A)Sure, Tyler Stout, 29, born and raised in Washington State, across the river from Portland Oregon.
Q)How did you get started making art?
A)I just started. Been into drawing for fun since I was a kid (as most kids are), and never really stopped.
Q)How would you describe your art?
A)That's a good question. I usually don't describe it as art, more as illustration work. I guess its kinda all over the place. Some of its realistic, some of its cartoonish.
Q)Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related
A)I'm read alot of comic books, that's where I draw most of my inspiration from. Mobius, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Mike Mignola. Right now theres an artist working named Tony Moore who is great, and people should check out Y: The Last Man for a great story and great artwork.
Q) How do you approach the creation of a new piece... how does everything come together?
A)That's up to the project, some pieces are heavily art directed, so the ideas come from the client, other things are more 'do what you feel like' projects, and those I usually just start thinking about what I'd like to see. If its for a band, I listen to their music and look at their other album artwork to see what they're into, and try to do something that would hopefully fit their music. If its for a shirt design, I find out what the client is hoping to convey with the shirt and go from there, like if its 'make a shirt that's hardcore, violent.' then I read up on like war and guns and stuff, if they want something more playful and cartoony, I just draw random stuff and put that together.
Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?
A)I probably like sketching the most, in my sketchpad. I like to do it just to relax, draw whatever comes into my head. I usually just draw with a ballpoint pen on a white pad of drawing paper.Q) What is your favourite art related web site?
A)The one I check out many times a day is gigposters.com -where poster artists from around the world submit posters they've done for concerts. Its got a forum that anyone can ask art related questions, and many people post great resource links.
Q)) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?
A)I use the computer extensively, I rarely meet clients in person, much of it is long distance, so email is pretty much how I make a living. I draw lots of sketches before starting, and use lots of handdrawn elements in my pieces, but the final result is a digital file to send to whever it’s going.
Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?
A)Best place to exhibit....I would have to say online? Have a website, get your name out there. That's how I get all the freelance work I get. The worst place for me to exhibit artwork has been in art gallerys, oddly enough. I rarely get paid for pieces I sell, the artwork comes back damaged, or doesn't come back at all. For me it hasn't worked out well, so I mostly say no to artgallery requests nowdays.
Q) I'm always interested in where an artist find their inspiration. Where do you find yours?
A)Well this would go back to what artists inspire me, probably. My main inspiration are video games, movies, and comics. I read a lot of old science fiction paperbacks as well. I buy them for the cover artwork, and end up reading them since most of the time they're really good.
Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?
A)I usually don't hear much criticism, people don't take time out of their days to write me and tell me they don't like my stuff, so its generally positive.
Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?
A)Hanging out with my family and friends. playing video games. Sleeping.
Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?
A)Well, its a big market, competition is probably getting tougher. There are just so many incredible artists working in the field today, its probably pretty intimidating to someone just starting out. But on the positive side, I think illustrators are in big demand these days, as are designers and just good artwork in general.Q) Do you believe that a person is born with a talent to produce art or can anyone can be taught?
A) I'm not sure, I think certain people are certainly more skilled than others, I know many people who can draw much better than I can, and I don't look at their work and think, boy I should learn how to do that. Everyone has unique gifts, and not everyones talent lies in a certain area, which is good, otherwise we'd all be artists and no one would be accountants, or doctors or whatever. Actually I'd be a doctor if I could, that seems like a pretty important job. But alas, my skill lies elsewhere.
Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?
A)I like doing screenprinted posters, those have a nice feel and look to them, a finished project if you will. The stuff I'm usually happiest with is the stuff I do for myself, for fun.
Q) What are some current/upcoming projects you are working on or excited about?
A)I just finished a web project for Burton, and am about to launch my new website which will have about a years worth of new work on it, so I'm excited about that.
Q) What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?
A)Find your niche, I'd suggest. It’s pretty hard to be great at everything, so find the one thing you enjoy doing the most and are best at, and focus on that. I didn't have a job for a year after graduating college, and I made very little money, so I guess I'd suggest sticking with it if you believe it’s what you should be doing, or it’s the only thing you can do.
Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?
A)Probably too many to list, lots of comic book artists, lots of cartoon shows are pretty incredible. Childrens books have some pretty incredible artists working in that field.Q) Do you need others to tell you they like it before you feel validated?
A)Sometimes I am unsure if I like something or not, so other peoples feedback is helpful and encouraging. other times I'm just happy with what I've done and am suprised when others don't like it, but so many people have such varying tastes, you're bound to find someone who loves your stuff and someone who hates it.
Q)Tell us a little about some of the different types of jobs you've had over the years, before/while doing what you do now. For someone who is starting out in art, how would you recommend they go about making a career out of it?
A)I worked at a video store for quite a while in college, really enjoyed that. All the free movies you wanted. I worked at a graphic design company 3000 miles from home, that was a new experience that I really enjoyed, made a lot of new friends. For someone just starting out I'd recommend getting an internship or freelancing for the company you're interested in, just to show them you're committed to them and really interested. I freelanced for a year for the company that eventually hired me, and that was a great job. Now I have lots of contacts that keep me busy, which is nice.