Don't you find that art is a funny old game? Heck, I can remember when 19th century American humorist, Helen Rowland, once said 'A bachelor of arts is one who makes love to a lot of women, and yet has the art to remain a bachelor'. Still what does that silly old cow know? Huh? I'd rather listen to my mate instead. You know. My good mate Jason Lenox. On what he had to say about his freshly printed (and now available for purchase!) medieval and sci-fi anthology, UGLI STUDIOS PRESENTS #1. Here, when you have the time, please check out this conversation we had just the other day whilst throwing stones at stones.

Drawing for the Beginner

1) When was the first time you knew that you had the talent to draw, Jason? And how did you develop your style?  At age 3 I was drawing like a maniac with anything I could get my hands on, and would correct my mother if she tried to draw anything with me - typically in crayons!! I honed my skills on private weekly lessons with an artist in her art studio as a kid - from age 5 til age 17, and many many hours of practice and research on my own.

2) Why did you base your comic book, "UGLI STUDIOS PRESENTS" #1, on a medieval theme?   I love the old Dungeons and Dragons art and wanted to make a comic that would bring some of that old school "evil" imagery to life. I've never really seen anyone else do that, and I think we succeeded in pulling it off.

3) If your style of art was a movie, a piece of music, or an object, what would it be and why?   'Heavy Metal' the movie from 1981. It is violent, sexy, fun to look at, and you never know what it is going to do next. That film rocks and has been a creative beacon for me since I saw it when I was in elementary school on VHS!!

4) What was your first piece of commercial work? And what did you take away from this experience.   Selling T shirt art in High School in the early 90's - It showed me how hard it was to make things people would actually pay for, as opposed to stuff that was just "fun" for me to draw.

5) Being a bit of a comic book buff myself, I find that your style of art is somewhat similar to Green Lantern artist, Gil Kane’s, work? Who do you feel that your artwork is like, and why?   Alain Voss from Brazil is the artist I most compare myself to. We have similar inking and layout styles, and we love complicated images that push the realms of reality, but have a strong basis in solid anatomy / structure and geometry. I'm flattered by the Gil Kane comparison, thank you, that is a great compliment!

6) What is your own personal opinion on telling a tale through your illustrations?   I like to make things beautiful / disturbing / dangerous, so you can never turn away. I want the reader to have to see what happens next, no matter what I do to them. Plus I want to surprise them - no cliches, and endings that surprise the reader, while at the same time keeping a rich visual look with lots of details that rewards the reader for exploring each image carefully for small tidbits of detail that flesh out the worlds I create.

7) Who are your personal inspirations in life?   Elaine Renna and James Mowery - two great art teachers that showed me a lot of technical tricks and skills, and a mentality of thinking outside the box visually and artistically whenever I am creating artwork.
8) If there was one thing you could change about your work, what would it be and why?   Less stipling (also known and thousands of small dots) it looks great, but so hard to do well! I always say to myself that I am going to get away from it, but then I go back to it again!

9) During your time as an artist, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Getting work done on deadlines, and turning work away I dont know how to do, or that I cant get done on time. Under promising and OVER delivering always works well for me professionally.

10) Do you have any tips or advice for an aspiring artist?   Practice your anatomy - especially hands -  they sell your artwork. If you can do hands well, you can do anything! PRACTICE!!!! And also, expect to hear "no" a lot. But don't let it get you down, just keep trying to make work so good, nobody can ignore it, and you will eventually hear "Yes".

So there you have it folks, my mate Jason and his view on art. Now when you have the time, please visit his website, www.jasonlenox.com, where you can pick up a copy of his new comic book at his on-line store. Plus check out his facebook page and his publishing house too, www.thisisugli.com. Trust me, it would keep you in good stead if you want to be an artist. 

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