We featured Roman back on Jan. 2nd, and had some pretty fantastic feedback from his work. (See the original post here!) I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Roman at a few gallery openings here in San Francisco, and he agreed to a brief interview! Enjoy the second installation of our Artist Interviews!
You can find more of his art on his website, here:
1) How would you describe the transition from the student / professional artist’s world? What was the hardest aspect of the switch?
The hardest thing is getting paid, or rather not getting paid, at best not getting paid enough. I’d always thought if I ever do a drawing for the New Yorker life would suddenly become decent, needless to say I was wrong. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘professional’ artist at this point, at least if it implies making a living from art. I generally dislike the very notion of ‘professional artist,’ though my pathetic convictions clearly lead me nowhere.
2) Your least favorite thing about the art world nowadays.
How nauseatingly commercial it is. Any talk of ‘breaking into the industry’ makes me very unhappy.
3) What are your views on the progression into a digital nature in art? In your own work, how much is digital vs. analogue?
I think traditional linework with digital coloring is the perfect solution both for fast-paced illustrative prostitution and personal work. I’ve seen digital illustrations that look warm and convincing, but it’s hard (and fundamentally pointless) to emulate the look & feel of pencils and brushes. I always let my brush run dry here and there, the tiny imperfections give the piece a certain warmth, not to mention that these traditional tools capture the artist’s mood better than polished digital lines.
4) Describe your artistic process. How do you come up with compositions, getting the right mood for your pieces or even color schemes.
For commercial illustrations I do 4-5 rough sketches, one of them is chosen by the art director, then I do the lines, usually with brush & ink, rarely with nibs. Then I color it in Photoshop. I’m extremely anal about my colors and I spend hours mixing and adjusting 2-3 flat tones. For my comics I usually have the beginning and the end in mind, but most of it is improvised, sometimes even panel-by-panel.
5) Top 5 favorite artists / inspiration….
Chris Ware, Raymond Queneau, Jason, Seth, Vladimir Nabokov.