Thursday, November 10, 2005
Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? Where did you go to school, and what classes did you study? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?
Hello my name is Eren Blanquet and I’m an illustrator from Southern California. I studied animation at California State University Fullerton. I started at Fullerton with Criminal Justice as my major but took one Introduction to Art class and I realized I had to study what I was most passionate about.
So I changed my major and took classes such as life drawing, traditional animation, 3D animation, illustration, character design, and perspective drawing. These classes gave me a great foundation of principles I use in my illustrations. In addition to that there are many artists I study from. All of this and a love for drawing and painting have made me the artist I am today, but honestly I feel I will never stop growing as an artist.
How do you go about designing a character, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?
I start off by thinking about what kind of personality the character has and their role in the story. I think about what I’m trying to communicate through the illustration. This helps me to figure out poses and expressions. As I’m drawing I’m thinking about shapes, proportions and appeal. I also think about composition. I scan in my drawings and import them into Painter. As I’m painting I often still have to re-work things to make sure the appeal is there and the color choices are right for the piece.
What do you think really helps you out in designing a character?
Observing people, personalities and drawing from life, knowing the character inside and out, and research also helps out.
Is there a character design you have done that you are most proud of?
I don’t really have a character design I’m proud of. I suppose it’s easier for me to say the character design I’ve most enjoyed is the main character of the children’s book I’m working on.
What are you working on now? (If you can tell us)
Right now I’m writing and illustrating a children’s picture book and I’m also working on several personal illustration projects.
Where is the place you would like to work if you had a choice?
There is really no particular place, just as long as I can do what I love and produce quality work alongside other great artists.
Who do you think are the top character designers out there?
In animation: Stephen Silver, Ben Balistreri, Chen Yi Chang, Joe Moshier, Tony Fucile, Shane Glines and those are just off the top of my head. I also have to mention artists of the past such as Mary Blair, Marc Davis, Tom Oreb and Bill Peet.
In illustration: Aurelius Battaglia, Elizabeth Brozowska, Miroslav Sasek, J.P. Miller, Fiep Westendorp, Bernice Myers, and Charles Dana Gibson to name a few.
How do you go about coloring the character, what type of tools or media do you use?
Sometimes I’ll do quick color keys. The colors are based on the emotion to be conveyed or the personality of the character. I scan in my drawings and import them into Painter. I also use a Wacom tablet. I basically use the dry brush, sponge and calligraphy pen tool for most of my illustrations. Sometimes I’ll paint traditionally in gouache.
What type of things do you love to draw, and why?
I like drawing people in general though most of my illustrations are of women, children and small animals. I enjoy drawing these subjects because they are warm and familiar. My childhood memories are often the inspiration for my illustrations. I like creating work that is warm, simple and fun.
What part of designing a character is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?
The fun part of designing a character is the drawing, exploration of the character and the painting. The hard part for me is when the drawing, exploration and painting are not working well to communicate a particular emotion or idea. That’s when I have to keep pushing through and keep drawing. Sometimes I'll change the composition, change the colors or even the background. It’s all done to serve the story.
What are some of your favorite character designs and least favorite, which you have seen?
I have way too many favorites and I really don’t want to offend anyone by listing my not so favorites. But for a good idea of my favorites just check out the work of the artists I mentioned earlier.
What is your most favorite subject to draw?
People are my favorite subject because they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, etc.
What inspired you to become an Illustrator?
It’s amazing how you can look at a drawing, painting or photograph and be totally moved by a still image. Sequentially structured artworks, found in books and film, are powerful too. But, I love how in an illustration, a single image can tell a whole story. Being able to capture an emotion and convey a feeling in a drawing or painting is what inspired me to become an illustrator.
If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?
I love hearing from people! Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.
Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbook, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?
Nothing for sale right now but I will announce through my blog when my children’s book will be available.
In closing I just wanted to say thanks so much to Randall for this interview and for creating such an awesome character design blog! I’m looking forward to seeing more great artists and interviews.
Thank you Eren, It is wonderful to have you on here.
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