Month: June 2015

Interview With….Myself?

So, to kind of round off this interviews project (though there may be more in the future, I’m not ruling anything out), I am interviewing…myself. I wasn’t going to, bu tafter having several people tell me that I absolutely have to, I am absolutely going to. So, without further ado….me! But, I don’t really have any work that I haven’t already shared on this blog, so this edition of the interviews series is going to be image-less. If you want to see my work, you already know where to find it; it’s all over the place on this blog, with more sketches and things on my tumblr.

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 
My name is Sam, I just finished up at the Cambridge School of Art and I’m equal parts enthusiastic and terrified of what comes next. I like drawing things that are fantastical, dark or just a bit weird.

2. You’ve been studying at the CSA in Anglia Ruskin for almost three years now, what has it been like for you?
Being at the CSA has been an exciting but bumpy ride for me. Parts have been really great and I’ve loved it, and other parts have been super hard and made me want to just break all my pencils and become a hermit forever. That’s art, though, I guess. Overall I’m glad I went, as being at university gave me a bunch more confidence as a person and in my work regardless of how much I may dislike said work at times, and I’ve met so many cool people here.

3. What do you like the most about being an illustrator? 
I love the freedom to just create stuff, and that I can make whole new worlds and characters and ideas if I want to. It’s a massive challenge but I enjoy solving the problems that it presents. Also with my drawing powers I can make the weirdest things come to life, like if I want to draw a dragon driving a space-skateboard into the sun then I totally have that power.

4. What do you like the least? 
The least cool thing about being an illustrator is the ever-present feeling of doubt that comes with being in a creative field. I always struggled with feeling like everyone else knows what they’re doing and I’m just flailing along, pretending I’m a real artist. It’s also scary thinking about how the heck to get jobs now that university is finished, but I guess I just have to work at it.

5. How would you describe your work and what you do?
I have no idea how to sum up my work, really, as all of it seems to be so different. I paint things and I draw things and I just make stuff. The main themes would be fantasy and science fiction, as well as horror and monster and dark humour. I also really enjoy playing with juxtaposition, and mashing up things, especially with modern twists.

6. What are some of your hopes for the future after you graduate? Do you have any specific goals in mind? 
After I graduated I really just want to get any work that I can. Anything that pays, hah! But really, the pipe-dream is to make work for someone like Wizards of the Coast, to maybe someday have a painting on a Magic the Gathering card or in a new edition of the D&D rulebooks. That or work somewhere in the games industry, making art concepts for something cool. Mostly I just want to get my art to people who like it, and be able to keep telling stories and creating new things.

7. Is there any advice or words of wisdom you’d give to your first year self, or to anyone just starting their own degree?
The best advice I could give to my first year self would be: talk to people. I know it’s scary and everyone seems like they’re these complete people who have no time for someone like you but I promise they aren’t. They’re mostly as confused, excited and nervous as you are! Talk to people, and keep enjoying yourself! Also, make time for drawing fun stuff. It’s hard, with all the work you already have to do, but if you can spare just half an hour a day or a week to draw something for yourself, then do it. It’ll make you feel TONS better. Also don’t forget that university isn’t the place where you go and end up a fully complete person/artist. It’s not the place where you finish your artistic growth – it’s the place where you start it.

Interview With Holly Martin

Time for another interview this week, this time with the fantastic Holly Martin!

holly 1

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m 22 years old and am originally from a small village in Kent. I’m very interested in ethical and cultural issues. I enjoy spending a lot of time watching a wide scope of documentaries and reading articles.

holly 32. You’ve been studying at the CSA in Anglia Ruskin for almost three years now, what has that been like for you?
The 3 years have been incredible but very challenging. I wouldn’t say it was a walk in the park for me. But I enjoyed every moment, even when it was all going wrong! The lecturers have been more than what I could ever ask for.

3. If you could pick one favourite memory of studying at the CSA, what would it be?
There are quite a few but I will never forget the band project. Being able to create a band and make a music video for our final project in 1st year was amazing! It definitely opened my eyes up to where skills from illustration can be applied and what illustration can be.

4. What do you like the most about being an illustrator?
I enjoy problem solving, so I love the satisfaction of finally cracking a tough image! Learning about new things is also a bonus. You find yourself knowing all kinds of weird and wonderful things.

5. What do you like the least?
Having to explain to someone what an illustrator is. Sometimes it can be painful!

6. How would you describe your work and what you do?
My work is usually based on political, ethical and cultural issues. I like to try and find a different angle. I enjoy making the viewer really think about the subject in the article.

7. What are some of your hopes for the future after you graduate? Do you have any specific goals in mind that you’d love to achieve?
I would love to get a lot of published editorial work under my belt, just to see my own work in an article would be amazing. After that I have a few ideas within illustration I’d like to try, away from the editorial side of things…but we’ll see!

8. Finally, are there any words of wisdom or any advice you’d give to your first year self, or to anyone just starting their own degree?
Take every opportunity you can, kill your darlings and less is more!

holly 2

Interview With Keith Hau

Here we go with another interview, everyone, and today we have the amazing Keith Hau!

keith 4

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! I’m Keith, I’ve just graduated from CSA (Cambridge School of Art) and I’m currently working as an Illustrator in London. I enjoy long walks, reading short stories, and everything to do with nature!

keith 32. You’ve been studying at the CSA in Anglia Ruskin for almost three years now, what has that been like for you?
 I actually transferred into the third year of the Illustration BA here at Anglia Ruskin. I always feel a bit nervy whenever settling into a new environment, but I have to say it’s been a really smooth transition with all the support from the staff and peers. I enjoy being in the studio space (print room especially!), and it’s also nice to be able to talk to people on different courses. There’s a good creative mix and vibe here.

3. If you could pick one favourite memory of studying at the CSA, what would it be? 
Even though I’ve only been here for a year, it’s amazing to see the amount of progress everyone has made in this third year. I think it’s a really exciting time now because things are starting to fall into place for many people. I feel very privileged to have been part of such a talented group, so I will choose this as my favorite memory.

4. What do you like the most about being an illustrator
I like the idea of not necessarily knowing what your next project brief is going to be. I think it pushes you into different avenues, often making you discover something that you would not normally think about. It makes you grow as an illustrator as well as an individual, and there’s a nice charm to that.

5. What do you like the least?keith 1
 There’s only 24 hours in a day…

6. How would you describe your work and what you do?
 My work is heavily inspired through the use of silhouettes and forms. I really like the use of bold & simplistic graphics (especially 1940’s graphic design!) and I always make time for a bit of spontaneous printmaking, it’s a process that makes me happy! At the moment I would like to try and improve my narrative storytelling through sequence and words.

7. What are some of your hopes for the future after you graduate? Do you have any specific goals in mind that you’d love to achieve?
 I want to learn about ceramics and textile design! I think they’re both such fascinating disciplines with so many possibilities. I think it’s important to try and continue to branch out into different areas of creativity; it’ll only help to inform your practice and you never know what kind of inspiration you will find!

8. Finally, are there any words of wisdom or any advice you’d give to your first year self, or to anyone just starting their own degree?
 I would say learn to take risks and be prepared to fail. Being in university provides you with the perfect platform to experiment and take risks. What I’ve personally found was that a lot of my failures often taught me more than my successes. Its good to have a bit of uncertainty, it means you’re pushing yourself to try something new, rather than staying safe and taking an easy route.

Oh, and trust your instinct and have fun!

keith 2

 

If you’d like to see more of Keith’s work, make sure to check out his website at: www.keithhau.com

Elena – Original Character Portrait

Elena 2015

I haven’t mentioned it much on the blog (with the exception of this one post from way back), but since about 2010 I’ve been slowly working on a fantasy trilogy. Will it ever be finished? Who knows, it’s a mystery, but what isn’t a mystery is that I love my main character, and that this is the third time I’ve painted her. She’s changed a lot since I first started writing, in appearance, backstory and characterisation. Her name, though, is still Elena, and she’s still – at the start of the story anyway – a kind, compassionate, optimistic, slightly naive, loving soul, who just wants to help make things right.

So of course by the end of the series half the people she loves are dead, at least three cities have been reduced to ashes and darkness nearly devoured the world. It’s a fantasy series, what do you expect?

Portrait commissions in this style are available, I should mention, if anyone else has a character they love as much as I love Elena. And for the curious, I saved a few stages of the work and put together a process gif as I did for my painting of Hurd a while back:

process-gif-elena