Andrew Clarkson


Where were you born?
Born and raised mostly in Columbus.

Bachelors of Fine Art with a major in Illustration. CCAD (Columbus College of Art and Design) 1999

Art training?
Illustration, painting and drawing courses during college.

How long have you been working professionally as an Illustrator?
As an illustrator I’ve been working professionally for a variety of markets for 4 years. From magazine and book publishers, to T shirt and gaming companies.

What things-both in art and otherwise-have you worked on, besides comics?
I’ve done murals for restaurants and residential clients. And an ongoing collection of paintings done for promotional and gallery exhibition.

Are comics a full-time gig for you or part-time?
Not comics specifically, but commercial illustration in general is a fulltime thing.

Talk about how you broke into the business-was it easy?
I started getting work very, very slowly by sending out samples of illustrations I did strictly for promotional mailings.

I worked as a fulltime illustrator for a publishing company so getting freelance work slowly didn’t bother me too much, and in fact was better in the beginning because of the fulltime job focus.

It seemed very difficult to get the attention of art directors in the beginning, but once I’d had a few professional jobs under my belt, I began to get a few more responses here and there.

Once I got a call for a cover assignment for a major pc game publisher, and I was stoked because it sounded like a lot of fun to work on, and the pay was “hell-yeah!” But, a few hours after the initial call, they had to cancel and go with someone local because of the time crunch.

I was bummed a little, but that’s the way it goes sometimes I suppose…Maybe they’ll need me again sometime, ya never know.

When you held your first published work in your hands, how did you feel?
I was cheesin’ from ear to ear I have to admit. It was for a magazine on the Space Program, and it felt damn nice to see my first “real” illustration gig being published nationally, and having gotten it from sending the art director some samples.

How did you settle on the style(s) you’re currently using?
Just by doing personal paintings and applying that to illustration promos. I didn’t push too hard to contrive a style because I felt if I stuck with what I was naturally inclined to work towards, I’d enjoy whatever work I would get a lot more so.

Did you work as an assistant to any other artists?
Not unless assisting my son’s early attempts at art count.

If so, they taught me what paint colors didn’t taste all that great.

How did your parents take to the idea of working in comics?
My parents thought it was good to see me work towards my abilities, and goals. They were very supportive, and I appreciate it to no end.

How would you describe your work space?
I have a “home studio” with a kick ass drafting table, and computer “area” that is conveniently located near the “x-box game room!”

What job are you the proudest of?
I think I’m most proud of a job I finished recently for Realms of Fantasy magazine. I was allowed full creative freedom to do an illustration I felt fit the story, with little or no art direction.

I’m real happy with the end result because I thought it worked conceptually, and I finished it ahead of the deadline.

What’s your most embarrassing?
My most embarrassing job was for a nationally published magazine, which I wish now had only been published in my own neighborhood…on only my block, to limit the number of people who might actually see it.

I didn’t have a real grip or understanding of my medium at the time, and tried this gooberish cartoony style that I later saw as absurd, and basically bit off more than I could chew. That was 3 years ago, and I still cringe when I think of it.

What are you currently drawing?
In addition to some ongoing personal paintings, I’m currently working on some illustrations for a health care company, and a variety of murals with my job.

Talk about your family.

I am married (4 +years) with a 10 year old, 3 year old, and 4 month old baby. They’re all boys.

Tyler Brandon and Corey. They make me so Freakin’ happy and keep me constantly alert and on my toes. My wife is undeniably supportive of where I want to take my career, and respects my late night efforts, and my drive to bring in work…She seems to keep me well balanced. By being such a reliable and stable supportive person for our entire family, she’s influenced me to be more level headed about how to approach my work and career in general. And how to maintain the balance of family life, with a funky work schedule.

Do your kids understand your job? Do they read comics?
My older son reads way more than I ever did, which is great. He’s finishing up the last Harry Potter book after having breezed through the first four by the time he was 8. He likes a lot of my work, and has a kid’s fresh eye and honesty to give me surprisingly good observations and suggestions for some of my paintings.

What projects do you hope to work on in the future?
I want to do much more of the same of what I’ve been doing (book covers, magazine covers and interiors) but also do cover/ packaging art for video games, board games, and comic book covers.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still painting murals fulltime and doing any freelance work that I can.

In ten?
Fat, bald, and occasionally smelly.

What is the interest in comics where you live?
My friends and family know that I’m an illustrator and most find it pretty interesting I suppose.

People are always more willing to pose for me for reference than I would expect.

Anyone I ask of friends and family seems very willing and anxious to help… which is pretty cool I think… Friends (and Me) are always happy to see a piece of mine published.

What’s 1 thing you’ll always find in your refrigerator?
Coffee, oddly enough. I was trying to think of what’s always in there, and yes, our Folgers is usually on the top shelf…that seems odd.

What’s your favorite food?
Bologna and cheese I suppose. Sounds lame but I can always eat one or two it seems.

What are your favorite interests-Movies? Music? TV? Any hobbies? Sports?
Love the movies, though I’m much more selective about what I’ll go see than I used to be.

Music, any kind as long as its good and doesn’t get much radio play. TV? Its mostly a bunch of crap anymore isn’t it?

A few things catch my eye here and there…West Wing, Discovery channel shows, the commercials for “Girls gone Wild”…usually those type of programs.

Have you ever thought of writing your own stories?
Yes, very much so. Its something of a long term goal, but I’ll surely be doing it at some point.

What’s an average day in your life like?
Well, my wife leaves for work before anyone else, so me and the guys get ready and head out for school, babysitters, and finally…day job.

After work, Mom gets the guys, comes home, and I arrive about 2 hours later. I think the hours between coming home and everyone going to bed are the best on any given day.

But then must jump into the home studio and burn some more midnight oil.

If you weren’t a comic-book artist today, what would you be?
Brain surgeon / camel hunter.

Illustrator, Mongoose Publishing, Interior illustrations for Cybergear book.
Illustrator, Ad Astra Magazine (published by National Space Society), Mar. 2000, Full page illustration depicting presidential candidates for the 2000 election, and their support of space exploration.
Illustrator, Gooseberry Patch, Sept. 2000- Present, Delaware, OH- Watercolor illustrations for book covers, company catalog, calendar and datebook art, black and white pen and ink interior book illustrations, as well as development of new product lines.
Illustrator, Realms of Fantasy Magazine, August, 2003, 1 ½ page color illustration for story introduction.
Illustrator, Kenzer and Company Games, June, 2003, Cover art for RPG Book.
Illustrator, Hustler Magazine, April, 2003, Full page illustration for article intro page (For Sept. 2003 Issue).
Illustrator, Personal Touch Products, February, May, June, 2003, Various illustrations for print products.
Illustrator, #1 Screen Printing, Aug. 10-Aug. 30 2002, Illustration for WTC/ 9/11 commemoration t-shirts.
Illustrator, Keller Publishing International (e-Business Solutions Magazine) Feb. 2002 issue, Cover art and interior full color illustration
Illustrator, Smart Partner Magazine, Sept. 2000 issue, Double page full color illustration.


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