Andrew Stronge [strongedesigns]
What is your specialty in illustration?
Mostly B&W illustrations, but my style is designed for taking things and making them still hold their depth without really needing color. Though I do color them time to time.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
I get all kinds of different clients. From companies that have been around for many years to kids who just want me to doodle a picture of them.
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 studied web graphics and design in a local business school. Which gave me a fair understanding of Adobe Creative Suite. Other then that everything else is self taught over many years of practice.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
I got my first assignments from friends, who needed me to mock up designs to be tattooed or simply just used a avatars on their profile pages.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
The two main ones that come go mind are Craig Thompson & Sam Kieth.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
Other then the playful silly gestures, not much at all. My style has been refined a lot over over the years as I've learned what works better with different media.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
It can vary depending on if its a personal piece or for a client. Got to pay the bills, so sometimes I'll do things I don't even want to have see the light of day.
What is hardest to draw?
Haha, well honestly I find people hard to draw... women to be exact. I'm good at cartoons and creatures etc. But when it comes down to drawing a women without making her look comic book vulgar, its tricky.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
Really depends on my mood and the piece I'm working on at the time.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
To many to choose from, and my taste changes as I get older.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I ask "What don't you like about it, and what can we do to fix it and get on the right path?"
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
Vectorizing my work, I find having things in vector print a whole lot nicer. But at a cost of loosing that real hand done touch. So I've been playing with new ways to mix the two.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
Depends on what I'm working on. If it's feeling natural to do it all on paper, I'll keep with that. Otherwise I usually paint in a lot of the color digitally.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
Usually I try to keep things authentic to how they should really look. So I enjoy reading up on things if I'm not familiar with how they move or look when in particular position. Thank goodness for google images.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
I have in previous jobs, but these days it's just wife.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
To be recognized purely on style and not just by my name.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
Mostly blogs these days. But I have a links page on my website that I update whenever with new sites I find myself visiting often.
What are you working on now?
I poster for a screen printing event. It's going to be a squid attacking a beer keg.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
If you love drawing and you're doing it often enough to keep yourself happy, you're living. As far as putting food on the table with it, that one is still plaguing even me.