Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spotlight: Pat Bollin

The choices for the student spotlight are getting tougher and tougher to make! But Pat Bollin is one of our strongest artists, designers, communicators, and a bottomless pit of yearning for more knowledge, techniques, work flows, tips, tricks, etc. As a graduate, he's grown to one of our most trusted and able students we've had, past and present. We happily and wholeheartedly enjoy Pat in courses and his involvement in the department has not only made himself stronger but everyone else too. Be sure to check out his blog and website at Bollin's Alley and his wide variety of work, always strong, from concept art, sequential pages, caricature, and more!

Q. Where are you from and what originally got you interested in sequential art?

A. I'm from Ozark, AL. I started making my own comics as early as age 5 or 6. Originally, I think I was just trying to emulate my older brother who was pretty talented himself, but I kept going well after he gave it up. Back then I read whatever I could find locally: Classic Spider-Man, Hulk, Batman, Superman, Ghost Rider, Mad Magazine and the Sunday funnies. My habit was encouraged by my folks. Anything that kept me occupied and willing to read was probably a good thing to them.

Q. What books (comic or otherwise) do you regularly read and why?

A. Lately, I've been reading Hellboy and BPRD, Scott Pilgrim, The Umbrella Academy, The Walking Dead, Y the Last Man, and a few others. I don't pick up much from Marvel or DC anymore, but I was really digging the Punisher for a while and Next Wave rocked my socks off. Outside of comics I do a lot of research and reading on the web, I read how-to books on anything from software to script writing, and sometimes I pick up ImagineFX magazine or something similar.

Q. Who are your major influences?

A. There are too many artists to name them all, but here's a few right off the top of my head: Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Tom Richmond, Sebastian Kruger, Jeff Smith, Allan Davis, Mark Farmer, John Byrne, Stewart Immonen, Mike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo, Bruce Timm, Mike Wieringo, Dave Stewart, Paul Mounts, Goran Parlov, Ben Caldwell, Frank Cho, Bill Watterson, James Jean, Joe Bluhm, and Art Adams.

I'm also influenced by Disney's classic animated films and lots of the work coming out of Pixar and Dreamworks lately. This probably should have been in the previous answer, but I've recently collected and read around 20 "Art of" books from these companies. Learning the production process has really been eye opening.

Click here to expand/collapse the rest of Pat Bollin's Q&A.

Q. Do you have a specific process in your work and, if so, what is it?

A. My processes are in constant development.

For comic pages I use Manga Studio EX to layout my panels. I print that out very small to draw my thumbnails in pencil, blow it up in Photoshop, pencil it on a lightbox in blue line pencil, ink it with brushes or markers, and then scan it back into photoshop for color. I would ink in Manga Studio EX, but I fear that I'll never touch a traditional inking tool again if I try it. However, that program is great for tones and certain speed line effects.

For digital painting I use Photoshop. I tried Corel Painter, but it was just too unstable and hard for me to get used to.

I don't do much traditional painting, but when I do its often with airbrush and acrylic paints.

Q. What tools do you prefer to use in your work and why?

A. Clutch pencils with various graphite and/or non-photo blue leads, Microns, Pitt Pens, Escoda brushes, Holbein inks, Wacom Cintiq, Iwata Airbrushes with Golden paints. I use everything really. Whatever gets the job done.

Q. Do you have any professional work that has been published? And are you working on anything currently?

A. I'm working on an Action/SciFi graphic novel that I'm planning to pitch to a few comic companies later this quarter. I'm also doing some design work for a sports promo company.

Q. How do you juggle your work load between college and your freelance life?

A. Time management is a skill I'm still trying to acquire. I often find myself doing all-nighters to keep up with deadlines. But I think I'm finally finding a balance between quality and speed that will hopefully satisfy both my desire to do my best work and the need to get stuff done in a timely manner.

Q. Who would you love to work with one day and why?

A. Brad Bird, maybe. After reading all the Pixar "Art-of" books, he just seems like someone who really understands storytelling and working with creatives.

Q. Where do you hope to see yourself professionally in five to ten years?

A. My goals are to teach art on the college level while producing my own comics/graphic novels. That said, I'm keeping my options open. I've fallen in love with doing concept art and sculpting too, so I'll probably go where opportunity takes me.

Now take some time to check out some of Pat's personal and course work!


Chris Schweizer said...

That's great stuff, Pat - I hadn't seen the spider-story before.

You've sold me on Manga studio, so if I can get you to show me how to throw down a perspective grid then I'll be a grateful camper.

Allen Spetnagel said...

Exceptional work, Pat! It really hits you when you can view it all together in thumbnail format! "Eight Legged Fury" looks fantastic. I also like the direction you're taking the old man with the cane (bottom right). Keep it up and congratulations!

patbollin said...

Thanks guys. I'm really honored.