Sunday, October 3, 2010

An Interview with Star Crossed Galaxy Artist - Matt Martin

The first of our planned interviews with TwilightPop's wonderfully brilliant and gifted creators... Matt Martin! Read on below to get to know SCG's artist and his work.

- Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and what experience do you have?
So, my name's Matt and I was born and live in the UK. I'm married and work full-time in marketing, but like all guys and gals who work in the small press arena my dream is to be able to draw comics for a living. I don't have any formal training or experience but am a genuine comics fan and have learnt all I know from studying those I artists I admire as well as through working with some great people.

- What drew you to the Star Crossed Galaxy project?
I had a really good experience working with Bernie on another project that didn't end up panning out so when he approached me with the chance to work with him on a new project through his own publishing house I jumped at the chance. What made it even more appealing was the story Ryan had crafted which looked like (and has turned out to be) a blast to draw.

- When you received the script, what was your initial reaction?
I couldn't wait to get started. The characters Ryan has created meant I could have fun with them visually, plus it gave me the chance to try some sci-fi stuff that I've never done before like the space scenes.

- Tell us about your creative process – what do you use to draw, where you do it, when, etc.
In terms of when and where, I try and squeeze it in whenever I can. Working full time in a pretty intense job means that drawing is my escape (and luckily my wife is really supportive) so I tend to draw most evenings and at the weekend. I have my own little study where my lightbox and PC are set up so I lock myself away in there much to my wife's delight as it means my cr*p (as she likes to call it) doesn't escape in to the rest of the house!

When it comes to creating a page the first stage is to read through Ryan's script and draw a quick thumbnail. I find my initial reaction to a page is my best so I want to capture it as quickly as I can. I'll then create a half size rough which is more detailed to send across to the guys for approval before blowing it up and lightboxing the final pencils. I'm also going to be grey-scaling issue 2 so my final stage is to scan the page in and add the greys. You can actually see a more detailed process on the boards.

- How do you go about planning and / or establishing the visual style?
My style is really a reflection of those artists and comics I love. Joe Mad was the reason I got in to comics and still remains the biggest influence on my style. I love comics for the art so look to a lot of the current guys to inspiration not just in style but also in story-telling. Currently I'm loving Stuart Immonen, Ryan Ottley and Sean Murphy.

- What was the most difficult scene to draw so far?
For me it was actually the fight scene, for some reason I find these more difficult to do than the talking head pages. I was anticipating it being the space scenes but these came a lot easier than I was expecting.

- What was the scene that was the most fun to draw?
I really enjoyed the opening few pages where we were introducing the characters, but the most fun I'm having is with the second issue as my style is evolving so I'm pushing myself more. Ryan has also written some great dialogue so I'm able to play around with expressions and gesture.

- What other creative endeavours have you been involved in?
I've done a number of pitches with friends and a few small press bits, but nothing that has seen print. We've got some plans post Star Crossed but other than that I'm just happy to be working with the guys on issue 2.

- What’s up next for you?
Well outside of the comics we're due our first baby in November so that's by far the biggest and most important thing. Once I've adjusted to the complete lack of sleep I just want to keep creating and pushing myself to break in to the industry and make a living from the thing I love.

Thanks Matt! Much appreciated and it is well timed with your post in the forum which gives visitors and readers a view of the detailed creative art process. The grayscaled #2 is gonna rock! Continue reading...

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