I’ve been oil painting for 4 years and doodling for an additional 20...
Did you have any formal training (art classes, university, etc…) or are you a self taught artist?
I don’t know how formal it is to take one oil painting class, so maybe we just leave this one as self-taught. I took a three month class with my wife but from that point on, my self has been self-teaching myself... :)
How do you decide what you are going to paint and can you take us through the painting process for one finished canvas? About how long does a painting take?
When you take a look through my portfolio, it is easy to see that I love movies, comics, and video games. There are definitely all kinds of ideas in those genres, so it’s actually quite easy to come up with a basic idea. What’s tricky is taking that idea and basically critiquing it to the point where your end idea looks nothing like your initial idea. Changing your mind half way through is pretty tough to do on canvas, as I’ve learned with a Batman painting I started 3 years ago and is still not finished. I’ve learned that once I get an idea, I let it sit for at least 6 months because I will invariably change my mind. Better to change my mind before I’m elbows deep into a canvas. If my idea survives the initial 6 months of “idea-bashing”, I’ll hit the canvas with the first bit of paint. Then I’m about 10-15 hours away from being done!
Where do you draw inspiration from for your art?
This is a tough one. I really enjoy older artwork with straight lines, deconstructed images, almost an Art Deco style of artwork. However, I also love using crazy bright colours. This, I think, puts me between Pop Art and Art Deco, although that seems to be a wide range to fit into....
My “retro” series of the Avengers is my favourite series of paintings as I think it best describes my painting style, however the Zombie Toy Story painting I did as a commission is my favourite. It really tested my creative side and kept me out of my comfort zone. My happiness with the painting does not sufficiently offset the trauma inflicted on some of my younger fans however....sorry kids....
As an artist painting traditionally, what is your take on digital drawing/painting/etc compared to pen & paper/paintbrush & canvas?
The two fingers I use to type away on the computer have nothing but tremendous respect for digital artists. Their skill with a mouse and Microsoft Paint is unbelievable. This is just as much art as a paintbrush or a pencil. In fact, it is likely going to be the art of the future. There may come a day where I need to “brush” up on my digital skills, but for now I truly enjoy my downtime in front of the canvas.
What made you interested in promoting yourself at the Calgary comic con this year (2012)?
I’ve attended the Calgary Comic Expo for the previous few years and felt that my artwork might fit somewhere within all the artists. However, it was not until I started having other people request commission pieces that I thought it might be worthwhile to have a booth at the show. It was truly a trial run this year and was such a great experience. The amount of fun I had is enough to keep me coming back for the coming years!
Sometimes, being an artist can be a humbling experience. What I think is a good painting, others may not. As my paintings are quite unique in genre, when you get the opportunity to surround yourself with thousands of movie/comic/video game fans that love the same things you do, it helps remind you that you are not alone in your thoughts of what a “really cool” painting is...
As far as next year, I will definitely have a booth. One trick of the trade? Paintings don’t hang well on fabric booth walls and 2x4’s are not very appealing to the eye, so I’ve upgraded to some nice display stands to show off my work for next year!
Any sneak peeks of what you’re working on for next year’s con?
I can’t give all my ideas away, but I didn’t get a chance to finish the Avenger’s Retro Set prior to the show last year, so I’ll have the entire set for 2013! Also, there might be a bounty hunter in the mix....
People were going crazy for your Yoda painting giveaway; will you be having any other draws like that at next year’s con or in the near future? If so, any idea of whom the painting will be of?
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that original artwork can be a bit expensive. I’ve tried to make my artwork affordable as for me this is a hobby and passion more than a career, however even the affordable paintings can still be more money than someone can spend. That’s why I thought I would do the Yoda draw. Give people a chance to win an original piece! I will do it again for next year’s Calgary show, but as for what the painting will be? Well, we’ll have to wait and see!
The recent announcement of the Edmonton Expo is very exciting. I will definitely be trying to get a booth for that show. Getting in on the ground floor and watching the Edmonton Expo grow could be so much fun! I mentioned earlier that this is a hobby/passion first and foremost, so I think I will keep the circuit short and stay close to home....for now....
Do you have a memorable experience as an artist?
Perhaps I am still in the “awe” phase where everything I see and everyone I meet is memorable but one that I remember most of all was a great conversation with John Giang a couple of years ago which meant a lot to me as an artist. I’ll leave the discussion points out at this stage, but I can say it was very inspirational.
Any final thoughts/comments or anything you’d like to add?
The artist community are a very welcoming bunch! When you see us sitting at our booths all by ourselves, come over and chat! Show us your sketchbooks, tell us your stories, ask us those burning questions! That’s why we’re there and we enjoy getting to know all of you!
Thank you for your time Dany. I wish you all the best and hope to see you again next year.
Make sure to head over to The Lost Droids Art on facebook and check out Dany’s artwork portfolio there.
Thanks for stopping by.
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