Monday, February 19, 2007
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?
I was born in the Phillipines in 1970. I have always been a doodler but never thought serious of drawing until I was 30. It was after I met my wife that I realized I wanted to be the best man I could be and do something I loved. So I set out to get my foot in the door. At 33 I got my first game job. Man was I so excited. It was a breath of fresh air to do something I loved.
My teen age life was very turbulent. Spent most of it drugged and drunk and out of place. (With the name Melvin and weighing 99 pounds there really wasnt much to me.) I dropped out of the 10th grade and after a stint of being homeless, joined the navy. But my outta control ways caught up with me and was kicked out after 9 months. I had a rough couple of years doin odd and end jobs to pay the bills but got to draw on occasion whilst drunk at parties. My first art job was with an illustrator. The job paid by the project. Some projects took months and my landlord didnt subscribe to that. I went to tell my boss that I couldnt do it any more cause I needed money. He implored me to continue and that if I didnt keep at it one day I would wonder "what if ?"
I was 21. I quit and was on my way to new york to find my artside. My brother in Utah asked me to think it through and stay with him til I got a plan. Ive been in utah 15 years now. Utah has some of the most amazing pool of artists. Ive been fortunate to have worked with some and meet others as the years have gone by. I met my beautiful wife Anne here and hope to one day make her proud of me.
I am about to graduate from Animationmentor and the journey continues.
How do you go about designing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?
As of late I start with line of action. Once I feel that there is good movement then I lay down some shapes. I usually look for reference and what not if I dont understand the subject Im drawing. I like sketching quick and loose and feel that I can get more ideas down that way. I try to think about the characters personality as well. I pretend that they are animated. Since learning animation Ive been tryin to put more life into my designs. I dont get much time to refine my pics since I started school, so I mainly I stay quick and loose. With graduation comin up in March I look forward to gettin in some cleanup time in.
Is there a design you have done that you are most proud of?
I feel like Im still learnin my way round things and hope one day to get one out of me. I enjoy drawing and know that I will never be completely satisfied with anything I do. Which keeps me pluggin away at it everyday.
Who do you think are the top artists out there?
Man there are so many artists out there it isnt funny. The blogging community has opened the door to the world of fantastic artists. Im a fan of Keith Lango, Al Hirschfeld, Stephen Silver, Marcelo Vignali, Harald Siepermann, John Nevarez, Martin Wittig, Ben Cauldwell ,Chris Wahl , Jeff Matsuda, Jeremy Hopkins, Kyle Marshall, Sean Galloway, Bobby Chiu, Mike Matessi. Many of the guys at avalanche. This list is the tip of the ice berg. So many people have been inspirational to me. I have a list of inspirational blogs that I try and add to all the time. Please check em out if you get a chance.
What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?
I love drawing monsters and cartoony characters. Ive just started getting used to drawing in public which has been a hard thing for me. Coming up with subjects to draw sometimes can be tough or feelin in the groove of drawing. Those days I switch up with animation or do some 3d. Also wish there was more time in the day.
What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?
I watch cartoons, draw, jog hang out with my wife. I collect toys to put in my home office to always have inspiration around me. I blog which is like keepin a sketch book for me. I like goin to peoples blogs like Shane Lewis' blog and Brian Gubicza's blog these guys are great for creative inspiration. I dream of being at a really cool studio and being able to absorb from the best of the best. Dreaming is probably one of the things that keeps me goin most.
What are some of your favorite designs which you have seen?
Fosters home is some of my fav. Monsters Inc and Incredibles both had phenominal designs. The designs in Dark Crystal. Jeff Matsudas Joker is a fav of mine as well. Sooooo many good designs out there I could go on forever.
What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?
Im a big fan of cartoons. Foster Home, Avatar, Batman, etc etc. I hope to one day find my way into television cartoons or somehow be apart of a feature length animated feature. I have quite ironed out a plan as to how I am but thats where my heart lies. To work on something cartoony
What inspired you to become an Artist?
Ive always wanted to be an artist but my wife was my first burst of inspiration.From the day I met her I knew. She helped me to be a better person and cheers me on when I want to give up. Shes makes me feel like I can do anything. My second burst of inspiration is our son Mekhi. I wanted to be a fun dad and to be someone who he wouldve had fun growing up with. Now I create my art with the intentions to be the guy I promised my wife and my son I could be
What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?
Ive learned that I will never stop learning.
What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?
Character Design Blogspot.. DUH.
Again so many out there.
What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?
I started at 30 and enveloped my self with people and friends who enjoyed art. I was fortunate to work with some of the best in the biz. I spent many of those years feeling like I had to compete with people and never feeling like I would ever amount to anything. I now know that I do it because its fun. Because it makes me happy. Never forget that its all about the fun.
If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted? (Email, Web page)
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?
I may put a sketchbook out soon. If interested please email me.