David Edwards receives international acclaim for his work as an Illustrator and Cartoonist
Bob Heske (a renowned American Independent Publisher) interviewed talented Old Queenian, David Edwards in November 2010.
As lead-in to the interview, he states ‘David Edwards is one of the most talented artists you probably haven’t heard of … but soon will! Enjoy the interview and a glimpse of Mr Edwards’ work. You will certainly see more, so be sure to grab his books while he is relatively unknown. His anonymity won’t last for long, my friends. Trust me on that’.
1. How does a guy living out in East London, South Africa make a living out of creating comic books?
(DE:) Well I am still working on that. I work as a freelance illustrator and have my sights set on sequential art which I have been doing in my spare time for the last couple of years. I think my so called “day job” has prepared me quite well for getting back into what was a childhood dream. I used to make my own comic books as a kid and, although I have never stopped drawing, I did get sidetracked by real life and making a living. Thankfully 99% of my career has been doing some form of art or another. So it’s great to get back into this but with a better set of tools this time around.
2. You do a lot of work with writer Arno Hurter who also lives in South Africa. How did you two make a connection, and what have you been working on to date?
(DE:) We met years ago when he worked at the same company as my wife. We discussed working on something together back then, but never got around to it.
Then a couple of years ago we bumped into each other in a video rental shop. I said I wanted to work on a comic and could he come up with an idea or two. A week later he came back to me with 10 synopses … and they were all brilliant! We picked one to start, ALTERED NATE, and began working on an 11-page opening chapter. Right from the outset we decided to name our collective, and Arno came up with STOMPIN’ MASTODON (the genesis of which is a story of its own).
We have just completed another sci-fi/horror short story called HANDS which is aimed at a more mature audience. Heavy Metal magazine readers will enjoy this one. We may expand on this story at a later date as I think it has great potential as a teen horror movie.
3. Give us the background story about your latest endeavour, THE MUSE.
(DE:) Gladly. Our next project seemed to select itself when, after a concert in my home town (East London) by Arno Carstens, I got chatting to him and discovered a fellow comic book lover. That’s when Arno Hurter’s story THE MUSE jumped up and took centre stage. It’s a modern take on the FAUST fable (well in the beginning anyway – I know Arno, things will get seriously unhinged).
Arno Carstens – who is concentrating on his solo career at the moment – is an amazing and diverse talent. Worth checking out by comic lovers. If you can get hold of SPRINGBOK NUDE GIRLS CDs, you’ll find songs like Supergirl, Wolfmen, Steel Man Soon, Spaceman, Food for the Demon, among others which I think all invoke comic book imagery. Great to draw to.
Arno Carstens and his wife Melanie are ‘playing’ the main roles in the story which has, at its heart, a love story.
4. Where can we see a preview of this work?
(DE:) At myebook.com. We are currently working on chapter two of THE MUSE and will have it posted up, hopefully, early next year.
5. Your website shows that you pretty much do it all – cartoons, caricatures, cover art, sequential art, story boards, and prints. Which do you think is your personal strength, and what is your favourite genre to draw in?
(DE:) When I studied art everything was done traditionally – i.e., pencils, paint brush and airbrush. Living in a small city, you learn to apply your art skills to whatever may be required. I think that diversity has enabled me to continue doing a variety of styles depending on what is needed, albeit mostly digitally these days. I think that drawing is my strength as it is the foundation of any style of painting. My favorite genre would be Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror. I grew up reading a lot of Stephen King and my earliest inspiration, art-wise, was the late Frank Frazetta. There are many brilliant artists today but one who has stood out for me is Simon Bisley – an incredible talent.
6. Your website also includes a gallery for “chalkboards”. What exactly is a chalkboard for the uninitiated?
(DE:) I started doing chalkboards in pubs and restaurants which generally are used to advertise the latest specials. It’s usually the first thing patrons look at when they arrive. I started drawing cartoons with the specials. Eventually the local brewery caught on to the idea and before long every pub and restaurant in town and up and down the coast had one. I still do a few chalkboards using real chalk but increasingly do the artwork digitally. From a distance you can’t tell the difference and the digital prints don’t smudge.
7. I know from first-hand experience that you do Speed Art (to see an example, go to here). Mind telling our readers what this is and what software you use to make your art quickly come to life?
(DE:) As a kid I would watch my father draw and was always amazed at how a picture, starting with a few loose strokes, would materialize into a mini-masterpiece. It just took a while, but in those days, to me, it was better than watching TV. I discovered screen capture software online, starting off with the demo version and was amazed by how simple it was. The sketches I’ve done to date average just over an hour and are then compressed to a couple of minutes with music added. Technically it’s not “speed art’ but speeded-up art. I wish I could draw that fast – I’d get a lot more done. The software I use is BBFlashback.
8. Aside from your website, where else can we see previews of your books or buy them online?
(DE:) You can see ALTERED NATE and THE ART OF DAVID EDWARDS also on myebook.com. We don’t have anything for sale as yet but hope to finish the first issues of ALTERED NATE and THE MUSE next year and they will then be for sale. A major milestone will be when we get THE MUSE graphic novel completed and on the market.
9. Are you available for hire? If so, what is the best way to contact you to get you to work on a project?
(DE:) In my capacity as a freelance illustrator I’m happy to take on comic book or album cover art. As far as sequential art goes, Arno has enough stories to keep me going for another three lifetimes (his words).
My e-mail is the best place to contact me: email@example.com