Welcome to our second edition of Artist Spotlight. This week’s Artist is Drew Blank!
Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: I am Drew Blank. I am author of the picture-less graphic novel MEMOIRS OF AN ANTIHERO, the gripping and emotionally charged children’s book ALDO TANNERS! WHERE ARE YOUR MANNERS?! and the artist behind HeroSquares.com. I tour the country selling my books and art, making fans and friends along the way.
Q: How do you work? (Tools of the trade, etc)
A: Typically I work in my pajamas with a big bowl of cereal by my side. But seriously, after suffering nerve damage in my hand I had to abandon traditional pencil and ink for 100% digital work. I have embraced Illustrator for the majority of what I do and I have learned to absolutely love it. It allows me to work quickly and efficiently. It is how I have been able to build an inventory of over 300 prints. As for my writing, does anyone really care what program I use for that. MS Word…just in case you care, weirdo.
Q: How did you get your start?
A: I have always been an artist. My whole life emphasis had been put on my drawing and cartooning from both teachers and family. Writing was just something I did to give my drawings purpose, but it was never a focus. For about ten years, the idea for MEMOIRS OF AN ANTIHERO bounced around my head. It was always intended to be a trilogy of 100 page graphic novels, a very ambitious and terrifying endeavor. Many false starts and abandoned attempts had gotten me feeling the entire process would be hopeless. Eventually I began writing it as a straight up novel. You know, the kind with no pictures? A lot of people aren’t aware that they even make those things anymore. In 2009, three days shy of a year, I had pounded out a 400 page novel and I have been touring the comic con circuit with it ever since, selling over 20,000 copies (digital and physical) so far and adorning people everywhere in SCREW JUSTICE T-shirts. In November of last year I decided to take my career as an artist and writer more seriously. So I left my day job, focused on building a huge inventory of art, and booked a year’s worth of conventions across the country. My online store has gotten some strong momentum with sites like Buzzfeed, Comics Alliance and many others taking notice. Art and writing was always something I just did for fun and I never thought I could actually make a career from it on my terms, but so far things are going amazingly well.
Q: What styles of art do you most identify with (please feel free to include other artist’s names, or other inspirations, etc.)
A: I know it seems cliche, but my inspiration when I was younger was Keith Haring. It was amazing to me, being a young cartoonist, that someone could make poignant, well respected fine art in such a cartoony and fun style. That definitely helped me forge the POP art techniques that I still use today.
Q: What kind of artwork do you most enjoy doing/creating?
A: Stuff that makes people say “THAT’S AWESOME!!” I absolutely love the work I do and being able to see the flashes of appreciation and nostalgia it invokes in people.
Q: What projects have you worked on in the past?
A: I spent years working as an angry nerd blogger, writing pieces for various websites in the way of reviews or general rants on various geek oriented subjects. I have been doing logo work for bands, businesses etc for years but nothing especially noteworthy (but awesome, nonetheless.) As far as projects, I don’t do many collaborations. It isn’t that I don’t work well with others, I just…well, I don’t work well with others.
Q: What is your dream project? (if you have one)
A: BOARD GAMES!!! I am currently working on a few game ideas that are geared toward both kids & adults. After playing Candyland and Chutes & Ladders with my 5 year old son almost four billion times, I decided I should do my part to help parents in the future. No one should have to endure that pain.
I would also love to get a gig doing graphic work for THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS.
Q: What do you like about the art world?
A: I don’t have to wear a tie to work.
Q: What do you DISlike about the art world?
A: Fans with bad hygiene. (Seriously. I never knew some people could stink that bad)
Q: What is the best advice you’ve been given professionally?
A: Never stop working.
Q: What is your goal, professionally?
A: To see my characters brought to the big screen (on my terms).
Q: What wouldn’t you do without, and why? (could be art supplies, or anything else you wish)
A: My out of control imagination. Without it everything else is useless. It also keeps me company when I am touring and away from my family for too long.
Q: Are you open for commissions, and if so, how can people contact you?
A: My commission list has stayed steadily full, but I am always up for more work. People can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me at twitter @drewablank (it is not always art related and it is most definitely likely to offend you at some point. sorry)
Q: What super power(s) would you like to have, and why? (could be more than one)
A: Invulnerability. I would love to live life as a cartoon character and invulnerability would allow me to live my life by the laws of cartoon physics. Having super powers is useless if you can’t get a piano dropped on your head.
If you would like to learn more about Drew, see more of his work, commission him – or anything else in between… his contact info is listed below! 🙂 Thanks for reading, and Thanks Drew, for being our Second Artist Spotlight! 🙂
Drew’s Contact Info: