How would you describe your creative style?
I try to adapt to the articles and the mood of the stories I am given to work with but I would say I mostly gravitate toward mysterious narratives.
What’s your inspiration?
There is no one thing but I find reading helps at getting my imagination going. These days I have been enjoying listening to soundtracks to set a mood as I work, too. Inspiration can form at any time so I just try to be open and squiggle down any quick thoughts into my sketchbooks when they pop in my head and visit them later to see if they hold up.
What is art to you?
Something I have been obsessed with my whole life.
What does your typical day look like?
I keep a fairly regular schedule and since I work from home it doesn’t take long to go to work. I get up at 7, make some coffee, I check my emails, and cruise some internet-ing, then get to it around 8-9. If I don’t have any jobs on the go I work on my own self-generated projects to keep myself busy. I eat lunch at noon and quit working at 5-6 so I can relax with my wife and catch up on tv shows or a movie. If I have a big deadline then I will have to work a bit longer but having a rough schedule helps me from overworking too much or forgetting to eat. That said I work most weekends too.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
That varies, sometimes a piece clicks pretty fast and other times I can labour a piece forever and feel like it isn’t moving. With editorial work, the deadlines can be anywhere from a day to a few weeks. That fear of a looming deadline does wonders for getting me rolling on a project.
How do you keep motivated?
I try to balance personal work and commercial stuff as best I can. I find too much of either and I start to get a bit antsy, like I am spending too much time with one of them. I also like to play with different mediums and approaches to keep things fresh, whether it is a watercolor painting, screen printing or just a nice pencil drawing.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I think I mostly want to surprise myself and figure out new ways of doing things. I want to keep evolving and building on what I did before. I want others to enjoy it too.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
For editorial work, I want to add a layer of meaning to the article or story that isn’t written. You can say things with a picture that words can’t quite capture. For my personal work, it is a bit more open-ended. I like to plant the seeds of an idea and I hope others can imagine their own stories and narratives and to connect with it in their own ways.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Get some sun.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Work really hard and try to get away with drawing things you like as often as possible.
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I like the idea of future projects and directions being unknown.
What’s your process like?
I always like to mix it up and experiment with different approaches but I do have some consistencies. I pretty much always start with thumbnails on either a big piece of bond paper or my sketchbook and if I can get excited about an image at that tiny scale I move onto developing it larger. Often, I blow up that thumb to preserve the original charm and work off that. After doing a nice clean line drawing in pencil or ink, I make shapes and textures by hand on paper and then scan it into the computer to piece it together. Next, it’s a lot of layers in photoshop and trial and error, overlapping textures until the end result. Often I end up throwing out or adding stuff made along the way but I need to work through it to see what will work.