March 19, 2021
Disabled And Here illustrator feature: Campbell
Hi! How would you like to introduce yourself? Hi! My name is Campbell Royales and I use they/them pronouns. I’m a fat Filipino illustrator and cartoonist with Type 1.5 diabetes.
How did you get into art and illustration? How would you describe your style? I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little kid because of all the cartoons I loved and it just carried on to there, eventually taking me to art school. I just graduated in December!
My style is constantly changing as I see and learn new things, but generally I like to use bright, saturated colors and bold, solid lines with a strong cartooning influence.
How do your lived experiences impact your art in general? Oh boy, that’s a big question. The big one I can think about is just how desperate I’ve always been to see myself in the media I loved. I drew the cartoons I watched, but there’s only one character from everything I remember that has any resemblance to me.
Additionally, almost all of my peers and teachers/coaches/mentors/bosses growing up were white. This was largely true in college as well. The dissonance of not having anyone to look up to that looks like you other than family members was tangible from a young age, but not being able to articulate how complex that feeling is [has] led to intense general anxiety and an exhausting inner dialogue between what I actually want and what I think people want from me that’s still very loud even now. It sucks but it influences the work I’m willing to make and put on display every single time.
At the time of this interview, we’re about a year into the pandemic in the US. Do you want to talk a little about what that has been like for you? Strange? I finished my last semester of college entirely online and that was… lackluster at best and not what I had envisioned in the slightest, but that’s everything now, isn’t it? Other than that it’s just been a lot of me, my partner, and the cat making the best of it. Lots of movies and video games, haha.
Huge congrats on graduating in the middle of a pandemic!! For a bit of a change, let’s imagine disability dreams and futures. For example, what might your ideal life be like in a better world (either a realistic OR fantastical type of world)? Universal healthcare, no doubt as a first. I don’t ever want to see a crowdfund for a medical expense again. After that, where to start? Abolishing police, supporting disadvantaged people and investing in their communities, valuing labor with a livable minimum wage, the list goes on and on!!
If you mean a better world as in one not like ours at all? I’d spend my days having picnics in meadow clearings with my friends on a sunny afternoon, each one of us shapeshifters so we can look and be however we want! For whatever reason! Maybe I just want to have moth antennas today, or a few patches of scales (just for the intrigue) or maybe I want to look exactly as I do now, but with a little more blush and maybe a matching dimple in my smile. I want to not have to worry about anything and look however I want doing it!
The ultimate dream! Project-wise, is there anything that you’d love to work on? I want to work on a project that I needed when I was younger. Whether it’s comic work or illustration series or something completely different, I want stories about fat kids and they aren’t treated as a joke for their size. Stories about brown kids that grow up in white spaces. Stories where people are queer and that’s not their whole character or story. I want to work in diverse stories and put my true self in them to reach out to those who have always felt like they didn’t quite fit in.
I LOVE all that. Official closer: what are the best ways to support you and your work going forward? The absolute best way would be to hire me!! My portfolio is over at soupskull.com, but otherwise, my Venmo/Cashapp/Ko-fi and Instagram is @soupskull, and Twitter is @soupskulls!