Daniel Eskridge Talks the Talk with 1stAngel
When did you first become interested in art?
When I was a teenager, I was really into reading sci-fi and fantasy novels. I became interested in what made me choose the books I read, that is, the cover art. The same was true of album cover art. So I started learning about illustration.
What style of art do you use most?
Representational/Realism perhaps with a touch of Romanticism. Basically, the opposite of abstract.
Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?
Aside from just getting more skillful at it, I don’t really think my style has changed that much. Though for a time in college, I experimented with more impressionistic works.
What medium do you use?
These days, I almost exclusively do everything digital, using CGI techniques known as 3D rendering. Basically, it is the same kind of stuff movie studios such as PIXAR do, but I do still images rather than animations.
What made you choose that medium?
Being the son of an IBM programmer, I had a lot of exposure to computers growing up. Along the way I discovered that one could use a computer to generate whole environments. For a long time though, they were not powerful enough to make the kind of art I wanted to make, so I trained in more traditional mediums, particularly oil paint. Around the mid 2000s though, home computers started to get strong enough for me to create complex images. Once I had kids, I had to get the oil paints (along with the toxic chemicals involved) out of the house, so I went all digital.
Do your ideas come from life or imagination?
Definitely from imagination. After all, I started with fantasy illustration.
How do you choose your images and colours?
They just pop into my head. Sometimes listening to music helps. As for colors, I’ve always just been partial to earth tones. Can’t say why, just a preference.
Do you work in a studio?
No, I just work as a desk with computer on it. You can catch glimpses of my office at the beginnings of some of my videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/danieleskridge) . There’s nothing particularly special about it though.
Who is your favourite artist?
My favorite artist is actually an illustrator: Michael Whelan. You can find his works on numerous science fiction novel covers, album covers, magazines, etc.
What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
My favorite piece tends to change quite often. As I make new works, I generally like the latest one the best. Right now my favorite is my first aquatic image, that of a Platypus.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Five days give or take, depending on the complexity of the image.
How well do you take criticism?
Unless it is particularly insightful, I generally just ignore it.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
I tend to get ideas in bursts. Whenever I have an idea for an image, I write down a detailed description (which I keep in Evernote these days). At any given time, I have several dozen such descriptions waiting. So even during dry periods, I have plenty to do.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
I just learned through practice when to recognize that point where an image will look overworked if I keep going. Having many images in waiting, it’s usually quite easy for me to move on to the next one.
Have you had exhibits in galleries?
No. I’ve always targeted illustration venues (book covers, magazine articles, etc.)
A few examples of covers that I’ve done:
Never even thought about a gallery.
What are you currently working on?
I’m doing some contract work for a role-playing game company, but the details are hush-hush. Also, I have another platypus image in the works, a moonshiner portrait, a bear themed image, some fantasy work, … quite a bit. At any given time, I have about 10-12 works in progress.
What are your plans for the future?
Just chugging along. I would like to retire from my day job one day and live off of art sales, but that day is a long way off.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Spend as much time looking at other people’s art as much as you do working on your own.
What advice would you give new artists?
Study the masters and figure out why they became so.
Have you done any courses to help you?
Quite a few, I studied art in college and have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. (I have a separate degree in Computer Science as well – useful for the form of art I do)
What do you do to market your work?
All online: FineArtAmerica, DeviantArt, Flickr, Zazzle, TurningArt, Facebook, Google+
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Yes, the best place to follow me as an artist is https://www.facebook.com/TheArtOfDanielEskridge
Are you available for work (commissions)?
It depends a bit on the commission, but generally, yes.
Have you got hobbies?
Since art is not my day job, it pretty much fills up any hobby time I might have. However, on occasion, I do some home brewing, particularly meads, but sometimes I do hard apple ciders as well.
Where are you based?
Marietta, Georgia. Nowadays, it is a suburb of Atlanta. My family has lived in North Georgia for centuries. I’m descended from the original Scottish and English settlers as well as Creek Indians.
© 2013, Isabella Francesca Abigail Shores. All rights reserved.