Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Andrea Pirlo Caricature

I've been trying my best not to pick up a pen/pencil/brush/stylus at all over the festive period. However, this one sneaked out! It's a caricature portrait of Juventus and Italy legend, Andrea Pirlo. I have seen this guy play live a number of times and I swear he never goes above jogging pace, yet always seems to have more space and time than any other player on the pitch.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I look forward to an amazing 2015!!

One of my new year's resolutions is to be more active on social media. So hit me up on one of the places here and let's talk! :)

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Monday, 8 December 2014

Print Giveaway Winner


 PRINT GIVEAWAY WINNER!! Congratulations to Twitter follower @ianleighfield!!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Amazing response! I’ll no doubt do another giveaway soon!!



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Thursday, 4 December 2014

All About History Illustration

I was delighted to be asked by the guys at All About History Magazine to create a character illustration for their "Anatomy of" section. Every month they profile an important character through history and this month was a Zulu warrior. This is how it appeared in the magazine. I really love working with the guys at All About History and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.




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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lionel Messi Caricature

When I find myself with a bit of free time, I find myself drawing something sport (usually football or golf) related. This started off as a quick sketch of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in my sketchbook that I scanned into Photoshop. I continued working on it whenever I had the time. Hope you guys like it. If you do please share, tweet, like etc.

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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Ant and Dec Caricature

It's that time of year again when I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here hits our screens again! And again, I am addicted! Mostly due to the hilarious Jimmy Bullard who must be the favourite to win.

But as we say every year, the best thing about the show is it presenters, Ant and Dec. They have a chemistry that can only come from growing up together and manage to make every link and introduction entertaining.

Anyway, here is my tribute to the best presenters on UK television.





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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Rory McIlroy Caricature

Next to football, golf is another passion of mine. So I had to paint the best golfer in the world today. This would be a dream job for me, so if there is anyone out there looking for a golf related caricature/painting, gimme a shout!

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

David Cameron Caricature

This was a caricature of David Cameron I did for the Scottish referendum. This was kind of a big dear in Scotland around September time and the result determined whether Scotland would separate from the UK and become an independent nation, or remain part of the UK. The result was for Scotland to remain part of the UK, hence the party hat etc.

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Barack Obama detail

Here is a close-up detail shot of my Obama painting...

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Rory McIlroy sketch

Just a quick Roy McIlroy sketch before some client work..




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Friday, 14 November 2014

Barack Obama Caricature

I've been enjoying caricatures more and more recently. Here is my take on Obama..




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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Crop WIP

Cropped detail of something I'm working on....




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Gary Vaynerchuk Caricature

Been enjoying drawing some caricatures recently. I haven't drawn any for years and thought I'd get back into it. This is a quick painting I did of Gary Vaynerchuk. I've been watching a lot of his keynote speeches and his podcast Ask Gary Vee which give great business and advice for social media.

Right, back into my art cave for commission work!






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Monday, 3 November 2014

Diego Maradona Caricature

Waiting for some feedback from a client so painted a quick caricature of Diego Maradona.

 

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Legends of Football - Ronaldo Portrait

Had some time this week to continue with my Legends of Football series. The second portrait in the series is the greatest number 9 I have seen in my lifetime and has to be one of the greatest ever - Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.

Ronaldo made his international debut for Brazil in a friendly against Argentina in 1994. He then went to the World Cup in 1998, largely renowned as the world's greatest player. He played his final game for Brazil in a specially arranged match, having scored 62 international goals in 98 appearances. Despite it being almost unheard of in international football for players to be given a farewell match for their national side, Brazilian Football Confederation officials stated that given the extraordinary career of Ronaldo, it was only fitting that his final game should take place in Brazil while representing his nation.

Ronaldo played for club sides Cruzeiro, PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Corinthians, scoring a total of 352 goals in 518 appearances. 

If you have any ideas for club legends for your team, let me know! I'd like to make this into a bit of a series! :)

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Natalie Imbruglia Portrait

Had a little bit of time this week to finish my Natalie Imbruglia painting. Continuing my experimentation with using more colours.

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Saltire Exhibition - Dundee Comics Day

This past weekend was the Dundee Literary festival and as part of that, Saltire Comics held an exhibition showing all the artwork from their comic. I was honoured to be asked to contribute my painting of Saltire (the main character and superhero in the comic) to the exhibition.


The exhibition will continue through this week, so if you are in the area, pop in! Here is the painting..


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Friday, 24 October 2014

Legends of Football - Thierry Henry Portrait

Besides art, my biggest love is football (or soccer for my friends from across the pond!). I've had an idea for a while to do a series of portraits of legendary football players covered in paint in the colours of their team.

Thierry Henry played for Arsenal from 1999 - 2007 and then again in 2011 scoring 228 goals in the process. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players ever to play in the English Premier League, he is a true Arsenal legend.

If you have any ideas for club legends for your team, let me know! I'd like to make this into a bit of a series! :)

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Why Should I Use Illustration?

Ever since I started taking an interest in art and illustration, I've been hearing, "illustration is dying" or "It is too difficult to make a career by drawing or painting" While I agree that there are easier ways to make a living, I disagree wholeheartedly that illustration is dying.

In fact, i think illustration is in the process of making somewhat of a resurgence! The most common "competition" to illustration is through photography. Why pay for a custom piece of artwork when she can use some stock photo or even a paid photographer?



My feeling is, that as technology improves (as it is doing exponentially at this moment in time) its is becoming easier and easier to produce high quality photographs. Everyone now has an iPhone or a smartphone with multi-megapixel cameras and an endless supply of apps that give you any filter you can imagine. Very soon, high quality, "artsy" images will become something of the norm. And before any photographers feel that I am doing their profession a disservice, "just anyone" can't take a great photo. The experience and training involved in photography gives the professional the "eye" to see things that the average guy on the street wouldn't see., and is ultimately what a photographer is paid for.

But to the untrained eye, a photo is a photo. So if magazines, movie posters, book covers, billboards, marketing companies, ad agencies, etc. are looking to stand out, I feel illustration let's them do just that. To commission a one-off piece of art means that image has never been seen before. And the style that comes with any artist or illustrator, gives the viewer the feeling that thought, effort and skill has gone in to making the image, instead of (naively thinking) someone just pointed a camera and pushed the button.

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Drippy Drips.




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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Seve Ballesteros

I started this painting a couple of weeks ago when the Ryder Cup was on. I always get hit with golf fever when any of the big tournaments are on, but the Ryder Cup is a bit special. On the eve of the tournament, I was listening to a podcast (BBC 5 live I think) and they were listing their top Ryder Cup players.

This got me thinking about mine and for me, there was only one candidate, Seve Ballasteros. Both as a player and a captain, he was inspirational for the European team. And for me, the year he captained the team to victory at Valderrama will always stay in my mind as one of the best sporting moments I can remember.

So I had to include the Valderrama clubhouse in the painting, with Seve wearing his trademark navy blue jumper with white shirt, which he always wore on the final round of a tournament.

Technically, I am starting to find an aesthetic I am becoming more content with. I've had a few comments saying my work looks like oil paint, and I instantly break out in a big cheesy smile, because that's exactly what I am after. I love realism but I am trying to get away from hyper-realistic photo realism. I figured, if people wanted hyper realistic photo realism, they would just use a photo! I want to leave some brush stokes showing in there and throw in some random colours that you wouldn't expect to see. I'm still working on being more loose in this way, but I'm getting there.

On a seperate note, I am only 10 away from 1000 followers on Twitter......wink, wink, nudge, nudge! ;)

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Seve Ballesteros details

DETAILS!! Still a work in progress but this is an extreme close-up showing the loose brush strokes and random colours I like to have in my work.

Trying to update my blog and social media on a more regular basis.

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Creativity Quote....

I'm making a conscious effort to post more regularly. But as things stand I'm finding it difficult to fit in with work and everything else going on. So this is all I have for today....

Hope to have a finished painting ready to show you all soon.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Should I work for free?

One of the most common questions artists and creatives in general have is, "Should I work for free?" Indeed I have been asked this from many new and aspiring artists just starting their career, and my answer is always…….YES!!

This opinion goes against a the opinion of a lot of artists who I really admire who say that working for free cheapens the industry, that lawyers, doctors and dentists wouldn't work for free and that working for free makes it more difficult for artists to make a career for themselves when others are willing to do it for free.

In general, I agree. However, I still feel there is a place to work for free. The difference comes in who you work for. As an artists starting out on your career, the more work you put out online, the more eyes will see your work. It won't be long before you are offered the "opportunity" to do some form of work and you will be paid in one of the following ways; exposure, percentage of sales (if it sells) or "it will be good for you portfolio". Let me make this clear, I am in no way recommending taking on these jobs. For all the reasons above, this not a good way to start on your career. Also, if you are going to spend your time doing free work, why not do personal work, something you feel passionate about, demonstrates what you are about as an artist and tailored exactly what you want in your portfolio?

So when do I think you should work for free?

Particularly when you are in the early stages of your career, you have time where you are not working on paid work i.e. you are not working at full capacity. This is the perfect time to do exactly what you want. In doing so, ask yourself the following questions: What is your dream job? What companies do you want to work for? Who can help you with your next step up the career ladder? Once you figure these out, then you can start on your "free" work.

Let me give you an example. Say you are wedding photographer. Why not go to a local wedding cake designer or wedding dress shop and offer to photograph their shop or merchandise for their website or brochure. Offer to do it for FREE, and all you ask in return is that they recommend you to their customers, or give out your business card with every purchase? It's a win/win for both parties.

Or say you are an aspiring concept artist who wants to get into the video game industry. Why not do some fan art of a particular game for the company who you really admire? The power of social media nowadays means that is is really easy to get your work in front of the people who you want to see it.

So when I say you should work for free, it should be on YOUR terms. How is it good for you? Is it directly leading to something better for your career? As you get more experienced and regular paid work starts to come in (you approach working at capacity), there will be less and less time to adopt this technique. But as an artist in the early stages of your career, working for free, on your terms, is a fantastic way to market yourself.

That's all for now. I hope to continue these posts on a semi regular basis, answering any questions that any of you guys may have. Or just ranting about whatever comes in my mind!

If you have any questions, either "Ask Me" on Tumblr, comment below or drop me an email on info@kevinmcgivern.com

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Portfolio www.kevinmcgivern.com

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Monday, 6 October 2014

Natalie Imbruglia painting update

She's got some colour on her cheeks.

While you are and I have your attention, I have recently been getting more and more into (addicted to) Instagram. I just love how simple it is and how valuable it could be for artists. I am showing the full process for this painting on Instagram so head to http://instagram.com/kevinmcgivernart to follow me and see my process.




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Friday, 3 October 2014

Natalie Imbruglia Sketch WIP 2

Some progress on Natalie Imbruglia painting.....Still a long way to go! :)




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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Natalie Imbruglia Sketch WIP

Sketchy sketch sketch! Very early stages of Natalie Imbruglia painting. I’ll be showing the full process of this one.



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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Seve Ballasteros painting WIP

Just a quick one here to show is crop of a painting I am working on. One of my heroes, Seve Ballasteros...




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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

6 Inspiring Interviews for Artists

I'm always on the lookout for things to watch or listen to while I work. Here is a list of some super inspiring interviews from all kinds of artists. As an illustrator, I always try to take inspiration from other creative fields such as photographers, authors and fine artists. Hours worth of entertainment, education and information in here!

Again, not in any particular order..

1. Humans of New York - Chase Jarvis Live

Really inspiring story of Brandon Stanton, who moved to New York after being fired from his job. He made it his mission to take photos of the people of New York every day. Those photos are now in the form of a New York Times best selling book and the phenomenon that is "Humans of New York"

 

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2. Anthony Jones - Bobby Chiu

Anthony Jones is a concept artist who has worked for companies such as Sony Computer Entertainment and Blizzard specializing in creature design. This interview is from 2011 where Anthony gives us the story of his career and a tutorial showing his work process.












3. SiDEBAR Podcast - Dan Dos Santos Interview

 

 Dan Dos Santos is a multi-award winning and one of my favourite artists. He is one of the biggest names in the illustration industry, specializing in book cover illustration. In this interview, he gives us the low down on his career and his opinions on the illustration industry.





4. The Death Of Freelance Illustration, Passion Projects & Why We Quit Our Dream Jobs

 

This was one of 2 conversations between Chris Oatley and Noah Bradley. Chris was a Visual Development Artist for Disney before quitting to start his own Academy of Concept Art. Noah is a Concept artist & illustrator specializing in environment art. He has also recently started his own online education course called Noah's Art amp. This conversation, along with The Realities of Being a Professional Artist with Chris Oatley and Noah Bradley are both wonderful insights into the minds of 2 highly experienced artists in the creative world. 

 



5. The James Altucher Show - Austin Kleon: How To Be A Creative Genius 

Austin Kleon is an artist and New York Times bestselling author. James and Austin start the show with a discussion on embracing influence, which is the main theme in his book, Steal Like An Artist. This conversation is full of tips and advice that any creative can take into their own field.




6. Drew Struzan - Beyond the Marquee

 

Legendary Movie Poster Artist, Drew Struzan. Need I say more?!






Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope you find these interviews interesting, I certainly did! If you would like to keep up to date with what I post, follow my blog here. Also I am regularly on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.

Bye for now!!



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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Some Works in Progress

5 paintings in various stages of chaos!!




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Friday, 19 September 2014

Most creative use of 3D printing I've seen

3D printing is something I am super excited about. I really feel we are just scratching the surface of what is possible with this technology. Check out this video by Greg Petchovsky!!

video




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Monday, 8 September 2014

Artist Spotlight - Bobby Chiu

I though I'd start a little series here on my blog putting the spotlight on some of my fellow artists. These artists will be people who have inspired me in one way or another either through their art, personality, advice or some other way. They will call from all fields of the art industry whether that be illustration, concept art, animation, photography, authors plus many more.

So, who to choose for my first artist in the spotlight? Well, I felt I had to choose the person who first introduced me to the notion that I could make a career through creating art digitally.....Mr Bobby Chiu. Bobby will be familiar to many of you who are reading this and I am sure he has inspired you in one way or another.

Artist Spotlight - Bobby Chiu - www.imaginismstudios.com


Early Life

Bobby is an independent artist who grew up in Toronto, Canada, and he still lives there today. He spent his childhood constantly drawing and learning as much as he could about art, including painting and Chinese watercolor. He went on to study classical and computer animation at Sheridan College.


Career 

He started his artistic career at 17 years old designing licensed toys for Disney and Warner Bros. and Starwars amongst many other clients. Whist he enjoyed this job and speaks well of the company he worked for at this time, Bobby decided he wanted to take more control of his career and life in general.

Imaginism Studios 

On March 9, 2005, Bobby opened Imaginism Studios with his then girlfriend (now wife) Kei Acedera, who incidentally is another wonderful illustrator and character designer. Based in Toronto, Imaginism specializie in pre-production character and concept design for film, TV, gaming, and publishing. Over the last 9 years they have designed and illustrated for major companies such as Disney, Universal, Sony Pictures Animation, Blizzard Entertainment, Dreamworks.....and the list goes on! Their worst became familia to millions when they did the character designs for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Imaginism Stusios also run a 30-day in-house Workshop giving selected candidates the opportunity to become "personal apprentices" to some of the top talent in the art industry. The theory behind these workshops is simply to "learn by doing".



Over the years Bobby has made it his mission to inspire, educate, and entertain other creative people and encourage people to live a creative life. This is how Bobby came to my attention. He is known for his "Chiustreams" where he paints live online, taking questions and giving advice for anyone who he can help. I can't tell you how many I have tuned into and I always come away from them super inspired!

Schoolism

Just as Bobby was quick to notice in the early days of digital art, that it would be the future, he also realised that learning art online would become more and more popular. He created Schoolism which provides online courses in various forms of art from well-known professionals responsible for your favorite films, TV shows, comics, and paintings, including Stephen Silver, Alex Woo, Louis Gonzales and Sam Nielson.

Over recent years, the team at Schoolism have run Schoolism LIVE. These events are held in Montreal, San Fransisco, London and Berlin and are intended to bring together some of the best talent in the industries of feature animation, gaming, illustration, and design in an intensely focused weekend of workshops.


Niko and the Sword of Light 

Bobby's latest project is Niko and the Sword of Light, a fully animated digital comic. The story follows Niko, a boy who finds himself alone in a savage land with only one relic remaining, the Sword of Light. We follow his story of returning to his land of freedom. Amazon have now picked up the comic and I personally can't wait for it's release.



I'd like to use this blogpost as a chance to say a personal thank you from myself to Bobby for all the work he has done for the community. I am sure these thoughts are echoed my many other people throughout the art community.





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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Saltire Super Hero WIP

A cropped WIP of something I'm working on....




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10 Great Art Documentaries

My blog post last week on My Top 5 Art Podcasts seemed to be quite popular so I thought I'd continue with another post on 10 great documentaries for artists.

If you are anything like me, you love to watch/listen to documentaries while you work. If these documentaries are art-related, all the better.  I have compiled a list here of 10 documentaries that I think all artists would find informative and enjoyable, no matter what medium you work in.

If you have any more to add, please do so in the comments below. I should say, these are only documentaries that are freely available on the internet. There are many more available to purchase. Also, there are some top pieces of 80's intro music in here! So, not in any particular order....

10. What Do Artists Do All Day - Frank Quitely

This BBC series follows a selection of artists through their daily routine. Frank Quitely is a renowned comic book artist know for working on titles such as Superman, ...... This documentary shows his process of creating a comic book cage from start to finish from his studio in Glasgow.



9. The Making of The Last Of Us

This documentary goes behind the scened to learn about te development and unique philosophy at work in the making of the universally acclaimed, smash hit video game, The Last of Us.



8. The Masters of Comic Book Art

A little dated now, but this documentary shows the work, processes and interviews with some of the all-time greats of comic book art including Will Eisener, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Neal Adams, Berni Wrightson, Moebius, Frank Miller, Dave Sim and Art Spiegelman.




7. John Lasseter - A Day in a Life

I have always been a Disney/Pixar nut. This documentary follows the founder of Pixar, John Lasseter through a typical day. Great insight into one of the great minds and great companies in entertainment today.




6.  The Making of Disney's The Lion King

Disney is probably the single biggest reason I am an artist today. A visit to Disneyland in Florida when I was a teenager was the first time I realised that is what I want to do. This documentary shows the full process behind making a classic Disney animation feature.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

5. What Do Artists Do All Day? - Jack Vettriano

The second from this BBC series, this documentary follows Scottish Artist Jack Vettriano through his process of finding a subject to paint, shooting reference photography, and his actual painting process. Vettriano sells more prints in the UK than any other artist.




4. Iain McCaig Lecture - Storytelling

Not so much a documentary but i couldn't leave it out this list. McCaig’s exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him one of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today. He has worked on a series of Hollywood blockbusters, including Star Wars episodes one to three, Steven Spielberg’s Hook and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Here he talks about the art of storytelling.


3. How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way

Somewhere in between a tutorial and a documentary, this series teaches the tools of the comic book drawing trade with hosts Stan "The Man" Lee and John Buscema. 



2. The Forger's Art

Documentary about real life events of 1997 where John Drewe conspired with artist John Myatt to pull off the biggest art fraud in UK history.




1.  The Pixar Story

As the title says, this documentary shows the story of how one of the biggest companies in entertainment was formed and how they create their feature films.

Part 1
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq5vxi_stagehand-tv-the-pixar-story-1_webcam

Part 2
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq63h0_stagehand-tv-the-pixar-story-2_webcam



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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Entry for the Art Order Challenge - Ares and Aphrodite

After living in Greece for 8 years, I have always wanted to paint Greek Mythology inspired art. The contest ran by Jon Schindehette at The Art Order was the perfect opportunity. This painting depicts Greek Gods Ares and Aphrodite and their forbidden love.




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Thursday, 14 August 2014

NEW PAINTING! - Band of Brothers

A painting inspired by Shakespeare's King Henry V

Available as a print here!!




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Monday, 11 August 2014

Top 5 Art Podcasts..

If you are anything like me, you love listening to podcasts while you work. And if they are art-related, even better! Here is a quick rundown of my personal favourites.

5. Make It Then Tell Everybody


Hosted by Dan Berry (http://www.thingsbydan.co.uk/), a comic artist and Illustration, Graphic Novels and Children’s Books at Glyndwr University. He interviews various comic artists and illustrators on a weekly basis, focusing on their journey into the world of art, work process, and the dreaded question for all interviewees, "Where do your ideas come from?" Although focused mainly of comic art, this podcast is still really interesting to hear from creative people and their processes.
http://makeitthentelleverybody.com/

4. Chris Oatley's Artcast


One of the stalwarts from the early days of art podcasting.....and still going strong! Chris Oatley (http://chrisoatley.com/) was a Visual Development Artist at Disney and now runs his own business, the Oatley Academy, teaching students everything he knows about art. Although not as frequent as it once was, this podcast's back catalogue is a great insight into the world of a professional artist. Includes interviews with industry professionals, and a personal insight into Chris's life and career.
http://chrisoatley.com/

3. One Fantastic Week


Although not technically a "podcast", One Fantastic Week is a weekly episode, aired on every Monday Youtube, by professional artists Peter Mohrbacher (http://www.vandalhigh.com/) and Sam Flegal (http://www.samflegal.com/). They each discuss what they've been up to that week alond with a special guest. The calibre of guests on this show really is top notch with some top tier industry professionals. This again is a wonderful insight into what is needed to make it in the art industry along with the rarely spoken about, business side of art.
http://www.onefantasticweek.com/

2. The Collective 


A fantastic interview-based podcast ran by Ash Thorp (http://ashthorp.com/), a graphic designer, illustrator, artist and creative director working mainly in the film industry. An extensive back catalogue of interviews with artists from various industries, The Collective has recently become more film-based. If you like art, film and art in film, this is for you! Can get quite deep sometimes, but I like that!
https://soundcloud.com/the-collective-podcast

1. Your Dreams My Nightmares


YDMN podcast is an interview-based podcast ran by one of my favourite artists, Sam Weber (http://sampaints.com/). A wonderful insight into the world of illustration with a huge range of leading professionals from all over the illustration industry, from Art Directors to Comic Artists to Editorial Illustrators. Sam is a great interviewer, always seeming to ask the questions you are thinking of.
http://yourdreamsmynightmares.com/



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