I'm sure you'll agree that Robb Mommaerts is one of the greatest illustrators alive today. I can stare at his art for hours and am mesmerized by all the little details. Robb currently has a Kickstarter running for a book of his art. He needs your help to get funded, so take a moment and pledge today! If he doesn't hit his goal, then you wont be charged anything. If he makes his goal, then you'll own your new favorite art book. http://kck.st/2xVfKwi
When did your love for drawing kick in?
I started drawing at age 2 and it was my favorite thing to do. I started drawing Disney, Looney Tunes and Muppets characters. Even at a younger age (5 or 6) I knew I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.
What did your parents think of your art?
They were very supportive of me and were always trying to get me to draw more, or use it in a positive and constructive way.
Did drawing help you gain friends in school or were you a loner?
It actually did help me make friends. I was an awkward kid over the years and pretty shy as I got older (still am) but drawing was always an icebreaker for me and an immediate way of feeling comfortable in social situations. I found friends that I had a lot in common with. I also tried to use it to attract girls in high school…but... that didn’t work :(.
Did you go to art school or have any training?
I did take art classes on weekends when I was a kid, and I went to college for graphic design, but I still consider my skill developments in the illustration and cartooning realm as being self taught.
What sort of jobs have you had over the years (art and non-art jobs)?
I was a graphic designer for most of my adult life (still am) but before that, I worked at a chain office supply store, did grounds maintenance for a school system, and a one month stint in the lawn & garden department for a certain gigantic, "big box" store chain.
How did you picture the transition from amateur to pro and what was the reality of how that happened?
I’ve been freelance illustrating since I was a teenager, and illustration was always a big part of my job as a graphic designer. But my biggest shift into working full time was about 6 years ago when I started working for Cryptozoic Entertainment. A few years previous to that, I started sharing my work on Deviant Art and then more so online where I was connected with other artists and people looking for artists. Posting art online was a game changer for me.
How do you pay the bills now?
I work full time with Cryptozoic Entertainment, which I love doing. I also work remotely from my home in a distant state. A great group of people and fun projects. I get to work in a variety of styles on some fun properties as well as original creations. It's a very nice mix of games, character design, as well as collectibles. I also do some freelance comic book and children’s publishing-related work on the side that doesn’t conflict with what CZE does. Oh, and character design projects from time to time.
How did your current Kickstarter come about? Did you approach Forge Publishing or did they approach you?
Joel Duggan, who runs Forge Publishing, has been a friend of mine for a few years. He had published Piper Thibodeau’s wonderful book “Daily Paintings” and reached out and said he would like to publish a book of my work. We’ve been working together to establish the look of the book, and decided on an “All-Ink” black and white presentation.
How has that experience been?
Working with Joel/Forge Publishing has been awesome, he’s a creative guy with lots of great ideas. I hope our campaign is successful!
How has social media changed the way you promote yourself?
It made all the difference. It projected my art out to a much larger audience. I was very website focused at one time, but since then I’ve neglected that part of it for social media (not sure if that’s good or bad), my favorite is Instagram.
You work in both digital and traditional media, what do you love and hate about each?
I love Traditional methods best so I can draw anywhere and don’t need to be tied to an electronic device. I love sitting at a drawing desk and the feel of paper. I just hate that when you mess up, it's so tough to fix. Digital is so much faster, the possibilities are endless, and you can fix anything. I love the speed of color changes as well as being able to move things around and cut and paste.
Your ink work is amazing! Were there inkers/illustrators that you studied?
Dr. Suess, William Joyce, Mike Mignola, Jack Davis, Alex Horley, Carl Barks, Peter DeSeve, Bill Peet, Floyd Gottfredson, Bernie Wrightson, there are so many!
Are there tools or methods in art that you haven’t tried but would like to?
I still have not really used a tablet, Citiq or iPad…I need to get on that. I still color and paint with a mouse…yuck! But I definitely need to get used to drawing digitally.
What are your drawing routines? When and where do you work?
I draw all day for my job with Cryptozoic, but when I do my personal work (Like Inktober pieces), I draw at night after my kids go to bed. I keep strange hours. I work down in my basement office. I’m right next to a woods so I have a nice view out my window. I’m surrounded by art books, which is inspiring. It would be nice to have a book with collections of my own art on my shelf :)
If money and time weren’t an issue, what project(s) would you do?
Easy...I would just self publish my own children’s books and comic book series. I also like going to schools and reading to kids.
How can people connect with you and your work?
You can find my work at robbvision.com, on Tumblr at https://robbmommaerts.tumblr.com and I’m the most active on Instagram @RobbMommaerts, https://www.instagram.com/robbmommaerts/ (It’s my favorite as I mentioned) but right now I’d love for people to check out The Kickstarter campaign for Ink Tank. The link is ForgePublishing.com/inktank