What has been your most rewarding experience in the art world?
It’s hard to pinpoint anything yet to tell you the truth, each year had brought a number of surprises. Making friendships with other artists I truly admire…and being taken seriously as an artist, that has been the most rewarding experience.
You capture a lot of emotion in your images. How do you go about bringing you images to life?
I might sketch out a few things first, then hunt down some references and photos that help reinforce my vision. I’m usually focused on a certain expression or mood. Sometimes I’ll have a friend or model pose for my drawings and photos. I often want a very specific pose or expression so I need it to be precise.
That happens a lot, sometimes multiple times a day. Often there is the misconception that I am also a tattooist, which I’m not. I still can’t get over the idea of people getting my artwork tattooed on their bodies, it’s a great honor, but it always makes me nervous, like I need to live up to their expectation of me! I mean, getting something tattooed is a real commitment, they must really believe in me! It’s wild.
Who wins Juggernaut vs. the Hulk?
Juggernaut is immune to conventional/physical damage, so this kind of gives him the upper hand. Still, I feel like if Hulk is pissed off enough and let’s his rage do the talking, Juggernaut is going to be left in a daze. Still, in the end Juggernaut wins the war, but he may lose a few battle. That being said, Hulk rules! Hulk smash Juggernaut!
Do you feel being raised in Japan has influenced your art? If so how?
I think more than anything it fueled my interest in art in general, I was exposed to some really wild stuff as a kid, some good, some bad. Since I wasn’t able to read much of the Japanese comics/mangas, it became all about the artwork. I am sure there is a certain aesthetic or approach people will attribute to the Japanese culture, and I am happy with that.
What is the latest project you’re working on?
At the moment I’m setting up to release a few new prints of my work, the art will focus more directly on my personal interests and aesthetic, those will be out sometime early 2012. I’ve been working with Sullen Clothing as well. They work with a wide range of artists and really show respect for their artists which is huge.
I also am currently been working on a new series of illustrations for BE STREET Magazine, which is a load of fun! They basically give me complete creative freedom which is fantastic, but the challenge is committing to an idea and following through without anyone setting any real guidelines. It has to work ya know, the expectation is high!
Is art it for you right now or do you have a 9 to 5?
I have a full time day job as a creative director and artist, which I enjoy a great deal and is very important to me. My freelance work is much more personal and focused on my career as an illustrator and fine artist.
Who are you currently listening to?
Adam Carolla pod cast. Before that, The Cramps.
Have you gotten a chance to read X-ed Out yet? Your thoughts?
Yes, I have read the first book in the series. It’s exciting to see Burns use color, and to have it play into the narrative in such a direct way. At first I was a little skeptical at the use of color because of how powerful his black and white work was in Black Hole. But in X-ed Out is has a real purpose and it used beautifully, it isn’t just color for color sake, it helps visually tell the story, it’s plays as part of the narrative.
Best film of 2010?
Can I just go with a film from 2010, Is that allowed? I didn’t see as many new released this year. I’m gonna say Black Swan and Exit Through The Gift Shop, if I can pick two.
What are your thoughts on art school?
You get out what you put in. You are likely to be paying off your school loans for some time, so make sure it’s worth it.
Art school is just a spring board into the industry, and more importantly, getting a job. It’s not for everyone, but I still highly recommend it.
Sandwich or burrito?
I’m really hungry, so I’m gonna say both.