Our next interviewee is Lyndon White a graduate who studied Illustration at the North Wales School of Art and Design, specialising in Illustration for Graphic Novels.
Who is Lyndon White? Who/what were your first creative influences?
Lyndon White is a recent graduate who studied Illustration at the North Wales School of Art and Design, specialising in Illustration for Graphic Novels. I’ve always been interested in storytelling, at first not anything specific, but anything with a strong narrative. I use to read a lot of comics but it wasn’t until I first saw Dave Mckean’s for the first time, when I really saw what the comics medium could do, which really sparked my interest.
Which designers/artists still inspire your work today?
I’m always looking at new things, despite weather their illustrations, sculptures or even films. There are a number of artists from the group 44 Flood, who include Ben Templesmith and Menton3. My method of inking follows similar traits to theirs, but I’ve developed mine to compliment my sketchy linework. Those two particular artists helped me analyse certain techniques which I’ve then adapted.
You’ve got a new comic ‘Cosmic Fish’ which is coming out soon, what’s that about?
Cosmic Fish is experienced through the eyes of a starry-eyed nine year old girl, as it tells the story of a little fish that grows, and grows, and grows to cosmic, world-shattering proportions. Its been my first time collaborating with a writer, which has been a great experience. We are expecting the comic to be out early 2014, alongside the start of comic con season in the new year.
How was the process in working with Dead Canary Comics?
I frist meet Dead Canary Comics at Comica (a comic convention) early in the year. Since then I’d been keeping in touch and exchanging ideas. As soon as I finished my degree, I had planned to start Cosmic Fish. I completed a few pages and while in London for New Designers, I met up with Dead Canary and they immediately showed their interest. Since then they have been updated as the pages were completed. They were very supportive and helped guide the comic to the finished product.
What was your experience like at New Designers? What lessons did you learn whilst there?
New Designers was a fantastic networking opportunity, both outside and inside the show. I was in London for a week and during that time I setup meetings with different people which made the most of the experience. Our stand was often busy with around 30 different portfolios and banners packed in to one booth. Despite so many of us, the layout was spacious and gave room for people to walk down isles of portfolios, creating a flow of traffic. Learning how to maximise our work space was definatly fundamental to planning future shows.
Studying at North Wales School of Art and Design, Is it is somewhere you would recommend?
My time at university help me develop my own work while not tailoring to a ‘house style’. The tutors encouraged you to look at everything, which made me start looking at French comics. I’d strongly recommend the course the anyone who has an interest in storytelling and visual communication.
What made you pick North Wales School of Art and Design?
At the time it was the only course within the UK that offered students to study Graphic Novels / Comics and teach them. Other universities often shrugged comics as a profession. I was unsure why at the time, but it was probably due to their view of comics being closed off (e.g. superheroes or a certain cat who hates Mondays).
With 2013 soon coming to an end, what have been your highlights of the year so far?
The conventions have all been highlights over the year. Both in terms of selling/promoting my work and meeting people, which includes meeting Dead Canary. Another would be the internship I did at Advocate art, which followed on to some freelance work with them. From what started as working for them for two weeks turned into over a month, its now become an on-ging relationship.
How did you work with Advocate art start? What projects have you worked together on so far?
As an intern, I was expecting to be doing the less exciting jobs, but after 2 hours there I was put on to storyboarding. Then children’s books and generally any briefs that came in. I quickly became another member of the team and got through my entire internship without having to do a ‘tea run’ which tens to be stereotyped as a fundamental part of interning. Once my internship was finished and I went back as an out sourced artist, working on colouring a comic. Then as the deadline game closer, I was put on to doing the line work for the comic, working from another artist’s thumbnails. Most of the work I’ve done with Advocate has not been in my usual ‘style’ but more towards working with the stylisation of a group of illustrators that defines Advocate. Often switching between briefs and working on multiple projects at the same time. Currently I am still an out source artist but working from home.
Who are your favourite people to follow on twitter?
The favourites for twitter must be @AweMeChannel. They have a youtube channel called Man At Arms which showcase a Blacksmith making real weapons based on pop culture weapons from games, films etc.Despite finishing my degree I follow my main tutor @thingsbydan due to the vast amount of useful things he posts, including his podcast that interviews people working in the comics industry. It feels that I am still getting helpful information from him although I am no longer his student.
Away from working how do you find time to relax?
I do a lot of traveling so I find myself reading a lot while on trains, or watching films. At the moment I’m living in a quite remote area. So being able to look out at the countryside point to a random hill in the distance and cycle towards it is pretty fun. Especially when you reach the top and don’t have to put in any effort on the way down.