March 3, 2024


Yo Quiero Techno

Artist Interview – Jamie Gustafson

7 min read
Artist Interview - Jamie Gustafson

Who are you and what do you do?

My identify is Anthony James Gustafson, but my relatives, good friends, and colleagues connect with me Jamie. I am a science and organic heritage illustrator from Chicago, IL.


Why do you do what you do?

Artwork and science are two of the issues about which I am most passionate. Possessing the opportunity to make a living combining all those passions has usually been a aspiration of mine.


How and when did you get into artwork?

I’ve been drawing at any time given that I was outdated plenty of to maintain a crayon. And I have been associated in producing art in 1 way or an additional at any time because. I have been doing it professionally, both as a graphic designer and an illustrator, for the earlier 15 several years.


Your drawings are so technological & detailed.  Have you generally drawn this way?

I’ve often tried to make my drawings as in-depth as doable. Mastering to see all of these details, and then discovering to seize them in my artwork is a little something I have put in decades working towards, and a little something I check out to enhance upon just about every working day. When your artwork is created for scientific and educational applications, focusing on technological details is often a important part of the approach.


What are your favored subjects to draw?

I adore interior anatomy. Producing real looking, illustrated versions of zoological anatomy is a single of my absolute favorite points to do.

In addition to that, prehistoric restoration is most likely my best passion. That is the method of utilizing current fossil data and the hottest paleontological exploration to reconstruct extinct species. My paleoart typically focuses on reconstructing prehistoric mammals.


What inspires your artwork?

Mostly my art is inspired by my love of character. I adore discovering from mother nature and then making use of my artwork to teach what it has taught me to many others. From a young age, I was taught to be curious and passionate about the all-natural entire world. The best intention of my operate is to inspire that exact same curiosity and enthusiasm in other individuals.


How has your observe transformed over time?

For the earlier many decades I have seriously concentrated on comprehending how mild and coloration functionality. I have come to comprehend that drawing is definitely just the act of mimicking the consequences of gentle and colour in the earth all around us, and then translating that onto paper. That’s oversimplifying it a bit, but in effect, I have expended a great deal of time and electricity cultivating my ability to realistically re-build the effects of gentle on distinct surfaces this sort of as fur, feathers, trees, rocks, and other all-natural components. As a coloured pencil artist, that implies several hours of honing my competencies at layering and mixing distinctive colours, to obtain subtle variations of light-weight and dark hues, tones, highlights, and shades.


What is your most loved piece of art that you have developed? Why?

1 of my beloved parts is a do the job I did final 12 months illustrating a several rarely-highlighted anatomical features uncovered in sharks. The piece concentrated on a shark’s distinctive skin texture, as properly as an inner mechanism that provides them the potential to detect minute electrical impulses in probable prey. I was very happy to have the function acknowledged when I was awarded the Worldwide Award on Scientific Illustration by Academia Illustraciencia and The National Museum of Natural Science in Madrid.


What is the most effective piece of artwork advice you have been specified?

A couple decades ago I was offered the possibility to take a look at for a series of books by a effectively-identified publisher. In the end, I didn’t land the gig, but the editor assigned to the undertaking gave me a great deal of constructive opinions. Most notably, he advised me to “draw daily life, not taxidermy”. That has genuinely stuck with me. Even although the illustrations or photos I make are still, I attempt my finest to breathe as substantially lifetime into them as doable. I uncover this specifically critical when re-developing animals of the previous. I want the viewer to picture these creatures as the living, respiratory beings that they were. Not as the superb, mythological beasts that they are likely to grow to be in our minds.


What’s just one artwork tip/approach you can share with us that you discover seriously valuable?

This appears to be like a pretty apparent assertion, but I’ve discovered that it Is a person of the most tough and significant matters an artist can do: Draw what you see. By that, I mean attract what you seriously see. Not what you know, or even what you feel you know. If you question a person to attract a tree, most people would likely generate something akin to a vertical brown rectangle, topped with green squiggles, or particular person eco-friendly markings symbolizing leaves. And though that is a universally recognized representation of a tree, it’s not what a tree actually appears like. They, like any in a natural way developing item, are significantly extra intricate. And so when an artist definitely learns to see and then learns to translate what they see onto paper, it has the prospective to get their artwork to a wholly different amount.


Do you have any secret tips or methods you use to salvage a piece when you make a error?

I generally like to hold my problems. I may possibly scrap a piece and start out over, but I will preserve those people off to the aspect and refer again to them. I believe both equally as artists and as persons, our errors can occasionally be our greatest discovering tools.


What is your favored Strathmore paper? Why?

The 400 Sequence Toned Sketch papers are my go-to. I particularly appreciate the toned gray. The texture of the 400 series lends alone effectively to the layering and blending that colored pencils need. And the grey surface area makes an priceless, mid-toned history. Making it possible for more regulate more than lighter values, whites, and highlights.


What artwork products could you not live devoid of?

I couldn’t do what I do without the need of significant-good quality, professional-grade colored pencils. Believe that it or not, when I to start with started working with colored pencils, I’d normally rummage by means of my five-yr-old’s arts and crafts box in research of hues. At the time, I barely realized the variation in between great pencils and lousy pencils. Given that then, I’ve occur to comprehend that there is no substitute for quality. It truly makes all the change in the globe.


What kinds of shades are you drawn to for your art and why?

I really use a large array of colours. It all is dependent on the subject matter matter. But I always make absolutely sure I have a healthy source of different brown and grey tones on hand. Even when using vibrant colors, neutrals definitely help to shape people hues into the distinct hues that I’m making an attempt to attain.


Who are your most significant influences (or who ended up when you started off undertaking art)?

I have experienced so many influences about the a long time, it is complicated to identify just a few. I suppose my initial affect was my more mature brother. I very first figured out how to attract by copying the issues that he would draw. As I grew, numerous of my influences had been comedian e-book artists this sort of Frank Miller, Jim Lee, and Todd McFarlane. Now most of my influences are fellow paleoartists such as Mauricio Anton, and Beth Zaiken, and sculptors like Jim Burt and the Kennis Brothers.


What is the most popular artwork-linked concern you get from your followers?

Without having a doubt, the most typical problem I get asked is “How do I convert my artistry into a job?” However, there is no a person-sizing-matches-all response. Everyone’s route is distinct. My possess path was certainly a lot less than orthodox. But I give every aspiring professional artist the exact same information: Aim on the function. Draw. Paint. Sculpt. Whichever it is that you do, do it. Do it a ton. Even when you never want to. Specifically when you really don’t want to. Since as any artistic professional will tell you, there will be times when you will want to create artwork, even when you really don’t want to. So commit your self to getting to be the extremely ideal artist that you can. Then uncover a way to get your artwork in entrance of as a lot of people today as feasible. I am a firm believer that it is not possible to hide very good get the job done. Inevitably, anyone will locate it. An individual will give you an chance. But until finally then, be geared up to listen to “No”. Or worse nonetheless, be organized to hear nothing at all. Anticipate rejection, but in no way accept it. If a career as an artist is what you certainly want, in no way permit any individual inform you that you cannot have it.


Website/social media one-way links:

Web page:

Instagram: @ajgusillustration

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