With a pleasure, we present Junkyard Sam - a Seattle area-based artist with a jolly memorable style. This talented mind kindly took some time to discuss his art, creative process, and why paint terrified him as a kid.
Tell us about you and how did you become interested in art?
Growing up in Texas I specialized in pencil because I figured I’d end up a poor or homeless artist. Lottery kiosks have stacks of little pencils for free so I knew I’d always have access to drawing tools. Paint terrified me, as I feared becoming addicted to color and expensive art supplies.
My art teacher in high school gave me open-ended free reign to study art. I had multiple hours booked in her classes and for three years I read every art book from every library and even let other studies suffer to focus on art. She encouraged me toward my own self study program and I became completely obsessed with art. I studied art technique by day and by night I read about the lives of artists from history and wondered what my own life as an artist would be like.
My parents worried a LOT about my future, but they realized a plan for my life was coming together when I was awarded a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Dallas. This led me to an art career in the video game industry where I’ve worked ever since. Working as an artist in games made it possible to buy a house and support my wife & soon-to-be four kids. Not homeless after all!
After 20 years of making games I rediscovered a love for drawing. I graduated from pencil and upgraded to fountain pen… but still no paint. With technology we have something even better: digital! Tools like Rebelle offer an artist a lot more freedom than paint, are more enjoyable, and even cost less. Perfect!
That’s a truly pragmatic approach to career choice. ;) Besides freedom, in what ways does Rebelle influence your creative process?
I draw my line work by hand using various Japanese fountain pens with exotic extra-fine nibs. Paint still terrifies me! Paint has a tendency to go wrong and there’s no undo; One bad stroke and hours and hours of line work are lost! I’ve found happiness in scanning my art & coloring it digitally with a Wacom Intuos pen & tablet.
Rebelle is a joy to paint in because the interface is friendly enough to relax and just focus on the art but powerful enough to use for professional illustration. (Most recently I used it to color the cover of 425 Business magazine.)
Best of all, with Rebelle I don’t have to worry about my art looking “too digital.” The process is simple. I choose a paper texture. I choose a paper color. Then I use the watercolor brush on my scanned drawing and my colors actually stay wet and blend together just like real paint! There’s no other software that even comes close to the watercolor simulation in Rebelle. It’s incredible!
Can you introduce us your agreeable yellow characters? Where did they come from?
Art school was great for molding me into a commercially viable artist, but all the rules took the fun out of art. Art school said, “Draw BIG!” but I like to draw small. Art school said “Draw realism!” but I don’t enjoy that. Later in my career - with all the pressures of competitive game industry art I realized I didn’t even enjoy art anymore.
So I threw all the rules out the window and took my pens to paper without regard to what I would create. These little yellow guys kept appearing in my drawings with ghosts and monsters in strange exciting worlds from Earth and beyond. After a while they took on a life of their own. Now it feels like they’ll all die if I ever stop drawing so I keep going in order for them to live on and have new adventures!
How long does it take you do draw a picture? Do you do anything else when you’re drawing?
My drawings range from 5 to 20 hours depending on complexity. This means I draw long into the wee hours of the night after my family has gone to bed. I listen to podcasts while I draw because it’s like having friends talking in the room. With a good podcast on and Rebelle open on my laptop - suddenly it feels like I’m at a party and I’m drawing in the background. I’m laughing. I’m drawing. Time goes by and suddenly a new drawing is finished!
Where can people see and possibly buy your artworks?
My art lives online at junkyardsam.com and all the social media networks as “Junkyard Sam.” I’ll do something big with it someday, but for now I’m overloaded with game and illustration work so I’m content to make people smile with a few new drawings each week. =)
Thanks a million for speaking with us today. We enjoyed it a lot!
For everyone who’s got interested in Junkyard Sam’s art, we’d definitely recommend not to miss on his social channels:
So spread some love and click that “Follow” button! ❤️
If you haven’t downloaded version 2.0.2 yet, go ahead - update is available on our Download page and is free for all Rebelle 2 users.
Users can upgrade to Rebelle 2 directly from application’s menu: “Help” –> “Upgrade to Rebelle 2” or via our Upgrade page. Existing owners of Rebelle 1 are eligible for more than 50% discount - regular upgrade price is $39.99.
Let us know how you like the new update in the comments or send your feedback directly from application’s Help menu. We wish you happy summer and hope you’ll have fun just like these guys below… :)
… and happy painting!
Your Escape Motions Team
Art competitions are an enriching and invaluable experience for every artist. They can teach you to hone your skills and provide the helpful practice of working and seeing many other artists at work. Each year there are plenty of graphic design, illustration and photography competitions taking place all over the world. No matter if you are a well-established artist or a student trying to earn more recognition for your work, entering such competitions will definitely fortify your trust in your skills. And of course, winning one will give you an acknowledgment you crave for as an artist.
We have put together a list of five competitions for illustrators and graphic designers that are still open for entries to help you keep up with all the opportunities to gain exposure that are out there. Take a look and consider entering one or more of them:
A tour around the world’s best contemporary illustration for children with exhibition of selected works held in Lisbon, Portugal. Approximately 1400 illustrators from 61 countries send their artwork to the competition. The goal of ILUSTRARTE is to create a space for meeting and discussing the best international illustration for children, while putting Portugal on the route of the major international events in this area.
ILUSTRARTE is open to illustrators and designers from all over the world.
Each participant should register online at the ILUSTRARTE website, www.ilustrate.net , and upload the files of 3 illustrations, unpublished or published after the 1st of January 2015, not later than the 31st of August 2017. The 3 illustrations must be based on the same theme. Theme, technique and medium are at the discretion of the artist.
The prize of 5000 Euro (approx. 5,590 USD) will be awarded on the opening of the exhibition, on February 2018. The exhibition of the selected illustrations will run from February to April 2018 at Museum of Electricity in Lisbon.
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Entry fee: None
More info at http://www.ilustrarte.net
iJungle 2017 Illustration Awards is a competition to celebrate the world´s art of illustration. It is opened to illustration works from any country in the world. Entries first created or published from 2014 through 2016 are eligible. There is a limit of 5 works that each illustrator can submit for all categories, except Video game Art, that has up to 10 works.
iJungle 2017 has 7 categories: Book, Editorial, Comics, Commercial, New Talent (Student), Self-Promotion and Video Games Art. A jury of some of the world´s best illustrators and art directors will select the winners. All winning entrants will be exhibit in the iJungle 2017 Illustrational Annual! iJungle 2017 Illustration Awards will also distribute the following awards:
1 Best of the best;
1 Gold medal for each category (7 gold medals);
Up to 20 Merit Awards for each category (Up to 140 Merit Awards).
Deadline: October 30, 2017
Entry fee: Single Image Entry ($10 US dollars for one upload per entry) or
Multiple Image Entry ($35 US dollars for up to five related uploads per entry
New Talent/Student ($10 US dollars and can send up to five uploads for entry)
More info at https://www.ijungleawards.com
Organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C (MOEA) in collaboration with International Council of Design and Japan Graphic Designers Association, the Taiwan International Graphic Design Award 2017 is open for innovative works in two main categories:
• Poster Design
• Corporate Identity Design
The competition is open to designers from all regions and countries. There will be initially a Preliminary Selection conducted via electronic platform (contestants do not need to submit physical sketch boards). For the Final Selection instead judging will be performed by reviewing the actual works.
There is no limit to the quantity of works submit. You can submit each category and also register as individual and as groups. Entries must be original creations of the contestants completed after June 30, 2015.
There will be ten different Awards, plus Judge Panel Special Award.
All award winners (except winners of medals) will receive an award certificate. Their works will be exhibited and collected in a special publication.
Deadline: July 15, 2017
Entry fee: None
More info at http://www.ico-d.org
Hosted by Aesthetica Magazine, the Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world. It offers both emerging and established artists the opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience, and further their engagement with the international art world.
There are two awards for entry: the Main Art Prize and the Emerging Art Prize. The Emerging Art Prize is open to current students and artists who have graduated within the last two years. The Main Art Prize is open to all, including those eligible for the Emerging Art Prize. Artists may submit their work into any one of the four categories:
• Photographic & Digital Art
• Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture
• Painting, Drawing & Mixed Media
• Video, Installation & Performance
Main Art Prize include £5,000 prize money for the winner, Group exhibition hosted by Aesthetica, Editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, Publication in Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists, £250 art supplies vouchers courtesy of Winsor & Newton and art books courtesy of Prestel.
Deadline: August 31, 2017
Entry fee: 24 GBP (approx. 30 USD) for one entry. You may submit up to two works in the same category per entry, unless you are submitting in the Video, Installation & Performance category, in which case you are limited to one work per entry.
More info at http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/art-prize/
Young Guns recognizes the vanguard of creative professionals 30 years of age and under. Founded in 1996, it has grown to become one of the most coveted awards for young creatives around the globe. For many, being named a Young Guns winner is a sure sign of a skyrocketing career, as well as a source of validation for all of the stressful days and sleepless nights that have come with early successes.
Young Guns is an international competition open to all who qualify.
Entrants must be professionals working in creative field(s) including but not limited to: graphic design, photography, illustration, advertising, art direction, environmental design, film, animation, motion graphics, interactive design, typography, architecture, copywriting, product design, package design, fashion design, furniture design, interior design, sound design or industrial design.
Young Guns entrants must submit 6 professional and personal projects, with a minimum of three projects being professional, published work. The Awards ceremony will take place in New York City in November. Winners will be honored at this event and presented with the coveted Young Guns Cube, a trophy that is redesigned each year, making each class of Young Guns winners truly unique.
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Entry fee: $100 USD for ADC/One Club Members; $150 USD for Non-Members
More info at http://youngguns.org
Do you consider entering one of these after this blog post? If you do, we definitely stand by your side and keep our fingers crossed for you. GOOD LUCK!
Your Escape Motions Team