Today, im here with a special interview with an incredible artist, Samuel Araya.
To see his artwork visit: Paintagram.
For prints: Inprint.
Now the question on my lips & everyone else’s is just how did you manage to get to where you are today?
Actually, I have no idea. I guess I’m too stubborn? I always wanted to do art for a living, I just refused to give in and compromise by doing anything else, you know, like having a day job or whatever.
Helps a lot also to have a good idea of how the business is run, and what kind of clients/people are interested in my/your work.
Would you say that Japanese culture (like anime & manga) has inspired you on many of your pieces? If so why & how?
Yeah, I think so, back in the day I practice drawing the covers of my favorite Sega Genesis/ NES video games. Most of the stuff I got was imported, so I got the original cover art…Grew up trying to figure how to draw Strider and Ninja Gaiden.
Later on I got into manga/Anime. I hate to say, but I don’t really keep up with Anime that much, after a while most series start to look generic and formulaic; not to mention the drawing its never that Interesting, as their Manga counterpart.
I still love Manga though. I can find some really twisted, groundbreaking stuff there, like Junji Ito (Uzumaki, Voices from the dark side.) Suehiro Maruo (the smile of the vampire) and Tsutomo Nihei (Blame!) just to name a few, lately I’ve been, into GANTZ, which has quite a few interesting choices in terms of style… Not to mention I the story really keeps me going!
Films like Ringu, Ju-on, Ichi the killer and Godzilla also had a very strong influence in my work.
I like how the Japanese approached horror& violence. It was refreshing and forced me to evaluate my concepts regarding the genre.
I also love the work by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, his film “Pulse/Kairo” really changed the way I look at cinema and how I compose my pictures. Avoid the American remake at all costs, though I confess I loved the American version of “Ringu”.
The Godzilla/Kaiju stuff… Well, I like monsters, I keep an eye out for Ultraman and Kamen Rider stuff, they got some interesting stuff going on there, visually speaking.
They also do some toys who are redesigns of the Kamen rider characters, the “S.I.C.” line, by Bandai and that stuff it’s just TOP NOTCH!
Lets see, what else? I love Mecha, I love stuff like Five Star Stories, Maschinen Krieger, Vottoms, and anything done by Makoto Kobayashi. I never find time to draw Mecha, though every time I start with an Mecha related project, I end up doing something else…
Along Mecha goes the stuff that Yoji Shinkawa did for Metal Gear… Also Masamune Shirow. Also I like Ukioe and ancient oriental sculpture and aaaaaaaaaaah! The list goes on and on.
How do you go about yourself on a typical work day, what would you describe the “norm” to be?
I usually wake up at 3 in the morning, cursing my internal clock. I go back to sleep and get up around 9 am. I start by reading anything.
Mostly stuff that’s art related, after that start painting in the computer. After that I usually go out to take some photographs for my work. If that ends up earlier I keep painting until 7-9 pm.
After that I either collapse or run to the hills, away from that computer until 12 pm. At that time I usually lose consciousness. Rinse and Repeat…
How do you find your inspiration before you start working on a new piece?
Reading, I usually read a lot of art-related stuff and I buy art books every time I can. No other thing fills my head with ideas then looking at other people’s art and reading lots of horror…Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, Clive Barker…Ect!
(Personal work: Locusta. Cassiopeia” Cover Artwork for Elvenking’s “Red Silent Tides” Album.” Shroud of red “Eden Studios.)
Has any of your work been more of a battle then a pleasure?
I say it’s both of them. There are days when I just want to break my monitor, and set fire to all these cold press watercolour paper sheets I kept around. But at the end, the final result, and the MONETARY PAYMENT! Makes it all worthwhile.
Do you have any advice for anyone trying to get into your industry?
The world doesn’t need another half-assed effort. Do it or die, don’t get caught on the “what if?” or “it would be awesome if this publisher would fall down from publishing heaven and offered me a job to illustrate this.” Get out there and find your clients!
Thanks so much for enlightening my readers & me. Do you currently have any work in the pipelines that we can look forward to seeing?
I’m working on some stuff for the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire:
The Masquerade by White Wolf. I also did work for a video game , but I can’t really go into details until is released.
Finally, I’m collaborating with Dani Filth, putting a book with his poetry along side my art, that should be good, when its finished…
Thanks so much for your time Samuel Araya & for giving us a clearer insight to “what it takes to be a successful illustrator!”
To find tons of Samuel Araya’s personal work, visit his Facebook page here.
Also be sure to check out my interview over at Oh My Deer today!
Plus later on this week, I shall be hosting a giveaway over at Oh My Deer to so keep stopping by!
Have a great day!