Today I have the pleasure to show this in depth interview with Skinny Andy, a really skillful and talented illustrator. Andy was kind enough to show his perspective on illustration, life and other issues. Hope you guys enjoy it.

For more artworks from Andy, please access his Flickr Gallery

1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it’s an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and cartoons?

Thanks for having me.

I’ve enjoyed drawing for as long as I remember, but it wasn’t until I took a couple of digital art classes my senior year of high school that I really got hooked. This was in ’98, and computers were still rather foreign to me back then. Other than playing a few educational games (Oregon Trail, Odell Lake) I hadn’t used computers all that much. So my mind was pretty much blown when I was introduced to Photoshop. It was then I realized that I could do a lot more with my art than just doodling in a sketchbook.

2) Which artists do you use for reference?

A lot of my early inspiration came from comic illustrators like Charles Schulz (his early Peanuts work), and Hank Ketcham. Later I started looking more at vintage children’s book artists like Mary Blair, Al White, and others whose names currently elude me.

3) Your style is quite influenced by cartoons, comics and childbooks. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it?

When I first started out in art I was all over the place. I didn’t have one single style, media, or subject matter that I would stick to. I would dabble in digital media, mixed media, and traditional media. I would jump around from darker mature themes, to whimsical and kid friendly ideas, all the while not doing anything to make myself stand out as an artist. It wasn’t until I took a step back from my aimless dabbling, and looked at my overall body of work that I realized I was pretty good at drawing simple, cute, and clean vector art. It was at this point I decided to focus all my attention to this one area, and as a result my art started showing a marked improvement, and most importantly my own distinct style eventually emerged.

I would describe my style as simple, cute/cartoony, and often whimsical.

4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece.

There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how an idea pops into my head. When an idea does strike me, however, I usually sketch it out first, scan it, and then redraw it in Adobe Illustrator. I sometimes use Photoshop when I want to add some textures, but for the most part I stick with just clean vectors, and a simple color palette.

5) What’s the best thing about working with illustration and what is the worst?

The best part is just the opportunity to create something, which I’m sure is what originally attracted all artists. The worst is probably working for a closed minded client. I’ve had a few designs that followed the client’s request(s) to a t (because he/she would accept nothing else), that turned out looking so horrible I no longer wanted my name associated with it.

6) How do you describe your daily routine?

I really don’t have a routine when it comes to art. If I have an idea I like I’m usually drawing it, otherwise I’m just looking for something to spark new ideas.

7) Which is your favorite piece so far?

I currently don’t have one piece I can pinpoint as my favorite. There are plenty I’m happy with, but not one that stands apart from the rest. I am my own worst critic, so just to be able to say I have designs I am happy with is a step in the right direction.

8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator.

I can’t think of five things at the moment. I would say to make sure you always enjoy what you are doing. If you are no longer having fun drawing then something needs to change. Also be open to criticism. Not all of it is productive, but occasionally you can find some gems if you are willing to listen.

9) Tell us some websites that you like to visit

I visit many sites, but here are a couple that I have visited recently:

10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.

Always have a personal side project going, so you have your own creative outlet outside of client work. You will be happier for it.