Tag Archives: comics

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 #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 #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.

Whatever Happened to Baron von Shock?

16 Sep

 Rob Zombie is known for many things. First and foremost, he is a heavyweight in the world of rock music. If you listen to any of his albums or watch his music videos, his passion for all things horror becomes obvious – if his name wasn’t enough already. Many of his songs feature excerpts from or references to classic films. So, a venture into moviemaking seemed like a natural progression for Zombie. His early projects, House of a Thousand Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, generated a hefty cult following. His decision to remake the seminal Halloween series was met with both glee and grumbles of its imminent failure. I’m yet to see it for myself – having switched it off after ten minutes due to a serious case of the wiggins – but even within my circle there’s drastic differences of opinion. So, what else is on his already impressive resumé? Rob Zombie: comic book writer, of course. Having already penned ‘Spookshow International’ and ‘The Haunted World of El Superbeasto’, among others, this wasn’t unchartered territory for the heavy metal giant. His latest series is the rather intriguingly titled ‘Whatever Happened to Baron von Shock?’.

The story follows the title’s namesake, a.k.a. Leon Stokes, on his rise to and fall from fame in the callous world of Hollywood. He begins as a simple nobody working at a television station. When their resident horror host, Uncle Spooky, quits and leaves the station in the lurch it’s left up to Stokes to take over. Enter Baron von Shock.

Volume one tells the story of his ascension to stardom, all the while being narrated by his future self. We know this story isn’t going to end well, he told us so ourselves – it’s even in the forboding title. But also, this is just how things go in La-La Land. It builds you up and offers you everything on a silver platter, the world is at your feet. Before you can order a second round of Cristal you’re yesterday’s news. Zombie has said that this recurring event of Hollywood taking in bright-eyed hopefuls and leaving them jaded and forgotten was very much his inspiration behind Baron. And we’re taken along for the whole debauched ride with Stokes. It’s like a wonderful train wreck.

In the second volume, it’s all gone terribly wrong. Here lies Baron von Shock’s career. We’re skipped ahead a lot in the story, over the years of his regretful and miserable life, to bring us to an old, washed up Stokes. Some horrific news reaches him which he wants to set about fixing. There’s some old friends as well as new in this issue, and some comedic torment from his mother.

The series oozes Zombie. There’s horror, sex, drugs, shock’n’roll – and strippers’o’plenty. Donny Hadiwidjaja is the man behind the artwork and he does a mervellous job documenting the tragic events of poor Stokes’ life. The comic is very colourful for such a dark story. It adds to the unreal feeling of what we’re reading. As for the writing, the dialogue is witty and suited to each character very well. They all feel quite real, except for Stokes’ alter-ego who is more suited to the fantasy we’d expect from Zombie. The change from one to the other in volume one was interesting to see. The Baron appears to have come out of nowhere once the camera started rolling. Plus, he’s pretty cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want a nifty catchphrase like “Shock it to me!”?

If you’re a fan of Zombie or any of the crazed antics I’ve mentioned above, this may be a comic worth checking out.

Volume 3 is now available to buy.

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