Stuart Sayger has been drawing for as long as he can remember. But it wasn't until he attended IU-Bloomington as an undergrad - studying journalism - that he started thinking that his hobby could become a profession. It was there that he began to learn the tools of the trade, including an auspicious encounter with a new computer program, Photoshop, while working as an illustrator at campus paper The Indiana Daily Student.
Sayger put himself on the bleeding edge of comic book illustration by learning Photoshop in the early '90s, but his initiative and drive were more important elements in helping him establish himself in the industry. Sayger writes, illustrates and publishes his comic book series Shiver in the Dark, entirely by himself.
Shiver in the Dark, currently in distribution with Diamond Comics, revolves around a character named Grace, a spoiled and inconsiderate college student whose theft of a book from an old bookshop brings about dire consequences.
Grace is nasty by design, says Sayger. "By being nasty and cutthroat, she's not going to be such an easy victim like the female victims in so many horror movies."
The success of Shiver in the Dark led to steady work for Sayger as a professional comic book artist. The biggest seller on which he's worked is the Bionicle comic book series for Lego Toys/DC Comics. It's been distributed worldwide in nine different languages, and is now on shelves in major book retailers as a children's graphic novel series published by Papercutz.
Sayger is currently making a comfortable living illustrating collectible cards for White Wolf Games, but he would like to find more time to work on his Shiver in the Dark series, which offers him an artistic control he doesn't have when working on collaborative projects.
At Oranje, Sayger will exhibit large-scale paintings of his graphic art, composed with gouache, oil, pastel, and acrylic. "A lot of people get to see the finished comic book but very rarely do people get to see the pages the work is drawn on," he says. "I'm going to have the original pages side by side with the full printed page."