Below are a collection of interviews that I have done for various people and publications over the past few years. Feel free to email me at jawcooper(at)gmail(dot)com if you have a specific question not already answered below:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Student Interview

  • How did you first get into the Illustration Industry?
I freelanced while I was still in college and showed in galleries which helped me to promote myself and I think my first steady gig out of college was a monthly "visual column" for LA Weekly.
  • Does age matter you think in becoming successful in the business of Illustration?
Not at all but inexperience or more importantly the perception of inexperience can- so I usually keep my age private unless specifically asked. I actually keep most personal information private so that the work can speak for itself without being colored by prejudice based on age or gender... people are often surprised to find out that I am a woman.
  • Was creating art something you naturally picked up and wanted to do? Please explain why or why not (and if not how did art become an interest to you?)
I drew a lot from an early age (~6yrs old) but resisted the idea of a career in art because it seemed impractical and self serving. I had my first art class Junior year of high school and by Senior year I decided to pursue it as a career.
  • When you are creating, do you have a type of audience that you image admiring your work?
Not particularly- I'm always surprised by who is drawn to it. I assume my audience is pretty liberal and open minded since there is a fair amount of nudity and violence but even there I am often surprised.
  • Who was your biggest inspiration (as far as creating art) when you were younger? Who is it now? Why?
My mother was always very good at drawing and painting and did some scientific illustration on the side of her main job as an entomologist and I am certain that I would not have been drawn to art were it not for her. Now there are too many to count: Hokusai, Hiroshige, Sargent, Leyendecker, Haeckel, Audubon, Mucha, Toulouse-Lautrec, Steinlen, Chéret, etc.
  • What companies/organizations have you done illustrations for ? Who has been your favorite to work with? Why? 
Many print motion companies, magazines, book covers, etc. My favorite of my "day jobs" has been freelancing for a Print/Motion/AD company in Sherman Oaks doing concepting and sketch art for movie and TV poster campaigns.
  • Who would you like to do work for?
Myself- and I do!
  • What mediums are your favorites to use and which ones would you like to be better with?
My favorites are gouache, graphite, and brush-pen and I would like to improve in oils.
  • What excites you the most when you are working?
The overall concept of the series.
  • What frustrates you the most when you are working?
Deadlines! I have a bad habit of procrastinating on gallery work and then sacrificing my health to get 20 paintings done in a month.
  • What is the biggest challenge you run into with your career as an artist?
Focus and direction. It's so tempting to do everything but sometimes better to do a few things very well- saying "no" is a cultivated skill.
  • Do you have any goals when you’re about to start a new piece? If so what are they?
To support the overall concept and to push myself technically.
  • What would you really like to do that you haven’t done yet( art wise)?
Large sculptures/instillations.
  • If you could create a collaborative piece with any artist, who would it be and what would you create?
I would collaborate with JC Leyendecker to create an epic peanut butter banana sandwich because.... yum. Peanut butter. To be honest I don't particularly love colabs with my fine art. My commercial art its 100% a team effort which is fun but I am also less invested in the product.
  • Where do you get your ideas for creating?
I make lots of word lists and the ideas just spring forth. (See attached)
  • Describe your “worst” drawing/painting
Oh gee, I don't know. Worst EVER? Probably some shitty drawing of a dog I did in kindergarten.
  • Describe your best drawing/painting
Oh gee, I don't know. I don't have a favorite at all. I like my drawings far more than my paintings as far as sentimental value but everything is just a stepping stone to the next.
  • How important is an “ artist style” and how would you say an artist finds it, or develops it?
Super important for gallery work. You are selling yourself wether you like it or not so there better be a definable look or you have nothing to sell. For commercial work it is sometimes very important (for editorial work for example) and sometimes not as important as the narrative or creative thinking behind the piece (for AD agency pitches for example).
  • Overall how would you describe your style as an artist?  What do you want to communicate to people?
Images from the mythology/folktales of an alternate reality.
  • Lastly, what advice would you give a young college student who wants to be a successful illustrator?
Work hard and consistently and find a way to get it seen to build a following and promote yourself. It's very competitive out there so hold your work to the level of your heroes. If it falls short identify why and then work on those skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment