Friday, 3 June 2016

Feature Friday #10 - Marc from Fuzzballs

What got you into art?
I always wanted to work in video games but i never really knew what as, but art seemed like an obvious way in when i was at school. Games like Art Alive on the Mega Drive allowed me to be creative before i even realised i was. I loved playing games and seeing how they made the art work and thats what i wanted to try and emulate. It was years before i got a job in video games, starting as a tester but that opened uo my eyes to a whole new world of 3D art, pixel art and all sorts in between.

Who's your favourite character to draw?
Out of the Fuzzballs it has to be Fuzztiger Timmy, he's such a mischivious character who just enjoys being happy if at times a little silly so thats always fun. For other brands i think Mario has to be my other favourite, who knew you could put so much personality and charm into a fat italian plumber.

What do you hate drawing?

Plants, i did years of drawing plants and fruit baskets at college in art classes to never want to draw them ever again. I'm sure they are exciting to some people but for me they couldn't be any less exciting to draw.

Favourite artists?
This is a tough one as many of my favourite artists are not mainstream and are either random people on Deviantart, friends or people i've had the pleasure to meet. Wil Overton i'm a fan of (he used to do the N64 magazine covers) as well as Naoto Ohshima who is the original character artist for Sonic The Hedgehog. I find looking at his concept work shows you don't have to get it absolutely perfect first time, you can make a really basic sketch first and keep adding to it, instead of pressuring yourself to get it right instantly.

What mediums do you use?

I'd class myself as a digital artist, i find drawing with pencils or paints really difficult, i miss being able to undo a stroke or just move something a few fractions. So i tend to use Illustrator a lot for hand drawn stuff where i can mess about with things till it ends up looking right and get nice clean lines. Of course i also use Photoshop for different styles or to enhance my illustrator art and i've been known to mess with video editing and 3D stuff. With digital art you can do so much more either by branching off a piece of work into different works or taking something that'd take a lot of hard work to animate traditionally and doing it quickly.

When you're drawing,  what do you put on in the background?

I used to listen to a lot of fast tempo music, ranging from DnB to Ska with some Jpop thrown in for good measure but lately i'm finding that podcasts can sometimes work really well. Music has a lot of energy but it's also creative in it's own right and sometimes that can clash with your own creativity as you are drawn into the music and the images it can create.

What's your greatest achievement?

This is a tough one as i'd hate to pick just one thing as a greatest achievement than lots of awesome things i've done. Working on my first published video game was an amazing moment and I've had the chance to work on Sonic The Hedgehog games which not many fans get the chance to say so thats a hilight. Obviously Fuzzballs is something i'm hugely proud of as it started off as a little bouncing bunny animation on tumblr and just grew from that one animation. Sometimes it's just the people you've met or had the chance to work with who can be your greatest achievement, as they always inspire you to be better and experience new things and without them you wouldn't be doing the things you are today.

What would you say to any aspiring artists?

Don't worry about being perfect. Don't compare yourself to others and don't worry that everyone is better than you. It's so easy to look at any artist community, especially those in Artist Alley and see the amazing talent on display and be disheartened at your own. But don't be, some of the simplest art becomes the biggest. Look at the Cyanide & Happiness comic, or Mickey Mouse, or the Simpsons. Hardly the greatest artists ever seen and yet some of the most popular. Instead let other artists work help guide you, look at their back catalogue to see how they have improved or look at different styles different artists do and experiment with what makes you happy till it clicks. If you don't find it fun, your work will show you didn't find it fun, so draw what you want to draw, how you want to draw it.

Do you have any projects lined up?

Fuzzballs keeps me pretty busy, we've recently launched our brand new range of Fuzzballs cards and next will be all over shirts featuring new designs and leggings which are already looking super funky. But theres loads more products i want to get the Fuzzballs featured on so i'll mention them once i've got around to doing those! We're also currently in some interesting talks for the future, so watch this space! I also have a note book filled with Fuzzballs comic ideas so i'll have to squeeze all those in at some point too.

Marvel or DC?
Could you have picked a more difficult question? Batman is amazing even if the latest film Superman Vs Batman left a bad taste in the mouth but Marvel has Iron Man, Dare Devil, Ant Man, Spider Man and all the rest. It has to be Marvel i think just because of the sheer amount of really good characters.

Chocolate or vanilla?
Yes! An easy one. Chocolate, always chocolate.

Captain America or Iron Man?

Back to the tough questions i see. Captain America is always right, but Iron Man is well Iron Man and that's tough to compete with. Can we not just combine them into Captain Iron Man for the best of both?

What famous character would you love to turn into a Fuzzball, if you can?

It'd probably have to be a Pokemon, so many of them are such classic design and despite their limited speech are so full of character and personality. Pikachu is probably the one though and does look a little like Fuzzbunny Ollie with those ears...


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