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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 050718 — Eric Knisley

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In celebration of National Paste-Up Day  — which is today; Happy National Paste-Up Day! — #sparkchamber was drawn to cartoonist Eric Knisley.

In his own words: Born 1961, started drawing shortly thereafter, unable to stop. Discovered comics in mid-1960s, started making comics immediately, unable to stop. Have self-published about twenty books plus innumerable T-shirt designs, record/CD/DVD covers, ad art, illustrations, scientific visualizations, paintings, screen prints, etc., etc.

In parallel: a career in digital art, including 3D animation for medical applications, flight-simulator graphics, planetariums, science centers, museums, classified military applications, movies, games, TV, augmented reality applications, etc. I have worked on projects in about thirty countries outside the US, on five continents. Not bad, I think, for a college drop-out from a tiny town in Appalachia.

Currently deep into an eight-year Exquisite Corpse project [show-and-tell video] working with amazing collaborators to create 11-foot long surreal drawings/objects/books. The current Corpse is “Busytown” and involves six North Carolina art geniuses (and me). [You can buy signed, limited edition prints of two previous Exquisite Corpse projects at Eric’s Etsy shop. DO IT!]

For me, it all comes down to making images. The toolset is mostly secondary, from my perspective; the requirements for a good image are the same whether you use a computer or a pencil. I plan to keep pushing ink and paint around on paper as long as I can. I’m unable to stop.

For more, follow Eric on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

For me, most of my ideas arrive in basic form unbidden. The image I always get is of me walking along a beach somewhere, and something washes up from the depths. And like most artists I’ve met, my brain does not rest, so it’s constantly trying to make sense of the world in some new way. 

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

I get images in my head and I have to get them out. That’s the only way they’ll leave me alone. I also think that art can be a great way to express ideas. And sometimes people will pay money for creative solutions, so that’s good.

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare? 

I try to stick to a regular schedule, working around my day job: usually about 90 minutes in the studio in the morning and another three or so hours at night. I have a stand-alone studio building that I work in. I try hard to stick to a regular “output” schedule — getting things done on time. Clients appreciate that.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

One of two ways: on commercial projects, when the client signs off, then I'm done. On my own work, I can just tell; things “look finished” to me. Or not and I stick them back in the stack to work on later.



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