Thursday 19 April 2012

Q is for Questions I asked Dylan Teague

Well, how many artists do you know whose name begins with 'Q' (apart from Frank Quitely, of course)?

I have admired Dylan Teague's precise linework and fantastic life-drawing skills ever since I first saw his art gracing the pages of 2000AD. He is one of a long list of artists I would love to work with, so I was thrilled when he agreed to be interviewed for this blog...

1. How did you start out as a professional artist?

When I was about 18 or 19 I started sending off samples and began to get feedback from Steve MacManus [Editor of 2000AD at the time]. It took about two years and in that time I met up with Cardiff-based artists David Roach and Mike Collins.

2. What was it that gave you your big break and led to what you are doing now?

My first professional commission was for Judge Dredd Lawman of the Future. You soon realise that though it's a big jump to get your first paid work it's still an uphill struggle from there. It helps a lot though as other employers take you a lot more seriously from that point. Since then I've done work for DC, Delcourt, Panini and also magazine illustration, storyboard work and concept work for computer games companies.

3. What is your preferred method of working? Which medium suits your style best?

My favourite thing to do still is just to doodle in a sketchbook, but you can't make much money from that. I like to work in a comic book style, pencils and inks and then colour on Photoshop. More recently I've been inking in Manga Studio too.

4. You have created all manner of famous (and infamous) comic book characters. Which are your favourites?

I've only really created one and she didn't last too long :( That was Rose O'Rion for 2000AD. The stuff I do for the French market is creator-owned so that’s cool too. My favourite thing to draw is science fiction. I don't like to get too bogged down with reference and sci-fi really lets you use your imagination. Judge Dredd is always fun to work on.

5. How much fun is it drawing Cas Anderson and Judge Dredd?

Loads! It's Sci-Fi and you get to draw loads of cool stuff. They're also easy on continuity at 2000AD so you get to put your own stamp on things.

6. What’s it like working with the likes of Alan Grant and John Wagner?

I've only really worked directly with Alan Grant and his stuff is great. His scripts are really brief and to the point and he has a real knack for knowing how to balance a page.

7. Of which piece of work are you most proud?

I suppose my sketchbook doodling stuff is where I'm happiest with how my drawings come out. I'm also proud of the book I did for Delcourt; it was always a big ambition of mine to do work for the French market. They publish stuff in the best format with the highest production values; I wish all comics could be like that.

8. Is there anything you’ve worked on in the past that you’d rather forget? ;-)

Yeah, a few of the covers I've done for 2000AD have been pretty awful. Sometimes you just struggle right the way through with something and it really shows in the final piece. You can get away with it a bit more on interior pages as it may not be so noticeable. With covers there's nowhere to hide though.

9. Is there any character you haven’t drawn yet that you would still like to?

Batman or Daredevil would be quite good.

10. What are you working on at the moment?

I'm doing another book for Delcourt. It's due out next year.

11. What advice would you give to any aspiring artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Be faster than me! The most important thing to do is just draw as much as you can, keep a sketchbook and go life drawing!

Thanks again to Dylan for taking the time to answer my questions. You can see more of his work here, at Dylan Teague's Drawing Board.

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