We recently had the privilege of having artist Paul Shipper answer a few questions about his work and career. We would like to thank Paul for taking the time to answer our questions and we hope you'll be inspired by his passion for art. To see more of Paul's work, visit his website at paulshipper.com.
How long have you been an artist? How did you get started?
I have always been an artist I guess, but professionally from when I graduated from University where I studied Illustration back in 1997. I got started along the path of the illustrator thanks to the work of Drew Struzan in his movie posters, which I collected as a young boy, and still do to this day!
Could you tell us about some of your work? What styles or subject matter do you prefer?
I have always been particularly fond of portraits capturing a persons likeness... in my art this is something I am passionate about.
What inspires your work?
Film, Music, Other artist's work inspires me...
Someone reviewing your portfolio will find a great many pieces relate to Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Have you always been a fan? If so, do you have favorites among any of the films?
Always ! I love them all, but stand out movies are the first of each. A New Hope and Raiders. I grew up watching them, and watching them and watching them some more to the point where I was quoting the dialogue as I watched.
Similarly, are you a fan of the Young Indy series? If so, are there any episodes that you would count among your favorites?
I LOVED the Young Indy series when it came out, can't tell you how excited I was. Favourites probably the Phantom Train of Doom? I really liked the Mexican Revolution episode... too tough to choose, but also seeing Harrison Ford reprise the role in a cameo was a highlight for the fan-boy that I am, even though it was far too brief.
Are there any artists that inspire you; if so, why?
Geez. There a lot of artists work that inspire me, but the usual suspects are: Drew Struzan, JC Leyendecker, Rockwell, Richard Amsel and more recently the work of Tommy Lee Edwards, Jock, Olly Moss and the Mondo Crew. There are many more. It is awesomely inspiring to see what the new generation is doing and I try my best to follow what is happening out there, which is a lot easier than it was 10 years ago, thanks to the internet.
Without giving away trade secrets, can you walk us through your process of creating a new piece of art?
There are no secrets. It all starts with an idea. Then research, then sketches, then a photoshop comprehensive layout, then onto the final.
What have been your favorite projects to date and why?
Well, this Young Indy illustration is actually up there, also the Stephen Jared Novels have been a highlight and also my recent jaunt into Comic Book heroes! I did an Avengers piece recently and some Dark Knight Rises inspired work which have been seen online here and there.
What was/were your favorite class(es) in school?
Art?! Hahah yes, loved art class, would go to the art department pretty much every lunchtime and draw. Friends would pop in and see what I was up to from time to time. At college, Life Drawing was a favorite. I also loved music, however I didn't get much chance to play. Making up for that when I can here. I love to sit at the piano and compose thematic music like mini film scores.
Does any teacher stick out in your mind as having an impact on your life?
My first art teacher was Jon Warmisham. He was a teacher that I have very fond memories of. He taught me at Art college also. Unfortunately he passed away some years ago. I miss him. I think of him often, He was an incredibly jovial man who inspired anyone who had an interest in the arts.
What advice would you give students pursuing a career in art?
Art is a massive industry, so many facets, but pick one which inspires you the most. For me that was illustration - the path to me was obvious. If it is in your heart and you love it. Do it.
Professionally, where do you hope to be in ten years?
Still drawing and painting. Hopefully touching people's lives. To be able to survive financially through my art, doing what I love would be the ultimate but who knows where this path will take me. Wish me luck!