Jan 18, 2012

Brandon Reese Is In The SFG Spotlight!

Illustrator Brandon Reese

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work. 
I live in NC with my 7-year-old boy and wife. My clients tend to be from the children's/youth market. I design a small children's magazine as a mainstay income. Lately, it's been difficult to juggle that along with my illustration jobs. That's a good thing! I work almost 100% Adobe Illustrator… but I strive for my work to not look like it was created in Adobe Illustrator. I try to interject a lot of texture and layers to my work.

To combat the inevitable flabby body due to my sedentary profession, I've been cross-fitting for about two years now, and love it! Not only do I stay in shape, I have a place I can go to interact with other humans (that aren't my family).

2. What drew you to illustration as a career choice?  
Well, I think I've always drawn or doodled. When I was little my mom read an article about fostering creativity in your children. It said that you shouldn't give your children coloring books but rather give them blank pieces of paper. So, that's what she did with my older brother and me. Plus, I was always trying to catch up to my brother's abilities… I think that was a huge factor. He was really into Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and would draw all the characters obsessively and I would copy him. We'd spend entire days watching cartoons and drawing.

I believe I always knew I'd be drawing or do something creative as a living. There were no other options in my mind.

3.  What creative ways do you use to come up with ideas and concepts? 
I always have a sketchbook with me. I may not use it wherever I take it, but I make sure to always have it with me. Nothing is worse than having an idea and not being able to jot or doodle it down. I try to draw something every day (that's not work related). I like to just start sketching and see what comes out. Typically, it's a character or animal. Once I have the character or whatever down on paper, I like to see how many themes or variations on an idea I can create. 

4. What do you do to keep your work fresh? Do you adapt what you do for certain markets or trends or does it just progress naturally as you go along? 
I love going to bookstores, the comics shop, the movies… any visual stimuli gets my creative juices going. I can't count the times I've been at the movies and an idea completely separate and original to what I'm watching pops in my head. It must be creativity though osmosis. 

No, I don't find that I have to adapt or change my style for a certain market. For the most part, a client who is hiring you knows your work and knows what to expect. I don't chase trends either. Trends come and go but a good idea will always be a good idea. I just try to be clever and let my style evolve organically.  
5. Do you get to create much personal work and promotions? 
Sometimes I get asked to contribute a painting to a group show. If I'm not too busy, I'll do it. It's a nice respite from all the digital work I do. I create postcards and send them out, maybe once a year. I need to do that more. I think that helps you push the boundaries of your style.

6. Is there any successes that stand out that has helped you progress as an illustrator? 
Probably the best thing to happen for my career was the start of my relationship with eeBoo 5 or 6 years ago. They were the first client to really trust me and give me good, solid projects that were well-suited for my style.

7. What is your favourite part about being in illustration? The process? Ideas/concepts? The final artwork? 
My favorite part of being in illustration is that point where you are battling with a concept and POW!... inspiration strikes and all the pieces fit together.
A close second would be, seeing something you've created, flipping it over and reading- "Illustrated by Brandon Reese".

8. Describe your dream project or client. 
A Target Halloween campaign would be awesome.






Holly DeWolf said...

This is great! :)

Anonymous said...

nice interview! good to know more about other people's inspirations

radekart said...

I like them!