We are honored to have, Dylan G., as our Featured Artist, he has amazing illustrations of various characters that we can’t get enough of, you need to head over to his Instagram and check his work out, and who knows if you like what you see, support a fellow artist and give him a follow.
Online I’ve gone by Ninjatron for a very long freaking time. I came up with that name because when I was a kid I wanted to be a robot when I grew up, but as I got older I found out that I had actually become a ninja.
How old are you?
I’m old enough. Don’t worry about it.
Where are you from?
I officially label myself as originating from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
How long have you been an artist? What is your specialty? Where do you find inspiration?
I could say that I’ve been an artist all my life. I’ve always liked art and drawing, especially when I was a kid. But I never really learned how to draw properly until I was a teenager, when I started taking art classes on weekends. That helped point me towards being a “real” artist.
I suppose I specialize in drawing things like aliens, monsters, robots, cartoons, anime, and other whimsical stuff. I prefer doing art digitally, but traditional art is fun once in awhile too. I’m not as interested in realistic art, but maybe I could do it if I really wanted to?
I find a lot of inspiration for art from the things that I like, including animation, video games, and toys. I think the best ideas come from taking the shackles off and embracing what might be considered ridiculous, then trying to find ways to make work. I love movies, but sometimes find myself distracted while watching them because I get so inspired that I start dreaming up my own stories and characters right there on the spot.
Do you have a job in the art industry? If So, what’s one thing you don’t like about it? If no, where would your dream job be?
I’m not sure I can say that I’m in the industry at the moment but I have been teaching art to kids and teenagers for over 10 years. It has been very fun and fulfilling but I don’t think anyone really enjoys having to deal with the behavior issues that very young people often have.
A dream job for me, and this is a pretty distant dream, would be to own a studio, fill it with all the coolest stuff, recruit all my art buddies and the best, hungriest artists from diverse backgrounds who want to join me, and get together to make awesome animated films. No talking dogs, no dancing teacups, no mushy musical numbers. Just cool characters and amazing stories. I’ve got plenty of ideas. Who wants to get started?
Do you have a favorite Artist?
Absolutely, it has to be the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka.
What is one accomplishment you’ve had in your life? Does not need to be art related.
I went back to college a few years ago and took a Video Game Art program. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA somehow. As far as accomplishments go, I guess that’s a big one. While I’ll talk about it when people ask because it might be important to them, I never really felt much of a sense of accomplishment from that. I don’t really care that much.
I feel a bigger sense of accomplishment when something I’ve created is enjoyed by others. 10 years ago I uploaded artwork called “THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF ANIME”, where I took the famous promotional image from the Justice League animated series and completely painted over Superman, Batman, and the rest to turn the image into a team of famous characters from Japanese animation. It’s gotten over 4000 +favs on DeviantArt. I didn’t simply use characters who were popular at the time, but rather classic characters who actually deserved to be showcased in that context, so I’m happy that it became as well liked as it is. I think when an artist does a piece of fan art, the biggest accomplishment you can realistically hope for is the sense of successfully sharing your feelings about those characters with a lot of other people who might come to gain a new appreciation for those characters or even learn about them for the first time.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
5 years: I hope to be working more consistently and sustainable on art projects, either on my own or in a group. Other than that, I’ve been working here and there on an idea that I’d like to turn into a comic, and I’m aiming on making that happen sooner rather than later.
10 years: I would like to have a personal brand that is trusted to deliver creativity and quality. Aside from that, the comic idea I just mentioned, yeah… let’s turn that into an animated film. I’ve already watched it inside my brain.
20 years: I hope to evolve into a cybernetically enhanced organism!
If you could meet and talk to any person in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
Aside from an obvious answer like someone who could give me an awesome job or someone responsible for creating a thing that I like, I would want to talk to Bruce Lee. Many of his famous quotes on philosophy are ingrained in my head. I don’t know what I would say to him. I’d probably just want to listen.
How is one way you make money with your art?
Like I said, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work as an art teacher for kids. Being a teacher is tied very closely to being an artist for me, and while I want to do other things as well, it’s a great way to stay sharp, keep learning, and try new things while making a few bucks along the way.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Traveling isn’t easy for me, but I would go to Japan. So many of the things that have influenced me came from Japan and I love to learn as much about them as I possibly can. I feel like I need to visit someday to make that experience of being an enthusiast become more authentic and real. I studied the language years ago and would gladly dive back into it if I knew I was going.
What is your favorite brand of art supply? Whether it’s a brand of pencils or brand of camera or software
I’m a digital artist so I love all the Wacom products I’ve used and my favorite software is Clip Studio Paint, which I use for most of my artwork these days.
Any advice for young artists?
Since I’ve had so much experience working with young artists, I’ve got plenty! The first thing I would have to say is this: Just press lightly. Too often I see artists pressing too hard. It’s too troublesome to erase and you can hurt your wrist like that.
Learn from everything. Even the things that you don’t like could actually be worth looking at. Resist the urge to just dismiss something because it’s old or if you’ve never heard of it or if you’d rather be a snarky smart aleck about it. Open your mind and look at everything through the eyes of an artist so that you might be able to gain something from the experience and use it as inspiration down the line.
Finally, it’s not a race. Being an artist is a skill, not a talent, and gaining skill takes time and practice. The world is full of stories about wonder-kids who quickly become masters at whatever they’re doing, and while that’s great, that’s probably not you and me. Don’t expect it to happen right away, and don’t put expectations on yourself based on what someone else is doing. Put the time in, take your time with it, and practice what you know. I’m still working on all of that, but I’ll get there. You will too.