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Juvenile Mike

By Blazej Szpakowicz     January 08, 2006

Welcome to thelatest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight!

Our victim today isJuvenile Mike.

Comics2Film (C2F):How/why did you start manipping?

Juvenile Mike (JM):I started manipping as part of a school project. It was a design-basedthing, and I was casting for Crimson by Ramos, Hope et co. I found thissite and asked someone to manip them for me, but no one did, so I triedmyself...and failed. I came back after the project though, and lurked.Meanwhile I created Ivyand Catwoman, which I'm still really proud of.

C2F: What softwaredo you use to make your art?

JM: I've alwaysbeen a Paintshop Pro baby. I've tried Photoshop and just find it toocounter-intuitive, although that's probably just because I learnt onPSP.

C2F: What'syour favourite part of doing a manip?

JM: I love theconcept stuff. I've come up with a thousand sketches for images that I'venever gotten around to manipping. Things in real life tend to keep mequite busy and so I'm always short on time for manips. Often I getfrustrated when I can't find a good pose, so lately I've taken to justpainting the figure from scratch, although I've not been successfulthere yet.

C2F: What'syour favourite of your own work?

JM: I reallylike two of my images. Ultimate Xmen: Jean Greyand Superman:Genesis.

I think Jean Grey is my mostcomplete picture. There are things on thatthat I've never managed to repeat as well, notably the metal. There's threeimages blended together there, the hair, the face and the body, and each ofthose have had extensive work done. The clothing she was wearing was quitedifferent yet I think it holds up well.

The Superman picture, well,I think it's great mainly because it was painted from just a small blackand white image of Gregg Avedon. I put in a lot of work and it wasn't gettingthere, as Zac, Essex and Bill will testify. Then I jiggled the colours and*boom* it just worked. I wish I could upload a bigger version.

C2F: What's your leastfavourite of your own work?

JM: Probably one of mytheme day pictures. I love theme days, but I always leave them too late andthen screw up the images and they look amateurish.

C2F: What's yourfavourite work(s) by another artist(s)?

JM: I really loveMarrow's Supergirl.I think it's creative and exploratory, something a lotof pictures in the DCG lack. I love pinup shots and think they're a greatway of practicing technique, but I wish that every once in a while peoplewould try something different and knock out a weirdly lit action shot orsomething.

C2F: What do youthink is your strongest asset as an artist?

JM: Honestly Ithink my strongest asset is the friends I have here. I'm often too quickto give up and seeing how Bill *never* gives up really keeps me going. Zac'sconstant scolding also helps. If I had to choose something of mine though,it would be my love of comics. I really think they're great and have suchrespect and admiration for the greats (both artists and characters) thatI want to do them justice.

C2F: What do youstill need to work on?

JM: Lighting. Ireally need to do a lot of work here. Artists like Essex and Android uselighting so well. That's definitely something I'd like to be able to do.Also wrinkles and metal... Yes apart from creating the basic shapesI still suck at everything!

C2F: What inspiresyou? Where do you get your ideas from?

JM: Other artists,both here, onscreen and from other sources, inspire me. If I've just read acool comic I'll often feel inspired to do that character; Ultimate Iron Manis on my list right now. My ideas come from cool scenes I'd like to see ormore usually how I imagine the movie poster.

C2F: Any advicefor aspiring artists?

JM: Get a supportnetwork. Get some buddies who can give you tips and look at your picturefor the thousandth time and make sure they feel comfortable saying "Noit still sucks."

C2F: Where doyou think the DCG should be headed?

JM: PersonallyI'd really like it to become a launch pad for artists. You don't have theskills but have concept and drive? Come to the DCG and we'll help youlearn to make the pictures. That sort of thing. I think the communityspirit is really great and with more tutorials and comments we couldreally use that to improve each others work. Sadly though that takestime, and manipping doesn't leave a lot of free time.

C2F: Whatcharacters do you want to manip?

JM: Iron man.I'm just not brave enough: ALL THAT METAL?!? But I think the next oneI'm going to do (that I haven't already started) is Wolverine.

C2F: What'syour favourite comic book movie?

JM: *cough* Daredevil.Well, of the recent ones, but only for the cg-animation. I really lovethe design of the Burton-Batman films. De Vito was amazing, and if you lookat them from a distance they're really beautiful.

C2F: What's yourguiding philosophy as an artist?

JM: EverythingI know came from two sources, it was either taught to me, or I got itfrom experience. In order to earn the stuff that was taught to me, I haveto give something back, all I've got that's mine to give back is what Ilearnt from experience.

For more of Mike's art, takea look at his DCG gallery.

Interviewer: Blazej Szpakowicz


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