Kevin Karstens or ‘karcreat’

When did you first become interested in art?

At about age 5, according to my folks…the first things I can recall drawing were pictures of out my Yogi Bear coloring books, trying to copy them as closely as I could.

©Kevin Karstens

What style of art do you use most?

Cartooning, no doubt. It’s my natural ‘look’, unless I have aphotograph for reference, my works tends to end up looking ‘toony’, LOL!

Has your style changed from when you first began as an artist?

Good Lord, I hope so…I was terrible back then, all the way through high school I had problems with feet and hands, I would like to believe I have gotten beeter at them over the years!

What medium do you use?

Hand drawn art, Number 2 pencil, Flair felt pens for inking and color is added on the PC.

©Kevin Karstens

What made you choose that medium?

I can’t imagine an interest in any other…hand drawn art has always been my favorite. The stuff created from scratch on a computer is cool to look at, but the idea that someone used their hands alone to draw something straight from their imagination on to the paper is fascinating to me…

Do your ideas come from life or imagination?

Both…but they lean towards imagination.

How do you choose your images and colours?

Images (if imagined) just ‘pop’ into my head, usually humorous ones (my favorite type)…my colors tend to be purples, blues.

Who is your favourite artist?

Mort Drucker.

What is your favourite piece of work by yourself?

In all honesty, I don’t have a fave image…tho some of the one’s I dig the most are probably not suitable for a ‘family’ website (involving nudity and whatnot… ;)

©Kevin Karstens

How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?

Anywhere from under an hour to maybe two…depends on what is required, detail levels, etc…

How well do you take criticism?

It depends, to be honest. My wife is my best critic, because she pulls no punches…if something is ‘off’ in a pic (and I know it) she sees it right away, for the most part, and points it out…’Her eyes are too close together, that hand looks off’, etc…and what’s cool is I already KNEW that, but sometimes I am still ok with something (if it aint exactly perfect/real looking) if it makes the pic look cool…but if SHE can ‘see’ the problem, I know others will too…I trust her completely on stuff like that.

What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?

Get up. Walk away. Come back in ten minutes…you will immediately see what was off. Advice from my father, and he was dead right!

©Kevin Karstens

How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?

Almost always, yes…if it’s an animation sequence, etc, it’s easy to know when it’s done, but sometimes I DO have the desire to continuously go back and ‘fiddle’ or add to a sketch, etc…

What are your plans for the future?

To hopefully keep doing exactly what I am doing at the moment…accepting commissions I take an interest in, making enough to pay bills (I have no interest in ‘being rich’ from this, I value enjoying what I do far more than making big bucks being employed by someone that tells me what needs to be done) and being my own boss…using my free time to work on fun stuff, like ‘Doctor Stew’ , an animated ‘Family Guy meets Doctor Who’ series…or delving into CGI mixed with my hand drawn 2D animation…that sounds fun!

©Kevin Karstens

What advice would you give new artists?
Draw constantly. If you know you have an rea that needs attention/practice, concentrate on that. Draw every day, if you can, and never give up. With the internet being around, you have no excuses not to get going doing what you want. I never completed colleg (too expensive), but on the net, people tend to care more about what you can DO over what you have DONE, IE education, etc. If you are good, you will be noticed.

Have you done any courses to help you?

No, not really…just art classes in high school and a few in college…I’m mostly self taught, and art ‘runs in the family’ (my father works in oil painting, and runs an online business selling his prints of the Washington State University campus… )

©Kevin Karstens

What do you do to market your work?

Search for people and sites online that may be interested in what I do, drop them a line and introduce myself…sometimes you hear back, most of the time you don’t…but it does pay off. Be persistent, keep at it.

Do you use social networking in your day to day life?

You mean like Twitter? No, don’t care for it, far too narcissistic, LOL….I could never fathom why anyone would care about such things…”I’m having a cup of coffee right now…now I’m walking down 5th street’…seriously?…;)

Are you available for work (commissions)?

Most definitely!

Have you got hobbies?

Bad movies (‘Howard The Duck’ is my fave), animation, and Britcoms (‘The IT Crowd’ is my current fave)

Where are you based?

Boise, Idaho…if you can believe it!

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