Brandon Gorski [brandongorski]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Black and white sequential images are my strongest work. I'm also combining story telling and narrative elements with mixed media and collage.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
At the moment I work for a non profit arts program in my hometown, so the expectations they have for me are different than most. Because of my time there I'm given freedom in my choice of projects.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
match-the-comic.blogspot.com is my free weekly webcomic that has been ongoing since October 2008.
i have a blog just for my other artwork at brandon-gorski.blogspot.com.
thanks for checking them out!
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I'm just finishing four years and getting my bachelors degree from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
I created and submitted a small 5 page comic I had been working on into a local zine to be sold and distributed in the area.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
the past: the classic amazing old school painters (van gough, matisse, etc.) because I have often struggled with painting, and to see them do what they do is inspiring.
the present: Alex Maleev, John Cassady, Mike Oeming, Ethan Van Sciver, Stuart Immonen, Mark Bagley, Leneil Francis Yu, David Lafuente, David Aja, Dustin Nyugen, sean philips, j.g. jones, jeff jones, theyre all comic book artists, i could go on forever really.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
i see similar ways in which I do things. I've always been very focused on the figure, of people and a narrative aspect of drawing. Even as a kid i was trying to make comics without any real solid skills on how to do it. Also the quality of my lines and the application of media is somewhat similar, when I was little I wasn't scared to just draw a a huge orange line, even if it looked bad. I try to be this bold when I work now.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
What wasn't my favorite comic book? I really loved Spider-Man, the whole idea and aspect of the character really captured my imagination. Before that it was Batman, even though half the time I wasnt reading the letters, more or less just staring at the art and depending on that to tell me the story.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
My style is identifiable by my use of inkwork, and limited color palette. I tend to stick to black and white sequential imagery, it's my favorite way to work. More recently I became more comfortable using color, and with the collage techniques I've learned it's worked successfully. I think that the experimental/collage work is a little different from the straight up black and white, but it's used in similar manner.
What is hardest to draw?
hands, and feet. Especially on women, because if you give a woman these giant masculine hands, all her femininity is gone. It's something that I've been working on forever.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
it changes all the time. I keep my ipod stocked with a few different genres, I mostly just have go to bands that I know I'll be able to work to without much distraction. Kings of Leon have been my go to band for awhile, they're just amazing.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
it's hard to say. I'm bombarded with imagery on a regular basis, and of the ones I love its impossible to pick one absolute favorite.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
take steps to modify the image before things are too concrete in the piece. For the collage techniques I use, it would be difficult to lift things off and move around if pieces are already attached down with medium. The black and white work is much simpler though, as its process takes different steps, and is easily fixable if something comes up.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
I've been using the different collage techniques I've learned, in combination with narrative subjects. For example, I created a template for an old looking comic book in illustrator, printed that out backwards and transferred it to a board, to give it a distressed look once transferred. Once I saw that the technique worked, I repeated it twice, and those images became my mailer series.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
For my comics I do the actual penciling and inking on paper, then clean it up and letter it digitally. Experimentally its almost always traditionally working, and not on paper as it wont hold the things I do.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
A ton of research goes into these pieces. For my comics, I take tons of photo references, using people in my life as character models, and then I scope out actual locations for different scenes.
For my experimental work, I can't actually begin these pieces until I have everything I need, so the research process can take longer.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Working in a studio at Massart helped out alot, as I was able to see what others were doing and ask them about their technique. Working at the Non Profit Art program also helps out alot, because the open opinion and honest critique is always there if I need it. The nonprofit program has helped me a great deal over the years and taught me techniques that became invaluable, (rawart.org).
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
I want to be able to tell my stories exactly the way they're meant to be told. Not only that I want to work on projects that I'm going to be proud of, stories that are going to surprise me as I illustrate them, not just the reader.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
drawn.ca, newsarama.com, websites of artists I love (alexmaleev.com) the indy comic news blog, has been invaluable to me.
What are you working on now?
I'm just wrapping up the third issue of my comic and plugging away toward the end of the first volume. The first volume will consist of six issues and I'm about halfway there at this point. Once I'm finished it will be time to fine tune the issues, and add some extras for mass print.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
I would say know what your getting into. I wasn't really pursuing the path I was on way back when, and I didn't actually know you could make money from it. The only thing that was troublesome was noone ever actually explained what Illustration was to me, or how the business worked, or what was expected. It's been a real learning curve over the past four years. I would definetely research the field before hand, to get familiar with what Illustration is.
Lynn, MA, USA