What inspires you to create and keeps you going? Art and artists. I love seeing what other pros are working on, and I also love art outside the comic book industry. I’m particularly interested in the Hudson River School of painting.
Do you have a set routine? Pretty much. I’m a slow starter, but once I’m going, I tend to work into the wee hours of the night. Working at home, you have to take the calm when you can find it. Once everyone comes home from school, it gets a little hectic, so I usually take a break around then.
What kind of output do you try to achieve? I strive for quality over quantity. I’ve never been a speed demon, so I’ve learned to work with that. I’m the tortoise…slow and consistent.
What inspires you WHEN you create? Music? Noise? Silence? Lol, anime. I’ve found that anime series are really great to watch/listen to while I work.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this? Walt Simonson hands down. I even corresponded with him a couple of times back in high school. I was absolutely awestruck that this incredible artist would take the time out to write me back.
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself? When I started working in the production department at DC comics. I got a first hand look at the art and the techniques involved and it really helped inspire me. I got to know the editors, and one small job led to another, and soon I was well aware that I could make it freelance.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating? I have a hard time inking soft or sketchy pencil lines. My natural style has never been line art illustration, so it’s harder for me to do finishes. (Heck if I could pencil like that, I definitely wouldn’t be inking!)
What else do you have to learn? Everything. Seriously. There is always a next level you can strive for when it comes to art.
What keeps you motivated to get better? Everyone around me.
What keeps you motivated to get better? For the most part no. It’s always on.
What advice do you have for aspiring creators? Learn to persevere. Be consistent. You don’t necessarily have to be drawing all the time to get better. Take a break to just look at other art. Usually when you go back to drawing, you will have found that you picked up something new.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
I ink, so it would probably be worrying about running out of techniques, which never really happens. There are so many I have yet to learn.
How do you handle the slow times? Not very well. I’m so used to working that it’s hard for me to not to. I will usually always work on some extra pieces I can put in my portfolio.
How do you feel about the industry? It has its ups and downs. I will be perfectly honest and say that I’m always looking for another option. I can definitely see a day when inking will be phased out in a way. Either artists will ink themselves, or there will be a program that will allow anyone to do it.
What would you say is your crowning achievement thus far? That is really tough. I think just managing to stay inking as long as I have.
Thanks. If people want, they can check out some portfolio pieces here. http://www.coroflot.com/raymccarthy/portfolio