Who is Celara?
I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and was considered a “tomboy”. I loved to play outside and play sports, andrun, jump, chase and climb trees. A big part of my memories are being outside as much as possible playing with the neighborhood kids, organizing and running games of “kick the can” and" flashlight tag". I was incredibly competitive and take charge. I also really enjoyed role-playing adventure games and used to pretend to be specific characters. My role models at that time were Princess Leia, Wonder Woman and a character called “Princess” from an obscure show called “Battle of the Planets". I loved that these were girls who could keep up with the boys, were strong and smart, and that went on their own adventures to fight bad guys.
Back then, role models like that were few and far between. As I got older, into high school and college, I didn’t grow out of any of this as some of my peers did. I still adored geeky movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Goonies, Labyrinth, Willow, Batman, and Jurassic Park. I also was super into playing video games like 007, Resident Evil, and Thief. When I wanted to be alone, I would disappear into my bedroom with a bag of Parmesan Goldfish crackers and read fantasy books for hours. And I still liked to climb trees.
I’ve always been a “geek” girl. I still am. I always have looked for the “strong female character” in any book, movie, show, game so I could be a part of that world too. These strong women have always been my window into the world. They are whom I relate to, whom I look up to. I feel like when I was growing up, it used to be much harder to find characters that had major roles in the stories I loved that were like me and I am delighted that it’s getting easier and easier these days. My identity as a geek girl reflects in my whole life, from my art, the characters I draw, the stories I try to tell. I want to put these characters and stories front and center, give them equal weight to their male counterparts.
When it came time to develop my own character, I decided she would be part autobiographical to my life as well as part a portrait of all the fans and fellow geek girls that I have met in my life, online, and at conventions. There are a lot of us and I want to celebrate and honor our experiences with this character. I also really want to make being a girl who is a geek more visible so that the little girl who gets bullied for wearing a Groot shirt to school knows she’s not alone. I want to celebrate what being a geek is and the stories that we love and how we love them. I want to recognize why we create fan art and participate in cosplay and engage in endless dialogues discussing the ins and outs of characters and stories that we love. Celara is my homage to how we all connect with each through these stories.