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.