Where did you grow up and when did you decide to become an artist?
Grew up in New Mexico! Always kind of steered towards art as a kid, even if I never consciously knew it's what I wanted to end up doing.
Did you go to an art school or are you self taught? How did you develop your skills?
I am self taught. Art school would have probably been financially unfeasible for me at the time, and so I just do a lot of observational drawing to develop. Fortunately, the internet also offers a vast array of other artists who all offer each other resources and support. The only thing I can really do to develop is to draw every day and push myself out of my comfort zone more.
Have you always been supported in your artistic path or has it been challenging to let your family and friends understand your choice?
I think my family sort of worries, but they don't actively discourage me from trying. I've gotten sort of lucky in that regard. They do constantly want me to have a backup plan though.
What was the strongest influence you had when you were growing up ( artists, movies, cartoons, comics etc.. ) ?
My strongest influences growing up were cartoons and animated movies. I especially have a soft spot for the old Tom and Jerry episodes, and I'd remember repeatedly watching the episodes I had on tape when I was little. I also have a soft spot for a few horror movies I saw when I was young like The Shining, The Thing, and The Exorcist. (Movies I admittedly should not have been allowed to watch when I was little) The horror genre in general I'm finding has had more and more of an influence when I think back on movies I've loved.
Did you have a favourite subject to draw when you were a child and do you still have one today? If you do, what makes it so special?
I was always very fond of drawing animals, being so influenced by all the talking animal movies when I was little. Now I love drawing people the most, and landscapes! Both of those are very relaxing to sit down and work on. People have really been amazing to draw lately, and I feel like I need to push myself more with really capturing all the distinct faces and personalities I see every day. Definitely want to get better and better at that!
What is your process in colouring your art and what type of tools and media do you use?
My process constantly changes, and I never find myself satisfied with what I'm doing for long! usually just use a combination of masking layers and filters when the base colors are set. I like to use Photoshop for things that are a bit more involved.
What part of the creation process is the most fun and easy and what part is the hardest?
For me, it's all about sketching and conceptualizing things. Coloring and polish are probably my weakest points. I find that I'm very weak at coloring, but I'm hoping I can get better at that as I go. Toying with filters at the end of the entire process is fun for me too.
What are some of the things you have learned from other artists who you have worked with or whose work you have seen?
I've learned that nearly everyone is very critical of their own work, and it's important to just keep pushing and not drag yourself down with doubt. Be open to critique! Draw as much as you can. One experience I had that was refreshing was being part of a Schoolism workshop event back in October, and seeing many professional artists like Karla Ortiz and Bobby Chiu talk about how they struggled for a while to get their foot in the door.
What is your longterm career goal and what would your dream project be?
A feature film would be nice to work on in the future, but in all honesty I'm not that picky at the moment. I just want to be able to work on projects that are fun and really get me creatively driven. I suppose that might sound unambitious, but I really just want to be able to enjoy myself and my art when I work! Sometimes, just far in the back of my mind, I like to daydream about making my own cartoon, but that is a far off dream!
Working for a company or freelancing: what suits you best? And why?
I would probably enjoy working with a company more. I personally enjoy the company of peers, and find their work to be extra motivating for me.
What advise would you give to an artist who is dealing with an art-block? How do you boost your imagination and keep yourself creative?
Sometimes it's best to sit back and take a little break. I usually like to revisit any media that I find inspiring, whether it's books, movies, cartoons, etc. Take a walk, just do loose sketches, anything! Sometimes you never even know what'll break you out of that funk, so there's no limit when it comes to trying new things. If all else fails, I'll try to go out and just to observational drawings to relax and loosen up. That sets my head in kind of a relaxing space, and watching people always gives me some idea later for something to design.
Many art teachers and schools suggest to their students that a commercial artist should always work in one consistent style if they wish to have a healthy career. In your own experience, do you believe this to be true?
Not necessarily. I think one good thing to consider about having a consistent style would be that it helps develop your "brand" in a sense. People might seek out your specific look! But I don't think it's a detriment to have multiple styles either.
What’s your point of view about the industry today: what are the expectation for someone who wants to make a living with an artistic career?
It's definitely competitive and that isn't necessarily bad, but it can be discouraging. At least it was for me anyway. Only recently have people seemed interested in contacting me, but it's important to stay persistent and keep at it.
We have a soft spot for hand drawn animation, what is your opinion about the future of this art form?
I have a feeling it's gonna make a strong comeback in the future. At least that's what I'm hoping.
Social networks, crowd funding websites, print on demand online service, you name it. New media on the internet are connecting the artists directly with their fans like never before. In your opinion, how is this affecting the industry and what are the pros and cons?
I think it's great! I think it really promotes making easier connections and networks with more people and voices seeing and spreading your work. I'm not sure if I'm experienced enough at the moment to say what possible drawbacks could arise in the future because of this.
Finally, Where can we see your art online and get in touch with you? How can we buy your creations and support your work?
I have a Tumblr ( jaymamon.tumblr.com ) a Twitter ( jaymamonj.twitter.com ). My email is email@example.com, and I'd love to keep in touch with people interested in my art for work.
Thank you Jeannette :)