Eric Messinger

Read more about Eric Messinger.


Interview By: Tamazon

Date: March 07, 2017

Eric Messinger's Web Site

Interview

What inspired you to make your art available as a coloring book?

When I was younger, I started my career in the comic book industry. Because of this training, I always start my pieces as line work. I thought it would be fun to share this part of my process with other people. I wanted to see what they produced with the framework, so to speak, that I provided.

What should colorists expect from your Dominion of Giants: Behemoths of the Fantasy World, coloring book?

This book is very close to my heart. It is actually a world I am creating as my personal project. So, within the book, colorists will get an introduction to some of the species and characters who live within this world. They will find cloud giants, female warrior giants, dragons, orcs and even some giants who help the fairies.

Along with my characters, I also wanted people to have a variety of coloring experiences. Some of the pieces have thinner line work and more intricate areas to test their skills and others have larger and more open spaces where they can play with broader strokes of color.

What type of markers are your favorite and why?

Any alcohol based marker. I love them all. I find that alcohol based markers blend more easily and I can even build up light and dark within a color simply by going back over the color again and creating layers.

Eric Messinger Showcase

What colored pencils are your favorite and why?

My current favorite is Prismacolor. I really like being able to put down what I call a “veil of color”, or is a very light layer, which I can then blend into with another color. Sometimes if I am working on a good quality paper I can get up to five layers of color going. I get really excited when I can do that:).

What art tools are indispensable to you?

Bristol paper, a very wide variety of pencils and my ever ready kneaded eraser. I do a lot of digital painting as well, so I can’t be without my computer.

What conventions/events do you attend as an artist?

This year so far, I will be at the Dallas Fan Expo March 31st, April 1st and 2nd, The El Paso Comic Con April 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, The Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio May 26th, 27th, and 28th, the Corpus Christi Comic Con July 22nd and 23rd, and the Colorado Springs Comic Con August 25th, 26th, and 27th.

I am looking at 2 to 3 more conventions as well, later in the year, I just haven’t booked in yet.

In addition to the Comic Cons, I am also doing one day coloring events at book stores and I also do this to help raise monies for our local libraries by doing the events there as well.

Eric Messinger Showcase

How did you get into doing art for a living? Jumping from hobbies to being a business

LOL! I learned very early on about the vagaries of making a living as a working artist. When the bottom fell out of the comic book industry in the early ’90’s while I was working for Image Comics, I had to reinvent myself. I found that my comic book background actually gave me a great foundation for graphic design. I studied and worked and eventually opened my own design studio. This has allowed me to push my artistic boundaries and keep my art creative. Now I’m at a place where at the studio we do both design and illustrative work and I now have the time to do the Cons and start sharing what I do with a wider audience. In my life, slow and steady wins the race.

How did you get to be an artist for Image Comics?

As with most industries it’s who you know! You have to get your work out there, go to the Comic Cons and network.

What electronic technology do you use?

I use both an Apple Mac Book Pro and a 27” iMac. My favorite toy is my 27” Cintiq tablet. I can draw directly on the tablet with my stylus. I paint digitally in Photoshop and have been learning Corel Painter.

For beginning artists, where should they start when it comes to learning?…College, YouTube, books?

One of the biggest controversies right now within the art community is whether or not you need a college degree. Seeing young people come out of college with $100K plus in student loan debt and wanting to make a living as an artist makes me cringe. College can be a great foundation for learning the artistic principles and helping you put together your portfolio. However, if you really want to move ahead, even with college, you will still need to put in a tremendous amount of time on your own to really learn.

I am primarily self taught. I have learned from books and now with the internet, YouTube is a great resource. But here’s the caveat, YOU MUST HAVE A HUGE PASSION FOR LEARNING, PRACTICE AND FAILURE! On average it takes 1,000 successful pieces of art before you even find your artistic voice and then it takes another 5,000 to 10,000 pieces before you can feel mastery within your chosen medium. Most people don't want to hear this. They want a quick fix/mastery and unfortunately, there isn’t. The most difficult thing I face at the design studio is trying to hire young people. They come out of college thinking that they have all the skills they need to be successful and they don’t. They have only the foundation from which to learn. It is the same with people who come out of school with a fine arts degree.

Do you have more coloring books planned?

Yes, I have several more coloring book ideas and also I want to publish a book of my sketches.

Dominion of Giants Coloring Book - Behemoths of the Fantasy World

Who is your favorite comic book character and why?

My favorite is Batman. It all started with the Frank Miller “Dark Knight” series, heady stuff for a young boy. I loved the concept that a man could be so possessed with making a difference in the world that even at the age of 60, he just couldn’t stop.

YOUTUBE QUESTIONS: Eric's YouTube channel is at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTVkzzj-yi7hiBswXaIrKUQ

What type of content do you provide?

I provide coloring tutorials, marker reviews and behind the scenes-how coloring books are created.

How often do you upload?

On average I upload a new tutorial once every two weeks. However, depending on my schedule, sometimes I will upload once a week or once every 3 to 4 weeks. I am working on adjusting my schedule so that I can upload at a more consistent pace.

What’s your camera and light set-up? How do you get rid of all those shadows and make your art space stand out and look crisp and well lit.

I use a two-point lighting technique. I light my table from the top left and right hand sides. I use color accurate bulbs with soft boxes. For my camera, I use a LogicTech C920 that is connected directly to my iMac. I edit most of my movies with either Adobe AfterEffects or iMovie. I do my voice over while I am editing and to do this I use a Yeti microphone.