This week, we welcome Todd Beats to the CBFC Artist Spotlight!
Q. Where are you from?
A. We moved around a lot when I was little, but ultimately landed in Oklahoma for 30 years where I eventually raised two kids. But for the last 6 years I’ve lived in Portland Oregon.
Q. How long you’ve been drawing?
A. Since I was little enough to not remember exactly. I drew obsessively until I was about 20… then the kids previously referred to happened.😅I eventually became a full time freelance artist from 2004-2017. But none of it really had to do with “drawing”. Abstract art, portraiture, graphic design, music production, video production, photography, videography, even some acting thrown in there. It was a hard life trying to generate income in Oklahoma as an artist raising 2 kids. When they got old enough, we moved to Portland with my new wife and I took a 4 year hiatus from art. It was then, February 2021 at 42 years old that I got back into comics and have drawn almost every day since.
Q. What materials do you prefer to do your art with?
A. While I want to continue to develop skills with color, ultimately I love black and grey. My favorite combo is Fabriano Studio Watercolor Hot Press paper, Pentel Twist-Erase .5mm, a Tombow Fudenosuke, Molotow Fine Liners, and Copic Neutral Greys.
Q. Character you love to draw?
A. I will forever and always consider Spidey to be my number 1 guy, but anything TMNT, Ghost Rider, Punisher, and Wolverine are solid go-tos. In recent years, I’ve become more familiar with anime, and for whatever reason, Zoro and I seem to get along really well. Haha.
Q. Character that you want to draw that you haven’t drawn yet?
A. I’m not sure if I have one here. As a commission artist, I’ve literally drawn hundreds of characters in these last couple years. Most of which I didn’t know when I was asked to draw them. Maybe Bebop and Rocksteady? As many TMNT pieces as I’ve done, I still haven’t taken a crack at them yet.
Q. What artist inspires you the most and why?
A. This is easy. Todd McFarlane. His work was my first true obsession. And while I had many artistic influences (most of the image founders were my idols) Todd’s business understanding and drive made him stand apart. I was lucky enough to score breakfast with him when I was 12, and he was as awesome as any kid could hope a hero would be. My dream is to one day meet up with him again, possibly do some work for him but ultimately just to say thank you.
Q. What was your first published work?
A. I was part of a small group of indie creators from my favorite comic shop when I was 13-14, and we made a couple of issues in multi story comic. I was successfully funded on Kickstarter for my comic Paratrauma created and written by Max Duane and Sam Ibrahim. I’m currently finishing those pages. And I was the editor and supporting artist for a book another successful Kickstarter book called The Unlimited Ink which is in its final stages of printing. But I have yet to get picked up by any of the major publishers. I have no doubt those phone calls will happen at some point. I just gotta stay behind the desk and continue to push my work out to the world.
Q. Which artist would you love to do a collaboration piece with?
A. McFarlane is the obvious answer here, but stylistically I think I actually would pair well with Marc Silvestri. As much as I love Todd, if I could just magically make my art look exactly like another artist’s, it would be Marc’s.
His action, textures, free flowing looseness, and choices in regards to inking are most in line with how I see my style evolving. But ultimately, I would love to collaborate and get whatever magic I could from any of these modern day artistic wizards. Dan Mora, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ryan Benjamin, Jorge Jiminez, Ryan Ottley, and on and on and on… the world is full of greats and I’m stoked to continue my journey to earn my place among them.
Thank Todd Beats for taking the time to answer a few of our questions! Be sure to give him follow!
Don’t forget to check back next week for our next Artist Spotlight! If you’re an artist and are looking to be featured on our page, please hit me up here. I’d love to hear from you.
East Coast Member, Comic Book Fiend Club
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