1) So for someone who doesn't know you or your career how would you describe yourself and what do you do on a day to day basis? How do you balance making art to pay the bills and working on the passion projects you love?
I am a freelance illustrator and mainly enjoy concept art. My day job does take up a lot of time unfortunately, so right now I'm really working on balancing paid art and art as a passion in my spare time. I've had some opportunities to get back into the industry recently and am also throwing around ideas for self-publishing, a website, online shop etc.
2) One of the inspirations I see in your work that I really appreciate is your love of film. When I browse through your Instagram I see a lot of fan art work of films from John Carpenter or Guillermo Del Toro or artists like H.R. Giger who also had a huge influence on film. What do you think it is that draws you to the darker themes in art?
My love of horror stems from childhood! The artistry behind horror and science fiction takes its darkest form in film. Monsters, aliens, masks, special effects with hand-drawn designs and concepts interest me and draw me into the darker side. It's more of a fascination with how things are put together. If you figure that out, then you can manipulate it and turn into the form you want. I admire artists who learn anatomy and create some nightmarish thing no-one's ever seen before.
3) I see you have a Bernie Wrightson study on your page, how important do you think it was to your development as an artist to copy the works of other master artists? Who are your favorite old masters? Do you keep a schedule for studying the fundamentals these days or is most of your time devoted to work and personal projects?
Studying the old masters is important in order to understand their mindset. Obviously, if you like their work then it makes you want to know more and more. This can even come down to using the same pens, paper, ink. You might study an artist and discover you have something in common that you both do naturally. The bottom line is, artists who work incredibly hard are worth studying. They've done the hard yard already and thankfully, we can learn from all of this.
Naming my favourite old masters will be difficult but here goes:
...to just name a few!
As I said before, my day job limits my time so you need to make schedules and sometimes sacrifice important dates to improve your craft. I'm also working on some personal projects with a view to getting back into the industry. My schedule all depends on if I have a paid art job at that time. However, when I don't have any commissioned work it's studying and drawing constantly. It's something I need to do all the time and cannot switch off. You've got to be able to make free time and also schedule in challenges for yourself. When you've only got a small amount of spare time you really need to just maximize your time and push forward.
4) Speaking of personal projects what is Gunrando? I see this is a comic you are creating with @ash_benness but I wasn't able to find the actual comic.When can people expect to check out Gunrando and what phase of production are you guys in with the project?
This is our creator-owned comic book series, not a published comic as yet. I guess it's more of a labour of love in its early stages, hence why you haven't seen it (on top of paid work and everything else). We do have over 150 storyboard pages and scripts. It's just finding time for the final polish, then deciding how to distribute it. Ash and I are both very excited for its release - hopefully the wait will be worth it!
5) I also saw you did a fan art piece for Oink, which was really cool to see because I'm a fan of John Mueller as well. I'm curious if the success of Kickstarters like Oink has inspired you to try to bring Gunrando to a funding site or have the two of you not decided yet?
I really can't say enough nice things about John Mueller. Especially when I live in little old isolated Perth, Western Australia. It is truly appreciated for someone of his calibre to endorse your art. John has been a huge supporter of our artwork and Gunrando. He has suggested doing a kickstarter but we haven't decided yet. We still need to work out the format of the book and reward scheme.
6) What medium do you work in? It looks digital to me but sometimes I can't tell and it has a watercolor feel to it that kind of reminds me of Templesmith.
Pencils, inks, markers, paint, acrylics, watercolour, gouache initially. I also sculpt and use digital media; mostly to speed up the creation process. The tools available to us now are very close to natural media. Pretty much always hand drawn first, then scanned into my computer and coloured. I've recently discovered the Pro Create app and found it very useful too.
7) What is art to you and do you think you create it?
Art to me is a something that makes my brain feel good. If my work does that to someone else, then I guess it's art. It's all a matter of opinion. Illustration, painting, music, dance, poetry, writing, acting, creating honestly - that's all art to me. Art is also something I need to do. Constant creation has been a staple in my life since age cherub.
8) Any shout outs you would like to give to any artists? Thanks again for your time!
Hell yes...in no particular order:
William S Burroughs
George A Romero
Karin Dreijer Anderson
Guillermo Del Toro
...and the list goes on
Thank you very much!
You can follow Chris Bolton on Instagram and Facebook.