Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Interview with artist Jeffrey Veregge and more...

I managed to get one of my favorite artists, Jeffrey Veregge to take the time and do a quick Q&A session with us, just before his appearance at Crypticon this weekend. Check it out and hope to see you at Crypticon...Oh, and if we get enough views and RT's of this interview, there will be a great prize to a lucky follower...hint...it just might have something to do with this interview subject...Enjoy

TheSteveStrout: First off, can you tell us about your background as Jeffrey the person, and the artist?

Jeffrey Veregge: My name is Jeffrey Veregge, I was born in Bremerton, Washington back in 1970’s when my parents met as stunt doubles for a low-budget Grindhouse flick of the Lone Ranger. My Dad was the Lone Ranger back-up, my Mom was Tonto’s wife’s double and that folks is how the west was won…Actually the only truth in that is the 70’s and Bremerton. (But it does make for a fun story). I was raised out on my tribe’s (Port Gamble S’Klallam) reservation near Kingston called Little Boston. I graduated from North Kitsap High School and went on as an Honor Graduate from the Art Institute of Seattle. I studied for a short time with Tsimshian artist: David Boxley and later on WizKids! Games as a sculptor.
  If I described myself, I would say I am a Native American Artist & Writer who loves his wife & children, his family & friends, is a life-long geek (yes, I too suffered for many of the geeks and nerds today who bask in popular glory) a twisted sense of humor who loves being creative and loves being mischievous. So I am a fully-grown man-child.

TSS: As a Native American artist, do you feel a responsibility to be a role model for other Native artists?

JV: Yes and no. To me inspiration, motivation has to come from within. You can inspire others with your success and stories but only the individual can take the steps necessary to pursue one’s dreams. If I am to be looked at as a role model it would be as one who is not afraid to embrace who he is, not afraid of failure and remaining true to his passions.
Jeffrey Veregge's Hellboy

TSS: Who were your inspirations?

JV: I always say that even though Jeff & Connie Veregge gave birth to me, George Lucas, Stan lee, Larry Hama, Jim Henson, Ray Harryhausen and Steven Spielberg raised me. It was the collected efforts of men like them and the products of their fertile imaginations that the seeds of who I am today were planted. These men taught me the core belief that we must embrace the fantastic, ignore popular opinion and do what feels right to me as an artist.

TSS: How would you best describe your artwork and style?

JV: If Coastal Salish Art met and hooked up with Comic Art, had a kid and this kid was raised by Graphic Design all while having family reunions with Uncle Film and Aunt Television.

TSS: How much of your technique is self-taught?

A little, as much is just the normal journey any artist makes. Like I said I have had formal training and there the foundation was laid that helped me navigate today art world.

TSS: A lot of your stuff on your site looks like graphic design
work. Am I correct?

JV: Yes, you are. My Clark Kent routine is one in the world of marketing, where I have been employed for nearly 11 years as a Graphic Designer. So that work has and continues to affect the things I do outside of there.

TSS: What is your favorite medium to work with?

JV: Pencil & paper still rule. Although now I mainly just sketch my early concepts and then my thumbnails, this is the most important and probably the most rewarding part of any piece as it allows me to explore the possibilities without fear.

TSS: I see you attended the Seattle Art Institute. How much did that experience help you grow as an artist?

Jeffrey's interpretation of Boba Fett
JV: Immensely, it not only provided me with the needed pedigree to find steady work as an artist, it provided me with the foundation for overcoming any creative problem that gets thrown at me.

TSS: Would you recommend an art school for other aspiring artists?

JV: Definitely, what you learn is a method to solving creative problems. An art school grad will learn how to adapt and go into the unknown with a sense of confidence, knowing that they have a foundation that was built on the fundamental principles of art and design that will guide them through whatever project they maybe working on.

TSS: You recently got your first gig doing art for a well-known comic book publisher. Can you tell us about it, and when we will see it in our local comic shop?

JV: Yes, My first cover will be for IDW’s run of Judge Dredd, issue #23. It was fantastic opportunity that allowed me the chance to secure more work. I am currently work on my next gig, which happens to be my first #1 and main cover, plus I am doing this for issues 1-4. I cannot divulge the publisher or the title at this time, but I can say it is a well-known name.

TSS: You've been in shows around the country and won numerous awards for your art. What do you feel has been your biggest honor/accolade so far?
Jeffrey at ECCC

I have loved each award, every article, but honestly when I see and hear my 2 boys say that I am their hero and that they and my wife are proud of me, that has been the greatest honor I could ever get.

TSS: A lot of your art is based on Comics, movies and TV. Obviously you are a comic book fan. What did or do you read? Favorite movie? What TV shows are must see for you?

JV: My current pull list: Aquaman, Nightwing, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Secret Avengers, Hellboy, Mars Attacks, Spawn, Afterlife with Archie, Ghost Rider, Sukotto (Local Artist: Scott Adam’s book), Sons of Anarchy and The Winter Soldier. This does not count The Walking Dead or number of graphic novels I pick up on a regular basis.

Books: Reading right now Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson.

Magazines? Popular Science, Horror Hound and GEEK magazine.

My favorite TV shows: Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Comic Book men, @Midnight, Modern Family and Parks & Rec.

My favorite movies: too tough, but safe to say Star Wars, Empire, Wrath of Kahn, Raiders, Iron Man, Hellboy, Escape from New York, Alien, Shaun of the Dead, Django Unchained are some of the titles on that list.

TSS: Your going to be at Crypticon in Seattle at the end May. Do you have any other appearances coming up this year?

JV: I will be at the In The Spirit Festival in August in Tacoma at the History Museum, Rose City Comic Con in Portland in September, Jet City Comic show in Tacoma in November and various other venues as they occur. I update my Facebook page and make regular tweets on twitter.

TSS: Where can we buy your artwork if we can't make it out to a convention?

Jeffrey's version of a sci-fi classic
JV: My website has a store, plus Finger’s Duke, LTD Gallery in Seattle, and soon some local comic shops & later this year the EMP in Seattle and ShirtPunch.com

TSS: Thanks for putting aside your time for us. Is there anything you want to share with fans and potential fans? Anything exciting coming up to plug?

JV: Yeah stay tuned for a big announcement in Previews for my first #1 in the early fall. I also have some other projects in development that will be known as they are completed that I can’t wait to share.

Thank you for the interview and to any of you reading this, thank you for your time. I hope I entertained you and kept you interested in this NDN’s life. LLAP.

Thanks to Jeffrey for taking the time to do this. Be sure to check out his website, www.jeffreyveregge.com and follow him on twitter www.twitter.com/jeffreyveregge.

Before I end this post, I want to remind you all about upcoming stuff:

Keep on sharing, ReTweeting, reposting and spreading the word about this site, and our presence on Facebook and Twitter! As soon as we hit 800 followers on Twitter and 200 members simultaneously at the Comic Book Swap Meet Facebook Group, we will be doing our first giveaway. We're working on some great prizes like action figures, comic books, autographed items, art and more, so keep getting the word out.

Also, I'd like to offer guest post spots on this page, so if you ever want to cross promote let me know.

Last but not least...This thursday night at 10:30 PM we're having a meetup at the Uptown Theatre in Port Townsend for a special early screening of X-Men: Days of Future Past, so come out and join us if you're in the area!! If you're not stoked about this movie yet, maybe this clip will help:

Stay Shiny, Friends..