Black Cat – Power Girl by Jon Riggle
Jon Riggle is an illustrator and photographer in the US (more specifically, Nebraska). Showcasing some incredible graphic novel art with an incredible computer coloured Black Cat (complete with furry boots) and a traditional Power Girl (could never understand her costume). Both are very different styles but amazing pieces!
Black Cat :
Power Girl :
How did you get into art or more specifically comic art?
I pretty much have to say I’m self taught through observation, BUT I went to college for fine art and graphic art. I say I’m self taught, because at school, I was shunned for wanting to get into comics. It was a private college that had an art program headed by an Artist who wasn’t really interested in teaching as I would have hoped to be instructed.
What about Joe Kubert? A lot of previous featured artists on this site are alumni from there.
I had wanted to go to the Joe Kubert School. When I contacted them, I was told that they’d love to see my portfolio, see if I had what it takes to get in, but to be logical and rational, I should go to college to get a degree in business or something else, before I took a chance with the JKS. It sounds reasonable and logical. But did I listen? No. I have a Bachelors in Graphic and Fine art. I have a concentration in broadcast journalism and I almost had a minor in business. Just needed a few more credits.
I won’t say however, the experience at college was a total waste. I learned a lot about street smarts in those years. And trust me, although you learn a lot inside the classroom you learn even more outside. Put them together and hopefully you succeed in the outside world. That’s my little tip of the day for anyone wanting to be an artist or go to college! (Just don’t go to party!)
Haha . . good tip.
But make sure you do party a little. Must have a little play in your life. What happened after college?
I have drawn off and on throughout my life. I did it as a kid, and I was off in my own little world for so long. I didn’t do it all that much after I got out of college. I worked for various art departments in various fields, but the whole ‘Wanted: Graphic Artist” classifieds that I’d answer, only wanted a typesetter for ads. NOT what a graphic artist, in my eyes, is supposed to do. So I really didn’t draw a lot from 1997 to 2003. I would try to draw at times but the work was lacking in discipline. I was as I said, learning through obvservation. And eventually told I should look into animation artwork. I liked it, and started to practice that a bit more frequently. about 2004 I joined deviantART.com and have since then deleted a lot of my first posted pieces. Just trust me, they look A LOT different than what you see now on there. As of last year (June of ’08) I was accepted to work on the Marvel Masterpiece 3 sketch card series and after that, things really picked up for me with my artwork. Commissions and requests to work on projects.
You mentioned in the intro you are also a photographer. Care to elaborate on that?
As a kid, I wanted to be a cop and a photographer like my Dad. That ‘dream’ changed through the years and I didn’t even want to be a photographer by the time I hit High School. But I have a knack for it after 34 years of being around it, a lot of what is needed to photograph people is instinctual within me. F stops, film speed, shutter speeds… I don’t use a light meter, I just somehow figure out in my head what I need. I will say, I miss film based cameras, but having digital around, you at least see the results right away, instead of having to guess and pray you took a great photo, after a day or so of development and printing.
Being a photographer also has helped me a bit with some of my artwork. Composition, color, lighting… all these come into play with my artwork (and yours too obviously.) A photographer paints with light, while an artist uses pencils and brushes.
Today, I own the Photography Studio business and have implemented my artwork as another service to the studio. It’s really just me anymore. My parents retired and handed off the family business to me. I do more artwork than photography these days. Too many people have their own cameras and think they can do better than a professional, which they find out eventually… they should have gone to a professional in the first place because of some mistake they made during photographing the family get-together.
I seem to ask this question to everyone but how would I describe my artwork?
Decent (laughing) No, I’d have to say it’s leaning more towards an animation style lately? I’ve been told I have a ‘Don Bluth’ feel to my work, but honestly, I don’t see it. Not that that is a bad thing mind you. My pinups look different than my sequential work. Not that that’s a bad thing. I’d like to change the two around sometimes. My different influences can be seen distinctively between the two. Sequentials look more like animation, while the pinups look a little more like what you’d see from Adam hughes, Frank Cho, Terry Dodson, Stephane Roux (I just wish it was up to their level of awesomeness (laughing) )
Thanks so much for your time and good luck with your artwork and your photography!
For more on Jon Riggle :