An interview with illustrator Dennis Salvatier

Posted on June 22, 2009

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Dennis Salvatier of Lead Rocket is an old friend, fellow nerd, and gifted illustrator. Although a designer by trade, he specializing in comic book style art. I asked him to share a few thoughts on his creative process- thanks Dennis!

How did you develop a love for illustration?
I loved art from the moment I could pick up a crayon. I was inspired at first by the Looney tunes and Felix the Cat to find the answer to how they moved.

What inspires you?
What inspires me is other artists. Their passion. But music is a huge inspiration for me as well. Certain songs just pop images into my head and from there a story and an image is born.

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Can you describe your ‘creative process’?
The idea comes first, then I start doing a bunch of sketches and continue by looking at old art books or the paintings of classic artists. Once that is done a final sketch is finished and the final product is created in whatever application or brush deserves to help me create it. Then I work on it and try to walk away form it only to revisited the next day where I pick at it and make revisions until I am finally happy with the final product. Then I show it to people and get their opinions. They sometimes see something I don’t. Music is on the whole time.

What is a common mistake you notice during the create process?
Well, I used try and finish a piece in one sitting. I have taught myself to stop and sleep on it. It makes for more well thought out artwork.

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How do you think your art form has evolved during this generation?
Well, almost most of my artwork now is digital. I still incorporate sketches and paintings into photoshop or illustrator (that will never stop) to get a human feel to it. But I think I’ve learned to slow down and use the tools of technology to enhance my work rather than rely on it completely.

What’s the next season of creating look like for you?
The nest season looks like more collages and hand drawn artwork. I want to go back to my roots. I want to use more brushes and sketches and incorporate weird little characters that I design. I want my work to tell a story without there necessarily being one.

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Any other comments you’d like to share?
I’ve learned in the last five months that this gift I have is for more than making money to support myself and my family, it is something to be shared with the world in hopes to bring attention to causes and people who may not have a voice of their own. 

Visit Dennis’ illustration website for daily posts at Lead Rocket.

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Posted in: Creative Leaders