Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an artist? What were your earliest impressions?
Watching my grandfather draw, I saw him render photorealistic drawings. I also observed how he achieved his photorealistic style, shading trees, for instance. I was fascinated by his techniques and how he was able to produce drastically different results with each technique.
Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
Music. I’m old enough to remember albums and CDs. Perusing album art and seeing Iron Maiden covers, for instance, definitely opened my eyes to the power and expanse of art.
Did you study art in school?
Yes, I did. I had a strong foundation in traditional art studies: figure drawing and color theory, then transitioned into graphic design for practical reasons. Graphic design allowed me to flow illustration into some of my projects.
How would you describe the process of creating art?
I’m pretty adventurous with my process. I like employing new and different techniques to achieve texture or a certain feel in my illustration. Although the work ends up being digitally-produced, I like to incorporate as many manual techniques as I can whether that’s an atrophy that happens by photocopying the drawings I create or generating new batches of texture and overlays.
Do you have a favorite artist? What is it about that artist’s work you like?
I love Andrew Wyeth for his sense of drama and minimalism, as seen in his ink sketches. I also love Jeff Simpson and Michael Hussar for their imagination and high level of craft.
Do you have a favorite artist supply, a favorite method, or favorite location, where you like to create artwork?
My favorite method would be the unexpected or happy accidents that happen. It’s never a forgone conclusion when I begin; more of a rough idea. The end result can often be a very pleasant surprise I didn’t see coming. That kind of development is always wonderful. It keeps me sharp as an artist. Maintaining an open mind during the creation process and not judging my own work too harshly by limiting options works for me.
If you could give a viewer clues to understanding your art, what would you say?
I like to view things that are open to interpretation so I’m prone to making my own work somewhat open-ended. There might not be a straight line communicating something specifically. I enjoy the power of a strong visual. I allow that impact to be processed in a few different ways based upon a person’s perspective.
Do you think illustration has the eye of the public or could public awareness of this field be improved upon?
I think that it does. As a medium, it has so much dimension and application that many sentiments can be expressed: with humor, realism, or figuratively. Illustration allows people to engage with ideas that may or may not be easily communicated through other forms.
Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
Art is a way for humans to be at their best; similar in a way to sports, where we witness achievement and craft at a high level with the knowledge that risk, dedication and skill all go into a performance.
If you could look back or forward a hundred years, do you think the life of an artist was or will be better than today?
I think it will continue to improve going forward. The medium and message will evolve allowing different people to participate; people who previously may not have felt that what they were doing was “art.”