Earlier this year, I answered some questions for another deviant's page and thought some of my watchers might be interested in a few of them. (That, and it took me long enough to construct the answers that it seemed a shame to not get as much use out of them as possible...)
2. Which artists do you admire & why?
This answer is by no means comprehensive but here are a few that come to mind. My favorite 20th century artists are mostly painters like Otto Dix and Edvard Munch who tended to create images that were disturbing and unsettling without being all that gratuitous or explicit. I also like comic books so many of my favorite contemporary artists are illustrators. The realistic but unique and distinctive work of artists like Frank Quitely and Michael Zulli are styles that really appeal to me.
3. Where do you find inspirations?
Things that I like in the real world also tend to be the things that I want to draw. I find animals in general very inspiring, especially the facial expressions of cats and dogs. A good chunk of the art I make is also fan art. So I rarely enjoy a film, television show, or book that I enjoy that doesn't also drive me to want to create something.
4. What kind of techniques do you use to enhance your artwork?
This question could encompass a huge list of answers for me so I'll just mention a couple favorite "workhorse" techniques. Dramatic contrast with a lot of light and shadow is important to me so I spend a lot of time choosing a color palette with a wide spectrum before I start a painting. I also sometimes use custom brushes in Photoshop to achieve certain textures for skin, hair/fur, and fabric. I use both my own brushes that I've made myself and downloads from other artists who share the brushes they've made.
5. What mistakes have taught you the most when it comes to developing your style?
Emulating the work of others is a useful learning tool but should not be your end goal. Another related mistake I've made and sometimes still make is failing to be patient. Yes, it's important to push yourself sometimes but your work will ultimately happen at its own pace. The same thing goes for developing your own voice and style. It will happen naturally and can't be forced.
6. What kind of tips would you suggest for the beginning artist?
Practice as much as you can. Learn how to accept criticism gracefully not just to avoid being a jerk but also because criticism can be a useful way to learn. Even when you don't feel inspired, keep drawing anyway. (I still really struggle with this one.) Finally, never compare yourself and your abilities or improvements to those of other people. As long as you're improving and find making your art enjoyable or rewarding, you're exactly where you're supposed to be.
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