Who is behind the Factory of Dreams...?

What's your name?
Jenika Ioffreda

When did you start drawing comics?
Since I was a child. I remember I could spend hours with pencil and paper in my hand drawing and drawing or reading comics. Also when people asked me "what do you want to be as an adult?" I usually replied "a comic book artist"

Why did you decide to self-publish your works?
Ever since I started drawing comics I really liked the idea of self-publishing.
I love being able to draw what I want, when I want and how I want.
Total freedom.
I didn't really decide to do it. It just came natural.

How did Vampire Free Style was born?
Everything started around 2000-2001 as a joke between me and my boyfriend. He sometimes called me "Micia" as a nickname. Micia in Italian language means "female cat" and it is also a quite common name for cats.
As a joke I started to draw myself in the shape of a black cat with big eyes whenever I needed to leave him a note. And slowly, the more I drew it, the more the little cat started to take a life of her own: she wasn't me anymore but a totally new character called Micia.
When we moved from Italy to London I decided to draw her story in a comic book.
I wasn't sure what her story was, I knew only she could speak with the stars and her "human" was a witch-boy.
The day we moved to London I was on the train from the airport to Liverpool Street station and I remember looking at the roofs of the houses and I decided I wanted to create a story where I could draw a lot of roofs. The idea of the witch-boy being in training and learning to fly come out, and slowly all the other elements and characters of Vampire Free Style came out too.
Also at the time I had another story in mind, Darkmoon. The story never saw light but I took some elements and designs from that story and transplanted them in Vampire Free Style.

What can you tell about Midnight Tea?
I can't say much without giving out spoilers but it is a ghost story set in 19th century. Almost all the characters are based on people I know (sometimes they are a mix of different people) and events really happened to me or to people I know (a bit changed, of course, but inspired by real events).
It is dedicated to various people including the loving memory of my grandmother.
I can't say who she is in the story, why or how without giving out some major spoiler but part of the story was inspired by what happened to her.
There will be mysteries, comedy, a bit of romance, travels to distant and magical lands, Steampunk flying machines, midnight rendezvous, old legends coming alive and lots and lots of tea.
I am not sure yet how many issues there will be but I am really looking forward to draw the rest of the story!

What are your drawing tools?
Pencils, pens, inks, papers, hands, fingers, watercolors, acrylics, brushes, toothbrushes, lightbox, my computer with various graphic software, and every other possible and impossible tool I can put my hands on...

What are your likes?
The Moon, the Stars, the Sea and the Night

What animation movies would you recommend?
Akira by Katsuiro Otomo, The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, nearly all movies by the Studio Ghibli and a lot more...

What comic books/graphic novels would you recommend?
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Ranma 1/2 by Rumiko Takahashi, Dylan Dog by Sclavi and various writers and artists, Kimi wa petto by Yayoi Ogawa, Rat-Man by Leo Ortolani, Strange Times by Dave West, and many more...

What bands would you recommend?
Die Kur, Little Death Machine, Concrete Age, Daemonia Nymphe, Wardruna, Nightwish, The Birthday Massacre, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Maxdmyz, Captain DaFeira, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Emilie Autumn, The Cure, King Diamond, Rob Zombie, Ufomammut, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Pink Floyd, Queen, 8Snake, Esprit d'Air, The Foreshadowing, Valravn, System of a Down, Ex Deo, Pj Harvey, Nox Arcana, Taberna Vinaria, Gojira, Lilygun, plenty of movie and animation soundtracks, and a lot more...

What is your motto?
"Once upon a time there was a dream. Now we have only to draw it."

Your official bio?
Here it is:
Jenika ioffreda is the creator of "Vampire Free Style", self-published and award nominated comic book series about a black cat in a world of vampires, magic and witches.
The series has sold over 5,000 copies in comic conventions around Europe, it has been praised by reviewers, it has a loyal following and it has been requested as set-dressing for the movie “This Must Be The Place” with Sean Penn.
Pages and illustrations from the series have been displayed at Brent Museum in London.
She took part to different comic book projects, including the “Kapow! Guinness World Record Special” – a project by Marvel which broke two Guinness World Record as the fastest comic book ever produced and the biggest number of creators working on a single comic – and international comic projects conducted by different organisations, such as the British Council, Lodz Cultural Centre in Poland, and the Arts Council of Malta.
Her works have been used as well for children books, CD covers and independent music theatre.
Italian born, currently based in United Kingdom, Jenika is an extremely active presence in the European comic conventions circuit with more than 200 appearances over the years.