- Amerikan Made Prints
- Art Buyer Magazine
- Art Order
- Association of Illustrators
- Cartoon Art Museum
- Cartoon Brew
- Design is Kinky
- Drawn and Quarterly
- Fantagraphics Books
- HOW Design
- Hi-Fructose Magazine
- ICON The Illustration Conference
- Illustration Class
- Illustration Friday
- Illustrators Illustrated
- Juxtapoz Magazine
- Lines and Colors
- National Cartoonists Society
- Plan 59
- Project: Rooftop
- Society of Illustrators
- Sugar Frosted Goodness
- Taught by a Pro
- Today's Inspiration
- UPPERCASE Magazine
My name is Brandon. I don't speak about myself in the 3rd person. Therefore, you will feel that this is a personal letter for you, the reader. Please enjoy. Brandon, I mean, I am one of the sorts that was drawing pictures as soon as I could hold a pencil in my chubby little hands. And now that my hands have developed proportionately, I feel confident enough to take myself seriously and make money from drawing pictures.I started with comic books. Illustrating sequences until I didn't need to copy the stylings of John Byrne, Rick Leonardi or Mike Mignola anymore. Once my style developed to where I feel I could do good in the world, I moved towards storyboarding and character design. Worked for a couple film companies and animation studios. Donating my skills for a couple of years and then decided I wanted to learn more about design and how I could incorporate my illustrations. I infiltrated a T-shirt design company in Athens, GA where I learned more about design than I thought I could. It was great. Until it wasn't. From there I decided to work from home, anticipating that my future wife will need to be able to relocate to where the work was and if I'm freelance, this will be easier for us.The hardest thing I've ever had to do is market myself. It's easy to learn programs and apply techniques. Selling oneself is much like balancing your checkbook. It sucks at the time, but once you've figured out where everything goes, and you see the payback where everything lines up, the puzzle is complete and no one can tell you how to make a banana split. I hate analogies. Any questions?
When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator?
Was there a pivotal moment? Ah, yes. I became a "professional" graphic artist/illustrator in '95. A direct side effect of a broken hip joint, which was replaced. This jarred me from my slumber. I wasn't literally sleeping. That would be weird. I spent most of my time, up to that point, managing music or comic shops. I was 23. I think. (I'm not good with math.)
Who or what inspires you?
Good storytelling. Less description. Unusual situations. Vague answers. You there, with the hat.
Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
Self taught. Some mentors here and there, but mostly self taught.
How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
Old magazines. New magazines. Film. Antique shows are key. I also try to learn something new, either in a program or technique, every week. I would do this daily, but I'm busy saving the World in the latest Splinter Cell. It's important. For the Nation. I also like to play video games.
What are some of your current projects?
Currently developing a "Krampus Kard" for a client in Upstate NY to give to their friends and family. This is a Winter holiday greeting card I started making for myself last year ('04) and it was quite popular (I received an award for it. wooHoo!). It depicts the Euro-mythological character that accompanies St. Nikolaus on his trip around globe. But, instead of delivering gifts, the Krampus, or Black Peter, delivers beatings or kidnaps the naughty children. It's a joyously whimsical story.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
The projects I'm most proud of are the ones that make me proud. I guess this is my biggest problem. Being prideful of my work. Let's just say I am proud of all my work and let's move on to the next question.
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
I would like to expand on web design and animation. Although I've dabbled in both, I don't feel I know enough to say that I tackled them. (Please note that I used a sports reference which rarely happens to me.)
Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
Keep up the good work. Learn from the bad. Remember that only YOU can prevent an excess of revisions. Know what the client wants by getting to know the client.
What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
I think it has to do with a variety of things. Much like music or movies, any designed piece success rate is connected to it's cultural climate (economical, political, theological etc.) at the time. Example: A piece reflecting on the war in Iraq may be successful in some places but "played-out" in others. Depending on the angle and interpretation of the viewer(s). But that's only part of it.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
I tend to throw myself into situations unusual to my everyday routine. Say, if someone needs to go to a field and pick rocks. I will ask them to describe it in vivid detail and have them videotape the event if need be. Sometimes they see Amish folk. This either triggers something right away or days, months later. Just thinking about getting my hands dirty inspires me. Doing it will only get my hands dirty. And that's yucky.
And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
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