Archive | January, 2011

Artist #4: Lorna M. Stephens

29 Jan

Lorna M. Stephens is another one of those amazing online finds. Also known as SullenSkrewt on deviantART, Lorna creates masterful paintings. Fan art makes up the main body of her work, but with her own style splashed artfully over it. I do gush a lot but my jaw honestly dropped closer and closer to my desk as I browsed her gallery. It’s a fantastic collection, featuring Harry Potter, Watchmen, classic screen legends and, most prominently, the Joker. I hope you’ll swing by her dA after reading if you like her work.

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What first interested you in art?
My interest in art started as a child. One of my earliest memories is painting a boat on the sea in Nursery school. I remember the poster paints I used had a perculiar smell to them. I also used to draw portraits of my friends in primary school.

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
It helps that my dad used to paint when he was younger and both my parents have always encouraged me.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
I would like to make a career out of it, but that’s a bloody difficult thing to do. Still, it’s everybody’s ambition to make a living doing what they enjoy most.

 Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
Although I studied art (college and University), art to some point is self taught…you paint what interests you and you come up with a style you like and a medium you are comfortable with. Advice and support are great but in the end, it’s up to you what direction you want to go with it.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from other artists and movies. I am a huge fan of the flicks and most of my painting is based on the enthralling characters that get my creative urge kicking.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Many artists on DA can inspire me. It only takes one picture to inspire you and there are so many great artists on here and artists throughout history who inspire me. Probably more in the future that will inspire me still!

 

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
The pieces I am most proud of are the ones that show a bit of experimentation to them. Although I use the Joker for a muse, there is colour in the character and he is great for getting me in the mood to experiment with my painting.

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as realistic with a few abstract strokes thrown in for good measure.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m working on a painting of a 50’s diner at the moment. I enjoy painting portraits but I wanted to try something a little different and create something with a story behind it. Whether it’ll work out remains to be seen.

What drew you to the themes or people you base a lot of your work on?
The fan art I paint is the stuff that I like…that’s pretty much it. If a particular character grabs my attention then I’ll probably end up getting my brushes out for him/her

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
When I paint, I will grab a number of reference pictures that I might need. For example, I am using four picture references for the diner picture I am working on. I’ll do a rough compositional sketch and then break out the paints. I use good quality acrylic (longer drying time, thick and rich colour) and then just slap the paint on whatever area I fancy tackling first.

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Artist #3: Robin a.k.a. Raliel

28 Jan

Anyone interested in art and spends a lot of time online – i.e. folks like me – will surely come across many talented people. One such person I’ve come across is today’s featured artist, Robin. He’s one of those people that never fails to amaze and each piece of his I’ve seen really makes an impact. And makes you more than a little jealous. His work speaks for itself, but I will add that he creates some stunning Amanda Palmer related art and is very much on the radar of the almighty Neil Gaiman. Just putting that out there.

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What first interested you in art?

Hmmm. I think I always have been but I spent alot of time growing up around quite creative people and took an interest in galleries and exhibitions when still a child

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?

The only real encouragement I get is from friends and internet accquaintances…not sure if i am a pro artist yet at all even though it is my life.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?

Studied art all through school and college and went on to study art at Winchester School of Art many years ago…interestingly I do not think I gained much from the experience and most of the techniques I know are self taught.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

All sorts of things, music, literature, other artists work… even random things I see in junk shop windows or on the street. My main defined influences would have to be the Pre-raphealites, AfP (of course!…she has inspired me to be creative sooo much) and the literary works of H.P.Lovecraft. Also medieval Ikon art

Who are some of your favourite artists?

Da Vinci, Blake, Rosetti, Waterhouse.. Syme..Harry Clarke, Byrne Jones, to name but a few there are also many talented new artists who I have encountered on the internet via twitter, etc.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?

I see it as a vital part of who I am and hopefully it will eventually be a financially viable way of living too!

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

Hmmm it changes alot… The masks I did for the AfP show were great as so many people took part in making them come alive but at the moment I think my series of china dolls is giving me alot of satisfaction.

 

How would you describe your style?

I would have to fall into the category of macabre art generally. Most of my work is somewhat odd if not downright monsterous…

 

What made you focus more on that area more than another?

It is just the way of things really. I suppose it probably says alot about me as a person.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?

I use all sorts of things all the time and love glass engraving, though I have not done any for quite a while. Latex, milliput, clay, foam, acrylic…. Oh, I do love painting on wood rather than canvas!

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Several things actually. Making a few more Marmite demons as soon as empty jars arrive, several paintings (all very medieval and lovecraftian) and I need to get on with some puppets soon.

What drew you to the themes or characters you base a lot of your work on?

I think it has to do with my obsession with the Other and outsider influences and my love of theatricality

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?

If it is a painting I will often start with just a blank bit of wood and then start sketching into it some ideas then I will reference source images for any figure or background and just get going. I do not keep a sketch book and wish that I did! Sculpture and puppet work tends to come from images or stories and then built upon….

Artist #2: Brooke Hunter

25 Jan

Today’s artist feature is Brooke Hunter; tattooist, sculptor, comic artist –  an apparent jill-of-all-trades with some great drawing skills. I could only post a few of her pieces so I tried to include a variety of styles and media. She’s got so many awesome tattoos you should take a peek at though – Sandman,  Harley Quinn or Ghost Rider anyone? Not only that, but she’s put ink to the marvellous Zoe Boekbinder’s skin on more than one occasion!

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 What first interested you in art? 

 I’m not sure, I think it was involuntary.  I used to get into trouble for drawing in class, at the table, in the car, in church, etc.

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it? 

From people who weren’t my parents, yes.  From my parents, they wanted me to go into music or science or something else, but ‘art’ wasn’t really considered a lucrative career at my house.

Have you studied art or are you self taught?

I failed two art classes in high school, thought about taking it in college, but opted for theater instead because the art department seemed kind of elitist, and frankly I didn’t think I needed to be taught how to draw since my work was superior to most of what I saw students doing.

Do you have any plans to study it? 

At forty years old, I am lucky I can still practice it.  I do a lot of independent study, but I really don’t see a need to ever see the inside of a classroom again.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I assume a muse of some kind?  But I have never seen her.  At work, my inspiration is cash, and giving the customer whatever they want.

Who are some of your favourite artists? 

Michaelangelo is probably at the top.  da Vinci wasn’t a bad artist, but his career and body of work was not that impressive, really.  I could write backwards with both hands since I was a kid.  it isn’t that big a deal.  I also like a lot of the classic sculptors, but I am picky about whom I do like.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby? 

I use it for a career right now, and have these past twenty years or so.  Other than tattooing, I’d love to think some of the other stuff I do would be worth something, but I’m not sure how that would translate into a career these days.  Although I’m sure pinstriping and airbrushing could be put to cash gain, but right now that’s a hobby.
 

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

Out of the thousands I’ve put on people, I am really not sure.  Out of stuff I have done on my own, I made and carved a campaign box I’m rather fond of.


How would you describe your style? 

What style do you want to see?  I dont really feel like I have a style, I think of it more as doing what needs to be done.

What made you focus more on that area more than another? 

It made me obscene amounts of cash.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?

Sculpture.  It’s more for fun than anything but I’ve started to work in stone which is amazing.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m converting our old dining table into an enormous chess set, with stone pieces.  It should have inlaid ebony bits, and bone.  Should take awhile.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?

Not really, I have no idea what it is.  See a visual need, then fill it, I guess.

How did you get your career start?

I was painting murals around town, and making no money at it and a waitress at a bar I was doing a line drawing for their letterhead told me about a local tattooist who was looking for an apprentice.  Two days later I was managing his shop and doing maybe twenty-thirty tattoos a day.  The guy is lucky I picked it up fast; he wasn’t looking for anyone to teach, he was looking for a warm body to make as much money as possible.  I worked for him for three months, then opened my own shop.

Artist #1: Adam Hughes

23 Jan

As promised, here is the first in the series of interviews I have planned to let loose on this little bloggie here. I’ve been in touch with artists whose work I admire, from many different styles and fields of art.  These interviews should act as a profile of them and feature some of their oh so pretty pieces of work. Basically, look forward to all manner of aesthetically pleasing fun, plus some words thrown in for good measure.

Away we go –

I thought I’d kick off the series with Adam Hughes, comic book artist known for his realistic approach, stunning covers and pin-up style heroines. His impressive body of work includes Tomb Raider, Star Wars, Justice League of America and, most notably,  Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Zatanna.

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What first interested you in art?

As a child?  It was coming up with adventures for my favourite characters.  It was like playing with toys, only on paper.

 

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?

Very much.  I was never told I couldn’t be an artist, and my mother made sure I had pencil & paper…much like a political prisoner!

Have you studied art or are you self taught?

I’m self-taught.

Do you have any plans to study it?

Some day I’d like to!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Wherever I find it.  Sometimes it’s from perusing my favourite artists’ works… sometimes it’s from something I’ll see walking down the street.  It’s dangerous to only have one specific source of inspiration – it might let you down some day.

Who are some of your favourite artists?

Alphonse Mucha, Norman Rockwell, Drew Struzan, Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan…. too many to name.

What are your hopes for your artwork?

Too keep evolving and growing…. also, to keep using it as a means to support my family.

Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?

LOL; it’s been my career since 1987.  I’d love to win the lottery and make it just a hobby again, however.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

The Art Nouvea Slave Leia… My cover runs on Wonder Woman and Catwoman

How would you describe your style?

Naturalistic, with a dash of old-school sensibilities.

What made you focus more on that area more than another?

My love of classic American illustration form the early 20th Century.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?

Digital.  I feel most at home colouring my work in Photoshop.  Also, I have a hand injury that starts to ache if I’ve been too long at the drawing table; holding a mouse doesn’t make it ache as quickly as gripping a pencil or brush.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Too much!  I’m now the regular cover artist on DC Comics’ Zatanna… I have several Superman covers to do, including Action Comics #900… I’m doing a cover for Imagine FX as we speak/type…. designing more statues for Sideshow Collectibles… I’m also writing and drawing a short story for DC Comics; trying to get back into doing interiors.

What drew you to the fandoms or characters you base a lot of your work on?

Well, I’m lucky in that I get to draw, for a living, many of the characters I enjoy as a fan.  But the things that drew me to them are commerce: they are either assignments or commissions.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?

I’ll start by doing a concept sketch for the art director.  When the final design is approved, I’ll start sketching the final design in my sketchbook or on some scrap paper.  I’ll gather reference at this point, if it helps the illustration: lighting anatomy, textures (clothing & hair).  Once I get the art looking the way I want, I transfer it to a fresh piece of illustration board or drawing paper: my drawing process using tears the hell out of the paper (pencilling, erasing, ad infinitum), so I like to ink or do marker washes on paper that hasn’t been chewed up by too much pencilling.  When the physical art is done, I scan it into Adobe Photoshop, and then colour it digitally..

How did you get your career start?

By showing my art to professional artists at comic-book conventions, getting advice and critiques.  One of them who owned a studio offered me some work, and it’s been pretty much non-stop work ever since.

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Thank you again for your time, Adam.

And here’s some handy links if you’d like to see more of his work –

deviantART    twitter

It’s Aliiiiive!

12 Jan

I know, I know, I know… I promised myself, and my poor little bloggie, that I would not abandon or neglect it. Well, clearly that has happened. As with most things I’m falling behind on lately, I blame college.

Christmas did bring two wonderful weeks of doing pretty much nothing. I watched many a movie – so much I could have blogged about and reviewed –  and nommed my way through Criminal Minds from the start and didn’t stop until I hit the soft nougaty centre of season 4. It was only on the last few days that I worked on some stuff for the dreaded NCAD portfolio brief (which I’ll probably be redoing anyhow *much growling and feigned enthusiasm* But I digress…). I figured I earned the break, despite looming deadlines, seeing as how I spent my last midterm locked in my room watching The Faculty, The Omega Man and many other distracting movies while working my fingers to the bone to get a heck of a lot of pieces finished! Ergo, rest.

All of this work-work-working has been the cause of my Houdini act and the spur for much self-disapproving tsk tsks at having left this site untouched by so much as a freshly typed word for quite a few weeks. Well no more, I say! If I can disappear like a pro then surely I can perform some simple juggling… right?

I planned – a while ago now – to feature some great artists on my blog and post a series of interviews and profiles of some of my favourites I’ve come across. There’ll be a variety of styles and fields of art; from comic illustration to tattooing to traditional portraiture. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time and since I have to do an art appreciation module in college, I thought now would be the ideal time so I could mesh the two together. See? Juggling. So look forward to that, hitting your screens very soon!

Alrighty, now I gotta go back to work and planning and yadda yadda yadda. I complain now, but it’ll pay off when I get into an awesome college and get to do all manner of whacky artistic shenanigans! That’s wishful thinking for ya!

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