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Monday, August 18, 2014

Artist Interview: Miguel Alvarez

Today I'm doing something a little different, because this guy is an awesome artist, and I really want to spread the word to anyone reading this. He pumps out these sketches (yes, SKETCHES) of such intricate and detailed stuff, and I've never seen anything like it. A while back, he held a contest on Twitter for one of his drawings, and to win it you had to guess the number that was written on the back. I figured I'd give it a shot and guessed the first number that came to mind, and to my surprise, ended up guessing  right! So he sent the drawing, and I still have it nearby to remind me to always trust my instincts (something I've struggled with many times in the past). So it's pretty important to me, and I'm so grateful to own such a gorgeous piece of art. Here is that drawing:

Anyway, I wanted to let you get to know the artist a bit, through an interview. I've interviewed authors before, but this is my first artist interview, so bear with me. ;) And enjoy!

1. I've always been fascinated with how much detail goes into even your simplest sketches. How DO you do it? And what is your preferred method?

 The simple answer is that’s just the way my brain is wired. Even when I set out with the intention to sketch something simple my mind will just start adding complexity and detail. The creative process for me is different for every drawing. Sometimes the idea/image pops into my mind fully formed and then I just have to draw it out. Other times I just grab a sketchbook & a pen and just let whatever creative idea come out of my stream of consciousness.

2. Who or what are your biggest artistic inspirations? (I'm sensing some Giger influence, but I could be wrong)

 A lot of people assume Giger is one of my influences and looking at his work I can understand why that comparison is made. Although I am flattered by the comparison and think he’s a great artist with a tremendous body of work, he was not one of my influences. The only time I remember seeing Giger’s artwork was in a book once at a Barns & Noble for a few minutes, and seeing the alien designs from the movie. Most of my influences came from comic books. The first comic book book artists that began to captivate me were the guys who broke off of Marvel and start Image Comics. Guys like Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee, Todd Mcfarlane, and Erik Larson. Over the years I’ve come to admire the art of Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Jae Lee, Joe Maduereira, J Scott Campbell, Humberto Ramos, Leinil Yu and so many others. I’ve also been influenced by Salvador Dali and other surrealist artists.

3. Have you had any professional training? Or does it just come naturally?

 I've not had any formal training. I learned a lot of drawing techniques through how to books and magazines. There have also been tons of hours spent every day working on my craft. There’s just no getting around it, if you want to become great at anything you have to believe you can achieve it, and then prove it to the universe by investing the time.

4. Well said! Now I have to ask, Have you ever done commissions? And how would someone commission you to draw something for them? (Totally hypothetical question, I swear) ;)

I have done commissions before and actually made quite a bit of money doing so. I stopped taking commissions because I didn’t enjoy it. I felt that it was killing my creativity. The majority of the time the customer wants you to draw or paint them, their family or some subject matter your not interested in. With commission your usually drawing or painting from a photograph which takes a lot of skill, but allows for little creative expression. Art for me now is about expressing my creativity with freedom to go in any direction the universe takes me. I want to draw worlds and figures from my imagination and not from photographs. I want to sell art on my own terms and not have my creativity stifled because I want to make a quick buck. Let me add that I do think it’s important for new aspiring artists to draw from life and study the things around them to build a base on which to build a creative foundation.

5. Totally agreed! Do what makes you happy, not anyone else! And last but not least, can you tell us more about yourself? Who is the man behind the art?

I’m a man who loves God, loves his family and loves life. I wake up every morning grateful that I get to spend another day in a world filled with creativity and with people who love me. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity and freedom to explore my creative ideas. 

And I'm grateful that there are wonderful artists like Miguel in the world, who's work inspires me every day. You can find Miguel on Twitter, Instagram, and his website. I leave you with a collage I made of some more of his gorgeous art:


Be the lightning, 


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