Interview with *SilentReaper
<thefluffyshrimp> Welcome to ASKtheARTIST. My name is *thefluffyshrimp and today I have the great privilege to interview *SilentReaper, artist behind the ever popular StupidFox and other great comic series. <thefluffyshrimp> Thank you for presenting us with this opportunity to interview you, SilentReaper.
<thefluffyshrimp> Hey all you folks there in AtAChat! Go ahead and start posting questions now.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~random-artist101 asks, "What brought you to deviantART?"
<SilentReaper> Awesome for a first question, I was brought to deviantART by a group of artists that I knew in an Oekaki/PaintChat site called "BakaNeko." I used to draw a bunch of landscapes there and everyone on that site was so nice and helpful. So one day they just told me about deviantART and how I should post some of my stuff there. I think I still have one painting from BakaNeko up in my deviantART gallery.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~EveryoneDeservesLove asks, "How long have you been drawing?"
<SilentReaper> I've been drawing ever since I could pick up a pencil. My parents also discovered that giving me a pencil and a piece of paper was a good way of keeping me quiet for several hours, so they always kept me occupied with drawing.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Donutboy345 asks, "Where'd the idea of StupidFox first come from?"
<SilentReaper> StupidFox started in High School, around 2005 actually. I drew a little Fox character in a sketchbook one day and showed it to my friend, Kelly. Her first response was, "that fox looks retarded" and I said, "that just sounds mean... I'll call him StupidFox!"... It wasn't until 2008 when I actually started putting together the character and story.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Clashe asks, "Do you have any advice on how to support yourself while still being active in the art community?"
<SilentReaper> Could you clarify on what you mean?
<thefluffyshrimp> I think she means financially.
<SilentReaper> Financially, you just do what you have to do. Just keep work with work and then keep social during your free time. You learn to balance out your own schedule.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Sakuramiko asks, "What is it like working with the other artists in FreshEpics?"
<SilentReaper> Working with FreshEpics was very intimidating at first, ha ha... Actually, I didn't even know I was part of their group until I realized one day that all our sites were created/maintained by the same person. It's still a little intimidating but it is definitely an awesome experience working with them and sharing ideas. All of them are also extremely nice and supportive. The first time we met in person, it felt like we've already known each other for a long time!
<thefluffyshrimp> ~rfwu asks, "Do you have any advice for someone who hasn't been drawing for long?"
<SilentReaper> Practice. Lots and lots of practice. Study other people's styles and techniques, even with the styles that you don't like. People have different ways of studying artwork and you just need to find a technique to help yourself build your skill (or attend a class). Whether it's drawing fan art or abstract painting, just get out there and draw!
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Kowgan asks, "Do you have any other artistic hobbies beyond painting?"
<SilentReaper> I do graphic design on the side, doing packaging design and commercial design. Unlike painting, it's a lot more like working on a puzzle of shapes and colors.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~WolfOfSilverShadows asks, "Do you prefer to do art traditionally, digitally, or a mix of the two?"
<SilentReaper> That... is a tough question, ha ha... Hmm... I like working digitally because it is so much more convenient and does not require having stacks of paper everywhere. At the same time, I like traditional art because it is more physical and I have a hard record of it. (I suppose it is like asking if one prefers Books or a Kindle.) So I think I like both equally!
<thefluffyshrimp> ~maxy1223 asks, "What comics do you enjoy reading/admire?"
<SilentReaper> I've recently been addicted to "Little League" by *yalews, but the ones I love the most (off the top of my head) are Perry Bible Fellowship, xkcd, Nedroid, kris-wilson ... So, so many more that I have bookmarked, haha.You guys should definitely check out their stuff, too!
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Baars asks, "Do you plan to end StupidFox someday?"
<SilentReaper> Just like any other series, one day it will happen. I do not actually "plan" on ending it, but someday it will come to an end. Even if it does though, I hope that everyone that followed it has enjoyed the series.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~WonderlandTea asks, "Do you listen to music to get yourself into a creative mood? If so, what genre/bands do you prefer?"
<SilentReaper> Oh man, I can NOT work without music! It is the only way to get me to draw (and sometimes I forget to turn music on and I end up sitting here staring off blankly until I do.) I have a lot of genres that I go through... from Classical music to Indie to Trance.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Twilight-Zero asks, "From concept to finish, how long does it take you on average to create a single strip for the StupidFox comics?"
<SilentReaper> It depends on the amount of detail. But approximately, it takes around 30 minutes to draft out the comic, 2-3 hours to do the line-work, and another 2 hours to color and add finishing touches. Everything is done in Photoshop.
<SilentReaper> The hardest part though, is coming up with the idea.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~random-artist101 asks, "Who is your favorite character to draw?"
<SilentReaper> I'm stuck between "Bunny" and "StupidFox." Bunny's ears are fun to draw, but StupidFox's pudgy body and silly expressions are fun to draw too. Actually, Bird is also fun to draw because Bird is just... there. I think, overall, I still look forward to drawing StupidFox more, since he's so dynamic.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Keeper-of-Souls asks, "When you get art block, what are some ways you use to overcome it?"
<SilentReaper> I've learned that the best way to get rid of art block (personally, anyway) is to not force yourself to draw something; especially something that you're trying to draw. All that does is cause frustration and the work comes out looking really forced. So I just get up from the computer and take a walk outside, play a videogame, or watch TV. Then I go back to it later when my head has cleared and try again.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Melancholy-Minds asks, "Though you describe yourself as an art hobbyist, have you ever considered making art as a full-time career? If so, did you share this idea with friends and family and how did they respond?"
<SilentReaper>I have considered it before and my friends and family are the sort of "do what you want and we'll support it" kind of people, ha ha. But I've decided not to do it as a full-time career because I think that if I had to do drawing as a job, it would not be fun anymore; it would become a job. I have friends who do animation and concept art as their full-time job and that is awesome, but I don't think that is the path for me.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~EveryoneDeservesLove asks, "Do you use a tablet? If so, what kind?"
<SilentReaper> I started off with this brick of a grey tablet (which is broken now), and just a year ago I got this sexy, black Wacom tablet.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~maxy1223 asks, "How do you come up with new characters?"
<SilentReaper> My friends actually inspire new characters. For example, the Bunny is based off of my roommate who always draws bunnies and is obsessed with bunnies. The Bird is based off of another friend who is always there, like a spectator, but always supporting us.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Sakuramiko asks, "What sort of things do you enjoy doing in your free time?"
<SilentReaper> When I'm not actually drawing during my free time? Videogames. So many videogames. I love RPGs and First Person Shooters the most. As for sports, I do archery and have been shooting since 2001.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~daisyflower8 asks, "Why do you draw? What do you draw for?"
<SilentReaper> I draw for fun! I love entertaining people through art, which is why I do comics. I was never good at telling stories verbally, so I always tell them visually. Not just for a public audience but to my personal friends as well!
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Kowgan asks, "How was your progress since carrying your first pencil to nowadays' works? Did you study in an art school, or by yourself?"
<SilentReaper> I think my progress has been pretty smooth? I won't really see myself improving if I do not study anything for a while, but if I actually sit down and study how to draw something, I can see myself slowly improving (though I'm not the fastest learner either, ha ha.) I do a lot of studying by myself, but I have also learned a lot in school -- mainly from life drawing classes.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~WolfOfSilverShadows asks, "Do you find yourself drawing daily? Even if it's only doodling?"
<SilentReaper> All the time! Even if I'm on the phone, there is always a blank sheet of paper on my desk for sketching while I'm talking.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~random-artist101 asks, "How did you first get with FreshEpics? What was your first impression of them?"
<SilentReaper> I first got with FreshEpics when I realized `alexiuss's website was created and moderated by the same person who did the StupidFox.net website. I started talking to him about it and that was also when we did the comic collaboration. Then he started actually talking about FreshEpics and that was when I actually realized we were a group. It took a while to understand that we were all going to be working together on projects though, and the idea of working with so many of these other awesome artists was a little overwhelming! When I actually met them in person though, they were all very down-to-earth, friendly artists.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Keeper-of-Souls asks, "Do you have any upcoming projects for the future?"
<SilentReaper> Hmmm... None that I can think of, but I hope to work on more "@ the Moment" in the future!
<thefluffyshrimp> ~nerer asks, "How much time did you practice every day to actually improve?"
<SilentReaper> To actually improve? I would say about 2 to 3 hours of sitting myself down and studying something until I learn something new.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Clashe and ~WolfOfSilverShadows ask, "What other kind of work do you do besides comics and graphic design?"
<SilentReaper> I sit in an office and play secretary for 8 hours every weekday. Very cliché, I know.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~EveryoneDeservesLove asks, "What are your thoughts on manga?"
<SilentReaper> I don't read manga as much as I used to, mostly because of time constraints. It's a very interesting genre (that I have not really been catching up on) and it is one of the most wonderful forms of storytelling.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~Kowgan asks, "Have you ever tried mobile painting? If so, what are your biggest impressions over it?"
<SilentReaper> If you mean painting on the phone or mobile device, I've tried it a few times. I really like "Layers" which I have on my iPod Touch, but it's difficult to actually paint anything since that screen is so small, ha ha. I've never actually tried painting on anything larger though like a tablet.
<thefluffyshrimp> ~LoudReaper asks, "What do you find that inspires you to start working on a piece? Be it original or a comic strip."
<SilentReaper> I would have to say that music is the biggest inspiration trigger for most of my works. For comics though, the inspiration is usually drawn from things that I see around me or from events.
<thefluffyshrimp> Alright everyone! The official interview has now ended. SilentReaper will be making some closing words, and then will be joining you all in AtAChat for some free chatting for a little while. <thefluffyshrimp> I want to thank everyone who joined us here for the first #ASKtheARTIST interview. On a side note: We will be hosting the next interview with *Apofiss next Friday, August 3rd @ 12pm (PST / Los Angeles Time). I hope you will join us again at that time.
<thefluffyshrimp> On that note, DO NOT FORGET TO WATCH #ASKtheARTIST TO BE NOTIFIED OF MORE INTERVIEWS! If you do not login to deviantART often, you can also watch us on Tumblr or Twitter: Username "AskArtists" or on Facebook --> [link] We shall also be hosting upcoming interviews with *Slinkers, `Cataclysm-X, and `alexiuss!
<thefluffyshrimp> Lastly, I want to personally thank you again, *SilentReaper, for gracing us with your presence tonight and for allowing us this opportunity to interview you.
<thefluffyshrimp> Thank you all again. See you next time!
<SilentReaper> Thank you everyone for coming to the interview! And thank you very much to thefluffyshrimp for hosting the interview and all future interviews! Also, be sure to check out the FreshEpics podcast at http://freshepics.com/podcast!