Lord Mesa has a very interesting, distinctive art style, which is as colorful as the man himself. We had a chance to chat with Lord Mesa about how he got is start in art, his creative influences and upcoming projects….and the inspiration of Denny’s.
SeagateCreative: How long have you be pursuing your career in art?
Lord Mesa: The word career makes it seem like at a certain point in my life I decided to become an artist from all these diﬀerent choices. Drawing is all I have ever really wanted to do in my/with life, what I know I am good at and really love doing it.
But to answer your question, professionally, I guess it all I started when I was 12 and entered a contest to draw the cover to my school play’s program and won. It was the ﬁrst time I was ever paid for one of my drawings… I think I got $75…
SC: How would you describe your art style?
LM: My style would be best categorized as “cartoony”. I like the less is more take on drawing. Using few lines to communicate motion and emotion.
SC: How did you develop this signature style?
LM: For anyone not familiar with my work, I tend to do a lot of what I like to call “lil” versions of popular characters from comics and movies. Another term for what I do is also “chibi”. Basically, what I do is draw kid versions of characters, but since some of the characters I draw have facial hair, I call them “lils” so they are in that foggy area of kid and caricature.
One of my favorite animated movies of all time is Disney’s Tarzan…I really loved how the character was drawn as a young boy. That image coupled with my love of Art Adams take of the X-Men as the X-Babies inﬂuenced my current style.
SC: When did you first know that you wanted to be an artist?
LM: Ever since I could pick up a pencil.
SC: Who would you say were your inspirations growing up, or even today?
LM: I would have to say my Dad is the ﬁrst artists to inspire me become an artist myself. He and my Mom were actually real estate agents and that’s how they supported our family.
But we had the semi-Sunday morning tradition of having breakfast at Denny’s…
While we would wait for our food, my Dad would bust out his pen and start sketching on the napkins or placemats that were on the table. I remember being fascinated by how he could create this image of a face out of nothing. To this day he still draws and to this day he is still my inspiration.
SC: What formal training did you have in becoming an artist?
LM: I attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. It was a good school and I learned the fundamentals while I was there, but to be honest, I had to develop my style and skills on my own because there wasn’t an in depth program yet that focused on what I was trying to get into at that time.
The reason I say this is that while I do think school is important in helping someone learn the fundamentals of illustrating, it is your personal drive and desire to become better that will help you take what you learn and turn it into something that you can proudly call your own.
SC: Have you ever considered making a full-length comic book?
LM: A full-length comic? No not really, but I am developing a web comic and a children’s book as well.
SC: What inspired you to create a children’s book and what has that process been like for you?
LM: I haven’t created a children’s book just yet, although it is one of my life goals to accomplish… My inspiration to create one goes back to when I worked with kids in an afterschool program back when I was in college. I would always read them the funniest children’s books i could find in the library. I always thought it would be cool if one of those books could be something I created.
SC: Tell us a little more about the 3D portion of your art.
LM: LOL…Oh boy… I get asked this a lot at shows…Basically I create my illustration to completion, then I take the ﬁnal illustration and manually dissect the diﬀerent aspects that I want to either come forward or drop back. Then I take those individual pieces of the illustration and go into the layers and play around till the image reaches the desired 3D look I am going for.
SC: What shows/conventions will you be attending next?