Q1: Before you introduce yourself and the type of work you are in, can you possibly share what we missed out on from your progress in 2011, events, commissions, projects etc?
A: My name is Angela Fernot, and in 2011 I started my final year at the Kubert School in Dover, NJ. I’m 24 years old and I’ll be graduating in May of this year. In October I had my first table in artist’s alley at the New York Comic Con, and I started my first OGN! I’m very excited about that. I also won the Dave Simons scholarship for inking, which was a great honour.
Q2: When did you realize your art was important, that your art was what you wanted to do, did anyone influence you, existing digital or traditional artists?
A: Art has always been important to me. Even as a young child I wanted to be an artist, but I don’t think I actually took it seriously until much later. My main influences when I was younger were cartoons and Japanese manga. It wasn’t until after high school that I really started to explore new directions in art. My greatest influences growing up were Naoko Takeuchi, Michael Turner, CLAMP, Sana Takeda, Marc Silvestri and Luis Royo. In the last few years I really started to look up to Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Sandra Hope, Sean Murphy, Jorge Zaffino, Paul Pope, Frank Frazetta, Joe Kubert, Amanda Conner, Adam Hughes and numerous others. I have also started to pay a lot more attention to the traditional painting masters like Da Vinci, Mucha, and Andrew Wyeth. There is so much to learn, and it’s important to keep your mind open to new ideas.
Q3: Can you explain what your main tools are in creating your art?, and also would you encourage others to update their equipment or master what they have before taking on something new – is the need to update equipment or software programs important in order to producing art?
A: My main tools are pencil, ink, brush, quill, 2-ply bristol board, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS4. As far as “updating” goes, I
think it is important to find a balance between new technology and old techniques. I personally love the traditional penciling and inking
methods, but I do all of my coloring and lettering on the computer. Sadly, I have been forced to acknowledge that computers are rapidly
dominating the industry now. Maybe I’m crazy, but I prefer traditional art approaches over a computer any day.
Q4: Everyone endures a long or short process of learning and adapting, as well as the ability of mixing up styles from existing tutorials. How was your experience of learning your own art? And what would you suggest to others who are trying to learn of their own ‘art’?
A: To be honest, I’m still learning. I don’t think an artist ever stops changing and adapting. That’s why I love being an artist! My favorite artists have changed, as well as the techniques and styles of art that appeal to me most. Basically, the more I have learned, the more I have developed new interests. It has only been in the past year that I’ve begun to see my art developing its own identity. For those artists out there who are still learning, keep it up! Don’t rush your art into a specific style. Knowledge and practice comes first, style second.
Q5: How would you describe the important elements of creating ‘art’? is it important to create a guide or notes of what to do and what not to do when you begin the long process of creating an art piece?
A: The best way for me to answer this is to just explain my process. I always start my art by figuring out my ideas as ‘thumbnails’ on scrap paper. These ideas are very loose, and probably only readable by me, but that’s what matters. From there I will start to develop the idea at a larger size as a rough sketch. Then, I work out anatomy, perspective, and any other problems I might be facing with that particular piece. Occasionally I will write down small notes about the focus of the image — the most important elements, changes I’m considering, or things I want to remember to show. Once I’ve worked out all of the kinks, I lightbox the image onto a nice sheet of bristol paper, finish my pencils, and move on to inking. I absolutely love to ink and I like to keep my work black and white whenever possible. However, if I am going to color I will eventually scan the black and white art into the computer and have some fun in Photoshop.
Q6: It is very common to endure the ‘struggles’ and the ‘weight’ of art around you, what were the struggles that you encountered and how would you suggest to others on how to cope with it?
A: As a current student in one of the most challenging art schools in the world, I have been surrounded by some amazing artists. Everyone around me has massive amounts of talent, and for a long time I kept comparing myself to other students and professionals. Eventually I realized that I was only hurting myself. The lesson learned here was this: don’t compare yourself to other artists. You can look up to, admire, and learn from them, but comparing yourself is useless. In the end it will only bring you down. I’m certainly not the best in my school, or in the art world, but I found that the second I stopped caring so much I actually started to enjoy what I was doing. I haven’t become complacent. I just think that competing with myself is challenging enough.
Q7: Besides the current field of work you are in, do you have anything outside that you would like to share with us? Any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?
A: Hmm… Future plans. Well, I don’t know if it’s a plan so much as a goal, but I really want to travel. I grew up in New Jersey, but I would love to live somewhere else for a while. I’d have to say if I could I would learn a language, move to another country, and study martial arts. Of course, I’d still be making comics the whole time. =)
Q8: A few artists go by a quote or a motto to keep reminding them selves to work hard and think positive if they are to encounter ‘a bad day’. So are there any words you want to share out to others that may inspire them to work hard and continue working. An inspirational quote to motivate others?
A: Well, I have found that one of my favorite motivators is a picture of Batman pointing at the viewer that says, “Quit procrastinating. Work on your art.” If anyone could motivate me to keep going, it would be Batman. Even when Batman has a terrible day he never gives up. And he has a lot of terrible days. On a more serious note, I think about something Joe Kubert said to me. I had asked him if he had ever had doubts about his art or his career. He told me that he has lived a life most people have only dreamed of and he couldn’t be happier. Then he said, “You have to know what you’re doing, even if you don’t know what you’re doing.” Basically, be confident. Even if you don’t feel it, pretend it. You’d be surprised at how well that works. And finally, I find that it’s really important to be true to yourself. Art is very personal so if you have to create what feels right to you. Combine that with absolute dedication and perseverance and I’d say you’re heading in the right direction.
Q9: Any predictions of what the future holds for art?
A: I can’t predict where art is headed, but I am confident in saying at least I know it will always be here. Since the beginning of time man has communicated with pictures. Art will always have a place in this world, which means I’ll always have a purpose. I’m kind of just going with the flow.
Q10: I’m sure you have sites you would like to share with us of your work, so please do share them with us here for fans and followers to keep an update of your progress. A: I’m currently working on building a website, but for now if you want to check out my work please visit my DeviantArt! My page is: http://stuck-in-tree.deviantart.com/
Q11: Last year I asked a question regarding ‘art theft’ this year will be no different. Do you have anything you would like to share out regarding ‘art theft’ and maybe also shed some light on what artists should do when exposing their art work on the vast world of the internet.
A: I don’t know any artist who is okay with art theft. Unfortunately the internet makes it very easy to steal from each other, so my best
advice is COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK. If you have an idea that’s important to you, don’t hesitate. It’s not that expensive and it’s so worth it.
Read about your rights as an artist. It’s a dry read but I recommend the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. It
covers everything from artist rights to documents you can use. Again I support knowledge. The more you know, the better off you’ll be.
Q12: I didn’t get the chance to include this question for 2011, so here it is for you. Everyone has their own opinions regarding the meaning of art, or the definition of art. Any chance we can hear what you think art is from you?
A: Art to me is the ability to create new worlds and express myself through visual interpretation. It is a way of communicating to the
world when words have failed me. It also feels like a gift. The average person doesn’t have the ability to see the way we do, and being an artist allows us to share our creativity with others.
Q13: And finally for the last question to round off our interview, ‘a picture says a thousand words’ or ‘tell a story’ out of your current portfolio, do you have one that you favour the most and why? Is there a subliminal message within your work?
A: I like to let the viewers decide on that one. If they see a message, great. I hope it works for them. If not, then I just want them to enjoy my art.