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April 02 2010

01:41

Illustrator Rhys Cooper

Melbourne boy Rhys Cooper has been making a name for himself in the Aus Rock poster scene, working for such bands as Them Crooked Vultures, Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age and Pearl Jam amongst others. Hi Rhys, Could you tell us about your illustrating background? I was one of those kids [...]
01:41

Illustrator Rhys Cooper

Melbourne boy Rhys Cooper has been making a name for himself in the Aus Rock poster scene, working for such bands as Them Crooked Vultures,
01:41

Illustrator Rhys Cooper

Melbourne boy Rhys Cooper has been making a name for himself in the Aus Rock poster scene, working for such bands as Them Crooked Vultures,
01:41

Illustrator Rhys Cooper

Melbourne boy Rhys Cooper has been making a name for himself in the Aus Rock poster scene, working for such bands as Them Crooked Vultures, Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age and Pearl Jam amongst others.

Hi Rhys, Could you tell us about your illustrating background?
I was one of those kids who was always drawing. On book covers, my school bag, things like that. Then around 14 I got really into comics and started emulating the styles and linework in those and over the years it evolved into my own style. It’s constantly changing. One day I’ll be happy with it.

You’ve become well known for the rock posters that you do. How did you get started doing that type of work and what keeps you interested?
It was a chance meeting with John Harris from Beyond The Pale Posters at a Queens of the Stone Age show that got me started. We kept in touch and I started designing tour dairy covers for QOSTA who along with John have always been a great support. As for staying interested it isn’t too hard. My peers in the gig poster community (which is mainly based in the states) are constantly putting out amazing work which keeps you on your toes and wanting to push yourself to do better. Some days the work is so good you want to up and quit but designing for bands and the freedom good bands give you is too good to give up.

What are some current/upcoming projects you are working on or excited about?
I just finished a set of 4 posters for the Alamo Draft-house, an awesome cinema in Austin for a showing they had of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Four Japanese type scrolls, one for each turtle in scenes from the film. The idea being it would be something Master Splinter would have in his dojo documenting the events of the film and the stories of his students. As for upcoming work I’m pretty exciting about doing a new piece for PangeaSeed, a group in Japan that raises awareness about the horrors of shark fining through cool art. Also planning on releasing a few more art prints this year and maybe do a collaboration series with my fellow rock artist Ken Taylor.

You recently did a poster for the Them Crooked Vultures, how did this project come about?
Through the hard work of John at Beyond The Pale Posters and Joshua Homme (QOTSA). I have done a few posters for Queens of the Stone Age over the years and two for Foo Fighters plus others for friends of the band though it was really John who put it all together to get the result we did in the end. A very rewarding and fun poster to work on.

Could you describe your typical work flow for an illustration?
Research and planning of the idea and concept may take 2 days to a week but once I have everything the drawing normally takes about 2-3 days than another 2-3 in the computer adding the colours, textures, finalising the design etc. If I’m getting the poster screen printed than it takes another 2 days to prepare it for print.

Are most of your posters commissioned?
Originally through Beyond The Pale. Most of my posters are commissioned through Beyond the Pale or through people contacting me directly. I chase a lot of jobs as well. If a band is coming to the country that I think I could do something cool for than I might contact John who will then look into it, contact the band, tour manager etc or the venue.

Are there any particular works you’ve done that stand out as your favorites?
I’ve always enjoyed working with The Bronx. I contacted them a few years ago about doing posters and they have always been supportive. My last two posters for them I’ve been proud of as well as my 3 panel poster for Them Crooked Vultures. Getting to do a poster for Rage Against the Machine was a dream come true as I thought I had missed the boat with them (they re-formed for a world tour).

If you could pick any band and or movie to create a poster for, what would it be?
Ah that’s a tough question, I’ve already consider myself very lucky in doing posters for some of my favourite bands. Maybe Turbonegro or Rammstein if they ever come back to Australia. As for movies I don’t know, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Oldboy or Kick Ass. Fight Club or The Warriors would be great as they already have inspired some of my rock posters.

Which designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?
I’m constantly being inspired by other artists and using their art and talent to motivate myself. Florian Bertmer, Angry Blue, Godmachine, Tyler Stout, Ken Taylor, Malleus, Aaron Horkey and Alex Pardee would all be at the top of my list.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Just stick with it, and whenever you do a job do the best work you can. Hopefully word will spread and lead to more work and then you are on your way. Don’t let other people stop you from doing what makes you happy.

Links:
Facebook
Email

February 15 2010

10:01

Unless You Will issue 4

Melbourne’s Heidi Romano has released the fourth edition of Unless You Will, an online photography journal that showcases a vision within photo-based art.

This post was submitted by dvize.

January 24 2010

00:41

Interview with Lilian Darmono

Currently working in London, multi talented Art Director/Illustrator/Designer and Conceptor Lilian Darmono already has a broad range of happy clients under her belt. Her work screams talent, her designs and animations are warm and engaging, as you can see for yourself. What have you been up to lately? Right at this moment, I’m in ‘exile’, [...]
00:41

Interview with Lilian Darmono

Currently working in London, multi talented Art Director/Illustrator/Designer and Conceptor Lilian Darmono already has a broad range of happy clients under her belt. Her work
00:41

Interview with Lilian Darmono

Currently working in London, multi talented Art Director/Illustrator/Designer and Conceptor Lilian Darmono already has a broad range of happy clients under her belt. Her work
00:41

Interview with Lilian Darmono

Currently working in London, multi talented Art Director/Illustrator/Designer and Conceptor Lilian Darmono already has a broad range of happy clients under her belt. Her work screams talent, her designs and animations are warm and engaging, as you can see for yourself.

What have you been up to lately?
Right at this moment, I’m in ‘exile’, in Jakarta, Indonesia, to be with my family, and so I can concentrate on doing my short film (based on the digital painting ‘Dusk’).

At the same time, I’m remote-directing a logo animation project with my partner Mungo Horey. (We go under the name ‘SELF’). Mungo’s in Melbourne, I’m in Jakarta, and the entire production team is in London! It’s not ideal, but after many revisions, that’s what the final schedule dictates, and we’ve booked this trip away from London for a year now.

So we did as much pre-prod stuff as we could before leaving: rough animatic, design plus key discussions with the team and clients. But production wasn’t scheduled to begin until last week, and we left London in mid-December. Crazy!

ABC3 concepts (with Mungo Horey)

You are currently based in London, but reading your bio on your site we read you are off to north and south america as well. Is this part of a grand master plan to conquer all the worlds of design, or just for the hell of it?
Hahaha, no, such thing!! The main reason is my curiosity at how things work in different parts of the world. Fellow authors on Motionographer have been sharing such varied production stories. That’s made me want to ‘see it for myself’ so to speak. The American production model is very different to those in Australia or the UK.

I’m also a travel addict, and our industry is one of the few in which your skills is transferable across geographical boundaries. I’ve wanted to travel around the world since I left uni, and now, 7 years later, I get to do it. And what’s better than earning your cash while on the move by doing what you love to do? (Plus I have no hospitality skills whatsoever–I’ve spilled too many drinks as it is, and am always mixing up my orders).

But it seems now I won’t really get to work much in the Americas. I would still like to, but Visa is one hindrance, another is I am getting a fair bit of remote work from American studios as it is.  Styleframes (which is mostly what they hire me for) are very fast-turnaround gigs. 5 days tops, mostly 3 days. Whereas to travel and work in a city/region, ideally you’d need at least a month-long gig per location. Gives you time to soak up the city, not too long, not too short.

How have you found London so far?
Another reason why I won’t get to work much in the Americas–work’s been good in London. I arrived at a really bad time, actually: in September 2008. By late November, recession’s kicked in, and shops close for Christmas/New Years anyway. The quiet period lasted well into the start of 2009, but thankfully, around springtime things seemed to pick up. Then sometime around mid 2009, we hooked up with a new representation company called Light Parade. We met the lady who runs it, Charlotte Loynes. We decided to give it a shot, and eventually started to work on this one long project that I’m not allowed to reveal yet, and finding the experience very rewarding. We’re very new to this, and the learning curve has been quite steep, but we love every bit of it.

On the travel side of it, I hated London at first, what with the oppressive gray skies, compared to the openness of Australian landscape. I got really homesick for Melbourne once, but eventually I started to see the beauty of London–the layered history visible in the buildings and the city layout. Plus how cheap it is to get to the rest of Europe and North Africa from there! Food is still a downer in London, and I love eating out–but the upside is you get to save your hard-earned pounds by eating at home most of the time.

Client: Mastercard

"Dusk" detail, Personal project

Client: Trident

You have a quite broad and impressive range of clients and work under your belt so far, from MTV, Mastercard, 5Gum and Kmart. How did you find these opportunities?
Mostly through cold-calling/emailing. I try to aim for studios that have similar approach in work/aesthetic as what I like doing. That seems to work quite well.  One job would lead to another, and one contact would lead to many. That doesn’t mean I don’t experience a fair number of rejections, but being a freelancer means it’s all a matter of time before the right ball rolls into your court since you’re always on the lookout for opportunities.

www.mographwiki.net really helped me find who and where these studios are. Also, being part of Motionographer means I get to meet all these wonderful, amazing, talented bunch of authors, and we share information and knowledge to help one another. But friends can only help you so far; it’s up to you to make sure your folio stays fresh & up-to-date and to keep in touch with the industry contacts you’ve already met, and making new ones.

What would your dream project look like?
One where I can push the boundary of translating tactile, textural and ornate illustrations into motion!
To be specific, I’m really into two things at the moment: cute, colourful, so-sweet-it-makes-your-teeth-hurt characters/enviroment/situations, the kind that fills you with hope and positivity when you look at them, and the flipside : organic and natural forms which fills you with awe and dread at the same time.

Cute stuff comes to me very naturally, maybe because I’m an Asian girl (haha), but having been born and raised in Indonesia, you can’t help but have this urge to express (visually) the overwhelming, sometimes destructive power of nature. Here, we get thunderstorms that shake the ground. Lush, creepy, complex vegetation, crazy diversity of fauna and flora. In addition to that, having been in Australia since 1999, getting exposed to the landscape-driven narratives in things such as ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and Russell Drysdale’s paintings, actually reinforces this belief in the sinister aspect of the natural world. I love the creepiness of the eucalyptus forest and Australian bush. Somehow, although visually they’re the opposite of the tropical green of Indonesia, they possess the same unassuming power to ‘take over’ the man-made world, so to speak.

Renault pitch

Do you have a favourite artist, or artists?
Ever since I saw the retrospective of Max Ernst in Louisiana museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, I practically worship him. He’s got such vision and technical prowess, each decade in his life is filled with different medium, aesthetic, and idea. I think he’s the big daddy of Surrealism, not Dali.

I also love the work of Shaun Tan, he captures the essence of Australia and being an Australian in a way that I seem to really relate to. I took ‘The Arrival’ with me to my Australian citizenship ceremony a few years back.

Another amazing artist I love is the now-deceased Juan Muñoz. His installations fascinate me for hours and give me goosebumps. Its hard to put into words. I also love Tiffany Bozic, for her nature-inspired paintings. She’s got such skill and imagination, her work is rather breathtaking.

What are you reading/watching/listening to/browsing at the moment?
I’ve just finished Richard Parry’s ‘In The Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos‘. It gave me a better understanding of the difficult circumstances that was partly the cause of my taking up the Australian citizenship. So now I’m switching to something light: Charles Dickens’ collection of Ghost Stories.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
As a ‘debut’ creative statement of my co-directing efforts with Mungo, there’ll be the short film I’m doing based on ‘Dusk’.

We hope to become better at this directing business, since we’re both so new at it, and to be worthy of standing in the rank of Animation Directors alongside our amazing friends such as FX & Mat, Celine & Yann, The Mixtape Club, James Wignall (at Studio aka), Simon Robson and many many more…
Ideally someday when I have the means and the strategy, I would like to channel my creative efforts towards something that have more lasting/beneficial outcome than just aesthetic pleasure or selling things to people via advertising. Maybe through helping documentary groups, maybe through setting up a school where kids can learn the craft free of charge if they’re poor, I don’t know. I just know I don’t want to die not having done anything useful for other people who could really use a helping hand.
Where do you find inspiration?
My travels, old illustrated children’s books, vintage op-shops, and the usual places: design magazines & books, sites like yours, Motionographer, Lost at E Minor, Nice Fucking Graphics, Drawn, and so on…

Links:
liliandarmono.com

00:41

Interview with Lilian Darmono

Currently working in London, multi talented Art Director/Illustrator/Designer and Conceptor Lilian Darmono already has a broad range of happy clients under her belt. Her work screams talent, her designs and animations are warm and engaging, as you can see for yourself.

What have you been up to lately?
Right at this moment, I’m in ‘exile’, in Jakarta, Indonesia, to be with my family, and so I can concentrate on doing my short film (based on the digital painting ‘Dusk’).

At the same time, I’m remote-directing a logo animation project with my partner Mungo Horey. (We go under the name ‘SELF’). Mungo’s in Melbourne, I’m in Jakarta, and the entire production team is in London! It’s not ideal, but after many revisions, that’s what the final schedule dictates, and we’ve booked this trip away from London for a year now.

So we did as much pre-prod stuff as we could before leaving: rough animatic, design plus key discussions with the team and clients. But production wasn’t scheduled to begin until last week, and we left London in mid-December. Crazy!

ABC3 concepts (with Mungo Horey)

You are currently based in London, but reading your bio on your site we read you are off to north and south america as well. Is this part of a grand master plan to conquer all the worlds of design, or just for the hell of it?
Hahaha, no, such thing!! The main reason is my curiosity at how things work in different parts of the world. Fellow authors on Motionographer have been sharing such varied production stories. That’s made me want to ’see it for myself’ so to speak. The American production model is very different to those in Australia or the UK.

I’m also a travel addict, and our industry is one of the few in which your skills is transferable across geographical boundaries. I’ve wanted to travel around the world since I left uni, and now, 7 years later, I get to do it. And what’s better than earning your cash while on the move by doing what you love to do? (Plus I have no hospitality skills whatsoever–I’ve spilled too many drinks as it is, and am always mixing up my orders).

But it seems now I won’t really get to work much in the Americas. I would still like to, but Visa is one hindrance, another is I am getting a fair bit of remote work from American studios as it is.  Styleframes (which is mostly what they hire me for) are very fast-turnaround gigs. 5 days tops, mostly 3 days. Whereas to travel and work in a city/region, ideally you’d need at least a month-long gig per location. Gives you time to soak up the city, not too long, not too short.

How have you found London so far?
Another reason why I won’t get to work much in the Americas–work’s been good in London. I arrived at a really bad time, actually: in September 2008. By late November, recession’s kicked in, and shops close for Christmas/New Years anyway. The quiet period lasted well into the start of 2009, but thankfully, around springtime things seemed to pick up. Then sometime around mid 2009, we hooked up with a new representation company called Light Parade. We met the lady who runs it, Charlotte Loynes. We decided to give it a shot, and eventually started to work on this one long project that I’m not allowed to reveal yet, and finding the experience very rewarding. We’re very new to this, and the learning curve has been quite steep, but we love every bit of it.

On the travel side of it, I hated London at first, what with the oppressive gray skies, compared to the openness of Australian landscape. I got really homesick for Melbourne once, but eventually I started to see the beauty of London–the layered history visible in the buildings and the city layout. Plus how cheap it is to get to the rest of Europe and North Africa from there! Food is still a downer in London, and I love eating out–but the upside is you get to save your hard-earned pounds by eating at home most of the time.

Client: Mastercard

"Dusk" detail, Personal project

Client: Trident

You have a quite broad and impressive range of clients and work under your belt so far, from MTV, Mastercard, 5Gum and Kmart. How did you find these opportunities?
Mostly through cold-calling/emailing. I try to aim for studios that have similar approach in work/aesthetic as what I like doing. That seems to work quite well.  One job would lead to another, and one contact would lead to many. That doesn’t mean I don’t experience a fair number of rejections, but being a freelancer means it’s all a matter of time before the right ball rolls into your court since you’re always on the lookout for opportunities.

www.mographwiki.net really helped me find who and where these studios are. Also, being part of Motionographer means I get to meet all these wonderful, amazing, talented bunch of authors, and we share information and knowledge to help one another. But friends can only help you so far; it’s up to you to make sure your folio stays fresh & up-to-date and to keep in touch with the industry contacts you’ve already met, and making new ones.

What would your dream project look like?
One where I can push the boundary of translating tactile, textural and ornate illustrations into motion!
To be specific, I’m really into two things at the moment: cute, colourful, so-sweet-it-makes-your-teeth-hurt characters/enviroment/situations, the kind that fills you with hope and positivity when you look at them, and the flipside : organic and natural forms which fills you with awe and dread at the same time.

Cute stuff comes to me very naturally, maybe because I’m an Asian girl (haha), but having been born and raised in Indonesia, you can’t help but have this urge to express (visually) the overwhelming, sometimes destructive power of nature. Here, we get thunderstorms that shake the ground. Lush, creepy, complex vegetation, crazy diversity of fauna and flora. In addition to that, having been in Australia since 1999, getting exposed to the landscape-driven narratives in things such as ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ and Russell Drysdale’s paintings, actually reinforces this belief in the sinister aspect of the natural world. I love the creepiness of the eucalyptus forest and Australian bush. Somehow, although visually they’re the opposite of the tropical green of Indonesia, they possess the same unassuming power to ‘take over’ the man-made world, so to speak.

Renault pitch

Do you have a favourite artist, or artists?
Ever since I saw the retrospective of Max Ernst in Louisiana museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, I practically worship him. He’s got such vision and technical prowess, each decade in his life is filled with different medium, aesthetic, and idea. I think he’s the big daddy of Surrealism, not Dali.

I also love the work of Shaun Tan, he captures the essence of Australia and being an Australian in a way that I seem to really relate to. I took ‘The Arrival’ with me to my Australian citizenship ceremony a few years back.

Another amazing artist I love is the now-deceased Juan Muñoz. His installations fascinate me for hours and give me goosebumps. Its hard to put into words. I also love Tiffany Bozic, for her nature-inspired paintings. She’s got such skill and imagination, her work is rather breathtaking.

What are you reading/watching/listening to/browsing at the moment?
I’ve just finished Richard Parry’s ‘In The Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos‘. It gave me a better understanding of the difficult circumstances that was partly the cause of my taking up the Australian citizenship. So now I’m switching to something light: Charles Dickens’ collection of Ghost Stories.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
As a ‘debut’ creative statement of my co-directing efforts with Mungo, there’ll be the short film I’m doing based on ‘Dusk’.

We hope to become better at this directing business, since we’re both so new at it, and to be worthy of standing in the rank of Animation Directors alongside our amazing friends such as FX & Mat, Celine & Yann, The Mixtape Club, James Wignall (at Studio aka), Simon Robson and many many more…
Ideally someday when I have the means and the strategy, I would like to channel my creative efforts towards something that have more lasting/beneficial outcome than just aesthetic pleasure or selling things to people via advertising. Maybe through helping documentary groups, maybe through setting up a school where kids can learn the craft free of charge if they’re poor, I don’t know. I just know I don’t want to die not having done anything useful for other people who could really use a helping hand.
Where do you find inspiration?
My travels, old illustrated children’s books, vintage op-shops, and the usual places: design magazines & books, sites like yours, Motionographer, Lost at E Minor, Nice Fucking Graphics, Drawn, and so on…

Links:
liliandarmono.com

January 18 2010

08:59

Jungle Myth

Peter Georgiou aka Jungle Myth.

“I am a 25 year old graphic designer based in Sydney, Australia. Completed a Bachelor of Design at the University of Western Sydney, 2009 and currently available for freelance or contract work.”

Tags: None

January 16 2010

00:11

DESIGN FEDERATION, CALL OUT!

Putting our petty cash where our mouth is, we will be the first to step up and proudly announce Design Federation’s Friends of the Federation party on 12th February 2010. Ringing in the new year with our first public event ever to celebrate the crafty kids who have made us what we are today.

This is a call-out for submissions of your work. We are looking for anything creative that can be displayed at the event, which is being held at the club nightclub in Kings Cross (yep, we’re edgy folks.)

Send us your designs, illustrations, art, graffiti, film & video, fashion, photography, industrial design, custom toys, practically anything as long as you can supply it to us to use for one night in Sydney. Obviously it would be great if the work has not been displayed before anywhere but it is not essential.

Your work and name will be publicized on Design Federation’s website as well as affiliated blogs, sites and media outlets. You will be displayed on the night as part of the Friends of the Federation exhibition.

To participate in the event, please submit examples to events@designfederation.net before Sunday the 24th January 2010. Successful applicants will be announced the following week.

This post was submitted by James.

January 13 2010

13:38

The Portfolio of Susan Hardjono

“Susan Hardjono is a graphic designer from Melbourne, Australia. Loves typography and designs with honesty, she’d like to collaborate with you and will probably have some yummy snacks to share. Hope you like what you see.”

This post was submitted by SH.

December 22 2009

00:45

The Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award

The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, has announced the launch of the Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award, set to redefine traditional expressions of lace and its design applications.

Professional and amateur artists, designers and practitioners around the world are invited to submit an Expression of Interest for the award, which will see 30 finalists exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum and an overall winner awarded AU$20,000 in prize money.

The Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award seeks to encourage contemporary design and challenge conventional notions of lace and its application in the areas of fashion, the built environment and digital multimedia.

Prize money winners will be announced at the opening of the exhibition in July 2011. In addition to the overall winner receiving AU$20,000, five winners will receive AU$4,000 each across the following categories:

Traditional techniques: Category includes needle and bobbin lace, crochet, knitting, knotting, netting and mixed laces.
Fashion: Category includes garment, jewellery or accessory.
Built environment: Category includes interior design, product design or architecture.
Digital multi media: Category includes computer generated virtual lace design.
Tertiary students in Australia and New Zealand: Category includes all lace techniques.

Entries will be judged by a panel of international and Australian experts of traditional and contemporary disciplines of lace, fashion, design and architecture, including lace practitioner and historian Rosemary Shepherd and fashion designer Akira Isogawa.

Powerhouse Museum International Lace Award entry details:

29 March 2010 Closing date for Expressions of Interest strictly by 5.00pm AEST.
12 May 2010 Successful finalists announced.
25 November 2010 Finalists’ completed works delivered to the Powerhouse Museum.
July/August 2011 Exhibition launch as part of the Powerhouse Museum’s international design festival Sydney Design 2011.

For more information or to enter visit www.powerhousemuseum.com/lace or email lace@phm.gov.au.

This post was submitted by Belinda .

December 18 2009

02:03

SKAFFS Exhibition + Limited edition Australian Edge tees

skaffs

In Melbourne? Luke Feldman aka SKAFFS is putting on an art show with live painting down at Villain tonight (18th December). To celebrate the event, we have some exclusive SKAFFS tshirts which will be available to buy on the night. The prints will be on limited edition natural organic cotton, and yes made in Australia. Support Australian Edge, Support Mr Feldman and get on down and have a look, it should be an interesting night.

December 09 2009

23:20

Nearmap

nearmap

Similar to google maps, but instead of using satellite images, Nearmap uses images shot from planes flying at 7000ft. This results in incredibly high resolution images. Cities are also mapped every month, with the ability to view the history of a location over time, by accessing the historical shots.

December 07 2009

05:24

JUNIOR event: 10 tips in 10 minutes from Stuart Geddes.

The final JUNIOR event for 2009 with Stuart Geddes from Chase & Galley.

When: Wednesday December 9 from 6pm.
Where: Thousand £ Bend
361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD. Details at http://lifeatthebottom.com

This post was submitted by JUNIOR.

November 15 2009

22:46

Comic book artist Andie Tong

Originally from Perth, Western Australia and now based in London, Andie is a regular artist on the UK title of ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’. Other credits include ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, ‘Masters of the Universe’, ‘Starship Troopers’ and Batman Strikes’. We caught up with Andie to find out more about the industry and how he got his big break.

specspidey_178_pg00color

What have you been up to lately?
Lately, I’ve been working on ‘Spectacular Spider-man UK’. That’s my regular gig and at the moment, I’m working my other gigs around that as much as possible. So far, my other freelance jobs have been very accommodating which I’m very appreciative.

It’s very rare for a freelance artist to know he’s got a gig day in and day out. So to be a regular artist for ‘Spectacular Spider-man UK’ has been a dream come true and also, it’s nice to know I have a guaranteed cheque coming in regularly. I’ve been working on ‘Spectacular Spider-man UK’ regularly for close to five years and am currently around 5 issues shy of my 50th. Obviously I would love to reach my 50th issue and then some.

03_8x8_24_spidey-rhino_08_09

I’m also currently working with Harper Collins(HC) illustrating children’s ‘Amazing Spider-man’ books. According to my HC editors, they googled for Spider-man artists and found my work. At first they offered me one book, but after I handed in my art roughs for the first book, they expanded it to two, then to four books and again expanded their offer again just recently. The books are evaluated on a sale by sale basis being that the next book will only be commissioned based on the success of the previous one. At the moment, it seems to be constantly expanding so I guess the team must be doing something right. I was originally going to do the complete artwork for the initial first few books but with my other work commitments, I decided to share the glory with an old comic colleague, Jeremy Roberts, to take the pressure off me a bit. To date, six out of the nine books planned have now been completed. I’ve been doing the lineart whilst Jeremy has been colouring and I’m so glad the decision was made to pass on the colouring duties to him as he is doing an amazing, no pun intended, job. He is the master of hues! :)

03_ICR_32_pg10_pg11

Other than that, I’ve worked on bits and pieces for DC comics and their commercial services branch. Thus far, I’ve worked on sequential work and covers for several issues of ‘Batman Strikes’ and a special ‘Smallville’ comic created in conjunction with an episode of the show. My most recent work for DC include working on a couple of covers and some backup sequential stories for a twelve issue mini-series of ‘Tangent Superman’s reign’.

smallville-cover

How would you describe your own work?
My work is an amalgamation of different styles and of all my favourite artists. It’s got a mix of American art with huge influences from manga and anime. I grew up reading american comics and fell in love with anime that lead me to research manga. I love the character interpretations and use of shadow to build atmosphere in American comics but I admire the dynamism and dramatic angles of the manga comics.

I’m also obviously influenced by many great american and manga artists. Masamune Shirow, Kia Asamiya, Mike Wieringo, Adam Hughes, Todd Mcfarlane, Chris Bachalo, just to give you a very short list. Nouveau artist Alphonso Mucha is also much loved in the comic community and I got introduced to his clean line art by a fellow creator a few years back. His work had such a contemporary approach for an artist of that period and I was completely hooked. I tend to borrow the best parts of each artists and combine it, a frankenstein of style of sorts, in hope to come up with a style that one day I can call my own. I’m still evolving. Constantly evolving and learning.

Have you always been a comic book fan?
I’ve always been a HUUGE comic book fan. I collected comics at an early age and I still continue to do so now. Except, I buy more trades and graphic novels now more than individual issues as it’s easier to read and collect. The whole story arc is in one book and I don’t have to go searching for individual issues scattered somewhere in the house. For me, I tend to look at good art in a comic before I would commit to buying any particular title. I guess it’s the artist in me that focuses on the art first compared to other readers who tend to follow story first and then art.

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when did you first realize that you wanted to be a commercial artist and illustrator?
Since I was very young. At Kindergarten age, I was already drawing my favourite comic characters and knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I even told my mum, and I’m constantly reminded of it, that I told her ‘Drawing is my life. I can’t live without drawing’ or something along those lines.  As I grew up though I didn’t think I could or the know how to get into the industry. So I did it as a hobby and eventually, I started believing that I would never work as an illustrator let alone a comic book artist. I always aspired to it, but when I was told in University back in Perth that there was no market for it, and got ushered into doing Design instead where there was more longevity and financial stability, my dream of becoming a comic book artist was literally shelved that day. That, plus I thought an artist had to reside locally to be able to work in that industry and at that point, with my limited knowledge, believed to be only in Japan and America. Of course since being in the industry, I’ve discovered a huge love for comics in the European contingent too.

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However, back in 2000, after working about 4 years in the design industry, the particular company I was working for at that point, as an added incentive, sent me to a comic convention trip in Charlotte. There I met and mingled with many professional greats. Some, I’ve admired and been influenced by for a long time since I started collecting comics. When I showed my work around, they all told me one thing,’to submit my work’ cause apparently they saw potential. Of course that one question kept hounding me. ‘I didn’t live locally’. That’s when I was told literally no artist does and that’s where the big bad ‘world wide web’ came into play. The rest was history. As soon as I got back, I started submitting stuff, online, snail mail, whatever I could think of to get my foot in the door. Slowly but surely, I’ve been moving in the right direction.

What have been the highlights in your art related career to-date?
Just working on comics itself is a huge highlight in my career. I’ve build up so many little highlights along my path, I can’t really pinpoint a specific one. My first ever exhibition was a big highlight for me. Working on 80’s pop titles from He-man and the Masters of the Universe to TMNT to drawing mainstream comics like Spider-man, Batman and Superman. You know, being born in Malaysia and hailing from Perth, Australia, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be working full time in a comic industry.

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What software do you use?
I use to utilise a whole bunch of applications as designer. But as a comic artist, I’ve narrowed it down to mainly Photoshop, Painter and Illustrator. Although these applications do make it easier in this day and age, when it comes to drawing, I still prefer traditional pencil or pen to paper. If I get the opportunity and the time, I use computer software mainly to colour utilising a combination of Photoshop and Painter.

Do you have a favourite artist, or artists?
Yea, plenty. I can’t single out just one. They’re all equally great. From manga to mainstream American comics to traditional. As mentioned earlier, although I only discovered recently, my main classical creator that inspire me is Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Other contemporary fantastic artists like Jim Lee, Mike Wieringo, Chris Bachalo, Arthur Adams, Adam Hughes, Humberto Ramos, Olivier Coipel, Steve Mcniven, Frank Cho, Manga artists; Masamune Shirow, Kia Asamiya, and so many many more, all influence me in some way or another. It might be a particular artist’s way of drawing backgrounds, or the way he draws faces or hands or the anatomy or guns or robots. I try to incorporate the best bits of each artist into my art. I find new inspiring artists everyday. It’s never ending. There’s just so many talented creators out there. So I’m constantly evolving. If you look at my art from, say, a year ago, it would be different to what it is now.

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Do you prefer working on your own creations rather than established, long-running characters?
To be honest, I haven’t really had the chance to work on a lot or creator own work. I would like to but I feel to give my creator own a chance, I need to have a fan base first. So in a way, one of the reasons I’m still drawing established, long-running characters, as much as I love it, mind you,  is to build up a fan base first and foremost. After that, if one day I decide to work on one of my own creations, the fans will support the title and go out and buy it. That and plus, there’s just simply not enough time in the day. As it is, I work almost 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Working freelance, managing your own hours and work from home has it’s perks but the work hardly ever stops. If only there was 72 hours in a day. Somehow though even if we did have that many hours in day, I have a feeling I’d still run out of time. :)

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What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Keep drawing and plugging your work. Keep persevering. It’s taken me 8 years, slowly but surely, to climb up the ladder and to finally be working full time in comics and i haven’t even gotten there fully yet.

My first ever paid gig I got, was by showing my work through art forums and via my website. Regularly posting up artwork on different art forums and getting feedback. It’s the best free self promoting tool on the internet. Art forum, Digital Webbing head honcho, Ed Dukeshire, noticed my work and started hooking me up with writers and although pay was minimal, got my foot in the door. Digital Webbing is one of the unique art forums out there whereby they publish their own anthology comics and get creators from their forum to contribute. i managed to contribute a pinup, couple of covers and short stories in the title and from there, eventually the company Whitewolf took noticed and offered me their line of gaming illustrations for ‘Exalted’.

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Another important factor is to get to comic conventions and network. You never know who you’re going to meet. In 2000, during my Charlotte convention trip, I met artist, Sanford Greene. We kept in contact after the show and we became friends. Three years later, he turned down a gig he was offered due to his other work commitments so he recommended me instead and that was how I got my ‘Masters of the Universe’ gig. I can’t stress enough how important it is to sometimes have a face to face with a potential editor or just to meet up and socialise with your fellow colleagues. Going to conventions have taught me a lot about how the comic industry works. Watching other artists in their element, you tend to pick up some tips here and there. The tools to use, the paper to buy, etc. My first New York Comic Con trip got me in touch with DC Editors whom, although not immediately, years later got me my first DC gig.

However, although creative talent, skill and networking is needed in this field, sometimes the opportunities that comes knocking at your door just happens to be pure luck and timing.

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My little ’stroke of luck’ story I like telling aspiring artists is how I landed my Spider-man UK gig. I had just moved from Oz to London when I discovered the British comic convention in Bristol. I managed to get a table to do sketches and signings as I’d manage to get some small press titles ‘Masters of the Universe’ and ‘TMNT’ under my belt. I had my folio turned to this detailed drawing of Spider-man as my ‘money shot’ pinup to pull people in. My Spider-man editor, who at that time I didn’t know who he was, was approaching my table. Just before that however, a fan had just seen my folio and left it at a TMNT pinup page. The editor walked passed, saw the TMNT page, didn’t think much of it and was about to move on when I myself looked up and realised my folio wasn’t at my ‘money shot’ pinup. So literally as I was turning the page back to the Spider-man pinup, my editor performed an exorcist like head turn, saw the pinup, gave me his card and few months after that, I was drawing Spider-man. The rest was history. If I hadn’t turned my folio page at that time and moment, I’d probably still be a designer to this day and working on comics only on my free time. So, sadly, sometimes no matter how talented you think you are or how many times your friends and peers have said, “you should be in the industry”, on occasions, it all comes down to simple luck and timing.

And finally we have to ask who is your favourite superhero?
It has to be Spider-man. As a kid, I’ve always fantasied about climbing up walls and saving damsels in distress. So I’m really very lucky to be drawing Spider-man and getting paid to do so. I just hope it lasts a while. :)

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Links:
www.deemonproductions.com
follow Andie on twitter

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