ARTIST FOCUS: WES TALBOTT
This week for our Artist Focus, I cannot express how excited I am to feature the incredibly talented Wes Talbott. We featured Wes in this series last year, which you can read about here, and now he’s come back to fill us in about all of his latest work! So without further ado…
Hey Wes, it’s been a year since we last talked. How’s life treating you? Any big news or changes from the past year?
Oh man a lot has changed since my last interview with OTL. I graduated college, got married, and got hired by LEGO to do my dream job of designing LEGO sets. I’m looking forward to settling down for a bit without any major events going on.
How do you feel you have progressed in your artwork over the past year? Any personal achievements unlocked?
Senior year at college was a bit different for me. My interests kind of shifted focus as I progressively included more LEGO inspiration into my work, and less pure fantasy Tolkien-type stuff that I had been doing the previous year. I also took a Silkscreen Printing class which was fun to explore the world of more flat limited pallet illustration styles to contrast my usual rendered stuff. So I would say this year has been more about experiencing new things rather than refining my craft.
Tell us about the gorgeous set of Zelda prints you designed. What inspiration did you draw on for those? What was your process for the series?
As I mentioned in my last answer, I took a Slikscreen Printing class at school. The Majora’s Mask poster was my first piece from that class that I got to go crazy with after learning all the basic techniques of screen printing. I really enjoyed the challenge and a lot of people reacted well to the print, so naturally I decided to make a the second Ocarina of Time themed. My main idea behind both was capturing the most gratifying point (for me) in video games, which is the final boss battle.
We’ve seen some really cool Lego pieces from you this year, how fun has that project been for you?
Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed getting back into LEGO again. LEGO is so perfect for creating new ideas and the Cuusoo website is a really great tool to exercise your skills and make something you are really passionate about. I don’t really have any updates on the Iron Knuckle Encounter project at this point. I’ve been thinking about making an updated model, as I have been learning more about how to make a good sellable model, but all my LEGO is packed up for the move to Denmark.
Any more Lego pieces planned for the future?
Of course! I have another Cuusoo project in the pipeline that I think has pretty good chances of succeeding and should get a lot of online coverage upon it’s release. Even though I will be designing sets at LEGO I still plan to work on my own creations (MOC’s) at home.
Any other current projects you’re working on? Upcoming shows?
Nothing major, I’ve had a few invites to participate in galleries but sadly I just haven’t had time to generate decent work. I’m hoping within the next year or two once life slows down a bit I’d like to try and get involved with the creative community again.
What games have you been playing over the past year?
Well, despite all my complaining about not having time, I actually have managed to fit in some gaming. Recently I played Fire Emblem Awakening, which was a great game. I also completed Portal for the first time, although my Macbook doesn’t like Steam too much so I haven’t managed to play Portal 2 yet. I also actually really liked Rovio’s latest game Tiny Thief. It’s really charming and much better than Angry Birds in my opinion; I hope they keep making expansions for it. And of course I’ve never stopped playing Super Smash Bros. I’m looking forward to the new one coming out next year.
What is the best art advice you have ever received?
I’m sure everyone has heard it but very few actually do it. “Do what you love.” It can be extremely scary to put all your eggs in one basket, but when they hatch it’s so worth it. (as long as your basket is realistically lucrative ;) I would also add a second part to that, which is “Talk to the people that do what you love.” It may not be as hard as you think to join them.
What is your most memorable video game experience?
Aw man, probably all of Ocarina of Time. It was the first full length adventure game I ever finished as a kid.
I noticed that you are a fan of the Hobbit. Thoughts on the new movie? Favorite dwarf?
I did, it was pretty good. I’m not super nit-picky when it come to movies though. There were a few things I wasn;t a fan of but over all I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next one. My favorite dwarf would have to be Dwalin cus he’s a badass.
Now here is the most important question of them all: If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?
I’d be a Dracorex with the ability to grow wings and fly, because then I’d basically be a dragon.
Want to keep up with what Wes is working on? You can follow him on Tumblr for all his latest updates! You can also follow him on Twitter and you can check out his website or DeviantArtfor his complete portfolio. For an original screenprint, digital print, or t-shirt you can email Wes at firstname.lastname@example.org while supplies last!