Illustrating a Point– Nick Wale Interviews Publisher and Illustrator George Vega

On my wanders around the world of the Internet I find some interesting folk. Today, I want to introduce someone who really has something to offer all you talented artists out there. George Vega is a well-respected, talented illustrator. He is now a publisher and he wants to work with both new and tested talent. Let George explain…

George VegaQ) Hi, George, let me ask you to begin with, can you describe yourself in your own words? Who is George Vega?

A) Hi, Nick, I would describe myself as a nice and patient guy. It feels to me that people like being around me. I’m awesome at parties! (laughs) I work hard and believe that many have more talent than I, but few can outwork me. This may come from my Kung Fu background,

Q) Kung Fu? So you’re a martial arts expert as well?

A) I am a Black Belt in Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu. I’ve competed in forms and weapons competitions NASKA from 1999- 2002. Back in 2001, was ranked second in Chinese Open hand forms and Chinese style weapons. So, ‘expert’? I don’t know, but I truly love to practice and train. I’m always trying to push myself and understand why this martial art has lasted about 1000 years.

Q) Of course, martial arts centres around patience. Would you say that’s where you picked up your patience?

A) Yes, your right. That’s where my patience may have come from. It helps me deal with people and stand up for myself in a verbal sense.

Q) You are a talented illustrator and graphic designer. Did you have to push yourself to become so good at what you do or did it come naturally?

A) P-U-S-H!!!! Ha! I think the passion is natural. I went to F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York, and my focus was not right those years. Truthfully, I had it easier with graphic design.

I studied graphic design after really not doing much with illustration for years. Graphic design did flow but did not fully satisfy me creatively.

Georges

Q) The fire was still burning to do more with your talent? Push it further?

A) Yes, I believe so, because you practice and push yourself to your limits. So, at times, when I watch a movie or stay on the couch watching TV, a little voice goes off in my head and says, “Get to work, you have to keep developing– keep pushing.”

It’s the same voice that would help me as I trained with my Coach and Sifu. However, the answer is certainly ‘yes’– I pushed myself to achieve my current abilities.

Q) Has moving into publishing dimmed the fire at all?

A) It’s tough and it does steal some creative and work time, but I’m trying to cultivate the publishing end of things and want to work with quality people and artists. If I wanted to, I would print cards and hand them to EVERYONE at Comic Con’s Artist Alley and just worry about revenue and getting sales, but I don’t. I try my best to get behind artists who are doing top-notch work, print their books, and showcase them. It would be great to have a full steam ahead publishing company like the big boys where I could also provide creative services.

Q) Are you aiming to become one of the “big boys” in the future? Is that your next goal?

A) Yes, that’s what I’m working on. I can provide publishing services to artists as well as illustration work to other companies.

Q) Are you strongly connected in the world of publishing? To other artists? Other publishing companies?

A) Artists, yes. Some are great friends, too, or we have become friends. Companies– that’s growing daily. I keep making contacts.

Q) As an up-and-coming publisher, how do you feel about the current trend of self-publishing?

A) I think it’s very cool to have that freedom because it gives a chance for that little guy to make something happen. Unfortunately, when you self-publish, you don’t really know if you have something good or if you may lose a lot of money. The kickstarter thing is awesome, but I just hope people don’t get carried away with the capital and not take the opportunity to build something significant. Either way, let people be and the cream always rises.

Vega

Q) I read about a lot of writers and artists who lose hope and think they’ll never get recognised for their talents. Did you ever feel as though your talents would never be recognised?

A) All the time…

I wonder if people actually think I’m talented or not. All I know is my whole life I loved to draw and I loved cartoons. As a kid, my favorite cartoon was Voltron. I watched the credits, wondering if I could contact one of those people to teach me. Little did I know that it was all done overseas. I would like to say that patience is key– I am not a phenomenon– I am just lucky enough to know my passion.

Q) George, what would your advice be to young artists trying to break into the business?

A) Such an important question. The first step is with yourself. Take stock of what you have talent-wise.

Talk to other artists, look for people above you or who are further along. Those conversations can be worth gold as far as understanding where you want to go. Really understand the spectrum of illustration– from comics to concept work to sketch cards, traditional to digital, and everything in between…all of it. Because you have to put your efforts in somewhere and you need to choose where they are best placed. You have to know because there it too much competition out there to muck around.

Q) I think that is some of the most important advice anyone could receive. It’s no good doing anything unless you intend to do it well. Did you always know you wanted to be an illustrator as a kid?

A) YES! I would always say I was going to be an artist. I wish I had someone in my family that new something about it, but my parents were not from the US and spoke very little English. My dad was very hardworking and my mom took care of us. Uncles and aunts were too far away, so I had to figure it out myself.

gv
Q) A story of success– George Vega: I did it my way!

A) Yes, right or wrong, I did it my way. I think anyone can make it if they just keep at it and make the mistakes as well as the successes.

I am lucky enough to have a series of interviews with George. We will be discussing his publishing company Vegamation, and his own work as an illustrator. I am pumped and ready for it, be sure to catch the next one!

Links for George Vega

Contact George here

http://www.georgevega.daportfolio.com/

http://shaotemp.deviantart.com/

Great article from hot selling author Alex Laybourne! Check it out and enjoy it!

Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author

When George Orwell penned his novel 1984, and created the character of Si; the man who, tells the reader about the Inner Party’s plan to reduce language further and further, issuing reduced dictionaries, eliminating words until there are only the absolute minimum of words remaining with which to communicate, I doubt even Orwell could have imagined how true that would be.

Putting aside the technology of flat screens, CCTV and webcams, all of which can be found within this wonderful work of fiction (?), it is the clear prediction of the destruction of language that strikes me as being the most accurate.

I may be biased because of my nationality, but I think that the English language is the best in the world. It is expressive and can be used to conjure images and scenes far more romantic that even the most dashing of Frenchmen could conceive, and whose poetic…

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Finding Inspiration and the Drive to Succeed by Vonnie Winslow Crist

I asked published author Vonnie Winslow Crist to write an article for my blog. I wanted all you authors who are working to build a dream to read her words. Here they are and I think her sentiment is just marvelous!

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VonnieFinding inspiration to write or paint is the easy part of being an author/illustrator. From the sound of rain to the appearance of evening’s first star to the scent of crushed pine needles under foot, our world is filled with places, people, and life experiences that inspire. The trick is to pay attention, then take the time and jot down (or sketch) your ideas while they’re still vivid.

If you’re looking for realistic dialogue, eavesdrop! Sit in a shopping mall, cafe, or coffee shop with a pad of paper and take notes. And while you’re there, people-watch. But don’t just write down the a physical description of some of the passersby, speculate on where they’ve come from, where they’re headed, and who will be meeting them there. Watch children playing, then write about a childhood experience. Sit in a garden or wooded lot and describe the location using all of your senses. Then, imagine the lives of the animals that live there. Look into the night sky and write about someone else who’s looking at those same stars. The chances for inspiration are endless.

And since I think the world is bursting with inspiration, I don’t believe in writer’s block! A writer can always write. Perhaps the next chapter in a novel won’t appear when you’d like it to. Instead of sitting before a computer screen pulling out your hair – look through your research and write an article, or read a book and write a review, or pull a dusty short story from the back of a drawer and revise it, or… Well, you get the idea. And before long, the ideas needed to pull together that next chapter will pop into your mind.

I think writers and artists are often driven by a desire to communicate. They tell a story through words or paint, and all they need is someone on the other end of the conversation to read their books or view their artwork. The creative process for most authors (and artists) is a lonely one. Hours and hours are spent hunched over a computer keyboard or drawing pad. When they eventually publish their writing or show their art, they’re really sending a message out into the darkness in the hopes that some one will look or listen and say, “I understand. I’ve felt that, too. I get your story. Tell me more.”

To me, success is creating new stories and sending them out to readers when they’re published. Therefore, the drive to succeed is also the drive to communicate. When a story, poem, or piece of my art is published, I hope that someone I haven’t reached before picks up that book or magazine and discovers my tales.

Those writers who see money and fame as success are likely to fall short of their goals. There are only a small number of authors (and illustrators) who are able to achieve great wealth and celebrity because of their books or illustrations. Most of us will publish a few books that will hopefully break even and be read by a small, but enthusiastic readership. And that should be enough – enough to make us smile, pick up a paintbrush or pen, and create the next story.

The Greener Forest

Vonnie Winslow Crist is author illustrator of The Greener Forest, River of Stars, Essential Fables, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales, For the Good of the Settlement, Blame it on the Trees, and the soon-to-be-published Owl Light (fantasy stories) and The Enchanted Skean (young adult novel). Find out more about Vonnie at her website: http://vonniewinslowcrist.com ,blog: http://vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com , Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/Fb-Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Author and Twitter: http://twitter.com/VonnieWCrist To buy her books: http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-UK-Amazon or http://tinyurl.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist-Amazon