Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Interviews: 10 Questions with the INCREDIBLE Melody Pena
image copyright Windstone Editions The Art of Melody Pena
10 Questions with Melody Pena
1.... who is your favorite artist?
OH please! Nobody has ONE favorite artist! I'll narrow it down to the three that I have STUDIED, as intentional influences.
1. Maureen Love, She is a animal sculptor best known for Breyer horses. Her animals were not just pretty statues of animals, her things breathe life. That's the quality that sets her work apart. I try to emulate her method of working; observation of live models, and using my own life drawings as much as possible.
Since I am a life-long amateur cartoonist, the other two are 2d artists that I consider my biggest influences for comic (aka graphic novel) work.
2. Walt Kelly, creator of "Pogo. Sheer genius penmanship
3. Robert Lawson, an illustrator best known for "The story of Ferdinand".
I should clarify here that I don't COPY other artist's work, I study the qualities about their work that kicks me in the gut and try to figure out how to arrive at the same place with my own stuff.
Then there is just about every other artist on the planet, from comic artists to bird/wildlife painters to conceptual artists...They are all my favorites! I study them all.
2.... do you offer workshops for artists?
No. I usually don't even know what I'm doing, I am a life long student myself!!
3.... what do you like to listen to while you work?
Public radio news stuff. I really need to broaden my horizons. Maybe I'll listen to right wing talk shows today.
4.... what medium and tools do you use to create your art?
I have two jobs.
Most of the day I am airbrushing finished sculpture to be sold to pay the rent. This is done with Iwata airbrushes and "Golden" brand acrylic paint -in a large noisy spray booth.
When I sculpt, I use almost every type of clay: Plastaline, kleen clay, scupey, castaline, WED, wood clay, epoxy putty, wax, kritter clay... you name it . It all sucks, but THEN, the clay model is reproduced in plaster. THAT is the material I really sculpt in, I carve it using everything from band saws to tiny dental tools and ultrasonic cutters ... and LOTS of sandpaper.
...now the siren of digital sculpting is calling me...
5.... during an average week how many hours a day / week do you work on creating art?
I work all the time, 7days a week. I work on 2d stuff in the morning, I get to the Windstone studio at around 10:am, work till 8 or 8:30 pm, eat, go to bed. That's it! -except when I get to weed wack and do laundry.
And once in awhile I get to do something fun, like this questionnaire.
6.... are you working your dream job?
This job isn't always a happy dream, because I am not asleep, and the hard reality of economics is involved. It is very hard work. It can be insanely stressful and sometimes pretty awful, but... yes I am.
7.... do you feel its important for others to pursue their dream jobs?
Oh, of course! Dreaming is a good pastime while you really earn money.
8.... where can people see your work (online, conventions or exhibits)?
We finally have a Windstone Editions website I can be proud of! http://www.windstoneeditions.com/ If you click on Community > galleries> ebay gallery you can have an overview of many Windstone pieces all in one place.
And here is a link to my Elfwood gallery. It has some of my non-commercial art on it: http://melodypena.elfwood.com/
-and I have a few things posted on Deviant art too: http://reptanglian.deviantart.com/
9.... was there a certain moment that you knew you wanted to be an artist?
I wanted to be an artist after I found out that being a helicopter pilot was scary. I was 3. I had no idea how scary being an artist would be.
10.... is there anything else you would like to add or say to other artists?
I don't know if anything in my life/job has any similarity to jobs other artists have, but the kernel of my work philosophy is: I am in a service business, my work is for the purpose of enhancing other peoples lives.