I.A.M. talks to Pierangelo Boog, illustrator from Switzerland and modern master. He shares stories about his career, techniques and new art book. He also gives great tips for aspiring and new artists. Along the text, you see images painted both traditionally and digitally, with ArtRage and Photoshop.
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1. Tell us, when did you start drawing/painting? How was it back then?
I started painting as a child. I think I was 7 or 8 years old. I hung on the wall of my bedroom my first Indian native colored pencil works. And also I pinned posters from classic art like Albrecht Altdorfer’s The battle of Alexander. I was fascinated by the enorm amount medieval knights on this epic painting. I have always been drawing as a kid. My parents had a monthly magazine subscription and the covers had great art, so I read the stories with great interest.
2. When did you decide or discovered you wanted to be a professional illustrator?
When I was 16, 17 I started to draw for German fanzines. After some years I have trained my professional skills (wanted to draw as the same level like my heroes…) and with some contacts of professional fantasy writers, I had my first covers landing for German fantasy paperbacks.
3. Did you have art education? How was the process?
Not at that time. I was self-taught. Later I was a student for 4 years in the classroom of Scientific Illustration at the Academy of Art at Zürich and have earned a diploma. You had to pass at a 3 days a test to enter! In 63, I was one of the 5 chosen students. That means that you didn’t learn to draw at this school… You should have been able to draw before for they accepted you. You must have had the skills.
4. Which artists have influenced your art along the years?
I have Always loved Hal Foster, and Frank Frazetta for his classical skills (I can’t draw Barbarians 🙂 ), and many others old school illustrators like Alen St.John, Franklin Booth, Krenkel and Co. I think that Jeff Jones has influenced me much more than Frazetta. But you know: You have to find your own art way, your own style.
5. Which techniques you love most to work with? Which techniques you dislike?
I love the simplicity of pencils. You can express so many things with it. It is very flexible.
And of course I like to work with oil colors and watercolor. I don’t like pastels, acrylic colors and markers. In my early time as a fanzine illustrator I have produced a lot of pen and inks, but later my preferd medium was oil for works in color and the pencil for black white works.
6. What do you think about the new generation of artists using more digital tools?
I use the digital medium, too and I think I get good results 🙂 ! I’m open for new things.
But I think without a fundamental experience with traditional mediums you can not get good results on the identical tools in the digital programms. You must have it in the fingers first. Then you can imitate it within the pixels. If not, you just copy the posibilities in the machine, means the computer does it for you. It‘s like a personal handwriting feeling/touch. You know: If you have see a Frazetta or Jones’ cover, you have realised at first sight that this is a technique from this artist.
It’s important to express your own style. Many of this digital maestros don’t have a personal style. Its the style of the computer! ^.^ You can not connect a name to a work of this artists because all have the same look. Sad but true.
7. Which are the 3 most important tips you would give any aspiring illustrator?
To believe at yourself and your dreams. Don’t give up, never. And like yourself and the art you do. Have fun with it. Go your own way!
8. You’re publishing a new art book. How was the selection of works for the book. Did you do it yourself or was the publisher?
I am publishing it myself. So I am totaly free to design the book I want, with no compromise of the market. This is the good thing of this digital world we live in. You can market yourself and can find many fans around the world in a short time… And I can sell my own product.
9. What can art fans expect of your art book?
A lot of beautiful works I have done in the last 30 years. I think that many young talents would like my new art book. They want the same thing as when I was in their age: To become so good like the profs/heroes. I remember when I have seen the first Frazettas or Jones. I had great feeling, great wish inside me to someday become that good.
10. You have made stamps and money for some countries, which is a very honorable work. Can you talk more about these jobs? Is it something very technically very difficult or challenging for you?
This is my income as an artist and illustrator. These are commercial commissions I do for the money. But I like what I do and I am thankful for that, to have the talent for doing things like that. It’s not easy to make a living with painting and drawing. Not all can do that.
11. If you could have a perfect dream job of illustration, what would it be?
Maybe to illustrate the Tarzans of ERB like St.Jones and Frazetta. Yes that would be a challlenge for me.
12. What was the best assignment (work) you have done and why was it the best?
I can’t say it, truly. I like my drawings with pencil… My mermaid for example. I love al my works. They are like my own kids. Or you just love your kids with a beautiful face?
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Visit Pierangelo Boog’s Portfolio: www.pierangeloboog.com