Feature Artist Shannon Boyd
Posted: Apr 06 2016
Recently I caught up with my great mate and illustrator, Shannon Boyd, to see what makes him tick and what the future holds for him. Shannon has been with us from day one, designing the Navigator Tee for our first collection.
Well mate, it seems you’ve been putting pen to paper more than ever lately. Where did it all start for you?
Well my earliest memory of picking up a pencil was when I was 5. Mum was called up to the school where my kindergarten teacher gave her a 12 pack of Derwent pencils and said I needed to draw. The whole time she was thinking I must have been in trouble but turns out I just drew a pretty sweet sketch of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since then I taught myself all types of mediums and it was a regular thing to get a pack of Derwents as a gift for all the big celebrations.
Who has had the biggest influence on your drawing?
Too many to name. Comic book artists Jim Lee, Jerome Opena and Jim Cheung helped teach me to draw the human form and also kick started my affinity for comic books. Godwin Bradbeer was a New Zealand artist who drew these insane portraits and figures with multiple layers using chalk pastel and oil that he would then scrape back on canvas to create an x-ray/photographic style image. Nate van Dyke, an amazing illustrator who uses graphic pens and ink. My year 8 art teacher was an amazing woman and educator who pushed me to express myself in any shape or form. However, truthfully, the world around me and all the artists I have come into contact with over the last 21 years have influenced my development and helped me find my own style - which I still feel I am refining. My girlfriend Caitlin, who pleaded with me to pick up a pencil again - she is always encouraging me to take it another step and helped me get back my love for it.
You can adapt to a variety of illustration styles, what would be your favourite?
Cannot say I have a favourite. I think I go through phases. At the moment I am doing a collection of portraits on the people and things that influence or drive me. Stippling with graphic pens is a really nice medium I have recently began to explore. Watercolour and graphite sketching is something I have felt comfortable with since I was 10. Mechanical pencils and graphic comic sketches are something I don’t think I will ever be able to give up. Lately, I have been lucky enough to receive some commissions using Posca paints on wooden boards, which I really enjoy because the colour and textures you get are really vibrant and crisp. But I am always on the lookout for the next thing. Maybe oil or graffiti art is next to tick off the list of things to try...
Everyone has different ways of getting to the finished product, what is your creative process?
Music. Give me a set of over the ear headphones and some time to myself and I will draw until my hands are sore. I often start with a few sketches to make sure I understand what it is I want. Once I am happy with it, it is just a matter of working on it bit-by-bit. Some works may take me 10 minutes, an hour or two; while some may take me a week, a month or more.
What is on the horizon for you? Any projects/plans in the near future?
Just building up my collection. I have been fortunate enough to be invited to a RAW natural born artist showcase in Sydney on the 15th of April where I get to exhibit some of my more recent works. Showing my work to the public is the main thing I am aiming for, as well as exposing myself to enough art, culture and other artists I can find. Hopefully my passion for illustration will help me get to where I want to be, but it is something I will always continue to do for as long as I can.
Tickets for RAW Showcase can be purchased HERE