If not for her dad’s influence, senior Illustration major Dylan Bolden might have been graduating in May from a different college with a civil engineering or computer science degree.
“My dad used to draw with me on the floor, so he must have always known that this is what I was going to do,” she said. “I thought it was just a hobby, but when I thought about studying other things, it just did not get me excited.”
A visit to Moore during an open house solidified her choice.
“I fell in love with the community and the small campus that we had,” she said. “I got to see all the upperclass illustration work and it really got me fired up to study here.”
Bolden recently sold out her senior thesis work, a 24-page horror-comic book called Don’t Linger in Dark Corners, at the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Festival in New York City, sponsored by the Society of Illustrators.
“A lot of people were interested in the cover, and then they would flip through and get excited by the colors and the composition,” she said.
Don’t Linger is about a wolfman that lives under a bridge and haunts a child. The story is a nod to the Bunny Man urban legends that originated from two incidents in Fairfax, Va., in 1970 of a man dressed in a rabbit costume who attacked people with an ax. Bolden’s family once lived there.
Bolden uses the pen name Dylan B. Caleho for her art and social media presence.
“It’s an anagram of my birth name, Chayla Bolden,” she said. “I used to read a lot of A Series of Unfortunate Events as a child, and the antagonist, Count Olaf, was known for using anagrams a lot when in disguise as other characters. I got the idea from this.”
Bolden had an internship last summer with Source Point Press, a publisher of books, comic books and graphic novels, and continues to do work for the company.
“The internship was the most special moment for me of my college career,” she said. “It really opened my eyes to what kind of career I would like to pursue. Source Point was my first real big step into seeing what it the actual field is like. It was really cool.”
Bolden said she also learned a lot as a member of Moore’s Visionary Woman Honors Program.
“The program definitely taught me how to not only advocate for myself, but to speak up and defend what it is I that like to do,” she said. “I used to be a little apprehensive about telling people that I was an artist. But the Visionary Woman program taught us you will be successful in this and you have to advocate for yourself.”
Bolden’s older brother and sister are not artists, but they approve of their baby sister’s career choice.
“They love it,” she said. “They think it’s super-cool. My dad loves it, too. I’ll send him stuff I’m working on and he’ll show it to his co-workers. I think it’s really sweet.”
See more of Bolden’s art here.