Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fresh Paint: David Palumbo

David Palumbo is another rising star in the field. He is one of the most dedicated and focused young artists I have ever met. He has a real love of all things science fiction and fantasy, whether it be games, books, art, comics or film. His passion for the genre comes across in every piece. David is following a twin track career path -- exhibiting gallery paintings while creating illustrations for card games, books, and CD covers.

Where did you go to school and how do you feel they prepared you for your career, both artistically and in business?

I went to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and before that I had studied figure drawing at a community college for a few years. PAFA didn't teach illustration, but they did have a serious approach to representational painting and working with the figure. I also took a Business of Art class in my last year which, once again, was not specifically aimed at illustration but still very useful. I wish I could take it again now. It was a small school and, by the second year, most students were fairly serious about their work, which I quite liked.

What has been your biggest challenge post graduation?

What I think every artist faces: starting the job hunt cold. Working in illustration seems to me like a snowball effect, building something from nothing. The first couple years can be discouraging.

What where some of your successful, or unsuccessful, early promotions?
I don't think any promotion is completely unsuccessful if somebody at least sees it, though some are certainly less successful. I've had many mailings and emails go unanswered. If we're talking about early promotions, I can look back at those mailings now and see why. But now I can send the same people better work and hope for a better response. Also, networking is not really one of my strengths, though it has certainly been a help in getting work.

What do you feel is your biggest hurdle in getting commissions?
Hmmm... It's tough competing with the veterans with connections and reliable records certainly. That's probably the hardest part, because it's something that we're immediately faced with and we'll all be running that race for the rest of our careers.

Do you feel as though you've had your first break yet?

I don't feel like I've had a "big" break, but I've had many small breaks come along. I tend to think of every new client I pick up as a little break, another inch on the snowball.

Do you have a clear idea where you'd like to be in five years?
Lets say I have a hazy idea. I guess I just want to be doing what I'm doing right now only moreso. There are certain companies whom I'd like to work with and other mini-goals I have, but they all basically translate into just building my career and improving my abilities.

Any advice to students still in school?

Don't slack off. I think that's the big one. You have to be wholly and completely committed. Most art students have heard that whole "99% of you will not making your living in art, etc." and I believe that's fairly true if you're not serious about what you do. Nobody will give it to you, you have to earn it yourself.


Carl V. Anderson said...

I really enjoy discovering new artists and David Palumbo is definitely new to me. Very nice answers to your questions. I couldn't resist jumping over to his site and there are many great works there. I especially enjoy the one with the girl reading and the robot drinking tea.

Unknown said...

There are two things about Dave that impress me above all others; 1st, how every new piece surpasses the one prior by leaps and bounds, and 2nd, how he does not dwell on his successes or failures and just moves on to the next piece. A White Russian to you, Dave.

Unknown said...

Excellent spotlight on Dave. His ability to improve with every piece has really pushed me in the short time I have got to know him. I'm sure things will only get better and better for Dave as time goes on.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I was just over visiting David's site again and noticed the Fine Art section. All those paintings of people reading various works of fiction are incredible! What a fascinating and creative idea.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing me too another fantastic artist. I also went over to David's site and enjoyed his wonderful work. Thank you for the post.

MBKKR said...

This is really great stuff.
Checked his site and there is much more great work.
The paintings where different things happen, the one called "Betrayal" and the "The Escape" i liked the best. The way the paintings are put together gives it something extra.
Go and see for yourself.

Ben Foster said...

"He is one of the most dedicated and focused young artists I have ever met"

Indeed. I don't think I've met another illustrator his age with the motivation and work ethic that Dave has. Great interview.

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