Authors and Artists go hand in hand in the creative process. Without cover art, many a novel would have been passed over, and all of us remember our favourite illustrations from our childhood story books.
With that in mind, the guest spot this month has been devoted to up and coming artists, independent freelancers, and artists who do it for the pure love of creativity.
Meet the artists, and get inspired!
Name: Phil Moss
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy Illustration
So, tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a full-time freelance artist/illustrator producing work for print – cover and internal art etc. I also do a bit of portraiture and ‘sketchwork’ or editorial, events etc.
How long have you been an artist?
Roughly 6-7 years, I went straight into freelancing after art college, though it’s been my full-time job for about 4 years now.
Who are your favourite artists?
Funnily enough most of my favourite artists are long dead ‘fine artists’ rather than contemporary illustrators. The list always changes, but currently I love the work of Repin, Meisonnier, Millais – guys like that. I was a massive fan of Giger whilst I was at school, who sadly died recently. Probably the most recent artist I discovered that blew me away has been Sergio Toppi – check out his work, so classy.
Where do you find inspiration?
I suppose from those sorts of artists I mentioned, but I guess my inspirations largely came from a childhood of pushing plastic knights around cardboard dungeons and reading mountains and mountains of books. I love escapism and fantasy, not always ‘swords and sorcery’, but anything that’s built of imagination. The ‘art’ side of my work is hugely important to me as well, and I sketch and draw from life as much as possible, and in that regard I find inspiration in anything and everything.
Are there any hidden meanings in your art work?
I try and make my work really fire the imagination. I’ve told people that the best fictional illustration should make loud noises; it should stink and wobble and feel hot or cold. My ideal critic is that 9 year old kid who stares at the work for ages and ages imagining what’s just happened, what’s going to happen, who’s going to do what, and so ideally I try and allude to all those questions but leave the answer up to the viewer.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
DO MORE DRAWING! Seriously though, it’s really hard to make a living out of it – the competition keeps getting better and better (and younger, and better!) and there’s not a lot of money unless you work your socks off at being really good (I’m still aiming for that myself of course). But at the end of the day I’ve met the most fantastic people through being an artist and I get to draw and paint every day. So yeah, don’t worry about the lack of money and the holes in your socks, it’s great. And anyway, you could always work in an office moving numbers from one computer to another all day, week after week, year after year, for the rest of your life… imagine that!! Oh, and, DO MORE DRAWING. Seriously, do more drawing – regardless of what anyone says, the one thing that all the greats throughout history had in common was that they worked and worked and worked.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I don’t know, my memory isn’t that good! A weird thing happened recently, I bumped into a girl in town who I recognised as being the same good looking girl who I’d seen a few times working in a local bar but never spoken to on account of being terrified by all good looking women! I told her I was an artist and she bizarrely said ‘is your name Phil Moss?’ Talk about small word – turns out she really liked my work and I’d actually spoken to her at a convention the year before when I was exhibiting my work (where all faces blend into one unfortunately), she remembered every word I’d told her about creating art, she even attended the same life classes as me but on an earlier session so I’d never seen her there, and then she proceeded to tell me she’d just quit her job at the bar and was off round Europe on the hunt for artwork/artists never to be seen again by me! Talk about bad luck!!!
Where can readers get a hold of your work?