Interview with Joe Fenton
Hello, Please tell us about yourself, you worked on which films and directors, any favorite moment?
After studying sculpting at the Wimbledon School of Art in the UK where I am originally from. I went on to work for a few years in the film industry for directors such as Terry Gilliam and for companies such as Disney and Miramax as a film concept designer and sculptor in both London and Prague. I then moved to New York where I received my first publishing contract with Simon & Schuster for my children's book as illustrator and writer of What's under the bed? What’s under the bed? was selected by Cheerios spoonful of stories programme to be resized and placed in 1.5 million boxes of Cheerios in the USA. My second book titled Boo! came out in August 2010. At the start of 2010, I made the decision to focus majority of my time on building a collection of my personal works. This was triggered by need to express myself as an artist in a way that is different to working as an illustrator or artist for hire on a film.
I have my first solo show coming up in the spring in London 2012
How much you enjoy creating an illustration for the book, comics and magazines?
I have never really worked as an illustrator for hire. I was the author and illustrator for both my children's books. As I result I had much more control over the finished product, especially with 'What's under the bed?' http://www.behance.net/gallery/Whats-under-the-bed-By-Joe-Fenton-Published-2008/1234433
I enjoyed the experience of creating a picture book.
Q. What's the secret behind creating such a detailed artwork?
I don't really know? It's just how my mind works. I'm not satisfied until I have filled my images with many details, telling many stories in one image. Most of my works are embedded by ornamented frames with influences from the Baroque and renaissance periods. These artisans were also passionate about detailed work. Growing up in the UK I was lucky to be exposed to many beautiful things. I lived in some wonderful old houses and was surrounded by many old antiques from these periods. I think this gave me a real appreciation for artisans and designers from those times.
What are the tools you are using to create your pictures?
I use a 0.5 & 0.3 mechanical pencil to render all my images. Sometimes I will finish the image off using acrylic and ink for highlights which create more depth.
How much time generally you spend on your picture?
As with 'Solitude' this image took me about 10 months to complete. Some of my smaller images like ' The Lullaby' & 'The joyriders' can take up to anything from 5 weeks to 3 months. I don't really consider myself to be an illustrator. My personal work moves into a different arena from that of illustration. The size of my work puts them into a different category all together. What that is I'm not quite sure.