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Featured Artist - Angelo Vilar

Angelo was one of the first in the world to get a Sketch Wallet and he has used it like crazy. Angelo even made his own SW promo video! He is a talented artist working for 6 Point Harness animation studio which does all sorts of stuff for film and games. My favorite thing they've done is the Space Dolphin rap battle scene in the recent Sponge Bob movie. Take a look at his work and you'll know why we chose him to be our featured artist. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom to see more of his work and consider buying his "look book" (Only $4!)

How did you get into art? How old were you when you started to take drawing seriously? Did your parents encourage you to pursue art or did they want you to pick a different path? What do they think now?

I drew a lot when I was a kid.  I mostly traced and copied my favorite cartoon, comics and video game characters.  Sometimes when I did not get the toys I wanted, I would draw characters and cut them out to play with them.  My parents were always very supportive of my art.  They gave me full freedom to do whatever I wanted.  This included doing graffiti, paying for my art supplies, and driving me to my life drawing classes.  I appreciated that they went out of their way to help me.  I really hope they are proud of what I've done and still continue to do and that all those hardships and time invested on me was never in vain.

Did you go to art school or did you learn on your own?

For the most part, I cobbled together my art education.  I was fortunate enough to get rewarded a few scholarships to attend Art Center in Pasadena.  Early on, I attended their Saturday High Program which allowed high school kids to take art classes and prep portfolios to get in their college day program.  I later took a few night classes at Art Center while going to Glendale Community College during the day.  I took nothing but art classes and got really cool with most of my instructors which lead me to be able to sit in their other classes and also attend life drawing workshops.  Meeting people in these classes were invaluable which lead me to most of my future opportunities :)

How did you get your first art job?

My good friend from high school got me into doing caricatures at the LA Zoo.  Not only did you have to be a good artist and hit likenesses, line weights, and direct sketching with a marker, you also had to be a salesman to lure people in. It was very difficult and a fun gig that I learned a lot from.

Tell us about what you do at 6 Point Harness, what is a typical day like?

I mainly do pre-production animation design work at 6 Point Harness Studios.  Each day could be different depending on the projects which ranges from art direction, color scripting, background/layout design, character designs and storyboards.  I only rarely get to animate when there's a pinch in the pipeline.

What tools or software do you use?

Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Toon Boom Harmony, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

What have you worked on there that you are particularly proud of?

Just recently wrapped an animated short for Dark Souls 3.  A video game published by Namco Bandai and has a huge fan base.  It was written and directed by Eli Roth.  I got the privilege to do the art direction and background layout for the piece.
Even though you may enjoy working at your day job, most artists have to create stuff in their off hours to stay sane, what do you create on your own time?
I really try to make life drawing as much of a priority as I can.  That includes classes and cafe sketches.  It really helps push my observational and design skills to this day.  I also try to do a quick doodle every morning to warm up, which could be anything and that helps to get my brain going.  I put out LOOK BOOK Vol. 1 late last year, which was a collection of my sketches and designs.  I hope to create another sketchbook collection later this year!

Are there any projects that you’d like to do but haven’t?

I want to create a full animated music video piece.  I recently hooked up with a music production label to help them out with short animated bits, so it's only a matter of time before this becomes reality.

You do a lot of people watching and sketching, do you get nervous drawing in front of people? Do you get annoyed when people want to see your drawings or do you like to share it with them and strike up a conversation?

I am pretty discrete when I do life sketches.  Since the Sketch Wallet is so portable, It has made my sketching even more discrete.   I tend to do quick glances at first and try to remember the shapes and gesture as quick as I can.  Every other glance I have is more for accuracy and being able to caricature that shape if I wanted to.  People rarely come and see my drawing since I tend not to stare so hard.  I'd definitely show them if they were interested.

You were recently married, congratulations, does your wife mind you drawing all the time? Are you good about separating drawing time and family time or do they blend together?

Thanks!  I am lucky that my wife, Jane, is very understanding about my need to draw.  She knows that the better I get, the faster and quicker I can do things, which will allow more family time :) Seriously though, I try my best to balance both my drawing practice and family time to the best of my abilities.

You were one of the first to own a Sketch Wallet, has it changed your drawing habits? How has it helped with your drawing goals?

Anything that promotes convenience to do something will push good habits and the Sketch Wallet does that.  Having the Sketch Wallet has made it so convenient for me to quickly get my ideas down and a clear reminder to hone in on my craft.  Lately, it has been the ONLY sketchbook I carry with me.  It's also the perfect size for me to draw on since I tend to draw on the smaller side and later blow it up if I need to on the computer if I decide to continue on an idea.  I recently took a trip to Japan and Hawaii carrying the Sketch Wallet with me and has been an essential for me during travel.  

Above all that, it's a great functional wallet to store my important cards and cash, which also helps me to never forget my sketchbook!

What materials do you use in your Sketch Wallet?

I mostly use ballpoint pens, Colerase Pencils, Pitt Brush pens and sometimes a gray Copic marker for mid tones.  I recently got a Fisher Space Pen that fits perfectly in the top pocket of the Sketch Wallet.

What advice would you give an artist that would like to level up their art?

Observe and draw from nature.  Always be drawing but never aimlessly.  Try to have a clear idea what you are trying to record on paper to best of your ability before you put it down.  I never really understood what any of that meant when I was younger, scribbling with no thought and care just for pencil mileage. For me nowadays, it's about trying to put down what you see in your mind's eye and also respecting the line as you progress on your drawing.  Having that clear end product but also be flexible in experimenting on styles and medium to achieve new and interesting looks.

Please share links to your webpage and/or social media so people can see more of your work.
Instagram - @ajvilar
Twitter - @angelovilar
Tumblr -
Please check out my ebook sketchbook:

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