finally went to my first BronyCon this summer! It was beyond awesome. The organizers of BronyCon were amazing hosts and treated myself, and the other talent extremely well. I got to shoot a t-shirt canon! Someone actually trusted me with a t-shirt canon! The staff and volunteers were so amazing that I did not stop smiling the whole weekend. Thank you so much for having me, BronyCon! The fans at BronyCon were also amazing and super sweet. Everyone was just so happy to be there and you could just feel how excited everyone was to be there. My favorite story was from one Brony that said the year before he went by himself and he was a little unsure of being there, but that all changed the moment he got to BronyCon and made a lot of friends. This year he did not come back alone, he came back with his friends that he made at the show! That just shows what a wonderful impact My Little Pony has on people. All weekend I kept hearing stories of friendship and acceptance, which I thought was amazing and brought tears to my eyes. Not to mention, thanks to the friendships I have made through ponies myself and other My Little Pony creators (including writers, artists, and voice talent) got to go on a tour of the White House!

As my first experience with fan conventions, I love interacting with fans. I think working on a title that revolves around friendship, it’s nice to go to conventions and meet people and hear their stories. It’s really wild how My Little Pony has touched people’s lives, and it has and in a very positive way. Of course, you will have your bad apples, but those are out-numbered by the sheer number of amazing fans. Equestria LA will be my second pony show and I am also beyond words excited for it. I really enjoy attending all conventions, not just fan centered ones since meeting fans is very important to me.

Fans can reach me on social media by looking up my name, Agnes Garbowska. Most of my handles are just AgnesGarbowska, this includes Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. I do have a Facebook fan page under my name, Agnes Garbowska.

Sara Richard: I haven't been to BronyCon yet, I would love to go to one though! At general comic cons I've met a lot of really amazing people with a passion for My Little Pony and have even received a lot of amazing art from fans that I keep in a special folder with all the art I bring home from conventions! 

I have a Twitter (@SaraRichard) Instagram (@SaraRichardArt) and a Tumblr, Facebook and Deviant, all with links on my homepage On these pages I'll often put up progress pictures in between lots of pictures of my cat.

PREVIEWSworld: What did you come away with from this project? How did working on the My Little Pony: Art is Magic TP compare to other assignments you’ve done for the property? Did you have an easier time just letting it all hang out?

Agnes Garbowska: I love the fact that with this project we can show all our process. We can reveal how we bring life to the pages from start to finish. I know I get a lot of questions about my process so it’s really great just to show it off. I really enjoy seeing how other artists approach their work and having this My Little Pony: Art is Magic TP show that other people really want to see this as well.

Working on the My Little Pony: Art is Magic TP was very different since it was an art book collecting a number of my past pieces and making sure all the process was there for the book. It was really fun getting to do a new pin-up for the book though. I have been testing myself with different coloring styles and this book was perfect for experimenting and trying out a slightly different way of coloring. Which, now thanks to this book, I really think I will do more of it.

I believe I did have an easier time just letting it all out since I was very excited for everyone to see the process I put into my art. It is different than most and instead of just having to explain it, fans can now actually see it in print too. I hope they will enjoy the art book as much as I enjoyed working on it.

Sara Richard: It's a great feeling being featured with all the other top artists on the series in such a great collection of eye candy. It was really fun being able to make a piece without the constraint of having to fit the logo in like a normal cover so that all details can be seen. In that sense it was much more freeing to go crazy with the composition! 

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