Artist David Seidman has created some beautiful artwork for various Zenescope titles such as Grimm Fairy Tales, Seven, Tales from Wonderland and Salem’s Daughter. Merging real life models with his graphic designs, David provides fresh and compelling piece’s for the world of comics. He takes time out to chat with me about the process of creating his work, his training and future plans.
Victoria: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? Where did you study art and how long have you been in the industry?
David: Growing up I was always into art, whether it was on a book cover or on the front of an Iron Maiden record.Â I ended up going to college at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.Â They have a great illustration department there and that is where I really developed my style of work.Â I also met my wife there who was majoring in photography.Â She really helped influence me and got me to start using a camera in combination with my traditional illustrations.
Ever since I graduated college in 2001 I have been attending the Philly Comic Con.Â It was a great venue for a young artist like myself to show my work to thousands of people.Â After a few years of going and walking around, I decided to buy a table in the artist alley.Â Since then, I have landed some great jobs not only in comics but also with book publishers like Wizards of the Coasts and even bands like Coheed and Cambria.
Victoria: In your artwork you merge photographs of real life people with your graphic designs. I remember you told me that one of the masked characters in Zenescope’s Pinocchio was actually you and your beautiful wife Celeste recently mentioned that the Octopus creature on the cover of The Little Mermaid collected edition was her. The results are absolutely stunning! Can you take us through the process of creating something like that?
David: Very funny, I’m sure my wife will be thrilled that everyone now thinks she looks like that sea creature!Â She is a trooper and puts up with me using her for some very weird and strange pieces.Â Basically, my process starts like every other artist, with sketches.Â Once I have a plan, I take all the reference photos I need and transfer them to my Mac.Â From there I do a lot of painting and manipulation with my Wacom tablet.Â Using the Wacom is very similar to a pencil or brush and my computer screen is my canvas… only I don’t get paint all over the place.
Victoria: The Pinocchio story in Grimm Fairy Tales was the first comic you co wrote. Will you be writing more in the future?
David: I have always written little things here or there, but never for the public.Â When CinemaScope loved the pitch I gave them for Pinocchio and gave me the go ahead to develop my story, I was very nervous, but also anxious.Â It was such a great roller coaster ride pulling all these ideas out of my head and finding a way for them to work in a script.Â It was very much like a puzzle, once the pieces fell into place I could start seeing a bigger picture unfold.Â I loved the process so much.Â I definitely plan on writing more in the future, and in fact, have a few things in the works right now.
Victoria: When will the Pinocchio collected edition be released?
David: The Pinocchio collection will be released on Jan. 20th.Â It was suppose to be out before the holidays, but nothing is ever certain until the book is printed.Â Although, things have a funny way of working out because the book just happens to come out on my birthday!
Victoria: What are you currently working on? Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
David: I have a couple things in the works right now, mostly covers for various comics and a lot of work in other fields such as book covers and CD artwork.Â There are a few comic books I am doing interiors for, but nothing I can leak just yet without being assassinated for.
Victoria: You have very eye popping designs. I feel that they would make amazing statues! Your thoughts?
David: Statues would be amazing! I collect what I can and some of the figures I see at the Comic Cons are just unbelievable. I would love to someday see my 2-dimensional creations take form.
Victoria: What exactly is your job title at Zenescope? What are your responsibilities?
David: I am Art Director/ Production Manager over at Zenescope.Â I have known those guys before they started with their first comic and we have been working together ever since.Â I mostly do the production on the books and design a lot of the layouts and concepts for the trades and help our Editor with the artwork decisions and editing.Â I also help develop new ideas and help in whatever creative way I can.
Victoria: Have you always been a fan of comic books?
David: Unfortunately, no.Â I didn’t start reading comics until I was in college where I was introduced to the artist Dave McKean.Â From there I discovered a lot of Vertigo titles and fell in love with the fact that comics were more then just superheroes.
Victoria: What conventions will you be attending for 2010?
David: I will definitely be attending C2E2 in Chicago, the Philly Comic Con, and the NY comic con.Â I might make an appearance in San Diego, but probably just to stalk Dexter.
Victoria: Who are your favorite comic book characters?
David: Growing up I loved the old Spider-man cartoon and always related to Spidey… I also loved Gambit and use to hit my little brother in the head with playing cards.Â I don’t follow any characters now-a-days, I usually buy books based on authors or artists I like.Â On that note, I would like to say that I will deeply miss James Jean’s unique style in the comic world.
My thanks to David and be sure to pick up the Pinocchio collected edition hitting stores January 20th! Check out his official website at: www.davidseidman.com