When did you first think you could become an artist?
In first grade, there was an art contest at school to promote reading. I remember coming back from recess and my sister telling me I’d won. That was when I realized that people besides me enjoyed my art.
Do you have a traditional art education?
If “traditional” means education through a physical school, than no. However, the biggest gains I’ve made as an artist have all
been through approaching art in a traditional sense. There are plenty of resources out there that teach the fundamentals. The important thing is that you take time to learn and hone your craft.
What’s the best way to improve as an artist?
That’s going to vary between individuals, but my advice would be to slow down and think as you make a stroke. As you learn principles like form, values, and perspective, it will help you understand what needs to be adjusted.
How do you come up with your ideas?
If I react emotionally or if I get excited about something, I’ll toss it around a bit and see if it’s an idea that I should flesh out. Usually, I’ll do a sketch or two of something from that world and see how it resonates.
How do you avoid creative block?
I try and keep a balanced work/life schedule and try to make sure the time I spend creatively is going to be productive. So, if I’m not getting anywhere on a project, I’ll come back to it later when I’m refreshed. Of course, there’s deadlines and such, but for a daily practice, I try to make sure there’s something in my tank before I approach the task.
Who are some of your inspirations?
I’ve always loved Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth from the Golden Age of illustration. Richard Scarry and Beverly Cleary are some other favorites. More recently, I’ve grown fond of Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Katsuhiro Otomo, Hayao Miyazaki, Tony Cliff, and Kazu Kibuishi. There’s many, many, others but those spring to mind.
What’s your favorite thing to draw?
While I’m probably best at vehicles and architecture, I love to draw people, especially portraits. I think it’s the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment when you capture it just right.
Are you interested in school visits?
Absolutely! I was in education for several years teaching reading, so I’m super excited when I get a chance to be around kids again. There’s not much better than introducing a child to a good story.
What sort of media do you like to use?
For studies, I prefer pencil or ink on paper, it forces me to be more intentional with my lines. With painting, I use gouache and watercolor. For digital art, Procreate and the IPad have quickly become essential tools.
What’s your ultimate goal as an Artist/Illustrator?
I’d like to create things that leave a lasting impression and provoke thought.
I make my best art when it’s something that I’m connecting to emotionally, so the hope is that it will be the same for my audience.
Finally, the most important question… What’s your favorite food?
I’m always on the lookout for discovering new types of Burgers. But my standard favorite has to be Thai Food, the flavors are incredible!