Exclusive interview with an amazing artist – Daniel Eskridge

1. Introduction about yourself.

My Name is Daniel Eskridge.  I’m a classically trained artist living in the Atlanta Metro area.  I majored in art at the University of Georgia and have over 25 years of art experience.  I am well-known for scientific illustrations of prehistoric creatures, but am also accomplished in creating Wild West art, fantasy art, wildlife scenes, and horror illustrations. My works have appeared in magazines and newspapers; the covers of books, albums, and products; and even in a few science and natural history museums.

2.  What kind of art do you create? Do you create digitally or is it all traditional art?

I create genre art and illustration.  Most of my work is created digitally using a combination of 3D rendering and digital painting techniques, but I also work in traditional media primarily using oil pastels, though I’m also experienced with oil and acrylic paints. 

3. If using digital software, can you share what software you use? What kind of art you create mostly?

 Almost all of my 3D renders are done in Vue using models that I made in Sculptris, ZBrush, and Blender3d or off the shelf models from Daz Studio.  I use GIMP for all of my digital painting.  I mostly create art featuring organic forms, so, people, animals, prehistoric creatures and fantasy creatures.

4.  Can you tell us how you get ideas for your work? 

A lot of my ideas come from studying folklore, mythology, fairy tales and legends.  Also, for paleo art, I’m subscribed to a number of paleontology publications.

5. Since how long have you been working in this field?

I have been working in this field since 1997.

6.  Can you show us any favorite works from your portfolio? Can you share your story about creating these artworks? Any reason for creating them?

My personal favorite is a paleoart work featuring a wooly rhino facing off against a cave lion.
The story behind it is that I was looking for a pair of prehistoric animals that were less commonly depicted leaving me more room for interpretation.  What I really like about this piece is the sense of action and movement.
Another favorite of mine is Uktena.  This one is based on a story my grandfather told me about the horned serpent that was said to once live on a mountain nearby.  It’s probably the closest thing to a dragon in Native American folklore.
uktena
Uktena by Daniel Eskridge
Also among my favorites is Outfoxed. I like to occasionally inject a bit of humor into my works and I think this one accomplishes very well.
outfoxed
Outfoxed by Daniel Eskridge

7. Can you share few art tips with our readers? 

If you want to improve your art fast, try copying the works of the artists you love (but don’t try to sell them…unless you want to run afoul of copyright laws).  You can often find videos online describing the techniques of famous artists…I’m amazed by what one can learn on Youtube these days.
Study the masters, and try to learn why they were considered so…not just their techniques, but why they became so well known.  What was going on in their society and how did they respond to it so that they are remembered above the other artists of the day.  There is much more to art than just making it.  The real challenge is getting your art out there for the world to see.  I’m almost certain there are works of art made that surpassed any known to art history but rotted away in some attic because the artist did not know how to bring their works out into the public.
Any artwork has a chance of being successful, but if you want to increase those odds, understand the fundamentals of art and use them: line, shape, form, color, hue, light, depth, composition, perspective…none of these are strictly necessary to create a successful artwork, but those artists who do use them will find it that much easier to find an audience.
If you want to make a living as an artist, you also need to study marketing, and have a pretty good grasp of economics as well. Understanding copyright and trademark laws wouldn’t hurt either.

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