Sep 9, 2010

DragonCon - The Artists

This year's Dragoncon was much more productive than last year's; there were a lot of very informative discussion panels I attended about launching and running an arts-related business, and I spent time talking with artists who were gracious enough to share their experiences with me. Hopefully I will be out there with them, selling my art as well.

The best way to keep your creative juices flowing is to interact with other artists. See what they do, trade ideas, and encourage each other's development. Art is a solitary pursuit, so it's important to get out and socialize with others in the art scene.

Here are some of the artists I interacted with, along with links to their sites. Take a look at what they do and hopefully you'll be inspired to continue with your art. Click on the name or picture beside each artist to take you to their site.

                                                                                                       Jason Flowers does a lot of horror and science-fiction themed work., obviously a passion for him. If you're going to make money with your art do something you love to do. His blog has lots of examples of his work and also tutorials and sketches that show how he creates his pieces. To me, it's fascinating to see how artists create their work, because maybe I can pick up ideas that never occurred to me.

                                                                                                 Matt Busch has been doing this a long time, and has become famous for his art. He has illustrated Star Wars books (even working with LucasFilm, how cool is that??), worked on movies, and created work for posters, trading cards, and toys...the list goes on. He has been called "The Rock Star of Illustration".
So you think he would have a certain level of arrogance when you meet him in person. You'd be wrong. I found him to be very friendly, low key and very approachable. His work is very good, and I bought a book of his sketches that has his notes about how he creates his work.

His website has something for everyone. There are galleries, video tutorials, audio clips of interviews, and a lot more. Do yourself a favor and check out his site. You'll find a lot to see. Below are a couple of video tutorials Matt has created about how to draw Star Wars. The first one has a tour of his studio, which is fascinating. The second video deals with drawing light and shadow. Good stuff!


I love Derek's work and his laid back, retro, hipster, tiki vibe. 

Derek's work is fun, whimsical, and out of a different age that is still fun today. It's an age of bachelor pads, tiki bars, throwing platters (records) on the hi-fi (record player) and settling in for a groovy evening with some hip tunes. 

Derek's work is heavily influenced by the sixties and early seventies, an era of design that is making a big comeback, mostly because this type of design is fun! His website is a hoot as well. I got an autographed book of his at Dragoncon and in it he has a picture of his living room decked out like a south sea island tiki shack. He also designed the official Dragoncon t-shirt as well (the image on the left). Check out his site, daddy-o!

Scott Blair's specialty is pinup art; the art of the pretty girl. Pinup art has a long history, being especially popular during Word War 2. Pinup girls were painted on the noses of fighter planes and bombers, and soldiers overseas were sent pinups to remind them of what they were fighting for. Scott's work is clean and very well done. I bought a print for my studio, when I finally get it set up.

Andy Runton

Andy is the creator of Owly, a very popular wordless comic book series about a big eyed owl and his friends. He was in several discussion panels I attended. His work appeals to both children and adults, and his website has a lot of resources on it for educators who want to use comics to teach reading and writing. Be sure to check it out!

Brian creates dark and surreal paintings and wonderful three dimensional sculptures of dragons and even fanciful creatures. His sculptures are especially compelling; they're mounted on plaques like the stuffed trophies of big game hunters. Very neat!

Brian Despain
Brian's work is surreal and fanciful, usually rendered in oil on wood board. His work reminds me of the Tim Burton movie 9 and The Iron Giant.

Laurie's work is both fun and whimsical, whose characters have a wholesome sensuality without being smutty.

Laurie celebrates the female form in unique and very well rendered illustrations using colored pencil to great effect. Deb and I but several are her works, and will probably buy several more. Her illustrations are fun to look at. Be sure to visit her website.

Jason Limon

I love this guy's work. It's technically very well done, the subject matter is compelling and the images are colorful and thought provoking. His paintings are dreamy and surreal, colorful off-kilter images you might experience during a very vivid night of dreaming. Jason is very soft spoken; he spent some time talking about painting techniques with me. Check out his stuff!

Stanley Morrison

Art Prints 

Stanley Morrison is a local artist (local to where I'm from, anyway) who does primarily fantasy and science fiction art. He works in a variety of formats, including scratch board, oils and acrylics. Lots of dragons, fantasy creatures and mythical worlds.  I like his stuff; I picked up one of my pieces for my fiancee while I was at Dragoncon. Be sure to give his website a peek.

Bill Holbrook

Bill Holbrook was one of the first artists to put his comic strip on the Internet, back in 1985, making him a pioneer of sorts. Kevin and Kell has run continuously since then and he was a guest on several discussion panels I attended during Dragoncon And had a lot of insight into the world of online comic strips as well as writing comic books in general.

Holbrook also produces two other syndicated comic strips, and has been a syndicated comic strip artist for over 25 years.

Robin Holstein

Robert Holstein is an artist who creates very well-done comic comic book pages as well as expertly rendered concept art of characters buildings and science-fiction scenes. His blog is filled with lots of fine examples of his work. His business card is also quite clever. Looking at his art will probably inspire you to try something new yourself.

Tony Fleecs

Tony Fleecs is a comic book writer and artists who does really nice comic book /superhero-type art and has published a few titles. He has several art blogs, one of which has some interesting sketches of his work in progress. I like the tidy, whimsical nature of his work.

Christian Waggoner

Christian Waggoner is a truly remarkable oil painter who has created some fantastic Star Wars-themed paintings, but has also created lots of other paintings as well on various subjects, all of which look like they belong in a is beyond me how someone could be such a talented painter. His website has lots of fine examples of his work.

 Jasmine Becket-Griffith

Jasmine's work is both haunting and surreal,and crosses several genres, including steam punk, fairy tales, goth and Spiritual subjects. If you like your art noir-ish, dreamy and Tim Burton-ish, then you will probably like her work. Her paintings are very well rendered.

Dan May

Dan May's work has a soft very dreamy, surreal quality to it that makes you think of a night of fitful sleep, and fill your head with images that are mesmerizing, and vivid at the same time. His website has a large gallery of images he's painted. It's pretty intriguing stuff.

Lindsay Archer
Lindsay Archer creates gorgeously detailed fantasy prints that are, of course, for sale in a variety of formats. She works in oils, watercolors, colored pencils and other formats as well, and besides paintings she does illustration on commission. This is one talented chick, readers. Check out her site and see for yourself! No image is available to post here' check out her site.

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