I’m excited that a very talented artist friend of mine has agreed to collaborate with me and create a series of illustrations for The Raggedy Man online mini-series. We will release his drawings along with a special version of the mini-series sometime in the fall.
Scott Hanson facebook.com/scotthansonart is an extraordinary creative mind and a good friend. When he accepted the offer to work on this series together, I was thrilled and flattered. I asked him some questions about his art, inspiration and processes. Read the interview below! And check out his incredible rendering of Jim Falk in combat!
Who are your biggest inspirations as an artist? Drew Struzan, who did so many of the posters for the films I grew up with including “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future” and “Indiana Jones.” Reynold Brown, who did all of those great old B movie posters such as “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.” Jim Henson is another big influence going all the way back to my childhood. Also writer such as Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett who have influenced not the way I draw but how I imagine things.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist? The earliest thing I can clearly remember was watching a television special about the making of the Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal.” I was maybe in third grade at the time. It was probably the first time I had seen how a movie got made. It showed the artists drawing the characters, the sculptors building the puppets and the puppeteers performing on the set. It dawned on me that that was what those people did for a living. They made up monsters. That was actually a job that someone could grow up to have.
Tell us something about your current project, you’re working on a graphic novel? My story has witches too. A nice one named Saffron McGuffin and a really nasty one named Forsythia . Forsythia comes back from years in exile to exact revenge on her sister, Queen Camillia, who banished her for learning magic when they were kids. There is a dragon named Azragoth who protects the Camillia and her loyal subjects. Forsythia turns Azragoth into a chicken. Saffron, the witch-in-training, is tasked with traveling the land in search of a spell that can turn Azragoth back and oust Forsythia and her hoard of goblins from the kingdom.
What’s the hardest part for you when developing a character? The hardest part for me, and I think for anyone, is the concept of originality. Originality is somewhat of a myth these days. Human beings have been telling fantastic stories since the dawn of time and they are all pretty much the same. There is a villain and there is a savior. The villain is evil personified and the savior is always somehow more that human. The Holy Bible, ancient mythology, comic books, it’s all in there. The goal when creating a character for me is simply to avoid any obvious comparisons to another already-established character. However, a good character should be an amalgamation of many characters who have traits that I admire.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Work hard and be patient. No one is an overnight success. No one who lasts anyway. It takes a little bit of living before you can really come up with something that other people can relate to.
Tell us something about the writer’s group you’re collaborating with in Ohio. The Ohio Valley Writers is a small group of writers who meet and critique each other’s work and discuss ways to get published. I joined in order to meet writers who are in need of illustrations for their books. I’m working with one writer on a short story currently and may be working with another on a series of books in the near future.
Any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with? Josh and I go way back to our glory days at Ohio University. Josh has always been a wildly creative and energetic soul and it’s no surprise to me that he has created this fantastic work. I’m honored and flattered that he has invited me along for the ride. I think we bring out the best in each other and I am so looking forward to seeing what we can imagine together.
Copyright 2015 Scott Hanson
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