Monday, February 15, 2010

Interview with Dave Bryant

Do you have an educational background in art?
Nothing special, just a few life drawing classes at community college.

How did you get involved in sketch cards?
I first started doing sketchcards at conventions years ago as an affordable alternative to full size drawings. Also so I'd have something to give away to the kids.

How do you feel about working on such a small surface?
It suits me just fine. I've always done the majority of my drawing on typing/printer paper so I'm used to working smaller.

How do you feel about the entire process?
I think that as a whole it's great. Although I think we all deserve better rates. If we did this kind of work in any other field we would be paid accordingly like any other professional.

Do you prefer to work with a specific media?
In these days when most of the work I do is on the computer it's nice to get back to the "real" tools sometimes. I like to use watercolors and colored pencil sometimes but mostly I use pencil, airbrush, marker or pen and copic markers. The copic markers are so much better than the prismacolor that I used growing up! In my opinion at least.

Do you have a lot of contact with collectors regarding your cards?, for the most part. I'm not a real talkie kinda guy. This may come as a shock to some people but many artists are introverted!

How do you feel about some collectors wanting more detailed cards versus what sketch card artists are paid to work on the cards?
I wonder if those collectors know that we get paid almost nothing per card. I would say if they really want more than they are getting they should contact the artist and ask about commissions. Or gripe to the card companies, tell them to pay us more. We can't do that of course! I doubt it would work though.

Have you had any bad experiences with collectors?
All the collectors I've met have been fine. Did I just jinx myself?

Bad experiences with companies?
Nothing bad with any companies. People sometimes, but they come and go.

Has your career as an artist benefited from doing sketch card work?
I think it gives you some credibility. I've been doing work in the comic industry for over ten years and only in the past couple have been doing pro sketchcards. I can't really say I've noticed a difference.

What was the most difficult sketch card set you have worked on to date? What made it difficult?
Well I can tell you the most recent was Lord of the Rings Masterpieces II set. I did 100 cards and then another 30 to help fill out the series. I enjoyed it immensely and it was a great excuse to buy the deluxe editions of the movies. I had no deadline problems although I think it was the only project I had at the time.

Are there any cards that you are particularly proud of?
Some of the Gollum cards came out great and a couple Arwyns. I've still got all the cards I was allowed to keep from that set actually. I might be persuaded to sell them sometime. But I have no plans to at the moment.

Some companies provide return cards for working on sketch card sets. What do you do with yours?
Oops! I think I just answered that :P

Would you like to work on more sketch card sets?
Yes I would. My plate is pretty full right now though. It sure is fun though. I'd love to work on some Star Wars. Maybe when I'm not so busy.

Is there any advice you would like to give to people wanting to break into the sketch card ‘biz’?
The best advice I can give is draw, a lot. Go to conventions, talk to folks there that do this kind of work. It's pretty easy these days to get ahold of almost anyone online. Also have perseverance. Most of the people in the industry I have ever known gave up. It's not always easy and fun. Some of them were brilliant artists too, it's a shame.

What are you currently working on?
It's funny, I'm working on several projects I can't talk about! What I can say though is that it's comic work and it is easily the best work I've done to this date.

Where can people see more of your work?
I have quite a lot of art in the new book "Master Digital Color: Styles Tools Techniques" It's the sequel to "Hi-Fi Color For Comics" I got to do many different kinds of pieces from straight up Manga to Disney-ish Princess type..oh and a kick ass Mech! written by my good friends Brian and Kristy Miller. It is easily the best book on digital coloring. Everyone can see my coloring work often in DC and Marvel etc. under the HI-Fi Color banner. And my blog of course, which I don't update often enough but..well there it is.

Thank you so much, Dave!!

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