Robot Artist Spotlight – Eric Joyner!

This week we are fortunate enough to have Eric Joyner for Robot Envy’s Artist Spotlight!

Eric Joyner is a freelance illustrator that graduated from The Academy of Art in San Francisco. He’s worked professionally for the past 20 years on a variety projects such as Mindscape, Spunky Productions, Electronic Arts, and many others. Eric’s work has been exhibited in countless galleries throughout the country. He has also earned a variety of notable awards such as, Spectrum  Comtemporary Fantastic Art 2003-2009, American Illustration 24th annual,  New York Society of Illustrators 46th annual show Merit Award and numerous others.

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1. When did you get interested in illustration and art?

I think I was about 5 when I started drawing…In the 4th grade one of my paintings was exhibited at the Oakland museum…I think it went on a statewide tour, with a bunch of other kids work. This gave me a warm & fuzzy feeling. However, the 3 middle school years were wasted goofing off. As the years went by, I started going to museums & painting…When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to go to art school & that’s where I learned about illustration & many more artists besides Rockwell, Picasso & Van Gogh. I went to the Academy of Art in San Francisco. You don’t really need to go to art school to be an artist, & the costs are very prohibitive now. But I did make some friends & did a lot of drawing & I suppose I learned something. I paid for art school by saving money in high school (working in a sawmill) & got into the work/study program for a few years wherein I did janitorial work for free tuition. The department head kicked me out of the program though – claiming I wasn’t doing my chores & needed to spend more time on my art.

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2. What are your biggest inspirations, both style and artist wise?

I like realism & post impressionism. I always liked Rockwell, Frazetta, N.C. Wyeth, J.C. Lyendecker, Dean Cornwell Degas, Monet & Van Gogh. Impressionism because of the looseness of the bold paint strokes & liberal colors. I don’t much like many of the dark portraits & religious art before 1830 or so, though Rembrandt was really great. I like realism when the skill is high and combined with a narrative, good mood, and atmosphere. Surrealism is cool too when combined with pop culture in an interesting way, especially if I get an emotional response of some sort.

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3. What were some of your favorite projects to work on in your career?

I did a project for Iams Pet food – 8 paintings of dogs & cats. That was fun. Also, I did 15 paintings for bank from North Carolina that was fun & once a big painting for DuPont. The DuPont painting was 60″x 48″ – they made it into a jigsaw puzzle for a convention…as each attendee came in, they each got one piece & tried to put it together during the meeting.

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4. Does your cultural background affect the style of your work?

Yes, I think so..I only paint things I like, like robots and donuts. They have always been a part of my life….for entertainment & sustenance.

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5. How do you keep the creative juices going?

I keep the juices moist by introducing more (new) things to my art, slowly, over time. Things like Ravens, old motorcycles, flowers, trees, cupcakes, bakeries, big Japanese monsters, noir film mood & elephants. It’s a challenge to make it all work. I like challenges. Another good thing to do is to go on vacation & experience a different part of the world. or get out in nature. I guess that works for me since I live in a city. The ocean works too, but probably the beat thing is reading up on the artists of yesteryear & seeing their work in museums.

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6. What’s one of your favorite movies?

Blade Runner, Forbidden Planet, The War of the Worlds & more.

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7. Describe a typical day for you?

Exercising, watching TV, painting, eating & listening to music.

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8. Any words of advice for aspiring artists?

Learn how to draw & use perspective, draw from live models, read art books, go to museums & gallery shows. Think about expressing your ideas & be true to yourself.

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We want to thank Eric again for letting us feature his artwork and for anyone who is interested in more of his work you can check out all his art shenanigans below:

Website: http://ericjoyner.com/
Facebook: Artist Page