Meet the cartoonist: O’Keefe Prize winner Lizbeth Brown

Melanie Calimlim, Staff member

Fine Arts major Lizbeth Brown found her passion for drawing during preschool. Brown loved when her mother would show picture books and comics, and began drawing around age 4. She’s gotten inspiration from different types of illustration throughout the years.

At age 14, Brown took her first art class at Diablo Valley College with professor Arthur Scott King, and he has remained her mentor for 10 years. She has now drawn about a thousand pages worth of graphic novels.

“Marla and the Tea Sprites” is her latest work, which took well over a year to finish. However, her efforts didn’t go to waste as it received an award in the 2015 James O’Keefe Comic Contest. Although drawing is a lot of fun, having an idea and giving it life can be challenging.

“Comics take complete concentration so if I’m not feeling inspired at the time, going through the motions just to get it done can be lonely and tedious,” she said.

When asked whether she plans to transfer anywhere after DVC, Brown mentioned a graphic novel grad program at the California College of the Arts. But although she would love to, the time and money required for this program is a bit much.

“The fact that I’ve already got my comics out there, I’d rather keep going with what I’m doing,” she explained. “My plan is to simply take whatever classes here apply to my field and keep making comics.”

Brown did not need to go too far to find inspiration and meet influential people. She keeps in touch with many talented peer artists that she’s met in classes at DVC.

“If you meet anyone in an art class who inspires, encourages you or someone you just get along with, get their number. No one can relate to an artist the way other artists can and I feel it’s an essential to have in any artist’s life,” she said.

Brown is currently working on a second volume of “Marla and the Tea Sprites” which she hopes to release in September.

To see more of her work, visit