Dandelion Wine Collective — Winner of $25k during UP/Start Competition

It’s no coincidence that the word “collective” is in the title of the new venture from Paloma Hernando ’17 (Illustration B.F.A.) and Bekky Sunmi Shin ’17 (Illustration B.F.A.). The whole project is about collaborating.

Captivated by the collective business style and extraordinary talent of the indie comics industry, the duo formed Dandelion Wine Collective determined to give a platform to new, exciting voices from the illustration and sequential arts communities. As a micro-publisher, they work directly with independent creators to edit, publish, market and sell their work.

It’s of little surprise the collective was the People’s Choice winner for the first round of 2017's Up/Start — the whole project is focused on the local community and publishing the work of their peers.

“Going through the social experience of the critique, it’s about being able to find potential in work, and not just yours, but everyone’s,” Hernando said about how her experience in the classroom translates into her business venture — and it was actually in the classroom where this venture started about a year ago.

Illustration faculty member Alain Corbel was interested in publishing the students’ work in an anthology, and Hernando and Shin seized the opportunity to collaborate with their peers. “MICA has such a strong, vivid comics community within the illustration department,” said Shin, who is president of the MICA Sequential Arts Club. “Respecting the work that our peers do, we wanted to put that out there to the world.”

“We work hard to fill our projects with artists who deserve to tell their stories,” Hernando said.

Dandelion Wine Collective launched new projects in time to participate in MoCCA Fest 2017 — a two-day independent comics, cartoon and animation festival in NYC — and has plans for several future projects including a graphic novel with works by Sarah Webb ’17 and an anthology focused on Asian-American narratives by Margaret Huey ’18 as well as an experimental quarterly publication that will each be around a single theme.

“Words and images come together in a way that narratively, emotionally has an ability to push boundaries — comics has this ability,” Shin said.