Saturday, November 19, 2005

THE INTERVIEW


Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? Where did you go to school, and what classes did you study? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

Been doodling since I was about 2yrs old. My childhood inspiration came from many sources. Speed Racer, Star Blazers, MAD Magazine, Norman Rockwell and an artist by the name of Jim Flora who I wouldn't until 25 years later realize how much his work influenced me at a very young age. Of course my Mom too she is also a very good artist.

I graduated from Seattle Art Institute. Most of what I do now has developed after school though through various jobs and my own personal pursuits. It helps to be curious and constantly seeking to draw out your passions.


How do you go about designing a character, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

In my professional work it is usually given to me as an assignment no more in-depth upfront then "We need a character for our

What do you think really helps you out in designing a character?

The upfront work and conceptual stage. If you slack at that point it makes for a weaker foundation to build your art upon.


From your own experience and maybe from some people that you know, what should we put in our portfolio and what should we not?

I have people who make comments about my portfolio and say "Dude everything you do is great!" I quickly correct them and say "No. You've only seen my best work. I choose not to show my weak stuff."

No one bats a thousand with their art. I don't care how long you've done it or who you are, we all at times do marginal work some may do it less overall but still they have done it.

Always show your best work period. Your selling your potential of what you can do. Don't worry about stuff you've done that stinks, just don't use it to promote or sell yourself.


What are some of the things that you have worked on?

I've worked on licensed products for Barbie, Brats, NFL, MLB, NBA and Marvel over the years but the most recent projects that have been a lot of fun to work on were a kids game and a NBA licensed collectible.

I developed 120 + character for a game called 'Break Keys' for Upper Deck (You can view on my web site vonster.com) and did 36 NBA player caricatures for another licensed product called 'Rollers'.

One character project coming down the pike now will be a bird character for a bike company which should be fun too.


Is there a character design you have done that you are most proud of?

Samurai Guppy was a lot of fun to create. It was for a local tropical fish store in town I always drove by and loved the name.


What are you working on now? (If you can tell us)

www.keyboard-characters.com (Should launch in about a month or so)


Where is the place you would like to work if you had a choice?

Pixar.

Who do you think are the top character designers out there?

Pixar.



How do you go about coloring the character, what type of tools or media do you use?

Hand drawn to develop and refine and then digital using FreeHand 11.


What part of designing a character is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?

Easy: Building final art from my refined drawing.
Hardest: Conceiving the unique idea to carry through the message or personality.


What are some of your favorite character designs and least favorite, which you have seen?

Most favorite: Samurai Jack, Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy, Anything Pixar.

Least favorite: Pretty much all cereal box characters, Mug Rootbeer Bulldog sucks eggs, and the most disturbing one in my opinion is the US Governments newly launched national campaign featuring the 'Energy Hog'. You can see it wallow in its own lameness at http://www.EnergyHog.org


What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

Faces and nebulous scenes.


What inspired you to become a Character Designer?

I failed as a midget juggler.


What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

We are all very insecure. We enjoy pleasing people with our art.


What wisdom could you give us, about being a character designer? Do you have any tips you could give?

Pursue what fascinates and inspires you and the bi-product will become what equips you to produce above and beyond for your career.


If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

http://www.vonster.com


Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbook, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?

Check web site which will have a t-shirts being sold through it soon.

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