Friday, 1 July 2016

Feature Friday #14 - Fez Baker

What got you into art?
It was definitely my mum; she's an artist too, and when I was young she encouraged me to observe and draw everything that I could. I enjoyed it as a hobby until I went to college, when I met another very talented artistwho I'm still best friends with today!and it was through aspiring to be at her level that I really took up art seriously and realised that I wanted to do it full-time.

Who is your favourite character to draw?
I have a couple of original characters that always seem to be my go-to when I fancy some good-old comfort drawing. I've had them for ten years or so, and their designs are definitely clich├ęd as anything—but I know them so well that they're really good material for just turning my mind off and focusing on drawing.

What do you hate drawing?
'The Other Eye'—even I struggle with it...

Favourite artists?
I love a lot of the artists from the golden era of illustration—Kay Nielsen and Edmund Dulac, for example. I also adore Cartoon Saloon's art style, Gustav Klimt, Ed Fairburn... I'm generally drawn to anything with lots of texture, colour, and pattern in it.

What mediums do you use?
I'm predominantly a digital artist, although I do use inks every now and again!

When you're drawing,  what do you put on in the background?
I have a lot of thematic playlists, depending on whether I'm drawing something fantasy/mythology-based, or fun and cute, or something more serious. Mostly it's a combination of soundtracks, contemporary classical, and other instrumentals.

What's your greatest achievement?
Probably my first professional project, The Thrill Electric. I was fresh out of university, and somehow found myself working with Channel 4 and amazing writers Leah Moore and John Reppion—I look back and wince at some of the artwork in it now, but it was such a huge achievement to finish it!

What would you say to any aspiring artists?
Stick with it as a hobby until you're really, one hundred per cent sure that you want to go for it professionally. Spending ten hours a day drawing for someone else can really sap the energy you have to draw for yourself—unless you're sure that you can put someone else's ideas before your own, and be happy with that, you might find that it suits you better as a hobby than a career. If you know that's what you want, though, make sure to be strict with your working schedule—deadlines are only your friend if you plan for them in advance!

Do you have any projects lined up?
I do; I've just picked up a gig producing a new line of greeting cards and stationery, and I've had several requests for new illustration ranges that I'm working on now. I've recently just opened a new online store, so I'm busy filling it with lots of new goodies—watch this space!

Marvel or DC?
Marvel! Both have their merits, but DC are very much about the action; a lot of Marvel titles focus on social relationships and group psychology, which I definitely find more interesting.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate, 100%. Don't look at the pack of choc hobnobs I keep beside my desk, please...

Captain America or Iron Man?
It's got to be Cap—I have a soft spot for Tony Stark too, but I can't say no to those big baby blues!

Finally if you could take any character and draw them in a new comic, who would it be and who would you choose to write it?
I'm going to cop out of this question and say, rather than an existing comic character, there are a lot of book characters I would love to see brought into graphic novel formatI always thought that Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson would translate beautifully, as would theFarseer books by Robin Hobb.

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