Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Drake Brodahl

Schmancy- You are one talented man Mr. Brodahl. With so many talents how do you choose what to put your efforts into?

DB- Hah! First off, thank you for saying so. I've still got a long way to go. At the moment, it's not difficult for me to choose... I just follow my passion of drawing and painting. I still love design and I don't think I'll ever give it up, but illustration is the most personally rewarding for me.

Schmancy-You recently left your full time job to focus on your art and freelancing. With the current state of the economy, do you feel like you have to work extra hard to get your name out there? How have you worked
with these obstacles?

DB- Perhaps not the best time to make such a leap, but I'm very happy with the change. In terms of getting my name out there, I'm working on it! There are so many talented people producing amazing art, it really is necessary to do a lot of work to be seen. While it can be easy to get lost in the vast sea of talent on the web, it is also a real blessing. I'm able to reach people I never could have otherwise. Blogger, Flickr, Facebook, Myspace, etc., are very useful tools for self promotion.

Schmancy-I recently attended a meeting where an artist made a comment about how once he realized that more than 50% of his time would be spent being a business person while 40% of his time would actually be spent making art he became more successful. I think you have an excellent natural talent for
self promotion, how have you mastered this and what suggestions might you
have for fellow artists?

DB-Well, I wouldn't say I've mastered anything, but I definitely agree that it can take the majority of one's time doing self promotion. No matter how much time you spend promoting, you can always spend more. I firmly believe there is an audience for every kind of art, the trick is finding that audience. In a nutshell, network, be friendly, persistent, and don't be shy! Also, if you want people to collect your art, it's important to understand the market. I'm a collector of art, books, movies, toys, etc., and I think that has given me some insight into the process. It also makes me feel great to support fellow artists!

I'm very thankful that despite the constant workload of promoting it's been relatively easy to get in touch with people. Everybody has been extremely nice and gracious so far and I've enjoyed the amazing feedback and support from fans, the art community, friends, family and especially from my wife!

Schmancy-Who would you say has had the greatest impact on your work?

DB-Deep breath...

First of all, I come from an artistic family. My Grandpa was a renaissance man. He could draw, paint, wood carve, metal smith, you name it. I like to think he passed some of this on to his children and they to their children. :)

In terms of specific creative inspiration, it's no secret that I'm in love with children's book illustration from 1940's - 60's. I've collected hundreds of these books. People like Martin and Alice Provensen, Charley Harper, Mel Crawford, Hawley Pratt, Al White, Hardie Gramatky, Mary Blair, JP Miller... the list goes on and on. They were true masters of their craft and have had a huge impact on me.

I also have a real fondness for animation background paintings and concept art. From amazing Disney painters like Eyvind Earle or Hanna Barbera painters like Art Lozzi and Fernando Montealegre to modern day virtuosos like Scott Wills, Bill Wray, Jenny Gase-Baker, Seonna Hong and more. In fact, it was my love of the cartoon Samurai Jack that I attribute to re-igniting my passion for art. I fell in love with the artistry of the show and sought out more. From there I discovered Tim Biskup and a flood of amazing artist blogs such as John Kricfalusi, Lou Romano, Hans Bacher, Amanda Visell and so many others. I became overloaded with inspiration, which naturally poured out in the form of my own doodles, sketches and paintings.

Schmancy-If you could spend one evening with anyone (dead or no) who might be there?

DB-Certainly my Grandpa Brodahl who passed away when I was 11. I'd also love to spend an evening with any of the folks I've listed above. Eyvind Earle, Mary Blair, Scott Wills, Bill Wray, Tim Biskup, etc. Hopefully they wouldn't get tired of me asking annoying questions.

Schmancy-Since New Year's is right around the corner, got any resolutions?

DB-I've got plenty of goals. Play soccer and work out more, be a better husband and take care of more household duties, get into more group art shows, meet more of my art heroes and of course paint, paint, paint!

Thanks Drake!

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