Daniel Swartz

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted? (Email, Webpage)

What type of tools or media do you use?

All of my pieces start out as natural media drawings.  Depending on the project I use varying degrees of either Prisma-color markers or just good old #2 pencils.  I find it best to really hash out my designs by hand where I can really work back and forth (addition & subtraction) and have a kinetic connection with the work.  I can get a better flow and rhythm to my characters and spaces when I sketch it out first.

After I get my finished underdrawing to a point where the design is complete I scan or digitally photograph the drawing and drop it into Adobe Illustrator as a top layer on Multiply.  From there I work to follow the initial feel of the sketchs as I build up layers of flat color, gradient and texture.
I also create my own textures either through combinations of filters, collected reference that I modify or my favorite: getting dirty with paint and finding new tools to apply it with and creating textures that I love and give a more 'hand crafted' look to my spaces.

Where is the place you would like to work or be an Intern if you had a choice?

Well Pixar is always at the top of everyone's list.  Just for the incredible team they have assembled of artists and would be invaluable to rub shoulders with and learn from their experience.  Other than that, there is a design studio called  Invisible Creature.  Their work is beautiful and they do a lot of work where stuff is brought into digital, then printed and they work on top of that and back and forth.  Great stuff.

Who do you think are the top character designers out there?

I would have a really hard time narrowing it down.  I love the work of several animation and advertising studios from the 50s.  A couple more contemporary artists I enjoy would be: Alberto Cerriteno, Bob Logan, Mike Casal and Robin Rosenthal.

What are some of your favorite character designs which you have seen?

Although they are a totally unrelated style to mine, I really enjoy the designs from the Final Fantasy video games.  Dennis Jones does great work that is very energetic.  Mary Blair's concept work for Disney is beautiful.  

What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

I think above all I enjoy drawing the human figure more than any other subject.  There is a beauty and a rhythm and flow that is both challenging and enlightening.  As I continue to improve my life-drawing skills I watch my illustrations and character designs become more complex and unified.  I really feel that they both build upon each other to such a great degree.  

What inspired you to become an Artist?

It started off with the fact that I could draw just slightly better than the other kids in 1st grade.  Since then my inspiration and reasons have changed a lot.  I used to be very inspired by 'beating' everyone else at drawing and art.  However that has changed dramatically.  I work very hard not to pit myself against other artists now unless it's to learn from them and find weaknesses in my own work.  Now I try to create great work because I believe it's the fulfillment of who I am.  I believe we were all created to do something great with our lives and to better the world around us.  So now my inspiration is to utilize my God-given talents to their fullest...anything else would be a waste. 

What are some of your favorite website links that would be relevant to this Blog?

I visit religiously.  You should too. :)



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