Monday, January 26, 2009

My Illustrious Illustrating Career

And now for something completely different. Life is not just about making jolly movies. Sometimes it's also about making money and trying to establish some kind of career. I have no illusions as to being able to make a living out of my animation or puppet building, but I have the intention of making it as an illustrator. I have started out quite modestly, but at least I'm on my way. I first published a couple of books in Sweden, but I really want to branch out in the US, where the big money and the big opportunities are.
I self-published Fearsome Critters at Lulu, a book about the sometimes outrageous creatures of lumberjack folklore. Then I got in touch with Kelly Christiansen at Cyberwizard Productions. She took a fancy to my art and comissioned some illustrations for the humorous fantasy/sci-fi anthology Strange Worlds of Lunacy. After that I did art for L. Frank Baum's American Fairytales (not yet published).

Just published, however, is Night Ship to Never, another anthology, collecting the sci-fi poems of David Kopaska-Merkel and Kendall Evans (some examples of the illos shown below).

All of that was in 2008. During 2009 I'll finish several book projects that I want Kelly to publish for me, and so far she seems to like what she's seeing. Cyberwizard Productions is a small company, but with big ambitions. Ideally I'd like to be picked up by a big publisher who can pay me big money, but since that hasn't happened yet I'll make do with what I can. Special make-up effects artist Tom Savini's motto is "The more you do, the more you get to do". I stand by that too -it is, in fact my experience that it is so. That's how the universe works. You have to show that you really enjoy your creativity and that you're going to keep going no matter what! Comic book creator supreme Alan Moore pointed out that the projects you do out of excitement, just for the fun of being creative without any thoughts of success or recognicion, are the purest acts you will ever perform in your life and those are the ones most likely to succeed. I try to make every work a work of love, weather it's commissioned or my own brainchild. With that attitude I know the result of my efforts will always be the best I can make it.


a guy in a gorilla suit said...

The "fearsome critters" illustration looks great - and reminds me of the local legend of the Wolpertinger (here in Austria). And congratulations for your other works too - I especially like the "Ship to never" cover; plain and simple but very nice.
A last word about Alan Moore: I tried to read Promethea but after book two, I was too scared to read the other ones. such things never happend before to me, and I hope it never will happen again. But this guy is scary. And right.

Richard Svensson said...

I'm glad you like my artwork too! It's an uphill struggle to find your niche as an illustrator, but I hope (and think) I'm getting there. I think I've heard of the Wolpertinger, but I can't picture it right now. I know about the "Tatzelworm", though.

Alan Moore is a genius as far as I'm concerned and he's walked a long road to get to where he's at today. But it's true that he can be quite unnerving at times! Neil Gaiman's another favourite who's certainly paid his dues to get successful.

jriggity said...

Super great stuff man!

I really dig got skills all over the art playground.


Richard Svensson said...

Thanks! There's so much I like to do (and try) and so far I've been able to make a decent buck every now and then with my drawing.