|Space Ape by Chris Askham|
Chris has produced work for indie titles such as Dogbreath, Zarjaz, FutureQuake, Bulldog Adventure magazine and PJANG, as well as co-creating Doctor Sponge and Sin. He's also a regular contributor to the ongoing web comic, Fractal Friction.
Sci-Fi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art?
Chris Askham: I still do 99 per cent of my drawing in the traditional way, using pencils, dip pens, Indian ink, brushes. But this is then scanned into Photoshop to be cleaned up, tweaked and coloured and generally played about with.
Sci-Fi Art Now: Why?
Chris: I still enjoy the process of drawing with pens and brushes, rather than the Wacom tablet. No doubt if I put enough time into practicing, then I'd grow accustomed to using the graphics tablet, but at the minute I'm far too clumsy with it other than for colouring purposes (and I still struggle even then). Also I don't trust anything I produce on the screen - I need to physically see it on a piece of paper in front of me.
Having said that, Photoshop is a godsend for colouring and tidying up. I've always had trouble working in colour, but in PS it's just so easy to re-do things and change whole colour schemes at the touch of a button. Not that I'm any master of Photoshop. I'm still very much a neanderthal.
|Fractal Friction page |
by Chris Askham
Chris: Like many others I was inspired by British sci-fi anthology 2000AD, which I read from the age of 11 back in about 1984. I am also of that lucky generation to have seen the original Star Wars trilogy in the cinema, which was also a major influence. I was also a big fan of the Fighting Fantasy adventure game books of the 1980's, which were always full of some of the best black and white fantasy illustrations of the time.
Sci-Fi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?
Chris: I don't remember the exact advice, but I do remember sending some samples to the editor of an indie comics publisher (maybe Trident Comics, based in Leicester at the time). It was a rejection letter, but it was about two pages long and it went into great detail about how I could go about improving my work, which was admittedly bad at the time by anyone's standards. But it was good that this editor had gone to the trouble of filling two whole pages. Even though my work was pretty bad, it made me feel that it was worth carrying on.
Sci-Fi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?
|Teenage Zombies |
by Chris Askham
Aubrey Beardsley's penmanship is just mindblowing, the amount of time he must have spent (in not the best of health) knocking out such intricate detail and fantastic depravity. Jason Brooks draws some of the most gorgeous women in fashion illustration - in some alternate universe he's surely putting out some beautiful comics work!
Sci-Fi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?
|Johnny Alpha - one of Chris Askham's |
artworks forthe Carlos Ezquerra
'Get Well Soon' card
Sci-Fi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist?
Chris: Not having enough hours in the day to produce half of what I'd like to. Or maybe just my inability to organise my working hours better.
Sci-Fi Art Now: What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?
Chris: Probably the thought that there's nothing else I can or want to do with my time (other than play computer games...). Also there's a great community of other artists out there, working in similar conditions.
When I get any feedback at all about my work, whether good or bad, it's always nice to know that someone out there is taking the time to look at it and comment on it.
|Rise of the Robots by Chris Askham|
Chris: Draw, draw, draw. Always. From life and from your imagination. And make sure you draw what you want to draw. I've spent, and still do spend, far too much time drawing things that I think people want to see, when I should just be drawing what I want to see. And get your work out there.
• For more of Chris work, check out his blog at http://chris-askham.blogspot.com. To contact Chris, email him at c.askhamATntlworld.com