What is your specialty in illustration?
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
My clients are usually informal and easy going, expecting little beyond single characters on plain backgrounds.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I spent 2 and a half years at art school, and spent the past 5 years teaching myself.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
I've not had any published work, but my larger assignments are usually several characters interacting with their environment in some fashion. I keep my clients informed and up to date on all progress leading up to the completed product.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
For the past, Wyeth is is one of my big favorites, but anyone from Pyle's particular brand of magic is pretty admirable.
For present day illustrators, Gurney is who I grew up seeing, while Amano inspired my teenage years and finally, Ashley Wood has been a major influence.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
My work today is vastly different from what came before I went to art school, and my work from my childhood and teens is unrecognizable to me.
Progress is the mark of a creator, anyone who stagnates is only doing work.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
I never got a chance to read comics as a child (I had so little appreciation for paperbacks as a child that my parents would refuse to pay for such things.
I did read many books as a child, including Dinotopia, which gave me an interest in paleontology and art.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I like to think that I do have something of a style, but really it's more of a style range. Anything I draw can have varying degrees of likenesses and differences, sometimes with disastrous results.
What is hardest to draw?
For me, no one thing in particular, but coherent environments elude me a bit. I see amazing vistas, dense forests, and bustling cities in my head, but getting them on paper always involves a lot more work than I expect them to.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
Folk, punk, blues-rock, jazz and whatever Metric is.
I'll listen to only what I deem excellent, I can't just listen to anything. I love music too much to hear it all.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
Belonging to another artist, no. I am a very me-centric sort of person, so if it doesn't pertain to me in some way, it's not really important to me.
Online galleries and blogs that have a favorites function, I typically fill with art I find to be wonderful and amazing, but I view it as a sort of curation, and no one piece is anymore amazing to me than another.
As for works of my own, I always have a current favorite, which changes as I improve. Sometimes I go back and look at my gallery to see what skills I've lost and gained over the years. Introspection is a powerful learning experience.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
If it is a large assignment, I would get something like this in the early stages, and endeavor to fix it.
Sometimes, clients make a point of being difficult to work with and regrettably, for myself and them, I've had to let them go.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
My painting style hasn't changed much over the last couple years, but I've been experimenting with painting up from just a background color and a sketch. Also, I've done some adding color to just monochrome pieces.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
Depends on what I'm in the mood for.
I sometimes do traditional work, usually in gouache or acrylic, as they are pretty forgiving and not as messy as oils. Sometimes I will do a mix of drawing on paper and painting digitally. Mostly I just do digital work when I'm faffing about.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
Mostly I have to look up objects that I don't have locked in my memory (animals, clothing, weapons, etc.) For larger works, I will sometimes have to look up histories and philosophies to get in the right frame of mind. This sometimes results in hours spent on wikipedia.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
I share any and all information with anyone who asks. There is no subject I can't or won't talk about. Art enriches life.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
My ideal is to get a nice big comic going and hope I can get some sort of publishing deal, and when it's all big and popular, make a movie out of it. The unfortunate part is that I lose sight of that goal as bills decide they need to be paid.
If I had art as my first job, instead of my second, I'd like to do book covers for a living.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
Deviantart, and my own little section of tumblr. I used to visit Concept Art regularly, but it's been a while since I've been there. Perhaps I will start going there again for some hardcore practice.
What are you working on now?
I big piece of some giant wolf ladies unintentionally terrorizing a large city.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
Draw from life everyday, style comes naturally and should not be forced.