Monday, January 13, 2014
Interview: 10 Questions with the AWESOME Andy Park!
images copyright Andy Park
10 Questions with Andy Park!
1.... what medium and tools do you use to create art?
Before my career as a concept artist I was a comic book illustrator for about a decade. For my comic book work I drew with a good ol' pencil. But currently I am doing almost all my work digitally using Photoshop. It's pretty much the standard in entertainment art especially in production art which requires speed. So I've been painting digitally almost exclusively since 2005.
2.... can you describe your creative process when making art?
When doing concept art for a film or video game I usually am given some kind of direction from the Director or Art Director. I then start the research needed to wrap my head around the problem that needs to be solved. Next I'll start sketching out ideas and really explore the possibilities. Once I have some solid ideas I'll start fleshing out a couple ideas in a more resolved painting. Depending on the deadlines and all I'll then show what I came up with to the appropriate people. I'll take the feedback given and continue the process of refining the ideas until an approved concept is fully illustrated. That's pretty much how the process of my job as a concept artist goes. It's very collaborative and back and forth.
When I paint illustrations for a cover or a marketing illustration it is a little bit simpler. Usually I'll give the client a set of thumbnail sketches of the illustration and they'll approve a direction. From that point on I run with the painting and have fun with the process. Once it is finished and the deadline approaches I'll turn in the painting and that's it. Occasionally there might be a fix or two that the client will ask for but usually it is not anything major. Illustration jobs are a lot simpler and smoother as far as process is concerned.
3.... what helps boost your creativity?
Literally everything can boost my creativity. What I mean by that is that I'm a visual person. So anything I see can be a source of inspiration. That's the great thing about the internet. Inspiration is just one click away. I used to collect picture books for reference and inspiration, but now it's all online. Television and movies are a big source of inspiration for me as well. And I love looking at art, both old and current. I'm inspired by all styles of art and artists.
4.... what helps you maintain focus and motivation when creating?
Deadlines. That sounds like a joke but it's true. I have so many interests in life that without deadlines I might now get anything done. But besides deadlines I find motivation in learning. I feel like I'll always be an art student. I never want to be complacent with my work. I continue to strive to improve myself all the time. It's exciting to learn and grow as an artist. So I'll take the occasional art class as well as study art books. Having friends that are artists also always helps with focus and motivation. And having co-workers like I do at Marvel Studios always keeps me on my toes. They're some of the best in the industry. I'm just trying to keep up really.
5.... what is the secret to creating a great piece of art?
Truthfully, I don't know if I know the answer to that. I'm constantly striving to find the answer to that. I'm always learning and trying new things in my art. Sometimes it will be successful, other times I'm struggling to make things work. There's no one formula, but as long as I'm always growing as an artist I think my successes will come more easily and my failures more far and few between. Hopefully.
6.... do you feel its important to follow your passion in your career?
For me, it's all about passion. I've always followed my passion since I was that 19 year old kid dropping out of the University of California Los Angeles to start working as a comic book artist at Extreme Studios, Image Comics. It was passion that pushed me to put my growing career as a comic book artist on hiatus to attend Art Center College of Design to study as an Illustration major. It was passion that led me to drop out of college again to be the artist on the Tomb Raider comic book series published by Top Cow Productions, Image Comics in 1999. It was passion that led me to leave my ever growing career as a comic book artist to pursue a concept art career- First in video games at Sony Santa Monica Studios working on the God of War franchise, and then to film at Marvel Studios working on all their movies including, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
7.... how do you find your passion?
That's an interesting question. I kind of feel like your passion will find you really. I didn't seek out what I'm passionate about. I just did what came naturally and eventually I became passionate about art, comic books, painting, etc. I have plenty of other passions such as playing the guitar, volleyball, tennis, and boba to name a few.
8.... who are your favorite artists?
This is always a hard question to answer because there are way too many to list. Here's a few on top of my head: Cornwell, Rockwell, Struzan, Craig Mullins, Iain McCaig, Justin Sweet, Charlie Wen, Ryan Meinerding, Alan Davis, and Jim Lee.
9.... do you offer workshops for artists?
I currently don't, but would love to teach one day in the future.
10.... if you could give other artists one piece of advice what would it be?
To learn the fundamentals. Learn the basics of anatomy, structure, color, perspective, etc. You need a good foundation. It's tempting these days to jump right into the flash of the tools at our disposal. But it will be the artists with a strong foundation that uses the tools at his disposal that will be the ones that stand out the most.
Thanks for listening. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates, sketches, behind-the-scenes stuff, and my latest artworks.