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Featured Artist: Tate Parker!

Kids These Days!

Stand by for an old person rant... Do you ever try to convince kids to get off the video games and do something productive? Do you ever try to explain to a young artist how easy it is to make a book etc. in today's world. I do! Often I'm invited to high schools to talk about commercial art careers and I passionately explain how amazing it is that we can create books, comics, films, animation, music with very little equipment or knowhow. I plead with them to stop making excuses and create something. My passionate plea usually is received by blank expressions and silence. Most don't care about my old-man ramblings. I made a book in 1992 and spent a few thousand bucks, a thousand hours, leaped many hurdles, and in the end had a thousand (the minimum order) black and white books that I wasn't sure anyone would buy. Oh the pain and suffering! 

Tate on the other hand is this amazing kid who drew comics throughout high school and is now publishing a book via Kickstarter. He gets it! The universe has produced one teenager that has the ambition to stick with a project for several years and then see it through to a product you can hold in your hands. Aside from his backstory, I honestly think his comics are some of the funniest on the internet. Really great stuff. Go check out his book, you'll love his comics and you'll get to support a young guy making it happen. Read below and get to know Tate Parker.


Ok, I think the first question, just to give readers some perspective on who you are is, “how old are you”?

I am 18 years old, I just graduated from highschool.


What age did you start really getting into drawing?

I’ve loved drawing all my life, but I really started to work to improve my art and not just draw for fun when I was 15/16.


Did being an artist help or hinder you in school?

It was a bit of both, I wasn’t able to balance out my life and I almost failed some classes because I was drawing all the time. But if an assignment had anything to do with creativity, I was all over it.


Do you have other siblings that like to draw?

Yes, I have two younger brothers and two younger sisters. They all love to draw, and a couple of them are much better than I was at their age. I don’t know if our love of drawing comes from my dad’s influence or if it’s genetic. 


Your style is very different from your dad’s, do you ask him for pointers or do you just want to do your own thing?

My dad has been really helpful in guiding me to improve my art and I ask him for advice all the time. But I think my style has come from everything that inspires me mashed together, so it’s very much my own.


Who are some of your favorite artists?

Anthony Clark, Mike Mignola and Toru Nakayama. 

Anthony Clark made a hilarious webcomic called Beartato, which was the thing that inspired me to make funny comics.

Mike Mignola created the coolest comic universe ever; Hellboy.

And Toru Nakayama designed concept art for my all time favorite video game; Mega man zero. 


What career path do you hope to take?

I’d love to be able to work in a studio setting, either for movies or television.


How has this changed over the years?

I always knew that I wanted to be an artist, but now I’m looking for ways I can actually have a career in it. 


Did you have any end goal in mind the you started making comics or did you just start making them for fun?

I just started making them as projections of funny things that I saw in life. So yeah, it was mostly for fun and to make people laugh.


When did you decide to do a Kickstarter?

At the beginning of senior year I realized how expensive art school was, and my parents had been telling me I should do a kickstarter for a while. So I seriously considered it when I realized it might be the thing that gets me an education in art.


Tell us a little about putting your first campaign together and hitting the dreadful launch button.

It was overwhelming at first. But once I looked at setting up my page as a creative thing, I was able to let my creativity flow and not be stressed. I think I said “Let’s do this” in a cool voice when I pressed the launch button.


You mentioned art school in your video, do you have one in mind?

I was thinking about SCAD, because 99% of their graduates become employed in an art career. I also would love to go to ArtCenter in Pasadena or Ringling in Florida.


Your Instagram has just as many followers as Sketch Wallet you make me sick   I mean, congratulations! How long have you been doing social media or blogs? 

I started my comics instagram 3 years ago, but I started posting everything on tumblr about 5 years ago.

Do you see yourself more as Mayor McCheese or Hamburglar? 

Definitely Hamburglar. You know I’m boutta steal those hams.

It seems like you do more traditional art than digital, what do you love and hate about each?

I like traditional art better because I’ve been doing it for longer, but I definitely want to figure out digital. The only thing I don’t like about traditional art is that there’s no ctrl z when you mess up.

 

Do you have any predictions about the future of comics or animation?

Boy I sure hope robots don’t figure out how to do my job.

But seriously, I hope that in the future people can appreciate animation/comics as an art form. Or something that isn’t “just for kids”. 


How can people check out your work?

kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1710528929/robotatertot-volume-i

instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/robotatertotcomics/

Thanks for letting us get to know you better, best of luck on your Kickstarter!



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