Greg Jolly [gregjollyaa]
What is your specialty in illustration?
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
I'm not doing illustration full-time yet, I am a freelance graphic designer, working on doing more illustration work. I've done several illustrations for local magazines, and I was an editorial cartoonist for a local business publication.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
I have a deviant art portfolio where I post some of my illustrations,
My illustration blog, where I post work, old and new and sketches and stuff that's in-progress...
My design blog, (my dayjob)...
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I went to the Cleveland Institute of Art. Where I majored in illustration, and minored in life-drawing and cinematography.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
I would draw stuff for guys in grade school so they wouldn't beat me up. Like superheroes or monsters. Does that count?
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Bill Watterson, Berke Breathed, Gary Larson, Walt Kelly, Jack Davis, Lou Fine, Jack Cole, Hal Foster, Jack Kirby, Milton Caniff, Will Eisner, Jeff MacNelly, Steve Rude, Bernie Wrightson, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Magritte, Herb Trimpe, Eric Powell, Mark Schultz, Mike Allred...
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
I think the older stuff looks better. I'm really rusty and after years of real jobs.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
Savage Sword of Conan, and everything I drew for the next few years had swords and monsters...
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I don't think I'm good enough to have a consistent style yet. Maybe something along the lines of a comic book adaptation of a muppet version of Lord of the Rings, if it had been made by Rankin/Bass?
What is hardest to draw?
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
It really depends what I'm working on. Some of my favorite things to listen to are Ruth MacKenzie's interpretation of the "Kalevala" (Scandinavian folklore), Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, Bach's Toccata & Fugue, and I have a bunch of old music collections, "Music from the Republic Serials," "The Night Stalker and other classic Thrillers," "Classic Film Noir Scenes and themes," "The Great Hitchcock movie Thrillers," one of my favorites is a tape of all the music from Jonny Quest, even the incidental music, with all the variations.
Some of my favorite bands are The Blasters, The Seatbelts, Los Straightjackets, 5678s, Dick Dale, Johnny Cash, The Clash.
I've been listening to a lot of old-time radio on podcasts. I have the TV in my studio hooked up our dish now so I watch a lot of cartoons, Venture Brothers, Avatar, Secret Saturdays, Danny Phantom, Ben 10, Batman. Around Halloween every year the History Channel and the Discovery channel have dozens of shows about monsters, so I usually fill up my DVR with as many as possible.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
There's this really cool painting in the Cleveland Museum of Art, it's of a dead rabbit hanging on a hook, it's horrific and peaceful. It's beautifully painted.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I had one guy early on who was writing a collection of self-proclaimed ''intellectual" cartoons, he told me the humor would be more "sophisticated" than the New Yorker, so I may not understand them. He sent me hundreds of typed gag strips and a check for seventy-five dollars and told me to draw as many as I could for the money. I picked out a handful that I liked, and sent him the finished cartoons a few weeks later, with a note asking if he wanted me to continue to do more.
I got a note in the mail a few weeks later. He stated he was furious. He had expected me to draw more than a half dozen for seventy-five dollars, (in less than three weeks mind you). At the bottom of the overly formal note he wrote, in an obviously angry hand, "You're not Mr. Jolly, you're Mr. Folly." I though that was hilarious! As well as ''intellectual" and "sophisticated." I wish I could find the note. I think I saved it in a book somewhere, if I should ever run across it again, I'm going to frame it for my studio.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
I'm using Photoshop more. At first it was to do changes and corrections, now it's part of my process.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
My brains are like a Play-Doh Fun Factory, the more material you stuff in them, the more stuff comes out. So I try to read a lot, I have book and magazine piles near every spot where I sit or lay down regularly, and we just built an entire wall of bookshelves for our living room. I have stacks of research books on whatever look or sounds interesting. I'm addicted to my local Half Priced Books store. My mother-in-law got me hooked on The Smithsonian Magazine, and I love the History Channel.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Not so much anymore, now that I work from home. There's the dog but he gets bored with me asking too many questions.
The last art department I worked there was a really great bunch of artists who were open to creative back and forth. Which was really great because all often people are either annoyed by criticism or are uncomfortable giving honest criticism.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
My ultimate goal would be to be able to make a living at just illustration and no design work.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
Deviant Art is a great place to find inspiration, and meet other artists.
What are you working on now?
Writing and illustrating a monthly webstrip for a book publisher, it's a an homage to old time adventure strips from the Sunday comics. Starting soon.
I'm working on my first graphic novel, a collection of hard boiled a western horror comics, full of history, horror, and of course gunfights!
I have a book project! I'm publishing an anthology of comic stories, drawings, and illustrations inspired by ancient myths and legends. Right now I'm researching obscure folktales and creatures. I'll be posting updates and sketches on a the book's blog as time allows.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
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|| ||joyce martins|| |
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