As I am away in Japan for three weeks beginning March 18th, I have handed over a few posts to my guest poster and friend, graphic designer and proprietor of Aqua-Velvet, Amy Henderson.
Hello again, friends of Ape on the Moon! It is a pleasure to be back with you whilst your captain Alex is still away on holiday. He has promised to take many photos which I am certainly looking forward to seeing.
Today I present the keen work of comic artist/illustrator Eric Hews who lives in the US. I really like Eric’s fresh style that is never overworked. He has a terrific habit of not only showing off his roughs and ongoing work process but also providing running commentary throughout his flickr stream which you will definitely want to check out.
Many thanks to Eric for allowing me to toss a few queries his way. Read/look on and enjoy! –Amy
What does the career path of an artist who draws and write comics look like?
I’ve been drawing cartoons as far back as I can remember. My father got me started with rocketships, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny… but I never really considered it a career path until lately. In college I studied art, psychology and creative writing and graduated with an ever useful degree in English Lit.
I started my working career as a one-man writer/editor of a corporate newsletter, which included doing illustrations for the articles I wrote. After that stint, I spent 15+ years working as a creative/manager in Advertising and Marketing. I left advertising two years ago to go the freelance illustration route. While it hasn’t exactly fed me, it has certainly been the saving grace of some hard days.
Throughout my life I have always found plenty of downtime, no matter what I was doing. I inevitably draw cartoons in the borders of my work-papers.
What inspires you most?
My girlfriend, friends and family inspire me most. I seem to have plenty of funny people around me. All I have to do is listen well and the material just keeps coming.
What is your work process like?
My work process is very organic. I’m constantly taking notes during conversations and many of these notes become dialogue for my characters. I always start with the dialogue.
When I begin to draw a cartoon out, it is usually the first draft that I stick to. It’s normally the most ‘honest’, even if some things about it are admittedly awkward.
I only draw freehand, these days, and usually directly in ink. If I add color, it’s usually a Photoshop job. I have been known to simply publish rough pencil sketches from time to time. I have no problem letting people see the underpinnings of my work.
Tell us about your comic “Yo & Dude”… how it came about and where it’s going. Very curious to learn more about its upcoming animation leap!
I’m bi-polar, so ‘Yo & Dude’ is a natural offshoot of my swinging moods. Yo, the cat, represents my jaded, serious and cynical side. Dude, the dog, is the innocent, naïve one who sees the best in people and things. Those two sides of me are constantly at odds and fighting for attention. You can see which side is ‘winning’ by which character gets the most lines.
Moving them into animation is becoming a bear of a project. I’m currently working on the script and trying to convince a few friends to collaborate with me on the writing and animation. I have no experience doing this, so it really is a seat-of-the-pants production.
I can reveal a few things about the first short. It takes place on a moon-base, and not necessarily OUR moon. There will be a house-robot character. There will also be a small cube of ham that speaks. That is all I can say for now without pigeon-holing the project. For all I know, it’ll end up being a morality tale set in medieval times.
© Eric Hews, 2010