Q1: Let’s start with the common question, if you can kindly introduce yourself.
A1: My name is Andy Fairhurst aka wildlifehoodoo on most art forums. I’m a digital illustrator from The United Kingdom, currently living inNorth Wales. I’ve had various pieces featured in a variety of publications from ImagineFX , Exotique 4,6 and 7 to The cover of Nowa Fantastica to a few book covers and other things that I can’t remember. I have a bad memory.
Q2: How did you get into the field of your work?
A2: I have always drawn traditionally and a good few years back I decided to see if I could post my work on the internet. I wasn’t all that clued up on it to begin with but the first websites I stumbled across were GFXArtist and deviantART. when I saw what people were creating with the digital medium I wanted a taste of it too. And I have never looked back since I have since joined other Digital art sites. I hardly ever draw or paint with traditional materials these days.
Q3: Do you have any current favourite artists, comic artists, photographers who may have influenced you to become the artist that you are?
A3: I have loads of favourite artists whose work I love. I would have to say the artists who inspired me from the beginning are HR Giger, Salvador Dali, Drew Struzan, Brian Froud, Ralph McQuarrie, Alex Ross, Tim Burton…there are way too many and I can’t remember them all but that will do to be going on with.
Q4: What are the main tools of your trade?
A4: I use Photoshop CS2 on my PC and CS4 on a Mac that I also use. I also use a Wacom Intuos 3
Q5: How was it for you to learn the process of that? Did you teach yourself, take classes or learn from other existing artist’s tutorial?
A5: I taught myself. But I needed inspiration from the hundreds of great artists out there. I followed various turorials and WIP’s and asked questions of other digital artists. The first time person I ever approached regarding digital work was Henning Ludvigsen. He gave me my first piece of advice which was cool. Never be afraid to ask an artist for their advice, although some won’t have time to answer most will happily respond.
Q6: Do you think its possible for you to describe the process of your art style, what are the dos and don’ts, the important aspects you set yourself to achieve your style of design?
A6: I have the image in my head and it all looks great, but then I start composing it and quite frankly it all looks very messy. If anyone has ever seen any of the WIP’s I have saved, everything starts off very messy. I don’t really have much of an organised way of doing things. I have abandoned many pieces in the past because they just weren’t going the right way. It is only about 3rd of the way through when I can feel if something is going to work. Most times my end results never quite match up to the image in my head, but sometimes I get it.
Q7: What are the biggest struggles you encounter as an artist?
A7: Motivation is sometimes hard to muster. I have periods of time when I just can’t get my freak on. I had a 4 month artist block this year where I just couldn’t draw anything. That was the longest I’ve had. Usually I tend to do some fan art in these periods because I don’t have to think too much about what I am doing and it keeps me drawing.
Q8: Do you have any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?
A8: I have written a chidren’s novel which eventually I want to put all my effort into getting published. I recently started on the sequel to it. I also have a very young family so I am all about them at the moment so I don’t draw all through the night anymore.
Q9: Do you have any personal mottos, quotes or existing quotes that motivates you to do what you love doing? Can you share it with us or provide words of wisdom from your experiences for those who look up to you?
A9: Paint what interests you not what you think will interest others…unless it’s for a commission haha. And don’t be jealous of better artists skills, take inspiration from them, that is what I do. There will always be artist who are better than you no matter how good you get so just be inspired.
Q10: What do you think the future will hold for all artists from all backgrounds from now?
A10: Before I was fully acquainted with the internet I was still an artist but not as good as I am now because I was stuck at a level I felt no need to move up from. It is only since I have been online and encountered such amazing pieces of art of such varying styles that I have pushed myself. I fell there are particular styles of digital art that come from different parts of the world, that with the help of the internet are starting to expand peoples skills. And with the advances in technology and the fact that everything is more accessible to more people, mean that it is getting a lot more competitive but way more exciting.
Q11: To round off the last question, where can your fans and new fans find updated news and progress from you, - Where can we find you?
Q12: Ok this question is optional for you, you and I know that art theft is so common now in the internet world, so are there any words you want to share or shout at to those who steal people arts?
A12: I have been having a lot of problems of late with art theft. I hate it. Mostly it will be some kid re-posting my work on a forum claiming it as their own work, but often I get notified of wallpaper sites selling my work or people on ebay selling prints of my work ( which I must say can only be terrible quality as I only upload smaller versions of mu stuff online ). I guess it is the downside of the internet and it’s an occupational hazard but it annoys the hell out of me. To the guys using artists work and passing it off as their own, I say take a leap of faith and try and do your own work, it’s more rewarding. To the guys profiting out of it, well I don’t think they’d listen to me anyway.