FI) Hey Dusty, thank you so much for answering some questions for us. I suppose we should start at the start - where are you from and when did you realise you wanted to be an Illustrator?
DP) I grew up in the Midwest, but now reside around the
I’ve had a huge interest in art my entire life but I knew that I wanted to make it a living when I started looking at art books around age 13. I flipped through all of them daily and was mesmerized at all of these science fiction, horror, and fantasy artists that spent all of their time getting paid to make art. I knew at that point that I wanted to work towards making it my life.
DP) I have a lot, but the biggest ones who have actually influenced my style would be Michael Whelan, Wayne D. Barlowe, and H.R. Giger. I also like a lot of artists that I didn’t pull a lot from artistically, but they kept me interested in drawing like Jim Lee, Barry Windsor-Smith and Jim Starlin.
As for other styles, I love making bizarre cartoons and comics. If your readers are interested, they can check out http://dustypeterson.tumblr.com/ to see my little dumping ground for absurdity. It’s all very random, weird stuff. I use that style to sort of cleanse my palette between more serious works.
|Dawn Under Eclipse - Universus|
FI) You're quite obviously a big metal fan. Was album artwork always an aspiration for you? What were some of your favourite covers growing up, and do you have a favourite from your own portfolio of work at all?
As for my own favourite, “Universus” for the band “Dawn Under Eclipse” is my personal favourite.
DP) After I had finished up on my work for Bloodbath, I figured I’d start trying to find some more clients. So I just went on sites like BNRmetal or Metal Archives and look for bands that I liked or was familiar with and started sending them my portfolio. I would say I sent off 50-75 emails, got 5 replies, and Barnes was one of the ones that actually wrote back. I remember thinking, “wow…out of all of these, I never expected the guy that I’m actually a massive fan of to write back”. From there, he said that he just wanted a simple, cheap T-shirt and so I did the angel skeleton that he ended up using for Graveyard Classics 3. He liked it so much that he said it needed to be on a cover and not just a shirt, and the rest is history. We’ve been working together on albums and various merchandise ever since.
I feel very lucky to be a part of it all.
|Six Feet Under - Unborn|
As far as the specific process, it could almost be an entire article itself. In general, though, it starts with a sketch (either in pencil or watercolor) and then I send them my idea. Once they sign off on it, I move forward with the rest of the piece.
FI) Are you able to tell us at all what you might be working on at present, or is that all top secret stuff?
As for ego, it’s natural to have a little bit of ego as an artist. I think it’s actually essential for that confidence I was talking about earlier, but it’s a fine line. Always be humble. Don’t be a prick to people. You’d be surprised at just how far being nice to other people goes.
Finally, and this is a big one…get critique. You can’t get better as an artist if you think you have peaked out. I see SO MANY ARTISTS that think they are the best on the planet and when someone says “I think it’d be better if…”, they flip out. It’s a gut reaction that every artist has faced, including me. You just want to say “You know what, man? What do you know about art anyway?”, but you need to push all of that aside and take what they have to say as a possibility that your work isn’t perfect. It might not be good critique, but it is always feedback that you should consider and try to remember the next time you create.
I’d like to collaborate with a
|Six Feet Under - Undead|
DP) Just my website at www.dustypeterson.net and possibly my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/theartofdustypeterson. Between the two of those, that is where I spend most of my time. Thanks to everyone who read this! Horns up!