year of birth: 1974
Q1: When did you start making art?
I’ve been on the create train since I was young, I’ve always needed a project to keep me busy. Drawing was always a default activity for me, cheap, portable and thoroughly enjoyable.
Q2: What does inspire you?
Nature, my second passion as a child was being outside. I grew up in the country and this afforded me the opportunity to nurture the amateur naturalist within. I spent many hours just searching for curious objects in the brush to collect, from odd stones and sticks, to animal bones and skulls. Just like in nature, there aren’t a lot of straight lines in my work. I am fascinated by the flow of organic shapes surrounding me when I’m out and about in the brush. It’s a fine tincture.
Q3: What are your techniques?
For my digital work, the tools I use are pretty standard, I have a Intuos5 tablet and the usual parade of graphics apps. For my traditional work, I generally start with illustration board that has been prepared for oils. I then sketch the piece out, sometimes I wing it, other times I have a plan in mind and work out several rough drafts to get the composition the way I want it. I flesh out the values with permanent inks and a brush, using the ink in the same way one would use watercolors, I define the piece further until I’m happy with the underpainting. The last step is to apply the oils, again, I work thin and use resins to speed up the drying process, this way I can come back to the same painting and continue to work on it after just a few days.
Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
I like things that are eerie, I like odd and sometimes unsettling subjects, and that’s the tone I try to strike in my work as well. I want to create characters that exist comfortably in their world, many of them are a bit dark in nature, but not malicious. Well, for the most part.
Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
A lot of my traditional works I paint in warm colors, many times somewhere near the orange zone. About ten years ago I was making custom guitars for people, I fell in love with the amber dyes that I used to tone the face plates of maple wood. Seems that love has stuck with me, I usually grab the burnt sienna or the alizarin crimson at some point in the painting, trying to imbue it with that same amber glow.
Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
I’m constantly trying to get things to look like I see them in my mind, and most times I get close, but occasionally it falls short. When I come back and look at a painting again after a few weeks or months of being away from it, I can see many mistakes that were invisible to me as I was working on it. Sometimes the more time you spend looking at your work, while you’re painting it for instance, the less you actually see. Time away always bubbles those mistake to the surface for me. So I’d like to get it perfect every time, but I’m also super critical of my art, and I suppose I’ll always see something I wish I would have done differently. That’s the nature of the beast, and probably something that helps all artists keep at it, striving for that perfection.
Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
Between odd freelancing jobs and keeping my gallery work fresh, I dream of fleshing out the graphic novel I’ve had stirring around in my head for over a year now. I’ve sketched much of it out, but the next step will be a time eater, so I’m waiting for the right moment to jump in. I have more ideas than I will ever have the time to execute, that’s something that is very clear to me.
Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of ethanpatrickharris.
Intense, creative, and goofball. Those are the three main modes of my personality, and I reckon they capture me pretty well.
Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
Though not my very first work ever, ‘Wrks2Knot’, HERE, was from an early batch of digital creations in which I was truly trying to achieve exactly what it was I was envisioning, and worked it over and over, until I had. I had an epically slow Mac then and was mainly making 3d renderings in Maya(Autodesk) and toning them in photoshop. Not a satisfying process for me at all in the long wrong, so I guess things went sideways and a bit up from there. A print of Wrks2Knot actually ended up being used on the set of a indie thriller film, ‘The Darkness Within’, you can see it in a kitchen scene with another one of mine, fun movie.
Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
Technique, skill set, tools, I think the spirit is the same though, weird.
Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
Art is my reality, and there is no escaping that. It is definitely the essence of my life.