Tag Archives: illustration

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)

Artist #12: Molly Crabapple

26 Mar

After a longer period of inactivity than I would like, bloggie is back. And not with a whimper but an incredible bang! The artist I’m featuring today is truly one of my favourites and an inspiration to keep working hard on my illustration to try reach somewhere near her level. It seems fitting to post this today since I’ll be sitting in my second Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School session in a matter of hours. Molly Crabapple’s work with both illustration and installation is simply brilliant and brings out admiration, fascination and jealousy in those who look upon it. At least to me, it does. She’s collaborated with some of my favourite musicians too, Amanda Palmer and Vermillion Lies. One of her current projects ‘I Have Your Heart’, sees her working with one half of VL again, Kim Boekbinder. The stopmotion short will be nothing short of amazing and they’ve just reached their fundraising goal, so that means we get to see this wonderful movie!!

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What first interested you in art?
I’ve been drawing since I was 4, and throwing temper tantrums because my drawings didn’t look the way I wanted for about that long.

 

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
My mother is an illustrator, so I never had the idea that art wasn’t something you could support yourself on.

Have you studied art or are you self taught?
I’m an art school dropout, but I got my real eduction slumming around Europe when I was 17 and filling massive sketchbooks.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
New York, subversive performance, coffee, bestiaries, animals god made wrong.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Chloe Cruchaudet, Clayton Cubitt, Zoetica Ebb, Travis Louie, Joe Coleman, Aubrey Beardsley, Bosch, Toulouse Lautrec.

What are your hopes for your career’s future?
I want to draw more big things.

 

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
The 90 feet of murals I just did for The Box Soho, the London branch of a notorious NYC nightclub.

How would you describe your style?
My friend Roger Klein describes it as “Toulouse Lautrec meets Dr. Seuss”.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
I’m currently trying to make acrylic my bitch. It might be working the other way around.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
A new graphic novel for First Second books with my eternal conspirator John Leavitt. Its about a carnival of immortal outcasts traversing rust belt America.

What drew you to the themes you base a lot of your work on?
A meanspirited streak and a lifelong fascination with the Moulin Rouge.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
I usually start with injokey doodles. My actual pieces are pretty freeform- I ink and pencil simultaneously, and a bit stream of conciously.

 

How did you get your career start?
I don’t believe in the idea of a big break, so it was more endless hustling and grabbing every opportunity I could claw for myself.

 

How did the idea for Dr. Sketchys come about?
Worked as a life model. Found the classes sterile. Thought I could do better.

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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 #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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