To celebrate our 5 week long holiday promotion, we reached out to Los Angeles-based artist Justin Martin to create an original drawing to capture the essence of the holidays. In his untitled wintry illustration, he portrays a young family walking home in the sunset from a day of sledding in the snow. Below is a brief Q&A with the artist. Be sure to check out more of his work on his blog. — The Hulu Team
What are you currently working on?
My 9 to 5 gig- though it is anything but- is as Background Painter at Warner Bros. Animation. I’m currently working on a new series called “The Looney Tunes Show”, due to air in 2011 on Cartoon Network.
I’m also creating all the artwork for a new graphic novel with the working title Badge of the Guardian, about a young boy who goes on a wild adventure in Outer Space.
Mainly, however, I’m trying to play the role of Dad for my 11 month old daughter. Maybe I should have started with that, as it’s unquestionably its own full time job.
What has been your most unusual project?
That’s a tough call. Each project has its own unique quirkiness. That’s a major reason why I opted to go into the Animation Industry. I’ve made monsters with tank turret underwear attacking the Golden Gate Bridge, space pirates who listen to Reggae while “beaming up” unsuspecting human prisoners, and an evil genius beaver who lives in the Hoover Dam. The weirdness just doesn’t stop around these parts.
On second thought, though, I might go with the whole fatherhood thing again. That certainly fits the “unusual” criteria.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere I can. I’ve always thought that one of the most important lessons an artist can learn is to maintain constant awareness. There’s a Huxley book called Island in which talking birds are trained to fly around saying only the word “Attention”. I need one of those birds.
Instead I try to carry a camera with me everywhere I go, and to always have a book going. I have an “inspiration” section on my own blog that I stopped updating a long time ago because the list just got too enormous. It’s really staggering how many amazing artists there are out there, each with his or her own viewpoint, medium, or technique.
What is your favorite subject matter?
Anything thought provoking. I like to make pieces that you have to take a closer look at, so the subject has to have some depth to it. (See earlier answer re: space pirates and evil genius beavers.)
Do you prefer to use a pencil and paper, or a Wacom Tablet?
I generally sketch on paper in the early stages and move to digital a little later down the line. Some day I intend to get back to much more traditional media, but some of the chemicals involved aren’t so good for babies so it may be a while. Until then digital is nice and clean.
What are you favorite shows on Hulu?
I loves me some Arrested Development and 30 Rock. Modern Family is also great. We saw the guy that plays the dad who always slips on the stairs when we were out the other day. Part of me wanted to pull his earbuds out just so I could tell him how awesome he is.