Ciaran Lucas [charco]
What is your specialty in illustration?
At the moment I'm specialising in backgrounds for animation, but normally a mix of good colour and rendering with funny/cute situation comedy.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
The fancy shmancy website is www.ciaranlucas.com but charco.deviantart.com is the best place for the most up-to-date stuff :D
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I studied animation in Dublin and Dundee, and moved into illustration and comics colouring after graduating
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
I only really got into comics properly as an adult, but with TV playing a large part Spidey and X-Men were definitely my favourites.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I've a few styles that would definitely be my comfort zone, that seemed to emerge when I stopped _trying_ to find a style. The right approach for the job, really.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
Depends on the project, but usually some folky acoustic guitar like Bon Iver or Iron and Wine. Either that, or soundtracks like Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
I do life drawing (almost) every week, and carry a sketchbook around with me pretty much wherever I go. I do studies from movies, books and magazines, and push myself to try new media with translates into digital in new and unexpected ways.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
Deviantart.com cghub.com imaginefx.com
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
It's a big leap, and a lot of pressure with very little security. Part time it at first, and get a taste for living off deadlines and putting yourself out there. Freelancing in any form is difficult and much more time consuming than it initially appears, and it takes a lot of dedication and late nights to really make a living from it.
If you like drawing more than security, weekends, a credit rating worth talking about, for many people other-human-contact then go ahead, but it is definitely a precarious choice.
That being said, there are some fantastic jobs out there, and if you're the master of time management, self motivation and self promotion, you can do great things.