NICK BRADSHAW ANSWERS 15 QUESTIONS WITH JULINDA MORROW
Nick Bradshaw has been on my radar since his work appeared in Army of Darkness. His style incorporates the best artistic elements of Art Adams and the late Mike Wieringo.
Nick is a real superhero artist – I mean that as a sincere compliment. His style is ideally suited to the genre and the perceptive editors at Marvel know it. May they keep him busy for many years to come.
A gallery of Nick’s heroic images follow this interview.
Julinda Morrow: What path led you to comics and sequential art?
Nick Bradshaw: Interested after reading my first Archie comic at 6 years old. Hooked at the start then that led to superheroes and such a few years later. I always drew though, comics were just fun and it blossomed from there.
JM: What schooling or training did you receive?
NB: A lot of life drawing and some animation studio experience.
JM: How do you define sequential art?
NB: A manner of visually telling a story in an entertaining way…or just disposable entertainment – that’s if you’re like me and read and draw comics for pure joy.
JM: Do you find that sequential art provides you with near-limitless possibilities for storytelling or do you experience it as constraining?
NB: The only time I feel limited when trying to tell a story is when my imagination has stalled on me some morning. Then there are some days where it just seems like an open world I can build. A truly well written script from a writer with visual sense can whet the appetite of a very visual artist and that’s an amazing thing.
JM: What qualities or resources do you believe are most important for a sequential storyteller to have?
NB: First and foremost the ability to read a script and ask questions; a strong visual sense and instinct for storytelling, nothing wrong with keeping it in panels and a direct left to right visual. Acting and anatomy I always put last as those are things you will spend a lifetime refining.
JM: How do you approach your work process?
NB: Crawl my ass out of bed at an early hour recognizing that mornings are my most productive periods of the day. Breaking down the script I will be drawing that day in thumbs and jumping into a panel layout that will appeal to me before I start in with roughing the panels. Rough drawing to make sure I made a proper decision with my layouts, then cleanup.
JM: How many hours a day do you work? Are you uniformly productive on any given day or more productive on some days than others?
NB: Varies…good day, maybe ten; long day, maybe fifteen. I will draw every day but on days I struggle I’ll walk away from it after a few hours.
JM: Was it a struggle, at the start of your career, to find work and make ends meet?
NB: It is for everyone I imagine, we all earn our lumps. It should always be a struggle though; once you become complacent you lose a hunger for it and rely on your brand to sell books and your art starts to take a nosedive.
JM: What has been your most valuable professional experience?
NB: Just this past week visiting New York, meeting people I have worked with the past few years and other artists – old and new – has set me straight on a few misconceptions about my own work habits as well as strengths. Let me know where I am at and how far I still need to go, which is encouraging.
JM: What inspires or informs you creatively?
NB: Film, other artists, comics, nature…so much does, but I realize it’s all pretty visual for me, for the most part.
JM: What is your position on digital comics? Are they a good thing or a bad thing?
NB: Growing on me…anything that gets the medium out there is a great thing…miss the smell and feel of paper, though.
JM: If you were to make any changes to the industry or the market what changes would you make?
NB: Hmm. tough…kinda still too green to this. I’ll just have to cop out and say you’ll have to ask me again in a year or two before I feel I can offer an honest, informed opinion.
JM: If you could apprentice under any artist at any time in history and anywhere in the world who would it be?
NB: Alex Toth…his stuff was just fearless and sexy. I would love to rubberneck over his pages and just soak them in.
JM: What, in the future, would you like to accomplish creatively?
NB: A complete issue of a book where I am satisfied with it from cover to last page…but I have a hope that never happens, as it would also be the last day I ever pick up a pencil.