DeviantArt: Eryk Donovan

Dust by Eryk Donovan

Our newest segment on Checkpoint features the works of talented creators from DeviantArt. Today’s artist is Eryk Donovan, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design.

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What are some works that have inspired you as an artist?    I find inspiration in a lot of places, everything from graphic design to architecture, but comics are my main love. I am really inspired by guys who are carving their own niche in the comics world right now. Ben Templesmith has long been a favorite of mine, as well as Bill Watterson who drew the Calvin and Hobbes strips I grew up with.  In the past few years Sean Murphy, Clemente Sauve, Matteo Scalera, RM Guera, and Paul Pope have been huge inspirations. I also think it’s important to look back at other artists who’ve come before, or look overseas. One of my idols, Sergio Toppi, just recently passed away in August, he was a true master of the art and he’ll really be missed.

What kinds of tools do you use when creating your art?    I use primarily a pencil and a brush to ink. Recently I’ve gotten into the lead holders you can buy at an art supply store, which are sort of a mix between a mechanical pencil and regular pencil. You have to sharpen them a bit but I really like the more gestural lines I get out of them, which gives me a lot of energy for when I ink. I usually ink right over the pencils themselves so I use lighter weight lead like a 2h or HB. For inking I use a #2 Raphael 8408 or Winsor Newton Series 7 most often, but I also use rapidograph drafting pens, micron tech pens, or maru-pen and G-nib dip pens.  It all depends on what I’m drawing and what I want the line to look like. 

Is there any advice that you would give to new artists?
Honestly there is so much I could say so I’ll try to keep it to a few points. 

– Draw from life. Even if you’re doing a cartoony style, or something that doesn’t look real at all, studying real people, environments, or artifacts will only make you a better artist in the long run.

-Work hard and think about your work. Most people don’t just pick up drawing; the people who are really successful have put countless hours into perfecting their work and getting better. Study things you like and try to figure out why you like it and what the artist is doing to make the piece work and have the effect on you it does.

-Don’t give up. Kinda like the last one, when a block hits, you look at your work and hate it, or just can’t think of what to do, keep working anyway. You’ll also need to take a break to keep yourself sane and prevent you from burning out. Sometimes it’s extra sleep, playing a few games, or taking a day off. Whatever it is, use it so that when you come back to the drawing board when you’re done you’re energized and ready to do something awesome!

Are there any projects you are currently working on?    I’m currently still enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design, in the Sequential Arts department. Most of my work right now is related to classwork, however I’ll be done in the early parts of next year.
I am working on a graphic novel called Dust, about an orphaned teenage boy who takes a journey to rescue his kidnapped little brother from the raiders who destroyed his town. I’ve got the first draft of the script completed, and I’ll be doing more writing over the remainder of the year and then starting the pages in January. Hopefully there will be a publisher interested in it, but I’m open to doing a Kickstarter or other sort of distribution for it.
I am also finishing up an indie one-shot comic project called The Madness of Phantom Hitler, which is written by Carlos Florez and Wesley Dodge Smith. We’re hoping to have it finished by the end of the year!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?    Thanks for the interview! In the words of the great Walt Stanchfield “Art is a journey, not a goal.” The artists who make the greatest impact are the ones who are always challenging themselves, searching for something new to say, and always looking for new ways to enhance their craft. If you think about being an artist as a lifelong commitment, a journey, rather than a finite measureable distance, you are sure to be happier with your work and will always be growing and improving!

Top 3 Favorite Deviations –

Dust by Eryk Donovan

Funny you mentioned this one to me, but it’s one of my favorites. I drew it so that I’d have a cool print to sell of some of my work, as well as so I could have a little name stand for Baltimore Comic-Con. I just replaced the Dust title with my name for that one.

Desolation by Eryk Donovan

 This is recent cover I did for my Cover Illustration class at SCAD. The character belongs to my professor. I really enjoy the way I drew it, but I also like the sexy subtext. He’s a handsome playboy, so I thought giving his butt some of the focus was pretty funny.

LineOut B Page 1 by Eryk Donovan

This is one of my most recent comic pages. I just generally like the page flow and layout, and I think it has some pretty cool drawings in there. I may ink this sometime in the near future, so keep your eyes out!

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