images copyright Jason Edmiston
10 Questions with Jason Edmiston
1.... what medium and tools do you use to create art?
Most of the time my pieces are painted by hand, in acrylics, unless they are screen prints, and then they are a mix of hand painted blacks, and digital colors, painted in Photoshop.
2.... can you describe your creative process when making art?
Half of the time, my assignments are client directed, where magazines or movie poster companies, etc, come to me with a topic, and certain parameters such as size, theme, and possible type needs. The other half, are personal projects (that are subjects that I feel a need to express), for galleries, or to be made into art prints. I begin with sketching small pencil or Photoshop thumbnails, and run them by the client for approval. After we have decided on a compositional and conceptual approach, I gather photo reference, and possibly take shots of my own models, in preparation for putting together a tight drawing. I always draw in pencil, on drafting vellum, overtop of a loose construction drawing done on regular white paper. After I have tight pencil art, I scan it in and email it to the client for approval. If there are no changes, I create a quick color rough in photoshop, usually not taking any longer than 30 minutes. If I (and the client) am happy at this point, I print out the pencil art, transfer I to a board, and begin painting, using the color rough as a guide.
3.... what helps boost your creativity?
Usually looking at other artist's work. Seeing what others do always pushes me in a new direction. It's like being a chef and discovering new spices. I add a little of this, or little of that, try a new composition, or new color combination. Most of my friends are working artists, and I feel that we are constantly pushing each other to grow creatively.
4.... what helps you maintain focus and motivation when creating?
Deadlines, and need for approval. I need to have controlled due dates in order to move forward. The more work I have to do, the more I get done. I also have a fear of disappointing clients, by missing deadlines, or delivering sub-par work. It's a healthy obsession though.
5.... what is the secret to creating a great piece of art?
Creating something better than what is expected of you, and trying to constantly top yourself. I also find that concise concepts, and control of the chosen medium are usually things that are well received. Basically, knowing what you are trying to say, and telling it in an economical, clean way, seems to work for me.
6.... do you feel its important to follow your passion in your career?
I think so. Before I was better known, I worked entirely on client work, and only served their needs. It wasn't until I painted subjects that I was passionate about, that I gained attention, because people could see the joy I had with these pieces, and responded positively towards them, sharing them on social media. This investment in myself really started to build my career.
7.... how and when do you get your best ideas?
Usually daydreaming, when things are quiet. At night, before I go to bed, in the shower, driving, that sort of thing.
8.... who are your favorite artists?
It ranges from classic illustrators and painters (Norman Rockwell, Frank Frazetta, Gil Elvgren, the Hidebrandt brothers, Basil Gogos), to modern screen print / popular culture artists (Ken Taylor, Justin Erickson, Gary Pullin, Mike Mitchell, Martin Ansin), as well as pop surreal artists (Ron English, Todd Schorr, Robert Williams).
9.... do you offer workshops for artists?
I do, but just started teaching them. I just taught a painting class in New York last October. It was a lot of fun. I hope to do more in the future, and offer some online as well.
10.... if you could give other artists one piece of advice what would it be?
Never give up. Always try to better yourself, and draw every day. Also try to make many friends in the business. We all feed off of each other, and try to make each other better. Social media is great for this, and recently I've discovered how great Instagram can be to share your art with the world, and get immediate feedback!