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ROBERT CARTER


British born artist Robert Carter is an award-winning illustrator. He combines a strong foundation in portraiture with a unique sense of visual and conceptual problem solving to create his striking, vibrant and textured illustrations and portraits. Robert now lives and works in Baden, Ontario Canada.

A selection of Robert's work can be seen at his personal portfolio website www.crackedhat.com


When did you first decide to become an illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?

Actually I've pretty much known since I was a little kid that I had artistic talent, so I've been pursuing a career in it ever since. To be honest I've never actually seriously considered any other profession.




Who or what inspires you?

Inspiration is everywhere but as far as my artistic influences are concerned I have many, which I continually add to as I discover (or re-discover) great artists. Some of which include terrific painters like John Singer Sargent, Egon Schiele, Norman Rockwell, Lucian Freud, Steve Huston and Heather Horton. Also amazing illustrators like Kent Williams, Ray Caesar, Sterling Hundley, James Jean and Joe Morse. I could go on.




Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?

I graduated with a diploma in Interpretative Illustration from Sheridan College School of Art and Design in Oakville, Ontario Canada.




How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?

Well I don't think it's a good idea to jump onto a particular style of illustration just because it's popular at the time. I do what I like to do and follow my interests, creating artwork I'm excited about. It may fall in and out of current trends but there's nothing you can do about that. I'm always trying to better my work and myself, exploring new things and keeping my work fresh in the minds of potential clients though. That's all you really can do I think.




What are some of your current projects?

At the moment I'm working on a cover illustration for Executive Buying Guide about making crucial decisions in big business. I'm also doing an a double portrait illustration of Al Gore and Chris Paine for Backbone magazine which talks about truth versus fiction regarding their recent documentaries "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Who killed the Electric Car."




Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?

An Illustration I did a while ago called "What A Waste" which was intended to be the cover for American Prospect magazine but got pulled at the last minute due to it being too controversial. It makes a strong statement on an important issue, which I believe strongly in. Also my Johnny Cash portrait, which has been very successful for me. It was also one of the very first paintings done in what I call my monotone style, a style of illustrating that I'm becoming known for.





Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?

Well I experimented with many different mediums and styles in college but one I've not yet tried and am really itching to is Encaustic where you paint with wax!





Any advice to the novice designer/illustrator?

Keep at it! If you truly know that being an artist is what you want to do, then keep working at it! Continually refine your skills and push your talent. Recognize and admit your weaknesses then work on solving them. Also know your strengths and play to them. If you have faith in yourself and your abilities and work hard on bettering your skills, success is sure to follow.





What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?

If it grabs the attention of the audience.All I really ask is to grab their attention for at least a moment. Nothing is worse than to have people walk right by, turn the page or click next without wanting to stop for at least a moment and see what it is you have to say.





What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?

I've learned to take a break. I know it sounds obvious but I use to work through just to get it done even though I was uninspired or mentally and physically drained. Now I know there is no point to try and fight it. The work will suffer and in the end I will be disappointed and so will the client. If time permits I walk away from the easel and go do something to take my mind off work then get back to it with a fresh head.





Finish this sentence. "If I weren't a designer/illustrator I would have been a..."

Bum! No actually I think I would like to have been a professional chef, I love to cook.





And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?

Heroes!


Related Links:

www.crackedhat.com

5 comments:

Steph said...

Robert, awesome interview and impressive work.

Eli Edmundson said...

So many amazing pieces, love the raw paint strokes. Count yourself lucky you are not a professional chef though, the hours and personalities in kitchens get old quick. I wish these interviews included the question, how do you market yourself/find work, it probably finds you after you are established, but how do you get the ball rolling?

Chris Wahl said...

Excellent work, Robert!

Lab Monkey said...

Beautiful work! And way to answer the TV question without hesitation or pretending you don't watch TV!!! Own it!

J a n i e said...

Any idea where we might find Robert's website these days? I would love to see more of his work! The crackedhat site is not working...

Thanks! :)

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