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Interview for Bei-Li

Mon Oct 15, 2007, 8:12 PM
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This is an interview i answered for Bei-Li's school project bei-li.deviantart.com/ , I thought maybe you guys would like to see it too! I hope my answers arent too harsh!

When did you first become interested in Illustration?  Who were your inspirations?

-I drew since i was about 4 years old, mostly cars back then. I really started getting into drawing when I was introduced to anime back in the early 90's. Some of my first inspirational artists were Ureshihara who did "Plastic Little", Kosuke Fujishima who did "Oh My Goddess" and "You're under Arrest", and Kenichi Sonada who did "Gunsmith Cats". These artist were a very large part of my art direction, I was amazed that unlike American comic artists who needed a writer and inker, these artist did the entire story on their own. All of these manga's eventually were turned into animes.

Do you have any training or schooling?  If so where did you attend school and what was that experience like for you?

-I went to Sheridan College just outside of Toronto Ontario Canada for Classical, not 3D, Classical Animation, the type where you have to flip pages like a maniac and use ancient cameras to film your stuff one frame at a time. We didnt have high end computers back then, nor were we allowed to use them at that time. In that school I was exposed to some of the best artists on the continent as it was and might still be the number 1 animation school in North America (yes, including CalTech). It was a humbling experience, but it made me want to compete and try harder, and as a result I learned huge amounts in that school. I was hired out of 2nd year of the course and have been working since on many different aspects of the industry from comics to video games, to ads and some TV cartoon stuff as well.

How did you get started in the business of Illustration?

-Like I stated, originally I was studying animation, but even in that course I was concentrating more on the background and set design aspect of it.  I was actually really weak in my characters, and avoided it, clinging to what i knew how to draw best, ie cars and buildings. My first job was a total shambles, but it taught me a lot about computers and 3D as well. From there I was hired to do comics, and it turned into something I could do so i just kept going in that direction.

How/why did you chose the companies you work for?

-I look at the company from many aspects if I can, mostly in who are you going to work for and with. If they are all a bunch of egotistical pricks, I would venture to say I would not like to work with them. I stick mainly to companies that will allow me to work at home and where I feel the boss is honest and hard working. There is nothing worse than a company with slackers running it and a bunch of suits calling the shots who know nothing about art all. I was involved with UDON Entertainment right from the beginning and before that point I had seen a few companies fall to pieces, and most of the time it is not money but the management. I have been with them for 7 years, and it is the honesty of the CEO and the variety of work that keeps me there, along with other perks. Perks are a good thing.

How do you go about self-promotion? (I.E.  Sourcebooks, Web sites, Mailing).

-I got my break in comics by going to large cons and showing my stuff. I had a portfolio that had a vareity of things in it, from characters to BGs and some tech as well. When you go to a con for example , you should have some sort of idea of who you would like to work for. Trying to mould yourself into something to get a job might not always be the best thing, and you should really try to be hired for what you like to do. That is the ideal but bills need to be paid, and you might have to adapt at some points to get by. A lot has to do with your social skills and who you know. If you make an effort to be seen, and know how to talk to people, it will go a long way. People can see right through a fancy card if you're a jerk, you aren't going to fool big companies with fads or gimmicks so don't even try.

What advice would you give a student entering the field of illustration?

-Be prepared to draw things you might not like. Things to remember: You are not the best , you are not special, you aren't even good, and if you are deluded into thinking you are, you are for sure not an artist period. There are a million like you out there and better. Way better. Your life as an artist is ever-changing and hopefully improving. Try your best to get hired for who you are, and you better get stuff done on time, because in the end that actually is the most important thing in the industry as sad as that sounds it is true. You can do it, but you have to believe in yourself. Look at other artists, but don't become them, and compete with yourself.

And do your prayers, you might not like the sound of that, but it helps bigtime. Thats my experience anyway!

Good Luck!

Asalaamalaikum = Peace be upon you!

:flagcanada:



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:icondevilsmithy:
DevilSmithy Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2007
it's always inspiring to read such interviews of people you look up to. "never compete with yourself"...thats one of my main problems. when i finished a pic i look 129031024X time at it till the point comes that i don't like it anymore...grrr i hate that feeling. all the artists i admire (you are one of them^^) are so good. its frightening and challenging at the same time. guess i have to keep on and find my own styl.

thx Mr. Dogan
Reply
:icontwilighttuason:
TwilightTuason Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2007
I need to keep practicin. =/ I'm just fourteen but I want to draw like teh big-leaguers. =] Gosh, so many people I've heard have gone to Sheridan. Must be good.
Reply
:iconnewbbwen:
NewbbweN Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2007
always love reading interviews like these :D

serves kind of a motivation for me knowing how others got started and also keeps me on track by comparing my stuff to the pros

well so far mine ain't any good but hopefully ill get there, or even as close to you guys in the end

many thanks for sharing :D
Reply
:iconabazou:
abazou Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2007
ya i went to Malaysia to study art/animation needed to read that since i'm demotivated and far from home
and praying does help
Reply
:iconjonnyschweer:
JonnySchweer Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2007
Aikumsalaamal!! I'd ask you how you are in Arabic, if I knew how to spell it.

And happy to know theres someone else on DA who went to Sheridan College. Did you go to the Oakville campus or the Hamilton one?
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2007  Professional General Artist
Oakville, the animation building, but when i wnet that massive facility wasnt built yet, tuition was also only 1400 $ for the whole year, parking was like 50$ for one semestre.

Walaikum salaam!
Reply
:iconjonnyschweer:
JonnySchweer Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2007
I suppose in some ways we have some similar interests, I do enjoy the study of other faiths and have been in Saudi Arabia for 9 years.

Heh I was there a few years ago, and tuition for animation has multiplies since you were there. Parking is now $100 a semester (and a bitch to try and get).
Reply
:iconvatousuke:
vatousuke Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like the way you sound OMAR you dont discourage you tell something other artist experienced the truth. I have not been in the art industry but I can feel the tension.yeesh I am not prepare for it yet. I need improvement. but what I'm doing now is ART and Music so for me to choose is hard.

peace omar
Reply
:iconr0k-mo:
R0K-MO Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Mr. Dogan I just got to say thanks. Man I love how you come so real and open to the people of the world. I really thank God for your inspiration that you give and it's all true.

Thanks again!

Reginald R.
Reply
:iconphilwiesner:
PhilWiesner Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Student Digital Artist
I always thought artists were special for their determination to become better.

...Alright...I'm just trying to keep the focus off the sound of my bit of pride shattering.

Just curious, which do you prefer more, a sketch or a finished product?
Reply
:icontheneongryphon:
TheNeonGryphon Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
Interesting read. Makes me really want to take the art route for a career.
Reply
:iconluckydragonbb:
luckydragonbb Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
well, i really need to start working on all fields of art. mainly scenery. thanks for all the advice. ldbb
Reply
:iconvforvengeance:
vforvengeance Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
"Look at other artists, but don't become them, and compete with yourself."

I think it should be comparing yourself with the best and outdo yourself.
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional General Artist
Your journal post was interesting though.
Reply
:iconvforvengeance:
vforvengeance Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
High on caffeine, huh?
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional General Artist
Not really, you will just become carbon copies of them rather than growing yourself.

Trust me i am old i know this one.
Reply
:iconvforvengeance:
vforvengeance Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
We all started that way, didn' we?
I kinda agreed with your emphasis on mastering the traditional arts before going on CG. Traditional arts are more on skill, accuracy and decisiveness meanwhile CG has made things way too easy all because of Ctrl+Z, over relying on CG makes you sucks at traditional art, doesn't it?
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional General Artist
The only reason i didnt say it the way you mentioned is because it is a very hard trap to get out of, ie following and idol artist so closely you want to be him/her. I said it the way i did so that young artists don't get too caught up in fads. When i was younger we didnt have internet and money for lots of comics, as a result we just looked at each others art, and not the star artists. When we started to get favourite artists, we all sort of lost our style since we loved those artists so much and wanted to be like them.

Style is one of those thing that find you, and if you take the overpowering bright sun of great artist out of the picture every now and then, your own little light will grow and become more focused. Thats basically what i was trying to say.

My whole life was street fighter for years, and it took a long time to get out of that to find how i draw. And yet i am hired for the reason of all the street fighter art i did. So while it was good that it did help me get better at drawing, i lost my style as a result for a long while. Even now i have been working in the industry of comics and video game design for almost ten years, and after a while of giving the client what they want you really want to do your own thing. many artist have actually lost their drive by being hammered with the same thing over and over again with no time for their own art and style.


As far as CG vs Traditional Media:

I would ventrue to say that in a few years time people will not be drawing on paper anymore and it will kill the art form. For me atleast the thing that made the manga artist of the early 90's great was the fact that they drew it on paper.

Like GunSmith Cats for example, not all the cars he drew were dead on correct, but you could overlook that fact and it wasnt something that took away from the story or feel.

the sad part is that the way the industry is, you have to involve a comp at somepoint or another, and no matter how you photgraph it or scan it pencil crayon and marker just doesnt retain the same glow as havingit right in front of you. I mean, that how i used to colour for years, and all of a sudden i cant use it anymore and i am forced to use computer.

thats my opinion anyway, thx for the thought!
Reply
:iconvforvengeance:
vforvengeance Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007
Ever wanted to try it out on paper again? No CG this time...
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007  Professional General Artist
I can do it, but with my scheduel and work, I dont have as much time, and I have to keep trying to improve my CGing to get more work and compete.

On my free time, i do a pencil crayon and marker sketch every now and then so i dont lose it. In my gallery you will find a few that i used pencil crayon and marker.

One thing I do nowasays is that i take the original drawing, and I draw all my stuff on paper, is take that drawing scan it in and then print out a faint image of the drawing on good paper, and then colour it with pencil crayons and marker. I do this because some inks i use will bleed if i use markers etc, but the printer ink doesnt bleed.

I would post some more old pencil crayon stuff, but I am not happy with it anymore, so i have to do fresh ones.
Reply
:iconvforvengeance:
vforvengeance Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2007
You can always photostat it and make copies as much as you want.
Reply
:iconzalude:
Zalude Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
very interesting and inspiring... Eid Mubarak btw...
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional General Artist
'Eid Mubarak!
Reply
:iconwhitetigerflame:
whitetigerflame Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
Your interview has inspired me to keep at it! I too was inspired by manga/anime because of the fact that manga artists do all their own story and art, and it continues to inspire my style. I'm in school and trying to get into animation also. Thanks for posting this because I believe this will help me in the long run.
Reply
:iconanguiad:
Anguiad Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
Wow, that was really interesting. You sure are a hard humble worker and set a strong example of what a true artist must be!! I wanted to ask you for an interview in my school project as well but it may tick you off now, heheh^^;

:worship:
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:iconmiracle-worker:
Miracle-Worker Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
Wow, you've inspired me to do Art even more now!
Reply
:iconbei-li:
bei-li Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
Thank you again for the interview for my class, it was a big help and appreciated. ^^
Reply
:icondemonicsamurai:
DemonicSamurai Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional Filmographer
i'll definately take that advice to heart :D im gonna be going to college for animation and this advice i feel will help me in the long run also your very interesting lol ;P
Reply
:iconkeithsith:
keithsith Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
I thought that thinking that you're the best among the rest would help you improve your art. That's just the other way around :D
A mind changing interview I guess haha!:D
Reply
:iconpsycho-werekitsune:
Psycho-Werekitsune Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent interview there. She's truly an inspirational artist, and that piece on Vegeta really made the fanboy in me happy.

Someone should interview you in the same manner though. XD
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional General Artist
I reworded the intro, youre right, if you read it a certain way it can appear as though i was the interviewer, but infact it was i who was being interviewed!

Those are my answers!!
Reply
:iconpsycho-werekitsune:
Psycho-Werekitsune Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ohhhhhhh, I thought it was the other way around. XD
Reply
:iconw-e-z:
W-E-Z Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
nice competing against your self instead of others is a good one
Reply
:iconxeradon:
Xeradon Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007
Yeah that was cool now I like your stuff even more lol
Reply
:iconrocket-stevo:
Rocket-Stevo Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007
I know everyone said it, but that's great advice for us, who want to be comic book illustrators.
Reply
:icondanhowardart:
DanHowardArt Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007
definitely a good read and inspirational answers :D
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Professional General Artist
I am sure you give somewhat the same to people who ask you.

Wicked stuff on your site! Slamming.
Reply
:icondanhowardart:
DanHowardArt Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2007
i try to, but hey like you said, we're all still learning as we go :)


and thank you!
Reply
:iconakfc:
akfc Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007
awesome interview =) it's good to hear ur thoughts!!! =D i've seen u a few times at seneca last year. are u done with the program there??
Reply
:iconcottonwings:
cottonwings Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
i learned a lot of things on the interview! You made my day!!

Be prepared to draw things you might not like.

I always ready for that. Many more things that i'm very bad at it. Including cars.....
Reply
:iconomar-dogan:
Omar-Dogan Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Professional General Artist
Can you send me that meme?

If i have a clean/fresh one i will do it.
Reply
:iconcottonwings:
cottonwings Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
oh yes, definitely!! *w* [link] here it is. Just fill it.


I love to see the results!!
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:iconkrissthebliss:
krissthebliss Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007   Digital Artist
nice!
Reply
:iconandreatamme:
AndreaTamme Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad you did this interview, and, well... I really know what you're talking about for your advice to aspiring illustrators. It's tough, I know... I'm in the process of attending an art school after all.

You are not the best , you are not special, you aren't even good, and if you are deluded into thinking you are, you are for sure not an artist period...... it's true. Always try to improve, because there is ALWAYS someone better. Competing with yourself is excellent advice, thank you :)

I was talking to a friend of mine at EA, and we were discussing some things with an art director there. Even if you think you're AWESOME, an art director may think otherwise. In the end, you have to compete with what everyone else is doing and seeing, and mimicking someone isn't going to get you noticed. It's tough, and dammit, I want to succeed. So I won't give up.
Reply
:iconandrei08:
ANDREI08 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007  Student
Great interview. It was really interesting to read, thanks. I especially like your reply for the last question.
Reply
:iconthe-wandering-artist:
the-wandering-artist Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2007   Digital Artist
man dude! that's pretty awesome!
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