Tag Archives: artist

Artist #13: Ben Templesmith

10 Apr

After a busy and tiring two weeks, I can at last post the remainder of the interviews I have ready and waiting for you all. I feel terrible that these have been in draft hell for weeks but they are most definitely worth the wait! Today, I’m featuring none other than Ben Templesmith, artist extraordinaire! His distinctive style can be seen among the pages of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, 30 Days of Night, Welcome to Hoxford and Choker, as well as inked onto some folks’ skin!  The fact that he’s also in a relationship with Geek Girl on the Street favourite Molly McIsaac only adds to his abundance of awesome points. I’m a massive fan of his art so getting this interview with him certainly prompted a “jinkies!” or two from me!

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What first interested you in art?
I have no idea. I tend to think art picks you. It’s a sort of compulsion really, to draw, paint, dance, whatever…been drawing since a very young age, couldn’t tell you why, I just always loved it. Art, obviously, is beautiful so it’s easy to be interested in it.

 

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
Oh, enough I guess. I new I was ok in school and my parents supported my passions.

 

Have you studied art or are you self taught?
Studied design at University, which is sort of related and I got some good things from it, but true drawing wise, no real formal training apart from some life drawing classes really.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
A small boy in Botswana?
No idea. small things, random times. All depends.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Ralph Steadman, Klimt, Victor Ambrus, Paul Pope, a bunch!

What are your hopes for your career’s future? Any dream projects?
Right now? Just being productive. I haven’t been of late and I’d like to get some new projects out of me if I can.

Which of your pieces or projects are you most proud of?
Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse.

How would you describe your style?
Moody and sketchy… but it’s not up to me. It’s how others see it that matters.

What drew you more to comic book illustration than other areas of art?
Its a visual storytelling medium…and I like to tell stories.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Pen and pencil, with a dash of watercolour.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
Too many little things for lots of little projects. And… some Wormwood Gentleman Corpse too.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
Not too much. That’s a pretty involved question really. I just plot, draw, then feed it all into the computer to colour.

How did you get your career start?
My work was seen online and a job opening came up that I was asked to try for… and I got it. Hellspawn. After/during that, I did a small book that got a movie deal and sort of blew up, called 30 Days of Night… that sort of gave me the profile that led to a career really.

Ben’s twitter | facebook | tumblr | deviantART | Formspring (art,work) | Formspring (silly)

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Artist #11: Lucy Coombs

8 Mar

After a short break from interviews – break for the site, not me! – we’re back in top form with Lucy Coombs. Her skills range from detailed pencil work to rich paintings. She’s recorded beautiful landscape scenes and captured personality and character in portraits. Her body of work and style is diverse, and I’m glad to see she’s receiving some of the attention she deserves. Like Sylvia K, she’s had some of her art used for Amanda Palmer’s merchandise over on Post-War Trade, including some gorgeous Christmas cards (although they are sadly no longer available, it being March and all).

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What first interested you in art?
Honestly, I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t interested in art at all. My mother always encouraged my brother and I to be creative – to paint, draw, make things – so, I guess that’s where it all started.

 

 

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
To continue it as a hobby, yes. Not so much to make a career out of it, although I do have some good arty friends who are extremely encouraging and supportive of what I do.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
I had art classes all through school and college, but most of what I do I’ve learned myself, just through trying things out and lots of practice. At the moment I don’t have any plans for studying art, as in a fine art degree. Personally, I think if I were to study fine art it would eventually become tedious, taking away from all the fun of it.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere. Music, other art, books, friends, movies, dreams, nature, cities…this list could go on and on. Sources of inspiration are limitless.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
A few friends, Sylvia K, Audrey Bishop and Robin (who you’ve already interviewed), as well as Hieronymus Bosch, Dali, van Gogh, Degas, Chagall, Hockney…there really are too many to list here. With the internet and online portfolios, it’s so easy to find new and amazing artists to be inspired by all the time.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
Well, both, sort of. I am currently studying Graphic Communication at UCA, Farnham. I love design as much as I love art, but I view them slightly differently – graphic design I see as my career path, and art, while I can use it within design and for illustrations etc., most of the time I like to keep it just for me, for fun.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one. Perhaps a painting of Amanda Palmer that I did a few years ago. I spent a week working on it in my spare time, late at night, whenever I could, and it made me fall in love with painting all over again.

How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure if I have a definitive style yet. I like to try different things, different techniques, different materials. Maybe  there’s a style that follows through into each piece, but I’m not sure. I do have a penchant for drawing or painting people, mainly faces.

What made you focus more on that area more than another?
Drawing or painting people and faces? I always feel like just by looking and really seeing someone and studying every detail of their face, you can tell so much about who they are. I find it fascinating.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Aside from the often overlooked, but most important, pencil, I like painting with acrylics. However, last year I tried out oils for the first time and absolutely loved it.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
Not at the moment, I’m extremely busy with university work right now, but I do have a folder filled with various ideas for paintings that I’ll hopefully get to work on eventually.

What drew you to base a lot of your work on Amanda Palmer?
Her music, both solo and with The Dresden Dolls. I found a connection with her music that I’ve rarely had with other bands or musicians, and that provided a lot of inspiration for me.

 

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
Whether I’m drawing or painting, from a photo or from my head, the first thing I do is sketch. I will spend hours sketching things out before I even really start, so that everything is perfectly positioned and arranged in the way that I want it to be. After that, I’ll just jump straight in with whatever medium I’m using and work on it for a few hours at a time. I’m very patient with drawing and painting, if something isn’t right, I’ll work on it for however long it takes to make sure that it is.

Artist #10: Camilla D’Errico

23 Feb

Putting together this post was hard, let me tell ya! Trying to pick just a few pieces by the phenomenal Camilla D’Errico is no easy feat, but there’s links-a-plenty for you to click and enjoy. The first time I saw Camilla’s work I was instantly in love with her style – I spotted one of her Nightmares & Fairytales covers and just had to have it. Her signature style is nothing short of beautiful, but the surreal aspects of her work gives each piece a twisted edge. This month, she released a book of artwork, Femina & Fauna, which is a must have and is really high up on my wishlist – along with pretty much everything in her online store! I was delighted to be able to feature her and I hope you’ll adore her work like I do.

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What first interested you in art?
I’ve always been “interested” in art for as long as I can remember. It’s who I am, it’s what I think about, what drives me.  I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil!

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
Unfortunately not. I had a lot of opposition to it from my parents especially in the beginning because they were worried I couldn’t make a living as an artist, especially a comic book artist. There’s no money in comics.  They warmed up to the idea of me doing art after I took my degree in design and illustration, but even then they were skeptical 😉

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
I didn’t really study art. I’m mostly self-taught, especially insofar as drawing comics and characters goes. I took an illustration and design degree a few years after I graduated highschool and this gave me many tools that help with graphic design, etc. but in terms of creating art and painting, I’m totally self-taught.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m inspired my anime and manga, music, my relationships, and lots and lots of visual stimuli I find on the Internet, in art books, and in the world around me.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
CLAMP, Terada Katsuya, Yoshitomo Nara, Ashley Wood, Raphael, Da Vinci … so many!

What are your hopes for your career in art?
I’m living my dream already. I have my career and I’m making the most of it.  Helmetgirls, as a graphic novel, is my biggest aspiration and even that is happening as we speak.

Which of your pieces or projects are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of my Tanpopo series. I’ve created something completely new and different, something that you wouldn’t think could work – but people love it. Mixing literature with a new story. 


How would you describe your style?
It’s manga influenced with a touch of renaissance.

What made you focus more on that area more than another?
I’m focused mainly on comics because it’s what excites me. I want to do things that are exciting and that I love. Comics is that. Painting happened by accident, in some ways and has become the “other” area. So comics and painting and I love them both because they give me different ways to express myself.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Comics – a regular ‘ol BIC pen and paper, though I’m now starting to work with “pro” comic pens. Taking a while to get the hang of them but I like them. And when painting, I use Holbein DUO water soluble oils on wood panels. 

 

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m working on Tanpopo volumes 4&5, a manga for a Spanish singer, Helmetgirls character sketches and concepts and an illustration for the Transmetropolitan Art Book.

What drew you to the characters you base a lot of your work on?
I created those characters in my mind, and as I drew or painted them. They come from my imagination and my hand.  I wasn’t drawn to them specifically, because they come from within me.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
I start any project by doing tons of research. I spend hours doing research on images, visuals, stories, etc. that inspire me for the work. Then I sketch out the concepts and when I’m happy with one that I feel will have the most impact or that best represents what I want to do, I begin working on it.

How did you get your career start?
I got my start in comics by working for a small publisher, Committed Comics, for free, while I was coming out of high school. I kept at it, and did work for them out of passion. Not for money. Then, when I went back to university to get my degree in design and illustration, I got some jobs through the program, did a bit of local freelance work in Vancouver and got noticed. I also approached a gallery in Vancouver, Ayden Gallery, with my paintings that I had done for a university project and they agreed to show my work. That’s what got me my start painting.  I was discovered by an LA art collector in 2007 and he got me into the LA Pop Surrealism galleries. The rest is history.

Artist #9: Bec

22 Feb

Stencil maker, photographer and an artist incredibly capable of tricking the eye into thinking one of her drawings is a photograph, Bec is an artistic triple threat! Her deviantART is full of unbelievable renderings of Amanda Palmer & The Dresden Dolls, Tegan & Sara and Radiohead. As well as that, she’s taken some great photos and knows her way around a stencil. And these stencils are painstakingly made, just check out the one below… you’ll know the one.

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What first interested you in art?

Being able to create things that are limited only by my skills and imagination.

 

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

Not so much from my family, but definitely from friends and people who see my artwork online.

 

 

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
Self taught. I’ve considered studying art many times in the past few years, but I’m happy with the career pathway I’ve chosen for now and any study I do would be for my own personal interest/as a pastime.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The many amazing photo-realistic artists whose work I’ve seen online. I feel like they help to push me and improve my skills because they give me something to strive towards.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Alyssa Monks, Banksy, Andy Warhol… and all of the people I follow on deviantArt.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
I hope to just continue making art as a hobby, maybe taking a few commissions. Perhaps one day when I’m sick of working in science I’ll make the switch and focus more on my art.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
My ‘Brisbane City’ stencil, mostly because of how long it took to create. I never thought I’d finish it.

How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure, maybe photo-realism. Whether I’m drawing or stenciling, everything I do is based off a source photo with the intention of creating something that’s very close to or resembles the original.

What made you focus more on your focused area more than another?
Doing a sketch based off a photo was the first thing I did in a high school art class that really impressed my teacher, who convinced me I had a skill that I should practice.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Graphite pencils.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I have a stencil that I’ve slowly been working on for months, and I just finished a sketch today.

What drew you to the themes or people you base a lot of your work on?
Music. Almost everything I draw/stencil is based on a musician.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
For my sketches, I usually search for a photo that has interesting textures and contrasts, then start penciling in the main outlines and shapes to get the proportions right, and then go back and fill in the detail. I constantly re-do and alter minute details until I’m happy with how it looks. For my stencils, I usually select multiple photos and edit them in Photoshop to see which would work best as a stencil, then design and print out the layers, cut them out and spray them.

Artist #8: Ruth Redmond

20 Feb

I discovered Ruth and her uber pretty artwork at Nom Con when I attened the convention in August last year. I instantly loved her stunningly colourful piece (second last image in the post) stuck to the wall in one of the corridors and even got a print off her in the Artists Alley. Later, I found more of her work online, on her deviantART. She’s also part of Milky Tea and Zenpop Manga, both of which are driving forces behind a new generation of Western manga artists. She’s got lots in the works so keep your eyes peeled for her books hitting shelves in the future!

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What first interested you in art?
Forgive the cliché but I’ve been drawing since ‘I could hold a pencil’ hahaha~ Though I did lose interest in art for a while when I entered secondary school. I regained my passion however when a girl in my year thrust a copy of the manga DNAngel into my hands – I suddenly found art exciting again! I ate up every manga, western comic or art book I could get my hands on and drew ferociously (just in time to almost mess up my junior certificate exams, yay!). I like to think my interests in the art world have diverged a lot since then, but I will always attribute my passion to manga. Thanks Japan! Hahahaha

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
My Parents wanted me to be cautious at first and as they put it to ‘not put all my eggs in one basket’. Basically they wanted me to keep studying and keep my options open. But now they fully support me in all my artistic endeavours and let me know they are proud of me. I am very lucky to have such cool and understanding folks.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plan to study it?
I am mostly self-taught but this school year I made the bold move to change from biology to art (bold just because it means I left myself with just nine months to catch up with the rest of the class in art history before my final exams). It was one of the best decisions I ever could have made though, it’s only possible to learn so much by studying art by yourself. Having a teacher guiding me has really helped me to focus on what I need to work on the most. And yeah, I plan on studying animation after school. I’m working on my portfolio at the moment. It’s so nerve wracking! Especially since I have something like 9 weeks left before I have to submit it, urk!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Wow, so many many places. Nature, music, other people’s work, pretty much everything inspires me, though it isn’t always reflected in my work hahahah~ does that make the inspiration void? Basically there are loads of things that make me feel like creating art, but it isn’t always related to the subject matter of my work. That is what inspiration means to me, something that makes me want to do, but not necessarily draw from. I do often draw my reference from fashion magazines though. The poses in those are often too good to not try!

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Again, that feels like a tough question! Hahah I just love so many people’s work! Sometimes it’s not even their work I love so much as their world view and dedication to what they love, such as Giotto di Bondone or Osamu Tezuka, neither of their styles make me go “wow I want to draw like that!” but I love their diligence and find them very inspiring. But as for people I would like to draw like? There are an awful lot hahaha, Michelangelo Buonarotti would be my end goal I guess hahah~! If I could master human anatomy as he did then I would be one happy camper. But also I really like the work of Alphonse Mucha, Calix Vincent, Oh!Great, Jin-Hwan Park, Wenqing Yan, Sakimichan, Reilly, Bard, and I think I’ll stop there or I might just bore you to tears with an infinite list of names. I like a lot of artists!

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
I really hope to eventually make at least a couple graphic novels over the next decade. I have many stories to tell though so who knows! And I’d love to get a job as an animator and work on a film. To have one of my stories turned into a film or series is the sparkly diamond on the hazy horizon for me hahah~ So basically, yeah, I definitely want art to be a career for me. If it becomes a hobby…I dunno how happy I would be with that.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

Um. That’s a toughie. There are aspects of certain picture that I really like, but I have very few images that I’m really proud of hahaha~ is that sad? I guess if I had to choose three though I’d say [page one of Hansel & Gretel, this Nom Con fanart and this piece].

How would you describe your style?
I think a lot of people would be happy to lump my style under the umbrella of Manga and I guess in a lot of ways it belongs there! Hahaha~ But I also think it is becoming increasingly European and in any case I think it definitely leans more towards the realistic side of either of the styles. I love doing pretty, almond shaped eyes with big feathery eyelashes hahaha~ Pouty, full lips are fun too and I love hands as well

What made you focus more on that area more than another?
I think I like eyes and lips so much because they are such an integral part of female beauty in fashion magazines, since so few models have much boobage, and as I mentioned earlier I like drawing reference from magazines like that. I think I like hands because, well, they’re just fabulous! Hahahah~ I like all the little bones and the way they can be so dextrous and yeah, just wow.

What‘s your favourite medium to work in?
I love, love love working with markers! I use promarkers at the moment and they do a good job most of the time. But in the future I’d love to have a nice collection of copics. Don’t tell the promarkers I said that. Hahaha I have three copics at the moment and they are my babies~ I also like working with watercolour, screentones (in my comics mainly), coloured pencils for life drawing and crayon is fun too. I’m currently experimenting with photoshop for some tentative attempts at digital work, though I hear Sai is easier to use.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
My aforementioned portfolio mainly. But in the little spare time that I have I’ve been doing the groundwork – character designs, page layouts etc – for a small anthology of various short stories in a few different traditional mediums. Once my final exams are over in June I’ll be diving straight into Project Ponder and hopefully have it done in time to get printed in book form for August. Fingers crossed!

What drew you to the fandoms or characters you base a lot of your work on?
I’ve never really been into drawing fanart, I do for contests and sometimes do images of my friends’ characters but not big fandoms or anything, no Naruto in my DA gallery hahah. So yeah, none of my characters are really based off of fandoms. Oh! Except for maybe Claire, one of my very oldest characters. I think I unintentionally based her off of Hikari from Special A hahaha~ Other than that though I get the vast majority of my inspiration for my characters appearances and personalities from my friends and people in my school and also from feelings I’ve had at one time or another. Some of the time they’re feelings I’ve never been brave enough to express in real life, so my characters are cathartic too.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
Certainly! I often sketch out the entire image in a rough form or in separate elements into a small sketchbook (like a lot of artists I carry a small sketchbook around with me at all times). This is when I can work out the basic composition and see how difficult what I want to create will be, maybe make changes to the original idea. Then I do the proper, full detailed sketch onto nice quality paper (130gsm approx.) before lining it with black and/or coloured fine liners, usually 0.05 – 0.3. I rub out the sketch then colour the image with markers or whatever. If I make a mess on the page I can also trace the image onto a clean sheet of paper with my light box (a wooden box with a plastic top that shines light through from underneath). I always trace the lineart onto a clean page that has never had a pencil near it when I’m making B&W comics.

Artist #7: Sylvia K

14 Feb

What can I say about Sylvia? This lady is one of my favourite current artists. Her illustrations are sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking but always charmingly quirky. She’s got a distinctive style that always lets me know, that’s a Sylvia K piece. Through designing some of Amanda Palmer’s official tour posters and t-shirts, as well as animating music videos, Sylvia’s certainly made a name for herself as a unique artist to keep an eye on. Be sure to treat your eyes to the rest of her work on the links sprinkled throughout.

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What first interested you in art?
My dad is a graphic designer so back in the days, when I was a toddler, we would have all kinds of art supplies around the house, and I guess I just had to get my tiny, chubby fingers on them and draw for hours on the carpet.

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
My parents and relatives used to tell me I was really gifted, but that is what I suppose most parents tell to their children.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
I am pretty much self taught but I am getting more and more interested in actually studying art.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The most random things inspire me. Things like snow, the smell of rain, red rubber boots walking in the fog. Ethnic food and random faces I cross on the subway. It’s hard to really pin it down, sometimes a drawing just pops up in my head and I try to get it on paper as faithfully as possible…inevitably, something in the process always gets lots, but I prefer to focus on the feeling evoked by it. Most of my drawings are terribly naive and melancholic…

Who are some of your favourite artists?
My favourite painter ever is Edward Hopper. Nobody can depict loneliness as well as he did. As for illustrators, they’re really too many to name, but my favourites are Jen Corace and Italian artist Baronciani.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
I’m still trying to figure out whether I could possibly make a career out of illustration, or if it will just keep on being one of my favourite ways to pass the time. Sometimes, I just wish that more people could get to see my art…

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
I really have no idea. I quite like the Lady Gaga series but also all the drawings of sad kids and the deer trees and experimentation with vintage cloth. It’s quite ironic that often a piece that I am extremely proud of isn’t that well received (well, on my flickr and facebook pages, I mean) while some others I’m not so fond of are quite successful.

 

How would you describe your style?
Childish yet fresh.

 

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
I always draw in ink, on paper… though then I scan the drawing and work on it with photoshop. Everyone keeps telling me I should invest on a tablet but I don’t think I’m quite ready to part with paper, honestly…there’s something so delicate about it.

 

Are you working on anything at the moment?
My project for 2011 is to illustrate a children’s book. I still have to figure out whether I’ll also be writing it, or illustrate someone else’s story… I know that I want it to be a children’s book for intelligent kids but also for grown ups who miss the melancholy of their childhood years.

 

What drew you to the people and characters you base a lot of your work on?

Music used to play a major role in my art…I started drawing my favourite bands and then often I would interact with them and it made me ridiculously happy. I saw it as a way of giving back to them, because their music was so important to me. Now I get more and more inspired by circumstances and by the people who make my life a fairy tale.

 

 

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
I often get struck by an idea (literally, as if someone threw a tin can at the back of my head) and then I am in a sort of frenzy because I want to make it ”real” as fast as I possibly can. Often this happens when I’m just walking outside, so I scribble everything down, with lengthy written descriptions regarding what I want to draw, and then start sketching on paper as soon as I get home.

Artist #6: David Desbois

9 Feb

Today’s feature is a short and sweet one with David Desbois. He’s sure made a name for himself with his realistic style character work based on some of the finest movies and television the sci-fi and fantasy worlds have to offer. His detailed and colourful pieces are unmistakably Desbois, with his unique technique of blending watercolour pencil with marker. As well as some fantastic commission work, he’s created collector card sets for shows like The Prisoner,  Stargate Universe and Dexter. Check out his large body of work on his deviantART, it won’t be wasted time.

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What first interested you in art?
I enjoy drawing people and capture their likeness until I’m satisfied.

 

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
Sure, it’s actually an alternate path from my ‘regular job’, I worked for Showtime, MGM and Lucasfilm on several licensed projects.

 

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
Had oil painting class when I was younger for about 5 years or so, mostly self taught, technique research and tries..

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Movies and tv shows.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Tsuyoshi Nagano, Jason Palmer, Terese Nielsen, Jerry Vanderstelt and Yoshitaka Amano.

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

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
Hard to say, most of my bigger piece in SW field, Harry Potter recent work, recent Supernatural work..

How would you describe your style?
Stylish color photorealistic.

What made you focus more on that area more than another?
The sketch card industry and allocated license for tv-shows.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Marker

Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yeah, ‘The Tudors’ with Showtime network.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
I see, I draw, simple as that, a lot of observation. I usually start with low value marker and build up and then add details with watercolour pencils and multiliners.

How did you get your career start?
Just like that, always been good in that field.

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