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A Little Conversation With Mister Frivolous

A Little Conversation With Mister Frivolous

A Little Conversation With Mister Frivolous We already featured the stunning talent of Mr. Frivolous on our blog and today we had the opportunity to have a little chat with this misterious artist. Besides all technical aspects on his work, making miracles with simple marker pens and pencils, we're hungry for more ideas and information about him and so we bring this funny and cool conversation to you guys. You can check more from Mr. Frivolous at his Official Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking about how was the beginning of your career? Please show us one of your early artworks (please send us the picture). No problem. Thanks for asking me. When I first started I didn't really know what I was doing and didn't have a 'Frivolous' style . I was just mixing all types of creative mediums which also included graphic design. As well as being frustrated and very anxious when I first started out (not much has changed) it was also a lot more fun. I think you can get away with experimenting when you haven't yet developed a style. 2) Please share a picture of your workplace and tells us more about your daily routine. I don't really have a photo of my workspace so hopefully this image will do instead. My daily routine: Wake up, Think, brush teeth, jump on net, Facebook, emails, think about life, Tumblr, Facebook, research images, think about life, Facebook, Facebook for another 7 hours and then sometimes I find time to draw. 3) Beside your daily work, do you have any hobbies? Please share it with us. I cant really think of any other hobby but drawing. If you count going out and boogying on the dance floor like a fool as a hobby then I suppose that would be it. I used to really like reading comic books and have a huge collection at home. And fashion magazines too! 4) What you think are the next steps for you as a professional and as a person? And how do you see your creative area on the next 5 years? The next 5 years? Wow. I haven't really thought that far ahead. Maybe the next step would be to start using different mediums instead of just marker pens. Some of my friends keep telling me to do t-shirts. Who knows. Maybe I'll get into that. Or maybe I should find me a Mrs. Frivolous and get married... 5) Please share five golden lessons you learned to this point. 1- Dont try and argue with an angry woman. Just run. 2- Mixing milk with orange juice is a stupid idea. 3- Being beautiful can never disguise an ugly fart. 4- If you really want to make progress, then go for it and don't wait for anybody. 5- Your mind is a very powerful tool. So if believe that your not good enough, then you won't be. 6)What's the best thing about working on your business and what is the worst? Why? The best thing is that there is no boss telling me what to do and I can draw when I feel like it. The worst is that I am very easily distracted and some times a little lazy. 7) Do you have any heroes? What make them your heroes? (please send us pics just in case they're not popular) The first people that poped into my head were Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby so I think I will go with those two for now. 8) Tell us in one picture how you're feeling about your life right now (please send us the picture). Confused. 9) Now for some quick and short answers: - A Food: Rice - A Animal: Cat - A Color: Black - A Tool: Pen? - A Person: Natalie Portman - A Place: New York - A Song: Smashing Pumpkings "1979" - A Movie: Coming To America - A Book: Choose Your Own Adventure - A Quote: "After Hardship Comes Ease" 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business, tell us something we should expect. I would say to just do what you really love doing. Dont try to please anyone else by pursuing something you know you dont really have an interest in . And also be very patient and persistent.

A little conversation with Christopher Lee

A Little Conversation with Christopher Lee

A little conversation with Christopher LeeSome weeks ago, we featured some projects from Christopher Lee on our blog. I got really hooked on his style and ideas, so I decided to invite him to make this interview. Chris was kind enough to accept this new model of interview that the ABDZ team is proposing, we decided to focus more on the person on less on the professional, hope you dig it.Just in case you haven't seen Chris work, please take a look on the post we did about him and at his Official Website.  1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about how was the beginning of your career?I started working in the graphic design industry when I was 18. I got my first internship at a small non-profit design company in Sacramento where I did everything from brochure layouts to simple spot illustrations for local businesses. They weren't great (they were horrible in retrospect), but it's where I began. The "portfolio" I had at the time consisted of a bunch of random Photoshop projects I had done in my senior year of high school but it was enough for them to see my potential. They definitely took a gamble on me. That internship turned into a job and I ended up staying at that company for five years. The jobs weren't glamorous, but during my stay, I learned all the skills that I needed to move on to the next chapter of my career. 2) Please share a picture of your workplace and tells us more about your daily routine.I work from home so my schedule is extremely flexible. I don't really have a daily routine. I usually work most of the day (and into the evening when I'm working on larger projects) and I take breaks to run errands and take care of our dog. As long as I get my work done, then my day-to-day business doesn't really matter too much.Chris's workplace.3) Beside your daily work, do you have any hobbies? Please share it with us. (Send us a picture of you while doing your hobby).When I find the time, I like painting miniatures from Warhammer 40k as well as building/painting Gundam models.  I also enjoy playing air soft.  4) What you think are the next steps for you as a professional and as a person? And how do you see your creative area on the next 5 years?I think I'm already on the right path. I always want to try new things and introduce new techniques into my work. I'm never satisfied with one particular style. That said, I'm not sure what my work will look like next year or in ten years. That's the exciting part for me.In the next five years I hope to be more involved with the design community and maybe do some teaching via online tutorials or guest speaking at local colleges. I would like to give back in some form. 5) Please share five golden lessons you learned to this point.1) You don't get better by doing work at "work". You get better when you experiment and work on your own projects on the side.2) Always charge what your time is worth.3) Never work for free or for favors.4) In the beginning, no job is a small or inconsequential. They are all stepping stones to learn and move forward from.5) Always love what you do. 6)What's the best thing about working on you business and what is the worst? Why?The best thing may be the flexibility in my hours and that I am my own boss. My output is directly related to the effort I put in. That itself is a great motivator. Knowing my livelihood is dependent on how hard I work is very humbling and it always keeps the drive to do new things high. I also get to work and collaborate with some extremely talented people and creative minds. There is always something to learn.The worst thing is probably thinking about the future. With design, you always have to fight to stay relevant. Which is one reason why I never want to stop evolving. There are a thousand people out there competing in the same industry for the same types of jobs and it's up to me to stick out enough to keep those jobs coming in. 7) Do you have any heroes? What make them your heroes? (please send us pics just in case they're not popular persons)It might be weird, but I honestly don't have any personal heroes. 8) Tell us in one picture how you're feeling about your life right now (please send us the picture). 9) Now for some quick and short answers:- Food: Spicy tuna on crispy rice.- Animal: Boston Terrier. We have one so I'm biased :)- Color: I'm a big fan of coral/salmon type reds right now.- Tool: In the office, my Wacom Cintiq. In the garage, my Ryobi impact driver haha.- Person: My girlfriend- Place: Kyoto, Japan- Song: "Dakota" by the Stereophonics- Movie: Aliens- Book: The Art of Pixar's Monsters, Inc- Quote: "Draw to live. Live to Draw" - Invisible Creature 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business, tell us something we should expect.Take the initiative to really find your individual voice in this industry and never lose the love for what you're doing. Being successful in the design/illustration field is a combination of raw talent and a little luck so expect to pay your dues early on, work hard, and know that you may not land your dream client right away.

 Interview with Jason Levesque (Stuntkid)

Interview with Jason Levesque (Stuntkid)

I remember when I decided to work on the creative business 5 years ago, one of my first references as master in their craft was definetely Jason Levesque a.k.a. Stuntkid. 5 years after I finally had the opportunity to interview one of my idols and, in my opinion, one of the best illustrators out there at this moment.You can see more of this stunning artist at his Official Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and art?I've always been interested in art. I think that is likely true for everyone. We understand drawings long before we understand the written word. As children, we all draw. A 5 year old with a story to tell can illustrate a situation with more detail than that child can write it out. At some point a lot of kids stop drawing, either from disinterest or disappointment in how slowly the skill is developing. I wasn't great at drawing as a child, but i really enjoyed it. I was also lucky enough to grow up in a family that encouraged me not only with praise, but with encouragement to improve. 2) Which artists do you use for reference?I'm inspired by so many artists, a few off the top of my head... Ashley Wood, Joao Ruas. Erik Jones, Conrad Roset, Tom Bagshaw, and more classic artists like Ernst Haeckel. 3) Your style is quite influenced by comics and art nouveau. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it?I feel like i've gone through so many phases over the years. My interests and influences have drifted so wildly, i feel like it's difficult now to describe the path i took to get here. Influences like Akira, my earliest influence and later artists like Mucha and Klimt have remained with me. I don't know if i can describe my work now in stylistic terms. I'm sure someone else can, likely with ease. I'm too close, haha. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.It's not often i'll sit and think of what to draw. Usually the ideas come to me randomly or in bed as i'm falling asleep. I read a lot of science books and find a lot of inspiration in learning new things, biological and otherwise. Once I have an idea, i'll go through my thousands of reference photos i've shot and look for a good pose match. Sometimes i'll have to shoot something new. Referencing the photo i'll sketch out a rough composition on paper or, more often, in photoshop. With a little refinement i'll start coloring using the pen tool. Finished pieces usually take me somewhere between a few hours an a few days depending on the level of detail. 5)What's the best thing about working with illustration and what is the worst?I love doing commercial illustration. I make more money with less work when i do commission work. The constraints of the project often push me to learn new things, or draw subject matter i'm unfamiliar with. It can be a huge learning experience. Quite often the work will get lost in committee with too many voices making creative decisions. When that happens I find myself detaching from the work and setting my goals to just doing the best i can do in the amount of time given. Commercial work is simultaneously the best and worst part of illustrating. 6) How do you describe your daily routine?Art, art, art, eat, art, art, talk about art with wife, art, eat, sleep and dream about art. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far?Currently "Hecate" which also happens to be my newest piece, is my favorite. It felt like a stepping stone for me and i intend on doing more work like it. A limited edition print will be release early October through 1xRun. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator.1.) You'll only get better by practice. It takes thousands of hours to hone a skill, drawing is no different. If you don't know what to draw, draw anything. Keep your pencil moving!2.) Embrace criticism. What people say to your face, they say more often behind your back. Recognize the difference between quality criticism and the venom of hateful people. If someone isn't suggesting an improvement, disregard their feedback. They are the background noise time will forget.3.) You'll never "arrive" creating art is a journey. You'll make slow progress, sometimes you'll make quick progress, you'll never "get there". Get over it. There will always be less deserving people ahead of you and more deserving people behind you.4.) Encourage other people, as you get better don't forget how painfully discouraging your early art years were. Keep your eye out for people who are still there and advise and encourage them whenever possible.5.) Try not to get so married to a process that you keep yourself from growing. Illustrators and fine artists need a recognizable product, but too many artists literally paint themselves into a corner and never progress. 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit.To be honest, i'm on tumblr quite a bit. I follow most of my favorite artists there and have discovered many new artists through "tumbling". Instagram, of course, is growing in popularity and a lot of artists are now using it to post their works in progress. The now defunct was a daily visit for me for years. It still holds archives of amazing artists. Oh! And in their last days they did a countdown of their favortie artists and gave me the 6th position. I was hugely flattered. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.Bad situations are usually the best learning experiences and if you're lucky you'll have lots of them! 

Interview with Mike Deodato Jr.

Today we have the honour to present this interview with brazilian comic book artist, Mike Deodato Jr. Mike was one of the brazilian pioneers on writing comic stories for a worldwide crowd, in this interview he shares his point of view creative process, influences and other topics. Hope you enjoy it. If you want to know more about Mike, you can access his Official Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when you got interested for illustration and comics? My interest in comics began when I was a child -- which I guess is what happens with most kids who catch the comic book "bug." On top of that, my father was a writer and artist in the Brazilian comic book industry, so I sort of grew up around comics that way. He introduced me to a lot of comicdom's masters' works, and that propelled me into a lifelong interest that continues unabated to this day. My dad looks at what I'm doing now with quite a bit of pride. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? Everybody. Certainly, my inspirations have been Neal Adams and, for awhile, Marc Sivestri and Jim Lee, but in the past 12 years or so I've gone in far different directions. I learn a little bit from everybody. I look at a lot of comics from all over the world and try to learn from everything I see. I don't want to be static. 3) Your style is quite influenced by classic american comics . How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I'd describe it as the "Mike Deodato style." There's a show that used to be on American TV, "Breaking the Magician's Code." I get a real kick out of "Breaking the Artist's Code," study a great artist's work and understanding his thought processes as to how he or she comes to the creative decisions each makes. Most artists see a guy whose stuff they like and try to simulate the surface style. For me, it's connecting with that artist's thinking process, learning how they process everything to interpret reality in their drawing. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. It's a classic combination of instinct, attitude, and planning. I usually find that, as soon as I read a story and absorb it into my brain, my first ideas for the layouts -- the storytelling -- are usually the right ones. My instincts are right, having drawn comics for so many years. The planning includes all the references, the making proper perspectives, all the technical stuff that needs to be there to make a good, professional drawing. The attitude is my approach that I need to keep learning and experimenting and growing as an artist, so that it's never boring for me, for the editors, or for my fans. 5)What's the best thing about working with comics and what is the worst? The best? I get to draw stories of my favorite characters that are enjoyed by readers all over the world! The worst? That the schedule never ends. I have to plan my life with my wife and daughter around the monthly schedules, and plan my rare convention appearances around the monthly schedules. There's little time to draw for my own pleasure, my own projects. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Drawing, food, drawing, food, drawing, Skype, martial arts, shower, hugs and kisses to Paula, food, TV, sleep. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? The NEXT thing that I'll be drawing. I'm always striving to get better. I do have a soft spot in my heart for the COVERS that I'm drawing for Marvel, because I'm always experimenting with pens, brushes, Copic markers, bent twigs, burning bushes, or whatever else I can get my hands on. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every comic book illustrator. * Learn to draw well. Understand how to draw everything before you interpret it to the comics page. * Tell a story. Your art, no matter how flashy, must still be in service to the story. * Listen to your editors and agents. They're n the trenches dealing with the buying public, so they have advice that will keep you on your toes so you don't get sloppy. * COMMUNICATE. Update your editor every day, like clockwork. * Meet your deadlines. An editor publishes pages, not excuses. 9) Tell us some websites from you. My own home page. My agent's website., which is a free website serializing my ol' JADE WARRIORS comics mini-series I did at Image. My Kickstarter campaign for the next 13 days for my upcoming book THE CARTOON ART OF MIKE DEODATO, JR. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Sure. Don't take shortcuts! You can't be a great comics artist without first becoming a great artist. Learn to draw well. THEN adapt your style to comics. Learn storytelling. Learn dependability. Learn from critiques. If editors point out stuff that's wrong with your work, FIX IT and resubmit or you haven't learned from the experience. Don't post in your portfolio pages that need corrections. As they say, "Doctors bury their mistakes, artists post their for the whole world to see". Oh -- and buy my books! You can learn a lot from them, too!

Interview with Skinny Andy

Today I have the pleasure to show this in depth interview with Skinny Andy, a really skillful and talented illustrator. Andy was kind enough to show his perspective on illustration, life and other issues. Hope you guys enjoy it. For more artworks from Andy, please access his Flickr Gallery 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and cartoons? Thanks for having me. I’ve enjoyed drawing for as long as I remember, but it wasn’t until I took a couple of digital art classes my senior year of high school that I really got hooked. This was in ’98, and computers were still rather foreign to me back then. Other than playing a few educational games (Oregon Trail, Odell Lake) I hadn’t used computers all that much. So my mind was pretty much blown when I was introduced to Photoshop. It was then I realized that I could do a lot more with my art than just doodling in a sketchbook. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? A lot of my early inspiration came from comic illustrators like Charles Schulz (his early Peanuts work), and Hank Ketcham. Later I started looking more at vintage children’s book artists like Mary Blair, Al White, and others whose names currently elude me. 3) Your style is quite influenced by cartoons, comics and childbooks. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? When I first started out in art I was all over the place. I didn’t have one single style, media, or subject matter that I would stick to. I would dabble in digital media, mixed media, and traditional media. I would jump around from darker mature themes, to whimsical and kid friendly ideas, all the while not doing anything to make myself stand out as an artist. It wasn’t until I took a step back from my aimless dabbling, and looked at my overall body of work that I realized I was pretty good at drawing simple, cute, and clean vector art. It was at this point I decided to focus all my attention to this one area, and as a result my art started showing a marked improvement, and most importantly my own distinct style eventually emerged. I would describe my style as simple, cute/cartoony, and often whimsical. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how an idea pops into my head. When an idea does strike me, however, I usually sketch it out first, scan it, and then redraw it in Adobe Illustrator. I sometimes use Photoshop when I want to add some textures, but for the most part I stick with just clean vectors, and a simple color palette. 5) What's the best thing about working with illustration and what is the worst? The best part is just the opportunity to create something, which I’m sure is what originally attracted all artists. The worst is probably working for a closed minded client. I’ve had a few designs that followed the client’s request(s) to a t (because he/she would accept nothing else), that turned out looking so horrible I no longer wanted my name associated with it. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I really don’t have a routine when it comes to art. If I have an idea I like I’m usually drawing it, otherwise I’m just looking for something to spark new ideas. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? I currently don’t have one piece I can pinpoint as my favorite. There are plenty I’m happy with, but not one that stands apart from the rest. I am my own worst critic, so just to be able to say I have designs I am happy with is a step in the right direction. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. I can’t think of five things at the moment. I would say to make sure you always enjoy what you are doing. If you are no longer having fun drawing then something needs to change. Also be open to criticism. Not all of it is productive, but occasionally you can find some gems if you are willing to listen. 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit I visit many sites, but here are a couple that I have visited recently: 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Always have a personal side project going, so you have your own creative outlet outside of client work. You will be happier for it.

Interview with Anton Emdin

Today we have the great pleasure to interview one of the top cartoonist from Australia, please welcom Anton Emdin. He told us more about his creative process, lifestyle and perspective on life and career, hope you guys like it. You can see more of Anton's work at his Official Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and cartoons? Thanks to you! The feeling is mutual. I'm happy to be here. I've always been interested in cartooning. When I was three or four I was copying Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio, Woody Woodpecker, all sorts of cartoon characters. My parents have boxes of these drawings, mostly down on that old-school lined printer paper with the tracking holes. I'd read those old Harvey Comics - Richie Rich, Casper, Hot Stuff, as well as Archie and all those kids comics that were popular in the 70's and 80's. I was (and still am) obsessed with MAD magazine, too. My dad collected them, and I used to pore over them at any given chance. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? I have a reference file, but it consists of random images from different artists and photographers - no one in particular. I have pinups and nudes, colour reference, faces, general inspiration. Basically, anything I like, I keep and stash away. 3) Your style is quite influenced by cartoons and american comics . How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I'm definitely most influenced by mid-century American comics and cartoons. I love the craftsmanship of the old comics and newspaper strips. They really knew a thing or two about drawing back then. But I also grew up reading the kids comics I mentioned before, and then later as a teen and adult I watched the Simpsons and Ren & Stimpy, which had a big influence on me at the time. I guess I'm always being inspired, and I like to think my style is continually evolving. But to answer your question, I think that using brush and ink was the biggest factor in defining my style. It forces you to develop confidence in your linework, as there is no margin for error with a sable brush. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. More and more I sketch extensively before going in to ink. I use a lightbox to keep refining the pencils until they are right. I used to go in too early with ink, and I think the drawing suffered a little for it. After sketching I ink either digitally (in Photoshop) or with a brush on paper. I rarely do hand colouring. It's something I want to explore more, though. So after inking, I colour underneath (again, in Photoshop). I like to mask off many areas of the illustration so I can easily select them during the colouring process (eg. forground, middleground, background, certain figures etc). Recently, I coloured up an illustration more organically - as if it were a real painting - and noted how much longer it took than using my selection method. 5) What's the best thing about working with comics and what is the worst? I'm always grateful to be able to do what I do as a profession. There is no worst - I don't take this lifestyle for granted. I love the magazine and editorial stuff the most, though. Being handed an article and given creative control is what I live for. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I get up early. This is not of my own free will, however. I have small children that enjoy jumping on dad's head at 6am. If I'm feeling spritely, I do some exercise, otherwise, it's just breakfast and in the home studio at around 8am. I draw about five or six illustrations a week, so they are usually at various stages of sketch, ink and colour. I try to juggle them - so while one is off for approval, I'm working on another. I always warm up a little before inking, too. This can include sketching on another project, or just doodling before getting into it. So I just work away for the day, and knock off after 5pm, spend some time with the kids, and then back to work for a while after they sleep. I try not to work too late, as I just end up working in my dreams, too. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? My favourite piece is the one I'm working on right now. Tomorrow this will be different. Some seem to stand the test of time better than others - ones that come to mind are Don's Party and the Rise of China (for the Spectator). I quite like the recent Avengers piece I did for MAD. I'll be posting this to the blog soon. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Hmmm... 1) Never miss a deadline. In fact, stay well away from deadlines. Editors and clients like to know they can depend on you. Imagine if you were in their shoes - would you hire you? 2) Don't overwork your drawings. This just wastes time and erodes spontaneity. If I'm early on a deadline and the art is looking good, I'll stop and work on something else for a while, then come back to it later. You'll find it's actually pretty much finished and won't need too much noodling around (as I'm wont to do with too much time on my hands). 3) Observation is your greatest tool. Over time I've learnt to 'see' better, and this translates into better drawing. 4) Learn maths. 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit Today's Inspiration ( is one of my favourite haunts. Ger Apeldoorn's blog is a nice resource for old comics: Drawn is also a good daily peruse: Other than that, Facebook feeds me a lot of good stuff. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Don't work for free. Don't work too cheaply, either. Turning down shitty jobs is good for the soul. Seriously - you can use that time to make a strong, personal portfolio piece that will get in fact get you more jobs than the watered-down gig that's paying peanuts. Thank you so much for having me here! It's been great fun.

Interview with Palehorse Design + WINNERS

Chris Parks, best known as Palehorse Design, is a emergent illustrator on the last years. With a remarkable style, he already worked with brands like Hasbro, WWE, 7-Eleven, Wired Magazine, Computer Arts, Blizzard Entertainment, Dean Guitars and many others. SO, hope you guys enjoy this interview with this great artist, have fun. You can know more about Chris on his Official Website. First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and art? Thanks guys! I'm happy to have the chance to share with everyone. I initially got my start as a graphic designer way back in '96. I was taking graphic design classes in high-school and creating album art and t-shirt graphics for my band at the time. One thing led to another and I got my first job doing pre-press work and design for a print company that produces album covers and posters for punk, metal, hardcore and indie bands. After that time, I got my degree in graphic design from 'Ringling College of Art & Design'. After graduation, I worked at a killer, product design studio near the campus for about 4 years. This was a great experience that taught me to work with clients, keep deadlines and refine my work. During my nights and weekends, I began creating freelance artwork for surf / skate companies and anything I could get my hands on. I felt really strongly about wanting to branch out on my own and decided to take the leap to open a design / tattoo studio with a friend of mine who was tattooing and splitting rent with me. We also hosted gallery exhibits in our space, bringing in artists that we wanted to share with our community. After hosting gallery exhibits for a while, I became more and more inspired and started to create illustrative work as opposed to just graphic design. A few years later, I went solo as a commercial illustrator and took on the moniker of Pale Horse and hired a full-time assistant to help keep things running smoothly. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? There are so many artists that I look up to. Probably too many to name, but some of my favorites would have to be: Aaron Horkey, John Dyer Baizley, Ken Taylor, Pushead, Skinner, Mike Giant, Tristan Eaton, Craola and Godmachine. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of others) Also, lately i've been really into these bootleg movie posters from Ghana. Check 'em out. You'll be glad you did :) Though I enjoy looking at other contemporary artists. I make a conscious effort to create work that has my own voice and style. I'm mostly inspired by ancient civilizations, mythology, religion and culture. I take those various inspirational concepts and mash them up to create pieces that are hopefully new original. It's such a liberating opportunity to have concepts in mind and get the chance to bring them to life on a daily basis. 3) Your style is quite influenced by old school skate illustration, tattoos and mexican art. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I think my style is pretty unique in that it kind of tells a story of my progression through different stages in my life. I really value layout and composition in my work, which comes from my graphic design days. I do a lot of pre-planning to make sure each piece will be worth the effort. My work is really just a combination of all the things that excite me. When I travel, I really take things in and can't wait to return to the studio to create my own versions of what I saw. Skateboarding, and tattoo/thrash/hardcore/metal culture has always been a big part of my life as well and it definitely continues to show itself in my current work. I've always liked bold, graphic-style artwork for some reason. There's just something about it that draws me in and feels less serious than traditional artwork. (Which I like) My goal, I guess, is to make as inspired and detailed illustrations as possible and keep pushing myself to get better each time, but never take myself or my work too seriously. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. My creative process usually starts with an idea that has been nagging at me or something that I've always wanted to draw. From there I do a ton of research, I like to learn about different subjects as I develop a concept and try to create something that brings new life to historic subject matter. I recently uploaded a time-lapse video that walks you through my process in detail. Click here to check it out. I usually start with gradual sketches or Photoshop collages to quickly rough out a concept. Then, I go straight into Photoshop with my Wacom Cintiq tablet and start drawing the black line art, followed by layers and layers of color. 5)What's the best thing about working with vectors and what is the worst? I used to create all of my work in Illustrator as vector work. I like how clean the lines that are created in illustrator look, but once I started using the tablet in Photoshop, I never wanted to go back to mouse clicking vector lines again. Drawing with the pen gives me so much more freedom and has allowed me to create the type of images that I want to make. I like to try and keep the, clean, graphic, style from my vector days, but with added detail and flexibility that comes from the tablet. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I get into the studio around 10-11am, 6 days a week and usually work 'till at least 11pm (or all night during deadlines). During the day I spend most of my time, answering emails, sending estimates, and talking with client over the phone. I tend to get most my actual drawing done at night, when there's less email and distractions. I really enjoy listening to podcasts & audio books while working. This def helps make the time go by faster and keeps my brain from totally melting onto the floor. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? My favorite piece to date is my latest print called "The Sage". This one is inspired by the incredible, spiritual teachings of Lao Tzu, called the 'Tao Te Ching' mixed with a love for those rad, metal statues of the Chinese emperor Guan Gong, that can be found in almost every Asian gift shop. In "The Sage" the character symbolizes a ruler that operates within pure awareness and not out of greed or ego. I'm fascinated by various states of human consciousness and wanted to portray the role that psychedelics have played as teachers throughout history. I also get really stoked on psychedelic, black light stoner posters and wanted to make a piece that had that vibe and begs you to stare at it for a while without boredom.… 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Develop your own style and don't be afraid to experiment. Get inspired by other places then the internet. Go to antique shops, bookstores, museums and travel whenever you can to stay motivated and hungry. Don't make it a competition. Meet as many other artists and connect with as many people as possible. It's priceless to learn from artists you respect and it's always rewarding to share what you've learned with others. Make personal work whenever possible. As commercial artists with deadlines and trendy client briefs taking up all of our time, it can be very difficult to develop a unique and original voice. Even though it's challenging to find the time, creating artwork purely for the fun of it, is always worth it for me. Enjoy the process. If you don't love it. Do something else. 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit. I really don't do a ton of web surfing, but one sites that I can get lost in for a while is So many great artists in one place to connect with there. Def. get on it if you're not already. I also really love Some of the most legit documentaries and most fearless journalism on the planet can be found there if you ask me. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Thanks for reading this! I truly appreciate everyone who is a fan of my work and Supports my shit. I definitely couldn't do this without you! For those just starting out, make sure you are having fun with the work you create, because there's not always a lot of money in drawing pictures for a living. Haha :) Realize that success won't happen over night, but if you're truly motivated, patient and consistently evolving, your enthusiasm will reward you. WINNERS So, here are the winners: Kevin Mercier ( Weston Romero ( Joshua Fryer ( Thanks everyone!

Design Chat with Albin Holmqvist

Designer Albin Holmqvist of Spain and Sweden and I have a chat. It's 3am in Sweden and 8pm outside Chicago. Albin is a fabulous designer and typographer. We talk about his work with the EF International Language Centers called Live the Language. He helped create a series of promotional videos that can be seen on his site, On IKEA: IKEA is really an exceptional example, its the typical, You swear to god you will never buy anything from IKEA for your home, because its not so personal, but you end up buying everything there. Albin is hilarious - you should watch this chat and participate in future chats. Some Images DesignChat DesignChat is a weekly video and text-based conversation between and for creatives. Video chats start at 8pm CST on Wednesdays and last about an hour on our site. You can continue the conversation before and after on Twitter using the hashtag #designchat.

Interview with Sam Wolfe Connelly

Today we had the opportunity to interview a skillful young artist, Sam Wolfe Connelly. On this interview, Sam talked about some of his ideas and concepts on creativity, illustration and life. Hope you guys enjoy it. You can know more about Sam at his Website or at his Blog. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and art? I've always been into art since I can remember. I started doing illustration though after I saw an illustration by Sam Weber on the cover of Communication Arts (the 2008 issue I think). It was a portrait of a bloody vampire and I was like 'whoa, this is illustration?' and from then on out, I knew what I wanted to major in at school. I think I was always under the impression that the category of 'illustration' had to be dull and mainstream, but I was inspired to see that I could make it my own. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? These days I really try not to look to hard at any other artist's work, alive or dead, simply because it seems really easy to slip into a state where my art doesn't feel like my own. I tend to look much more at photography as a form of inspiration, and my technique tends to branch off on its own from that. It helped me a lot in school to look closely at artists that I admired and to learn how they approached drawings, but it makes it easier on finding my 'style' by distancing myself from them now. 3) Your style is quite influenced by fine art, realistic and surrealistic paintings. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I hardly ever know what to describe my own stuff as. I've heard people say 'dream like' which I think is a little funny since I rarely dream at all. I like leaving some mystery in my work. I think a valuable thing to do is hide elements from your viewer, because too much of what I see today is so blatantly exposed, it gets boring fast. Anything somberly eerie really intrigues me, and I always try my best to stay true to what I really find fascinating. I think there comes a point where you, as an artist, need to create a visual language for yourself, and the only way you can, is if you pursue and draw what you truly love. For a while I felt like I had to look for a 'style' or look for a voice to shine through in my art, but that mindset only sets you farther away from what you really should be achieving. I just take a step back and ask myself 'what do I really want to express?' rather than 'what SHOULD I express?' 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. First I'll figure out what I need to say, whether it be a job or a personal piece. I'll break it down into basic elements that I want to include and try and fit them into a nice composition using thumbnails. Sometimes I'll go through a couple, sometimes I'll got through 30. Once I figure out the blocking and shapes, I'll do a final sketch in actual size on newsprint and transfer it over to my final paper (which is usually either BFK Rives or Stonehenge). Then I'll do the actual drawing in graphite and bring it into photoshop and add some coloring. 5)What's the best thing about working with illustration and what is the worst? Best thing is getting paid to do what I love. The worst would most definitely be dealing with the certain clientele that act like they know what they want from a project, but wind up leading you through rounds and rounds of excellent ideas only to end up where you started. It's always a shame to see good ideas go to waste. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I have pretty bad insomnia, so I'll tend to wake up around noon, make coffee, answer some emails, and sit down at the drawing table at around 1. From then on til about 3-4 am I'll work (with a few breaks thrown in for eating and reading). Then I'll pass out, wake up, and do it all again. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? Usually it tends to be whatever I'm working on currently, and then immediately once I finish it, I'll hate it and never want to look on it again. BUT I guess I could say, for me, 'Harvest' seems to be the one that I enjoy the most as of now. The mood in that piece is really close to what I shoot for in all of my work and the drawing seems to speak well for itself. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. -Even when you're working for a client, you're working for yourself, so make your art appealing to you. In some cases you'll have to compromise, but it's a good mindset to start things off with. -You're bound to get a whole lot of rejection. Revel in it and use it to push your stuff further. -Be nice to people. -Know your own worth and don't sell yourself short. -Draw more. 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit. I found this website with a lot of hi rez images of paintings which is really great for reference and looking at close details you cant find mush of on the internet: I also like to check out what has every once in a while because you can find interesting gems like this: Other than that, I mainly stick to what my tumblr feed dishes out. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Sometimes it's hard to figure out where to start or where you want to head, but just remind yourself that as long as you're drawing or painting or making something, you're going somewhere and improving your skills. Make sure it's for you though, and no one else. Everyone makes art when they're little for their own enjoyment, so dont let the possibility of getting paid for it ruin that.

DesignChat with Dr. Stefan Bucher from The Daily Monster

Dr. Stefan Bucher joined the discussion on DesignChat on July 20th, 2011. Like the previous guest, Robert Petrick, he is a judge for the STA's Archive 11 show and will travel to Chicago to participate in all events. Stefan reveals that part of the motivation in using inkblots for The Daily Monster is that it is difficult for him to start drawings because he immediately self-censors his work. ”I'm really good at finishing, not so good at starting.” He claims to have screwed up his first job at W+K by working hard, and not understanding the nature of the agency. ”Sometimes there are situations that are not right for you, and it's ok to walk away from them and it doesn't diminish you as a person.” Stefan's favorite font is his own hand-writing, that he recently had converted to a typeface. ”It's Bucher Book, bitches!" When asked what he would be if his current career pat didn't exist, he answered, “If I wasn't a designer, I'd be… hopefully a musician but maybe a vagrant.” For more info on Dr. Bucher, check out his wikipedia page (which I'm sure is 100% accurate) and his websites, 344, The Daily Monster, and his personal site.

Interview with Elaine Penwell

Today we have a special interview with one of the most talented paper cut artist out there: Elaine Penwell. With a work higly inspired on fabric patterns and 1800s fashion, this gifted artist told us more about her, her artwork and it's process. You can see more of Elaine's artworks at her Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and paper cut? Thanks for having me! Really, there has never been a time in my life when I wasn't creative. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil or brush, but the paper cutting came later, in my teens, after I realized that I was not as "connected" to painting like I was to paper. I just love paper... the weight, smell, texture. So even in it's base form, just as a material, I am inspired to use it in so many different ways. Cutting is still my favorite and it's the most satisfying for my self expression.,2) Which artists do you use for reference? I admire many old illustrators, etchers and wood block cutters with a bend towards fairy tales- Dore, Wulfring, Dulac, Rackham, etc. Japanese wood block prints, fabrics, old reference and fashion books for women of the 1800's always inspire new ideas. As for modern work, I love Marek Colek and Pat Shewchuk link: (notice the fairy tale and mythic influence) Swoon's link: work Is gorgeous and there are many others whose stencil work I admire besides some of the amazing, intricate paper cut and sculpture artists, like Brian Dettmer. The Internet, of course, has some great animal references but I also use some of my sons' encyclopedias.3) Your style is quite influenced by Art Noveau, with a complexity, softness and flow that is actually hard to see on such kind of media. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I like to think of my work as a kind of controlled chaos. It comes from how I view nature, partly stemming from making something that I view as beautiful externally but is created from dark thoughts or ideas. I am attracted to hidden beauty in practicality and in decay- like fabric patterns or drama set design, moldings and accents in architecture and home decor, even the shape of carcasses, dying plants and deteriorating scraps in my compost. All of these everyday kind of sights hold amazing details that some people do not appreciate, but are what have helped form the way I create.4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. For animal pieces, I need to do a bit of research and reference before I get started, but for all other designs I usually just dive in and see what comes up. Sometimes It starts with a phone call doodle, or say the pattern on the curtains of somewhere I visited like the Yosemite lodge or even an episode of "Dexter" will inspire. The drawing actually is the most difficult part, as I have to think about the piece somewhat like a stencil. The way I draw for a cut piece is almost opposite of how I would draw for an illustration. When illustrating, it is the shadow or the highlight that will define the shape, using shading, and they work together to make a whole. But in the cutting, I have to decide; is it the light or is it the dark that will define the piece? It has to be a very black and white drawing. I enjoy the removing of parts to reveal the whole, so the last thing I want to have is the piece falling apart after I've cut it, because I got too enthusiastic with my shading. So I really have to concentrate on the drawing. After completing the cutting, I flip the piece over so the draw lines do not show. That said, I enjoy seeing an artist's process, so I like that you can see some of my original drawing on the back.5)What's the best thing about working with paper cuts and what is the worst? Best...the satisfying sensation of removing, yet filling up, space. Worst...snapping blades, finger cuts, accidental blade slips that ruin a piece!6) How do you describe your daily routine? I must be creative every day, whether it is in action, research, or thought. I like people and co-creativity, but I like to work alone and for long stretches of time, preferably. Because I do have a family, I need to do most of my work during the day when it is quiet (or when I can blast my music with no complaint or watch dark and inappropriate movies) and can concentrate without distraction. I have pretty good self discipline and a strong work ethic, so I can keep myself working non-stop and fortunately there is still a long list of ideas in my mind for future projects. Before I had kids, I could work day and night, for days on end, with hardly a break or food, and I was as content as can be. I had to do a bit of re-learning how to use my time as a working mother who was also an artist. That challenge on it's own urged me to be even more productive and resourceful with my creative routine.7) Which is your favorite piece so far? Hmmmm....I like the size and fluidity of my peony piece, but I keep returning to the owls as pieces I really loved making. I think my favorite is still to come though.8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Use your five senses to draw. Not everything has to be perfect. Squint your eyes. Observe observe observe. Practice. I'd say that applies to anyone, really. Plus I do not really consider myself an illustrator, although it is half of the work I do and equally enjoyable. 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit Fecal Face Supersonic Electronic Hi-Fructose Cargo Collective Zoltron Opacity Abduzeedo10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Well, I think that if you never lose sight of loving what you do, you will always be a success because you are not relying on others for approval. Whatever comes from the love of expression in any form is pure creativity and when it becomes a chore, you are probably no longer doing it for the right reason any longer.

Interview with Vector Artist Caramelaw

Today we have a special guest here at Abduzeedo, I'm proud to present this interview with Sheena Aw, also known as her illustrator alias Caramelaw. She told us more about her story, her creative process and other cool topics. Check it out. You can see more of Caramelaw's work at her Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and motion graphics began? Hello and thank you very much for having me. :) Well, I was always a dreamer when I was young. Sketching on any possible surface I could. I love animations and cartoons, and was very fascinated by them from a very young age. I often wonder how do people make cartoons and how to make an illustration move. I wanna do that when I grow up! 2) Which artists do you use for reference? Takashi Murakami, Tokidoki, Tado, Pete Fowler, Friends with You, Camilla D'Errico, Mark Ryden 3) Your style is extremely happy, colorful and childish in some way and I must say you got some quite distinguishable characters and use of color. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I was doing a lot of random stuff at first. Manga, cartoons, graphic design etc... Honestly, I knew I love art and illustration but I've got no idea what I was looking for. It's quite frustrating at first, trying out all sorts of techniques and looking at different forms of art but nothing hit me. Until one fine day, I decided to play with colours and candy, since these are the 2 most elements I am attracted to. I made the 1st piece of candy at titled "My World of Madness". It felt right, the candy colours, the whimsical characters, the flying butt, rainbows and everything I could possibly want in an art piece. That was when I knew I have found the Caramelaw style. It took me a good 5 years but I'm glad I did eventually. It had to start off somewhere, from this piece I developed my style further and became the candy-coated Caramelaw today. My World of Madness4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. It starts with my handy sketchbook, a bit of a walk, see something I like and doodle it down. After which I'll bring the goodies back to the studio and do a sketch based on what inspired me that day. I like using blue pencils for sketches. After that, I'll scan the sketch into the computer and start tracing it in Flash, export out each individual element to do further com-positing in Photoshop. That's where all the magic happens. Where my individual-layered characters make friends with gradients, colours and effects. Its lots of fun, its like piecing a puzzle together. 5)You've been working not only with illustration, but also with toy design. How is your relationship with this kind of media? I'm a toy fanatic. Vinyls, dolls and vintage My Little Ponies. Since my art is a little bit child-like, what's better than linking my art to toys? I think its great to work on a different media once in awhile. Its like painting on a different canvas and the results are pretty satisfying, to see your art on a 3D object, rather than just on the computer screen. Toys inspire me and my art too. I see a toy, be it colours or just something interesting about it, I'll gather infomation from there and make it into a piece of candy art. So it works both ways and I think its brilliant. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Alarm rings. Presses snooze. Alarm rings again. Presses snooze again. (I can go on forever, let's just skip to the main part) I go to work in the day as a video editor/motion graphic artist. After work hours, its Caramelaw time! I'll head back home and work on my candy-art or custom dolls/toys. I feel like I'm leading a double life but it keeps me sane. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? My favourite piece would be "Trees in Heaven". I'm a nature lover, I believe in mother nature and my art usually reflects on that. "Trees in Heaven" was made to show that humans are just taking everything on earth for granted. Whenever I see reports on forest fire, deforestation, it angers me. For what they had provided us with no complains. They should go to heaven. Where birds and squirrels and other magical creatures would provide its every need. Trees in Heaven 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Be humble - be nice to everyone, regardless of whom. It only reflects yourself as a person and an artist. Be open to ideas - share, learn and open up. Meet new people. Talk. Work on collaborations. Its through experiences like these that you learn more. Travel - See the world. Its so big and its so beautiful. Everything and anything can inspire. Its just how you look at it. Keep trying new things - I know it can be frustrating when you just can't find the style you were looking for. But it takes time. Some earlier, some later. I took 5 years though. But through these 5 years I didn't stop exploring and looking at new mediums. Its fun and you learn lots. Honestly, I think I only had 4 lessons. :p 9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit (don't be surprised, you can actually find lots of good art stuff here!). 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Never give up. :)

New Interview with Archan Nair

Archan Nair is a really kind person and one of the top notch digital artists nowadays. This is actually our second interview with him, as we always like to know more and more about him and all his knowledge thru this years working on the creative field. Hope this conversation will be useful and enjoyable for you guys. If you want to know more about Archan, please acess his Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for digital art and illustration began. Thank you so much for having me again on abduzeedo and making me a part of this ever growing creative spirit here.The honor is mine .. and I am really glad to be back after a few years and sharing my journey with all the beautiful creators and co-creators. I began working in the fashion industry around 2002, when I joined my family’s apparel manufacturing company with absolutely no formal training. Around Mid 2006 I started dabbling with a bit of photoshop, and was basically having fun everyday.. earlier days it seemed really fun and joy to create, but as I was exploring more, I started becoming really serious with creating and expressing myself through the digital medium. In about a year, I finally decided to pursue my love , to do what I really enjoy from the deepest corner of my heart, and to start my own studio where I could create all the time. It has been an incredible trip since then. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? I admire a lot of artists, but usually in other fields of art like music or sculpture. I love a lot of visual artists also , but I never use any as reference. I really love artists or creators who are truly original in their style and just do what they love doing. and it really shows in their work. 3) People recognize you for doing some really intense and colorful mixed media art, a aesthetic that influenced a lot of designers and art directors on the last 5 years. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I feel that the colours come so naturally to me, and that our culture has a major influence in the way I use my vivid compositions. It is definitely not a conscious effort, but it seems to be embedded deep within me.My inspirations comes from everything around me, life as usual. Conversations, music, movies, realizations, anything which could really inspire me at a particular moment would motivate me to express myself through that channel , and while expressing them on a manasic plane I translate them through vibrant love. 4) Describe us a bit of your creative process. I love experimenting. and I get bored very easily .. so I always need new ways to innovate and create. When I am creating my subconscious always reminds me of how much more can I explore.. I usually would start an artwork by beginning with water colours to create a base, and then paint digitally. Print the artwork on a canvas and use acrylic paints, pens and markers for line art drawings, 3D objects or even scraps , and experiment with traditional and digital medias on and off the entire process , even images or anything which I would connect with during the creation of the artwork, until I feel I am ready. 5)You latest artworks seem to have a great influence of traditional illustration, more specific from watercolors and some abstract paintings. Do you use to mix this medias? What you think about mastering traditional methods? Oh yes absolutely. I love working with different medias. As I have progressed in this journey over the last few years, I have started loving different mediums of expressing myself and trying to merge them into 1 composition, that is really exciting me now. I am not sure about mastering, as I feel no one can master anything, as every process is infinite and never-ending, so even those we term as masters are still learning and doing new things too. I feel that no matter which media we create on, we should just love creating , irrespective of the media.. and if someone is inclined towards a particular genre, he or she should try it out. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Sure. Well, I have no timetable as I don't follow time anymore, so I am creating all the time. I wake up early mornings usually and create , Love tingling my senses with great food. love dining out, watching movies with the family and friends. Love exploring sound and creating music, trying to spin both the sound and visual energies with each other now and absolutely loving it. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? I feel all my works are a true part of my being, my energy and all are my true expressions.. so selecting a piece or a few pieces is really very difficult, as they all have contributed to really connect me with my true self, and still help me grow and find answers everyday. Every one of them are my babies and really really special. I love them all! 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important - I feel its important to really seek , admire and manifest your own reality. If you love doing something, you must do it without fear and go all out and do it all the time - Contribute to the planet, by sharing and loving every living element , everything around you, because of which you are in such a beautiful space. - Be original and do your own style, as that will make you unique and that is how you will find your true calling - Working on your skills or technique is important, but not everything! Try to pour more love into your work than just focus on the skill part. - Realizing how gifted we all our in our own special way and really using those gifts in society. 9) Tell us sites that you like to visit These days I like going into tumblr, I love, and I am a tech freak, love customizing my phone so xda developers as well :) 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. I feel that success is never about money or fame. Success is about finding your true creative spirit, knowing your gift and sharing your vibration in its purest form with the cosmos. Would love to just share, and say.. be original, love what you create, imagination is the only knowledge and when we listen to our heart, we have access to that knowledge. Thank you so much! :)

Interview with Dabs and Myla

Today I'm going to introduce to you guys this adorable australian couple of graffiti writers, please welcome Dabs and Myla. These fellas have been doing some extremely funky and interesting artworks both on the streets and on galleries. So it's really nice to have a the opportunity to understand more about their story and other topics. If you want to know more about this adorable couple, please visit their Website or their Blog. 1) In the name of the Abduzeedo team, I would like to thank you guys for your time and kindness to answer this interview. Let's start by asking you, when you start getting interest by Graffiti and Illustration? DABS: We actually both started at different points, I had been writing graffiti for about 10 years before we met. We met and fell in love at Art School, and started working together. I taught MYLA how to use spray paint when we met, and the basics of style writing. She took it from there and developed her own skill set and style very quickly! We have both always been interested in illustration and painting though! Even before we studied together we had a similar interest in style and technique. 2) Tell us more about your influences and guys who inspired you. MYLA: I think that we gain the majority of our inspiration from each other. We are really lucky to be able to share our lives and our artwork together, and we are constantly influencing each other and bouncing ideas and new theories back and forth. Outside of that though, I think we get a lot of inspiration from our friends and crew members. That's whats great about being in a crew, working with your friends on a large scale and constantly learning from each other. 3) I find your artworks and graffs really amazing, they're so colorful and happy. So, when you developed this aesthetic and how could you describe it. DABS:Our style is something that has slowly developed bit by bit over the past 7 years. I think it comes from our early influences in illustration and old animation, as well as being a reflection of our attitude and day to day steez! We are really happy people! We love our life and enjoy pretty much every second of I think our artwork and characters has a positive vibe on it just based on the people its coming from. 4) Nowadays, do you think that it's possible to make a living doing Graffiti and Street Art? DABS: Of course!!...If your willing to work your ass off for it and have confidence in your own abilities. 5) How's you daily workflow? MYLA: Hectic!!...We always seem to have more to do than we can fit into one day!!..But we love it that way! We love what we do, and love to work hard at it. We spend pretty much 7 days a week from 7am till 11pm working in the studio on our paintings. The only times we really leave is to go outside and paint a wall. We are lucky that we both enjoy the same things and have a similar work ethic which allows us to work like crazy like this!! 6) What's you favorite piece at the moment? MYLA: I think at the moment our favorite piece is a painting that we just made for a show in Miami during Art Basel titled 'You are the light'. It's a bigger scale painting for us, and we are really happy with how it came out. 7) What are your future projects for 2012? DABS:We have a lot of interesting things ahead in 2012. Like most years we will spend the majority of the year working on paintings for shows, but we are planning to take more time to paint more large scale murals this year, and will be traveling a bit too. We also will be curating a show at Thinkspace Gallery in L.A which i think will be pretty epic!! 8) Tell us five lessons you've learned till now on being a successful Graphic Artist. *WORK HARDER AND LONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU COULD EVER POSSIBLY WORK. *ALWAYS KEEP PUSHING YOURSELF AND YOUR STYLE. *MAKE THINGS THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO LOOK, DONT BE TOO INFLUENCED BY TRENDS OR WHATS GOING ON AROUND YOU. DO IT FOR YOURSELF. *DONT BE A DICK TO PEOPLE!! *THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT...ALWAYS!!! 9) Tell us five site you love. JERSEYJOEART.COM SDMCREW.COM THEWORLDSBESTEVER.COM JUXTAPOZ.COM SOURHARVEST.COM 10) Thanks for your time Dabs and Myla, please leave a final message to everyone how's starting at the creative field. DABS:Its just art...don't kill your self over it!! Enjoy it and have fun!

Interview with Alexandre Farto (aka. Vhils)

Today we have the pleasure to show you a fresh interview with one of the big names in the urban art scene of the world, his name's Alexandre Farto aka Vhils. Alexandre is recognized by his "destructive" creations and in this interview he speaks about his background, techniques, style and other interesting subjects, check it out. For more information about Alexandre visit his Website. 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for art, graffiti and urban art began. I believe that my interest about the expressionist world began with everything I saw in the streets of Lisbon, Portugal while I grew up: a contrast among the decay of the political murals painted around the 70's and 80's, after the 1974 Revolution, and the overlap of the capitalist publicity and its colors and shapes, getting around in full speed by the end of the 80's. I started to do some graffiti when I was 10 years old and started to take it more seriously when I was 13. It was the graffiti that got my interest for art and everything surrounding it. It was the graffiti that made me study art in school, and everything I got to know after it in terms of world arts, contemporary or classic, everything began with my interest in graffiti. 2) Which artists do you use for reference? When I started I really admired artists related to Lisbon's hardcore graffiti, some of them became friends, and I also admired artists from around the world that I got to see on magazines, movies, etc. Crews from Lisbon as GVS R1 3D 2S LEG 1003PV were big references, as the EWC from Poland, SDK from France and many others. After a while I discovered the work of Banksy, which inspired me to take a new direction, not in terms of style but in terms of concept and what to explore in urban art. Nowadays I admire the work of many people, including Gordon Matta-Clark, Katherina Grosse, JR, Conor Harrington, Word 2 Mother, NeckFace, Faile, Blu, Gaia, Barry McGee, Os Gêmeos and more. 3) People recognize you for starting a destructive urban art movement, something new and fresh that nobody tried before. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? The development of this line of work has essentially two bases: one is graffiti in its most destructive side, which I have been connected to for many years; the second is the stencil technique that I discovered while I was looking for new paths that allowed me to express a new way of communication. From the first one I picked up the concept of destruction as creative strength - based on this idea I developed a way of work that uses the removal, decomposition or destruction. The concept is the idea that we are made by a series of influences that shape us throughout historical layers, etc, that come from the environment where we grew up. In a very symbolic way I believe that if we remove some of these layers, showing other ones, we can bring to surface some of the stuff we left behind, forgotten things that are still part of what we are today. Technology is changing things so quickly that we don't have enough time to think about what is changing (new layers), what is affecting us. I try to underline this process in general, my work can be seen as a kind of archeology that tries to understand what is hidden behind things. These ideas found expression when I started to experiment with the stencil technique and understood that I could revert the process to have more impact: instead of creating while adding layers, I explored the idea of creating by removing layers. I experimented with this process using several methods - cutting clusters of posters, corroding silkscreen ink with acid, etc. - and naturally things started to gain a brutal and raw shape. When I passed the idea to walls it was natural to work with this removal concept, this negative field. The process itself can be brutal and violent, but the result in my opinion, is expressive and poetic. The result was visibly interesting and allowed to start to incorporate the wall as one of the physical components to the intervention, unlike what happened to the painting, where the wall was a base. From there, the usage of explosives was another step that evolved after a lot of research and tests. These testing stages are something really nice to do, it's actually a pleasure, and it usually results as a main part of my work. 4) Today there is a big discussion about the legitimacy of urban art and graffiti, what are the limits that an artist must put on his work and what exactly would be the public space. What is your opinion about this issues? As a citizen I understand that this is a complex issue that can't be seen as 'light' or black and white, yes or no - there are a lot of factors involved in this. In a more personal approach, in the other hand, I understand that we shouldn't have limits in art, nor to the space where we apply it. No rules should be applied to art. 5) What do you think about the recent transition of several urban artists into fine arts and galleries? Is urban art still urban art inside a museum? Yes, if the art is honest with its essence and if you take the space "to be what it is" and not be domesticated, which is a natural tendency in closed spaces because art in closed spaces is, essentially, marketable art. The museums may be exceptions to this because they disclose art, but not galleries, which usually are interested in selling art. There is naturally a big difference between things produced freely on the streets and things produced to be showcased in a closed space, but I believe they are not opposites or exclude one another. For those interested in expressing their work both spaces are interesting, we just need to look at the productions inside their context. Street art is in a public space - what is produced for a gallery or museum is essentially a new version of a work, in a new context. What each artist makes with his work is something very particular. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Actually it's a bit complicated because I never know what will happen... It depends on where I am, and lately I'm always doing something in different places, so things vary a lot. In general I work everyday, in my house, studio or even at the airport - when I'm traveling. I don't have a pre-defined space for work and pleasure, everything happens naturally. My life involves a lot of production, research and a lot of work, which I really like, so I don't separate that. It's pretty normal for me to be involved in several projects at the same time, and it's usually in different countries. I have a base in Lisbon and another in London, it's interesting to always be on the move but sometimes it's hard to manage everything - sometimes I really need to stop everything and take some days off. 7) Which is your favorite piece so far? I'm not sure, I usually like my latest work the most. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important 1- There are no rules 2- There are no small materials 3- Persistence is key 4- In error we find creation 5-Go with the flow 9) Tell us sites that you like to visit 10) We would like to thank you again for your time and kindness, have a nice day Alexandre.

Interview with Matthieu Bessudo (aka. Mcbess)

Today is the lucky day for some of you guys, because we got a exclusive interview with one of the highlights of the illustration area: Matthieu Bessudo aka. Mcbess. So, we tried to make some questions funnier to him, less formal than usual! So our conversation could be way more spontaneous as normal interviews, hopefully you guys will enjoyed it. You can see more of this beautiful madness created by this genius artist at his Website. 1) In the name of the Abduzeedo Team, I would like to thank you for accept taking part on this interview, it's a great pleasure for us. Let's start by asking you when all this madness started? It was when you're a kid with boxes of crayons? Well I guess I’ve always been drawing but really it started in college, it’s like I’ve been drawing like a zombie for 19 years and then I understood what I actually could do with it. I was surrounded by people with taste and idea and it became a new way of saying things, violent things, unspeakable things, quickly became addicted to that form of expression. Music as always been taking a bigger place than drawings so I never really took the time to see the potential, it’s thanks to my friends that I’ve been able to see what could be fun in doing images. 2) Tell us about some guys you admire and why then. Well I really like people with no bullshit, like louis CK, ricky gervais, josh hommes, it’s harder to find people like that in the “image” field because people think they’re all artists and keep raving about their concept. Obviously not everyone is like this and it’s why I love people like Chris Ware, Dave Cooper, their work speak for them and it’s say: “amazing” 3) I already tried to label your style several times as "50's revival cartoon with spice" or other bizarre genres, but it's unique and hard to describe. When you developed this style and how could you describe it? Well It’s a mixture of things, I didn’t really think about it when I started it kind of came out like that . When I was a kid I was a fan of 80’s cartoons like ninja turtle and ghost busters and my dad would watch a lot of merry melodies and betty boop, that’s a mixture that always stuck with me . When I started to play with curves and colors this just became a natural thing, going back to what I knew best. I’m not sure how to label it, old school shit with newer shit, not that I don’t want to be labeled I just see them as drawings. 4) You're already tired of answering this, but why only black and white colors? I am tired of that answer indeed, I’m colorblind, can’t see color so I always though that what I drew was purple and yellow. The real reason is that I was very poor when I started drawing and I never was able to afford colors. 5) So, how's Mcbess daily routine? Coffee and croissant in the morning, I choose a good series to watch all day, then I draw . I surf the inter-web multimedia for in depth references or stories about things I like, then I look up a good place to have lunch. After lunch there’s my nap, for like 3 hours then I go to the pub to get smashed. When I’m really drunk I try to draw some more but it’s usually useless. I’d say that’s an average kind of day for me . 6) You're already a successful artist, tell us what were you're best moment and what was the worst moment in your career till now . There’s never really been a worst moment, working for a commercial project is usually the type of things that I don’t enjoy but it also give me a reason to moan and I love that, bitching about the work and people . Best moment might during opening of shows, when you get to meet people and it’s the achievement of a long period of work, it’s hard to choose one, they’ve all been special . 7) What's the best media you've worked till now and why? Well I’m a bit of a geek so I love working on the computer but more and more I try to stir away from it and use different kind of pens on paper, I really like that. Computer result is always very smooth and I love that, paper got more texture and it’s more real and risky so I love it too, I don’t want to choose . 8) Give us five sites you love. 9) Tell us your top 5 lessons you've learned to become a badass illustrator. 1. Do not care about what people say 2. Listen to what people say then immediately forget 3. Do not draw about things you don’t know about 4. Do not always try to do everything perfect, it’s usually makes it impossible to finish anything 5. Be proud about you work but not too much because it’s annoying. 10) Thanks for your time and attention, please leave a final message for every kid that's starting out as a artist. Well I hope you’ll get to do or be whatever you want, as soon as you’re happy the work will follow and if you’re depressed, well it usually is a good time for creation that might then lift you out of depression then your work might not be as good but you won’t be depressed and if you get depressed because your work is not good well then it will be a good time to create something, it’s a very funny spiral . Just don’t get too cynical that kills everything .

Interview with Jacqui Oakley

Today we are going to have an awesome talk with Jacqui Oakley. For those who don't know her, she is an amazing illustrator from Canada. Jacqui has a very unique style that mixes hand drawings and illustration with a hint of watercolor, and the result is always on point. Check out the interview for some behind the scene talk. Where to find her: Want to buy some amazing illustrations from Jacqui? visit her shop at Website - Blog - Twitter - Dribbble - 1. First of all welcome to Abduzeedo and thank you for the opportunity to interview you. Let's start with the usual, please introduce your self and give us a little background on Jacqui Oakley. I was born in Canada, moved really quickly to be raised in Bahrain, Zambia and Libya, while my parents travelled for work. We also went back and forth from England, where my parents are originally from & my siblings were born. In 1989, when I was teenager, we finally settled down in Canada, So now, I've been a freelance illustrator for about 10 years having clients such as Rolling Stone, Financial Times (UK), LA Weekly, The Boston Globe, ESPN, etc. I work on these illustrations in my Hamilton studio/home just outside of Toronto in Ontario, Canada & I also teach part-time at OCAD U, (Ontario College of Art & Design) in Toronto. 2. How early did you find the love for art and illustrations? When I was really young I had a strange fondness for drawing mazes. That might have come more out boredom on long plane trips rather than interest though. But I guess I've always loved patterns and colour and really enjoyed the images my parents picked up from travels. I remember staring at Batiks from Malaysia, images of Thai gods & scenes of African Villages. I also loved looking at pictures from non-fiction books. Anything sci-fi or horror related aways grabbed my attention. Also, I enjoyed drawing birds and animals, especially ones from different countries. In Bahrain we only had geckos, goats and camels so visiting Canada with its multitudes of squirrels was pretty exotic at the time. So, drawing animals that from distant places was fun, and I guess that stuck. 3. How did you turn your passion into your profession? I knew I always wanted to do 'art' but was never sure of the direction. I went to the University of Toronto for a fine arts degree but found I wasn't learning enough technique. I needed to be pushed and the talent coming out of Sheridan's Illustration program (Oakville, ON, Canada) was really appealing. So I switched and just fell into illustration without really knowing what it was at first. After I graduated I loved the idea of showing 'art' to people in their everyday lives, rather than to a few in an art gallery, and also the idea of being able to add to the dialogue of present issues. After school I waitressed for a while but then discovered it was sink or swim time. I focused fully on illustration after a few months and I've stuck with it ever since. It was sometimes tough at the beginning and there've been ups and downs but it's been well worth it. 4. I notice a lot of your work are actual paintings, explain to us the process you go through when creating an illustration. I start off with brainstorming with words and small doodles of random ideas that come to mind, then maybe collecting a bunch of reference images, and onto roughs and linears. Once a linear is approved I blow it up to the size I'm going to work with and transfer it onto paper. I used to work a bunch in oils but these days I usually block out a few areas in acrylic paint, trying to keep it loose and keep texture in there with dry brush. Then I go onto inking lines, and then maybe a few spots of colour again in acrylic or coloured ink. 5. What's your favorite type of work? The one that gets you really excited to start, and when you done you wish that was more. My favorite work really depends on the article or idea that's proposed to me. If I can conjure up visuals rights away then I can get really excited. I love when a painting is so engrossing it doesn't feel like a job anymore. Of course it's amazing to work on larger pieces for art shows and I'd love more of an opportunity to do that. Some recent jobs I've really enjoyed have been the EP cover for Two Crown King – the band was totally open and supportive of my ideas, and I got to collaborate with my husband who's a graphic designer. It's the first time we've done that together which was awesome! 6. By your process we can tell that you don't get too near a computer, how do you feel about that living at times where everyone is getting their work done on a screen. Do you feel more of an artist than an illustrator because of that? Even though it doesn't look like I do, I spend most of my time in front of the computer. So, much of a freelancer's time is taken up with emails, contracts & promotion, so I'm often staring at the screen like everyone else. When I'm working on a complicated linear I often draw pieces separately and then scan and move them around in the computer. I find this allows me to experiment a bit more with the composition. Sometimes, for final illustrations, I ink the lines by hand before adding the colour in with Photoshop. I always prefer a hand drawn feel, so I try to maintain that and stay away from images that look too 'glossy'. That said, there are lot of artists I know who work fully in the computer and I really admire their work. For me, I just enjoy the spontaneity of working more by hand. Since I spend so much time on the computer, it's nice to have a break and paint by hand, listen to some good audio books, and see where it takes me. 7. We have a lot of users that are just starting up on the design world, what tips and advices you have for them? It's tough at first going out on your own. Remember that everyone has had really slow times. Just keep promoting yourself and doing good work and it'll pay off. It's silly, but don't forget that you enjoy art & design. Sometimes when art becomes a daily routine it can seem like a job. So, try and remember to work on personal projects when you can, collaborate with friends, & continue looking at things to keep getting excited & add to the vocabulary of your work. It'll come through in the end. Thank you Jacqui, was great talking to you and we wish you the best on your career!