Tuesday, December 8, 2009

An Interview with artist Brian Demeter and my First Giveaway!


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I am so excited to be able to interview a local artist here in central Florida, Brian
Demeter! He has also agreed to do a giveaway of this 5x9 Owl print!

Details of the giveaway are at the end of his interview...


(Q): Your art has such a fantastical and whimsical style - what other artists are your inspirations?

(A): Thanks. I’m a big fan of other illustrators. I’ve always loved the work of Larry Moore, Michael Whelan (Sci-Fi book cover legend), Drew Struzan (Star Wars poster fame), and Mary Grandpre (Harry Potter covers). Jimmy Pickering, Lane Smith, Peter Brown, and Oliver Jeffers jump to mind as well.

(Q): Anything else that's been inspiring you lately?

(A) Believe it or not I’ve just gotten into comic books. Only took me 34 years. I've always been a late bloomer. I’m a fan of many different artistic interpretations of iconographic imagery and well known stories so I dig how you can find that a lot in the world of comic books and graphic novels. I'm presently loving the artwork of Frank Quitely, Tim Sale, and Phil Noto.

(Q): I know you do a lot for animal causes. Do you have a favorite animal? And why?

(A): Yes, hawks. Hard to say really. I've always been attracted to birds of prey and felt a strange connection. I once found a Red-shouldered hawk's wing feather lying right in front of the driver's side of my car, like it was just miraculously placed there. I had raptors at my wedding. When I asked a spiritual guru friend what the hawk symbolized he said: "Hawks are the link between the animal world and the human world." Instant goose bumps (check out my artwork repertoire).

(Q): How can just anyone help out animals?

(A): When helping with anything in life I'm a fan of finding your own unique way of doing so. I do a lot of charity artwork for different animal related organizations for both conservation and rehabilitation... and even education. Use what you're good at as a tool to guide you.

(Q): What is a day in the life of a freelance artist/illustrator?

(A): Every artist is different so I can only speak for myself. I now have a toddler son so each day is different but before he was born I'd usually start the day with a 3 mile walk to get the blood flowing. Then once I got home a showered I'd begin work on whatever projects were going. I can usually only paint straight for about 4 hours at a time before my eyes feel like popping out of my skull. So I'd take a break and check e-mails or work on other business related items. Sometimes run errands. Then come back and work some more. If you have a rep, like I do there's a lot of juggling a bunch of aspects, like providing new samples and designing promotional materials. Plus, there's always websites, blogs, etc to maintain. Being seen is key!


(Q): What is the process that takes place when you create a new piece of art?

(A): It all begins with my favorite part: The Challenge. Once either the client or myself come up with a concept I love the spark of adrenaline that hits me. I'm usually the most creative within the first few minutes of conception. I'll create a pencil sketch and then look it over for any logistical problems. I tend to not be an over thinker in this stage which can be a double edged sword. However I prefer to maintain the initial emotion in the final piece so I don't re-visit the sketch much. Once the sketch is good to go I transfer it to which ever support I choose to work on for that piece. Could be pre-primed board, panel, wood. Then the painting, scanning, varnishing and... finished!

(Q): What would you say to other artists/musicians/creative types that want to have their dream job and work from home?

(A): This is an extremely personal decision for each artist to make. I still consider my self a beginner student in this arena but I did learn one valuable personal lesson recently. It may not be for everyone but may help some. Before taking the leap ask yourself: "Is doing art (or any artistic venture) something I enjoy more as a hobby, one where the most amount of joy comes from personal fulfillment (and perhaps a few bucks here and there, charities, contests, etc) or do I want to turn "fun" (your soul release) into "work". Is there a gray area? Of course. Is finding it easy? Not for me.

(Q): You are an amazing supporter of other independent artists and musicians (thanks!). How can people get involved in their local creative community?

(A): Response is key. If you take time to respond to other artist's work then others will take time to respond to yours when you present it. Whether you're the most famous artist in the entire universe or a child who just made art for the first time, what you truly want is a response. Simple as that.

(Q): Describe your perfect morning/evening/day.

(A): Perfect day, as an artist: George Lucas calls me, says: "Brian, I've have you and four other artist's in mind for a personal commission to hang in my office. Please get me a sketch of your favorite character to me in two hours. Whoever wins gets to be a Jedi Knight in my next production." I frantically tell my wife. She offers to take our son with her to 711 to buy me a Arizona Energy Tea and a Zone Bar (and Fig Netwons). When she gets back she drops the goods and takes our son for a out-and-about day so I can focus. Before they leave she hands me a Papa Johns gift card (for lunch). Hugs. Kisses. I'm OFF to the drawing board. My heart is pounding. I'm searching for reference. Posing in the mirror. Singing theme songs and I have it, the image! I'm sketching. Inking, Eating pizza, Painting. Scanning, E-mailing. Finally George calls me: "Sorry Brian, I've selected another artists." No worries." I respond. "I've already won a perfect day as an artist." :)

(Q): You and your lovely wife have an adorable baby boy. Has your art changed at all since you've been a daddy?

(A): As he gets older (He's 17 months now) I can see his influence coming through more prevalently. It's subtle now though. I foresee him having a big influence as he (or we) grow.


(Q): What are some ways to find art/inspiration in everyday situations?

(A): Take wisdom from a hawk. Seek it. Wait for it. Let yourself, float, glide, and soar within creativity until you spot inspiration... then dive when the time is right.


Thank you for your answers and inspiration, Brian!

Now that you all are crazy for his art and want a print yourselves, all you have to do is click here, sign up for his monthly enewsletter and come back here and comment that you signed up. The giveaway will be open until midnight, December 17.

Good luck!

31 comments:

  1. Great interview! His artwork is beautiful :)

    I've signed up for the enewsletter!

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  2. Thanks for the great interview Emma. It was loads of fun! :) Have your CD on!

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  3. That was a really great interview! I love the owl that for the giveaway, and also appreciate his love of animals :)

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  4. I love his artwork. Signed up for the newsletter!

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  5. Done! Thanks for the great interview and the giveaway.

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  6. Interesting insight into a creative mind. Thanks for letting us in Brian. Keep up the fine work.

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  7. I have been following Brian ever since I saw his artwork at The Orlando Fringe. Haven't been able to buy anything (yet!) but I LOVE his work! It makes me so happy every time I see it.

    I signed up (I think for a second time!) to make myself eligible for the 5X7.

    Thanks for the great interview. It was nice to learn more about my favorite artist.

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  8. Excellent interview! I really like what he said about artists looking for response and that being key to getting involved.

    His artwork is great too! And oh I *love* owls... I've signed up for his newsletter! :)

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  9. That was a wonderful interview, I really enjoyed reading it! You are so talented and always have been. I am lucky to have a few pieces of your art, they always make me smile!

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  10. I have had the pleasure of knowing Brian for many years--long ago he volunteered to do the logo for my Adopt-a-Bird sponsorship program. If you'd like to see our amazing logo, visit www.adoptabird.org

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  11. Wonderful interview! I really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing it!
    His paintings are amazing!
    xxx
    Giovanna
    www.bohomarket.blogspot.com

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  12. great interview! his art work is great! thanks for opening my eyes to a new artist! i signed up for the newsletter!

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  13. loved the interview! i really liked his answer to your last question.

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  14. Two lovely artists! I have a CD of Emma's and several original artworks of Brian's, all of which make my home sweeter! Great interview, too! :)
    Anna

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  15. What a great interview!
    Kids always change our points of view no matter if you're an artist or not, they have that much influence!

    I've just subscribed to his newsletter!
    That cute owl wants to be with me.., I know it! xDDD

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  16. I'm such a fan. Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview. Ginny

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  17. I signed up. Thanks for the giveaway! And great interview.

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  18. Fantastic interview, Emma, I always love reading about what drives fellow creative souls. I've signed up for the newsletter and will be sure to check out his site today, too.

    Many thanks for holding this lovely giveaway, sweetie!
    ♥ Jessica

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  19. Brian,

    Loved the interview... especially your wisdom from the hawk. Still enjoying my polar bear logo- it's terrific. Sign me up for the giveaway!

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  20. Great interview, and love Brian! I'm all signed up...thanks!

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  21. Emma, this was a great interview! I really enjoyed reading it. Brian's artwork is beautiful. He has a such a great style.

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  22. Oh! And I signed up for the enewsletter, too.

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  23. Greetings! Thanks for additional insights on you/Brian as the wonderful talented person I have already known for years, before Rowan. Ever since you walked with my wife and I during one of our walkabouts at the Central Florida Zoo, we have celebrated you and your art. We appreciate your Rabbit on our website and have received many comments of agreement in reference to me and the top hat with the rabbit. Our last walk with you and your family was a great joy and experiencing the young energy of Rowan. Thank you for being a part of our life and sharing your divine art. By the way, Hawk represents according to the Medicine Cards, Messenger, which you share and exhibit in your creations.
    Always Be In Joy! John

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  24. Wow, absolutely AMAZING artwork, but even more powerful to know the person behind it. Great interview, I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I'm so in love with that owl print! <3

    Signed up for the newsletter
    magicdandelions@wmconnect.com

    Thanks!!

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  25. I have been and always will be a long time fan and friend of Bri's. I have seen his art style grow and change over the years along with his outlook on life and the universe. He has inspired many with good karma and can be a big influence on those around him.

    Hmmmmm....sounds like a Jedi Knight to me! :)

    Rock on Bri!

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  26. Awesome interview and such talent! I signed up for his newsletter! :)

    My new vintage blog: Circle 7-2099

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  27. It is a great interview, I love his "perfect day."
    I signed up for his newsletter, I love that owl, it looks like Jerry. Congratulations to Mr. Demeter and his wife for having such a cute kid!

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  28. Always enjoy learning more about Brian. Definitely grown quite a bit over the last two decades. :) - Jordan

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