Joel Spector [joelspector]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Good solid illustration
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
FIT, Art Students League, MFA WCSU, studying portrait painting with Aaron Shikler
and a little self-taught
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
Started as a staff artist for WWD later staff artist for AMC, left for freelance and have never looked back. Done work for everyone, just about.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
Dean Cornwell, John LaGatta, John Collier, maybe a couple more, but they don't come to mind at this moment.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
More polished, less innocent.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
Superman....Was there anyone else? (I mean, worth talking about?).
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I have a coheseve style, let's call it "Painterly".
What is hardest to draw?
Nothing really.... if you can conceive it you should be able to draw it.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
No music... if I play music I begin to think about the music and not about the painting.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
Anything Jackson Pollock... greatest american painter in the second half of the 20th Century.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
Hasn't happened in quite a long time..... there might be different directions an illustration could go.... but I'm pretty good in figuring out what's in the client's mind, I always strive to satisfy.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
Oils..... worked with pastels for decades, I can do it in my sleep.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
Traditionally I work mostly with conventional media (pastels, oils, etc.), lately, sometimes, depending on specific jobs, I might start it conventionaly and scan the art in, and finish it on the computer.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
Extensive.... you can't fake things. If models and props were good enough for Leonardo & Michelangelo.... they are good enough for me.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
Satisfy a client. A client that walks away with a piece of art and thinks: "Yes!, this is what I need to solve my problem". There's no greater goal than that!
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
None... By the time things get to an illustrator's site or blog.... it has been chewed and rechewed so many time... I just don't get anything from them. Art Museums... that's where I go. Those guys knew truth.
What are you working on now?
Completed four set of murals for Norwegean Cruise Lines, for their casinos. Each wall was 10' X 22' long. 137 portraits of company officials, CEOs, CFO's, etc. for an international ad campaign. Book covers, magazine work, posters.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
Just do it! If not now, when?
New Milford, CT USA