Interview with Aes K creator of “A Demon’s Heart” – All Ages of Geek WEBTOON Reviews
Hello, All Ages of Geek family! Today, we’re thrilled to have the multi-talented Aes K with us, an author, animator, and comic artist hailing from Georgia on our WEBTOON Creator Interview series. We’ll be discussing their enchanting web-comic “A Demon’s Heart,” which features an LGBTQ+ dark fairytale, as well as their Tapas Exclusive web novel, “Mary,” and their plans for future projects. So, let’s dive right in and explore the creative universe of Aes K!
A note from Aes K Creator of “A Demon’s Heart”
Hello! My name is Aes K, and I’m an author, practicing animator and comic artist from Georgia.
I have a webcomic called “A Demon’s Heart” on Webtoon, Tapas, and Okida. It’s an LGBTQ+ dark fairytale about a demon prince falling in love with a human.
I also wrote a Tapas Exclusive web novel named “Mary” which also functions as a prequel to the comic. I currently have two other prequel novels to the current comic planned, and some concepts for two completely new comic series written.
All of my socials (YouTube, Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram, Tumblr) are all under @aeskomics as well.
I’m honored to be selected for this interview!
What initially sparked your passion for creating content, and how did that desire evolve into the work you produce today?
Ever since I was a kid, I always had a hyperactive imagination. I always had little stories in my head I wanted to tell to anyone willing to lend an ear. I eventually ended up putting the stories with the visuals and eventually fell down the rabbit hole into the world of comics.
Can you walk us through your journey as a content creator, starting from the moment you first decided to explore this medium?
I can say my journey started in middle school, after I watched a really good episode of an anime I loved. The storytelling, the characters, everything about the anime was really inspiring to my creative mind.
I drew up some characters and immediately made the books on cheap notebook paper without making any kind of plan. I shared the books with my close friends and a few classmates at the time, even making a tiny little fanbase.
Entering high school was when I started taking the comic in a more serious direction, planning, and writing, but since I started it with no plan or initial storyline thought out, the story and characters went nowhere, and I eventually ended up abandoning the comic.
I didn’t give up though. I came up with a fresh, LGBT centered concept, and the first version of my current webcomic started on Amino. After a short run, I set my eyes on Webtoon, and I realized I could make it even better than it originally was.
After a second rewrite and a few more story changes, “A Demon’s Heart” was born on Webtoon. However, the comic was still being done with ink and markers on paper, digitally scanned and edited.
So again, after a FINAL rewrite and story revision, and a digital updated remake of the first book, I continued to create the comic digitally, while my art style slowly improved.
Meanwhile, I wrote new comic concepts on the side, wanting my universe to expand more.
Your work touches on various themes and subjects. How do you choose which stories to tell, and what do you hope your audience takes away from them?
At some point during my journey, I realized I could use my art to not only entertain, but shed light on the dark and horrible things happening in the world.
I want people to finish my stories not only entertained, but hopefully more aware.
What led you to choose your current platform for sharing your work, and what aspects of the platform do you find most appealing?
I had always heard of Webtoon before, but the decision to put my work on it was after learning that independent artists can start their own comics. I initially thought the creators of the app were the ones making the stories, not independent creators and artists like me.
And for the most appealing aspect? The fact that a small artist like me could have their story reach millions if placed on the spotlight.
Are there any aspects of the platform that you feel could be improved, or perhaps have been challenging to navigate?
I feel like recently, most of the stories on Webtoon that are promoted more have grown repetitive and into a sort of “formula.” The more unique and creative stories are often shoved to the side, while stories we’ve seen before get the attention. And this is true for not only Webtoon but other comic-sharing websites as well.
Everyone is always fighting for the same spotlight. I feel like if the spotlight was shared with everyone, a lot more small artists could start turning their dreams into realities sooner.
In your opinion, what distinguishes independent content from mainstream content, and why do you think the indie scene is important for the overall creative industry?
In my opinion, when a project goes mainstream, it falls to the mercy of big wigs and men in suits. They put puppet strings on it, and the project becomes less about what the creator wants to do, but instead on what will make money.
I mean… look what happened to Infinity Train. An amazing, never before seen concept…. Raw, gripping, realistic characters…. Shelved, never to be seen again due to the decisions of higher ups. We’ll never know what happened to Hazel and Amelia or if Grace even got off the train.
It’s the same for other amazing stories as well, canned and canceled, without respect or even a tinge of mercy.(Dead End: Paranormal Park, Inside Job, Sym-Bionic Titan to name a few.)
This is why independent, personal projects should be platformed more, with the creators having the most creative control. It’s important for creators to be able to create what THEY want to, and not having their dreams taken away from them and stomped on.
As a content creator, what are some unique storytelling techniques you’ve developed to set your work apart from others in the genre?
With the stories I have planned, especially in the future, I want to create concepts that not only are mostly original, but include a diverse range of characters and place them in roles others don’t think to place them in.
New and original POC, LGBTQ+, and neurodivergent characters and storylines, but not for “wokeness” or to fill a “quota.” It’s to really broaden the stories I tell and make them truly unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Apart from your main work, what other avenues do you explore to engage with your audience, such as social media, live events, or merchandise?
Definitely wanna make merch at some point! Seeing someone wearing a hoodie that has one of my characters on it would truly fill me with joy. And I know for sure, I’d want to eventually turn my webcomic into a physical release, and maybe even make my own anime out of it.
Creating content can be both rewarding and challenging. Can you share some of the struggles you’ve faced along the way, and how you’ve overcome them?
I’d say the struggle I’m having the most at the moment is battling the unforgiving algorithm of social media platforms.
While likes and clicks shouldn’t be what an artist focuses the most on, they do help with spreading your presence and hopefully getting noticed.
And while I’m saying that, an internal struggle i’m still trying to overcome is that likes don’t reflect the quality of my work. I remember spending all day on a piece only for it to get 7 likes.
I was frustrated, I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong, but I’m learning that I just have to keep going, keep growing, and keep reaching for the sky for my dreams.
Are there any creators, artists, or writers who have been particularly influential or inspiring to you? How have they shaped your creative journey?
Welp. It’s a long list, but I’ll shorten it.
Jordan Peele, Melanie Martinez, fka twigs, and Rebecca Sugar are definitely my main inspirations for sure. The way they create and just how much they are themselves artistically just inspire me to keep going.
For aspiring content creators, what are some practical tips and advice you would give to help them find their own voice and style?
Only create what makes you happy. Don’t follow trends or what’s popular all the time, mainly create content that is 100% you!
Can you tell us about your creative process, from brainstorming ideas to the final execution of your projects? How do you stay motivated and consistent throughout?
When I have a story concept, the first thing I do is write everything down. Writing helps me know exactly what I want to do. From there, creating character designs and sketches are made.
Then finally it’s up to me to begin making pages, and it goes from there!
How do you balance the creative and business aspects of being an independent content creator, such as promoting your work and managing finances?
I try to save up so I can spend on buying promotion for my comic/art and just general improvement of my tech and gear.
Funding creative projects can be challenging for many artists. What strategies have you employed to fund your work, and are there any resources you’d recommend to other creators?
Most of my funding comes from my 9-5 and the rare commissions I get.
How do you stay updated on the latest trends and developments in your industry, and how do you integrate this knowledge into your work?
I try to stray away from trends, as I want to focus on projects that are 100% me. However, when I am aligning with a trend, it’s only ones that I find particularly interesting, and I’ll take aspects of the trend and portray them, just in my own unique way.
In what ways do you believe the creative industry is evolving, and what opportunities do you see for independent creators in the future?
With mainstream media slowly becoming more and more repetitive and based on greed, a lot of people are turning to more independent creators and what they have to offer.
For example, Hazbin Hotel. What started off as an independent, crowdfunded 30 minute pilot on youtube is now becoming a fully animated series(with the help of A24, of course.) under the creator’s very own production company.
It looks to be an amazing series, and its potential success could entice larger companies to take independent, new and upcoming creators under their wings and platforming them without necessarily taking full creative control.
Collaboration can be an essential part of the creative process. Have you worked with other creators or artists on projects, and if so, how have those experiences shaped your work?
At the moment, I haven’t worked on a project in collaboration with an artist yet, but I hope so in the future!
What are some personal or professional goals you have for your career, and how do you plan to achieve them in the coming years?
My biggest goal at the moment is hopefully getting my webcomic on a larger platform and getting more readers. That way I’d have more of a presence online that would continue to grow the more I create.
As a creator, how do you measure success, and what achievements are you most proud of so far?
I measure a creator’s success on if they are creating what THEY want to, and having a successful career from doing what they truly love doing.
And as of right now, I think my biggest achievement is having the actual creators of Bayonetta like a drawing of her I did.
Lastly, could you share an anecdote or experience from your content-creating journey that has had a profound impact on you, and what did you learn from it?
“Hardwork is the key to success.”
I definitely wouldn’t have gotten this far if I gave up back then when I didn’t achieve success overnight like I initially expected to. Even now, being this far into my journey, I’m still learning, still growing, finding out new things about what I can do and create almost everyday.
As I continue to grow and expand my universe even further, I hope to reach good people looking for stories to entertain and make their days better.
Link to my WEBTOON: https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/a-demons-heart/list?title_no=268543
Link to prequel novel:
We’ve had an incredible time today, exploring the captivating world of Aes K including the spellbinding web-comic “A Demon’s Heart” and the intriguing web novel “Mary.” A huge thank you to Aes K for sharing their creative journey, their passion for storytelling, and a glimpse of what’s to come in the future. To our All Ages of Geek family, be sure to check out Aes K’s work on Webtoon, Tapas, and Okida, and follow them on their social media platforms @aeskomics. At All Ages of Geek, we love shining a light on the array of talents and stories that make the creative world so vibrant. Stay geeky and inspired, and I’ll see you all next time!
About Stec Studio, All Ages of Geek and “I Married a Monster on a Hill”
Stec Studio is a New Jersey-based company founded and run by by the Stec Sisters. We specialize in producing interactive comics and novels based on All Ages of Geek media, as well as creating a fully open world Boys Love Universe called BLU Media. This universe is being built from various media forms, including readable media, games, and animations.
Our main series, I Married a Monster on a Hill, is a WEBTOON that tells the story of a retired knight who falls in love with a half-monster. We are also developing an in-production visual novel called I Married a Monster on a Hill: Dates, along with an upcoming Wattpad Exclusive set in the same Universe. At Stec Studio, our goal is to create content that gives people hope and light, and we hope our stories can provide joy and entertainment to all who experience them.