I’ve been submitting fanart to deviantArt’s gallery since I joined in 2003.
How much time do you dedicate to your work on a daily basis?
I draw for almost all of an average day – on average 8-10 hours a day. Life being what it is, however, means that sometimes I can’t dedicate as much time as I would like toward my art. I tend to feel unfulfilled if I can’t at least get some drawing everyday. At the very least I fill a sketchbook page.
Does anything inspire you while you create?
Of course! I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful group of friends that always have interesting ideas to bounce off of me, and often times their brilliant suggestions change how I might approach a piece of artwork. I also listen to a ton of music. Depending on my mood at the time it could be anything from trance to Enya. Sometimes you can even find me watching (read: listening to) a sci-fi series like Star Trek or Stargate.
In regards to making art, what tools that you use are your favorite?
I’m pretty fond of mixing digital and traditional art. At the moment, that is taking form in digital coloring over ballpoint pen drawings. I enjoy creating work traditionally, specifically using watercolors and acrylics, but lately I need my work to be more portable. I can get involved and detailed in a pen drawing, and later enjoy the simplicity and ease of adding color (primarily using Photoshop). On rare occasion I will create drawings strictly using Photoshop.
Also in regards to making art, which tools do you believe are the most difficult to use?
I fight a lot with gouache. I attempted a fanart painting with it once, and wow was it an experience. So far gouache has been the most difficult thing for me to use, although I suppose I would really just need more practice.
When it comes to inspiration, which deviantART fanartists come to mind for you, and why?
Wow, quite a number, actually. *purplekecleon and ~shirotsuki are probably my two biggest inspirations, and I’m lucky enough to call both of them my friends. When we all get to draw together in person it’s like a flurry of fantastic inspiration all happening at once. We’ll all be going to some conventions together this year, definitely come say hi!
I’m also inspired by the work of ~e1n– the way characters interact in his work is so fun. His use of color is really dynamic and wonderful. Everything about his artwork is really fantastic. It’s always a treat to the eyes!
Some other inspirations to my work (from a very long list) include deviantArt users: `bri-chan, *JHALLpokemon, *rufftoon, *crayon-chewer, ~AnnouncerGuy, and ^alicexz
What professional/down-to-earth tips can you offer artists today that draw both fan art AND original art?
I think it’s important to follow the things you are passionate about. Your passion and affection will show in your work no matter what the subject matter. However, I do think it is important, if you’re a fanartist, to draw original art as well. It exercises considerably different creative muscles, and requires a bit of mental flip-flopping that you may face in professional projects.
Try to practice drawing more then just character art – draw the backgrounds of your favourite series, or draw some of the inanimate objects characters may interact with. Settings and scenery are just ‘characters’ in which a story takes place! This will help you for world-building in your original stories and artwork.
Likewise I think it’s important to have original work in your portfolio. It’s okay to have fanart too, but a lot of potential clients want to see the worlds that you create. If fanart is what you’re passionate about, take the things you learn from making fanart and apply it to some original creations - you may surprise yourself!
Are there any creative resources here for the community that you recommend?
One of my favourite tutorials is *purplekecleon’s color tutorial - [link] It’s one of the first I recommend to people, since it is very easy to understand and very comprehensive to an artist who may be new at color theory.
I’m also tremendously fond of deviantArt user *ShadowUmbre’s tutorials (which you can find throughout her gallery). They are also very comprehensive and something I find myself looking back on when I’m not entirely sure how to achieve an effect I want.
Outside of deviantArt there are two color palette resources I highly recommend – Kuler ([link]) and Color Scheme Designer ([link]) . Both will help artists explore color within their work!
Finally, what projects can we expect from you in the near future?
I’m a very fluid person and for my personal projects I follow my passions (a glance into my gallery will very easily tell you what that might currently be). I have a lot of different interests so there are a lot of things I want to do with my time. I don’t have anything planned right now, however my biggest dream is to work on production art – either developing ideas for a company that does surface design or creating concept art for a storytelling medium (such as film or comics). I enjoy working alongside other people to create grand projects because you get a lot of different perspectives working toward the same goal. To me that whole experience is fun and fascinating. Process and being part of a process is very important to the work I produce. Someday soon I hope to find myself a part of a studio!