Your Full Name
If you have a bachelor degree/education background; what is it?
I have an Associates Degree in digital entertainment and multimedia and a Bachelor’s degree in game design. I graduated both times with high honors, which in fact is a nice accomplishment.
But admittedly the things I learned outside of the classroom, talking with multiple artists doing my own experiments with new techniques and just good old fashion desire is what molded me into the artist I am today.
Tell us about you
Say a little something about me you ask? That is a question, which normally would send me talking for hours about nonsense that your dear readers would no doubt find acquisitively boring.
So instead I’ll explain what drives me, this strange desire to create things that I see in my head, these plays or imaginary friends the run amok in my mind only to eventually escape onto a sheet of paper or in most cases a virtual sheet of paper.
I’m able to conjure and create these things because I infuse my life with humor and inspiration from all sources around the globe from film to literature in all of its various forms because you never know when inspiration may strike and I want to share that part of my world with those eager to see it through my eyes.
And you know what, everyone always preaches, “create something original” this statement is an oxymoron to me because if someone creates something whether it be a sculpture, painting, invention and on and on it is original because we are all different we are all unique I will not draw, write, sing or dance like anyone else on the planet because I am and me and you are you.
So you want to know a little something about me? I’m unique, the one and only. Oh and I’m ruggedly handsome, but that is beside the point, haha!
Note: Zenescope Entertainment cover drawn by Al Rio and colored by me, Issue just became available this week.
Where are you located?
About as far south as you can get in Indiana in a quiet little village of Newburgh.
What do you do when you are not producing artwork?
Thinking about what to draw next!
What drove you to become an illustrator?
I’m creative—at least I think I am, pretty sure I am, yeah I’ll go with that, I like to do draw, straight up.
How do you promote/sell/showcase your work?
In the beginning I used all sorts of art forums to try and grow and expand my knowledge and gain exposure specifically with 3d programs as I had dreams of becoming a modeler and working in the film industry for ILM, Pixar or Dreamworks.
Eventually I realized that a vast majority of those art forums don’t cater to kindly to beginners and as I beat my head against the wall trying to get better, I could clearly see others getting better all around me so I forfeited my 3d desires and picked up my pencil and started drawing again. Eventually that led me to the wonderful art community of Deviantart.com a perfect place to showcase your work, communicate with all sorts of artist of all sorts of styles.
As I was now focusing on my 2d talents I branched out and joined concept art contests such as the ones found on Gameartisans.org. Doing those competitions brought out not only my competitive nature but also put me in a ‘work environment’. They gave themes and deadlines and I knew if I completed these competitions it would be a great source of self-promotion and exposure all the while doing what I love.
Note: Aspen_Splash — My take on Aspen Matthews from Aspen Comic’s series Fathom, this was a fan art that I did to show Aspen what I could do
What’s your way(s) to balancing work and life?
For starters don’t consider it ‘work’. The words ‘work’ or ‘job’ are really dull words that conjure up bad tastes in your mouth. I look at life as a living painting, inspiration comes from all around us and I think any creative person will smile and laugh about how they stare at clouds and imagine all sorts of animals. I’ll constantly gaze at stars, watch the rainfall and stare at a shiny car’s paint as it glows and reflects its surroundings.
In a nutshell it is what I do, it is who I am so there is no real balance I’m constantly thinking about how I’d paint or draw what I see, be an observer of all that surrounds you it is a constant circle and if humans would re-learn how to do that the world will be a better place.
A great illustrator is……
A great illustrator is someone that does not see he or she as great. It is one thing to have the confidence of being ‘great’ but not at the expense of growth or becoming better. My New Year’s resolution every year is to be a better artist and I honestly believe a vast majority of artists feel the same. Another important thing is to do it for the love and nothing else, you stop loving it and it will shake you to pieces.
Note: Aina_ Evolution– a character created for my original story that I work on in my spare time
Who is an illustrator that you look up to? Why so?
I honor and respect tons of artists that have influenced me over the years, from J Scott Campebll, Feng Zhu, Ryan Church, Shunya Yamashita, Stejpan Sejic but it was one man that really put me on the path I am on now. It was through him that I was able to find my own drawing style and that man’s name is Michael Turner.
Unfortunately I will never get the opportunity to thank Mr. Turner personally, but even known he is no longer with us, I refuse to refer to him in past tense because his art is immortal his style and grace with the pencil is so crisp and clean and only becomes truly evident when you see it first hand as I have at San Deigo’s Comic-Con flipping through the multiple pages of original works he created. He has a style like no other and that pushes me to further develop my own style.
What do you think about the Internet and how it is affecting the visual communication business?
The Internet is wonderful tool and it is because of the Internet that I’ve been able to enjoy the fruits of my creativity by sharing with those who seek to enjoy. Just like having the opportunity to answer your questions. As far as the business sense of visual communication it is certainly a great way of promoting ones services and branching out to people that one originally could not attract.
But it is also a breeding ground for those seeking fortune. Sure we all need money and we all want to make more, the problem in my eyes from the artistic standpoint is the level of quality has been kicked in the teeth for the sake of quantity. Turning over a quick a job for a quick buck has become the business sense of today. And in doing so gave way to the big ‘graphic artist’ boom a few years back where now you have “artists” pulling clip art off a library of a zillion disks and filling in the blanks. One may argue these are simply tools of the job but I’ll call them cookie cutters till I’m blue in the face and everyone else walks on.
Note: Grimm Fairy Tales Vol 7 Trade Paperback, drawn by Romano Molenaar and colored over by me for Zenescope Entertainment
What music are you listening lately?
I enjoy the musical romps of power metal and symphonic rock but I’m not above slowing down and listening to Mozart and the like when I draw. You’d be surprised just how open your mind becomes when you are calm and listening to such beauty.
How does the global economic recession affecting the industry, or the least affecting your business/ work?
As a freelance artist I can honestly say it hasn’t. People still seek to be entertained just look at James Cameron’s Avatar and all the money it has raked in. People will always seek refuge from the humb-drum and working in the comic industry is a pretty nice place to be.
Name 3 your favorite art books.
How to draw cars by Tom Taylor – I learned a ton about reflections from this book
Drawing the Looney Tunes – definitely not a kids book, a very comprehensive look at making cartoons, defining lines actions and pose, plotting out scene compositions all the good juicy stuff that is overlooked by 99.5% of the people watching. And of course the Art of Kung Fu Panda, if you like asian stuff just go buy it!
What do you like the smell of? Why so?
I’m a car guy, a need for speed kind of car guy. So you really can’t beat the smell of Turbo Blue and burning rubber at the drag strip!
If you have online portfolio (website/awards/credits/client’s showcase), what is the URL?
Check me out Rayartz.deviantart.com!
Note: A commission work for character Sia for an upcoming Star Wars MMO