Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Q + A: Justin Volz

Name: Justin Volz
Age: 22
Location: Brooklyn, NY, Earth.

Q: How and when did you first become interested in art and illustration?

Well, I've always loved to doodle. I always knew I wanted to go into the arts...just didn't know what it was specifically called. During high school I actually did some extensive research and found the wonderful world of illustration and immediately became obsessed. I think the obsession has only gotten worse at this point and will proceed to continue.

Q: You work in a variety of mediums, both digital and traditional - which do you prefer? Can you briefly explain your illustration process?

It really depends on the job/timeline. I really enjoy switching it up, attempting to get somewhat the same look with any medium I use. I prefer to work in graphite, ink, and gouache, then digital to produce a final piece because I feel I can get the look I want with that process. But if time eludes me, I can work just digitally and be plenty happy with the end result. I primarily work in black & white then color digitally.

Q: What are some of the main influences of your work? Do you have and tips or tricks for fighting creative block?

Strong influences for me would consist of other illustrators, cartoons, comics, tattoos and music. Music is the big one. I have to have my headphones blasting at all times. I'm a strong believer in the mood of music you listen to truly effecting the end result of your work. Also, surrounding your self with inspiration will always help, be it books, favorite pieces, etc. As far as fighting creative block goes, it really depends on the person. For me, if I'm just going off of fumes, I always just try to get out of where I am and head to my favorite cafe and just doodle. Usually just being somewhere around people, listening and watching, can easily bring up ideas you wouldn't think about...rather than trying to force something out at your desk.

Q: What has been your favorite Ten Paces swap so far? If you had to add a theme to the line-up, what would it be?

Thats a tough one. My favorite one that I've participated in would have to be the "Pretty Ladies". My favorite one over all would have to be the Harry Potter swap - there were just way too many fun pieces! I would have to add "Space" as a topic. You just can't go wrong with space.

Q: You're originally from Texas, graduated from Ringling in Florida, and recently moved to Brooklyn - has the change of scenery influenced your work or methods at all? How does your location inspire you?

I would have to say the change has been for the better. I've still got some great friends up here, who happen to be artists as well. So there's always constant inspiration and friendly competition. I've never lived somewhere that snows during the winter, so I'm extremely unprepared for the cold. I feel as far as my work goes, I've been able to loosen up more and feel the urge to experiment more in what I do. Also having the ability to go to art shows on a whim in the city and in Brooklyn is a MAJOR plus. haha.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do outside of making super awesome illustrations?

Sitting in coffee shops with a cappuccino whenever I get the chance. Biking around the city. Going to random art shows. Hanging out with friends and reading comics.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to while you work? If you had to make a Justin Volz art-making mix tape what would be on it?

Lately, I've been listening to the movie Drive's soundtrack on repeat, but normally it depends on my mood. The standards would have to be Johnny Cash, Little Wings, Karl Blau, Atmosphere, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Modest Mouse, Ben E. King, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, and what ever is on my hype machine playlist. A super random assortment, I know.

Q: Are you currently working on anything exciting? What would your dream project be?

Currently, I've been working on a couple of projects. But the thing I'm MOST excited about right now is finishing up this fashion illustration series. My dream project would be working on editorial/advertising illustration for numerous magazines. There's just something about seeing your work in print as the final result for everyone to see.

For more of Justin's work you can visit both his blog and website. You can also check out his past Ten Paces swaps by clicking here. Thank you Justin for taking the time to interview with us - and for being an awesome contributor.

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