F.A.Q. - Dante91
This is the official “FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS” Section of my blog. Anything you ever wanted to know about Dante91 and my artwork can be found here. (More questions may be added in the future, so be sure to ask me anything that is not already here)
*Who Are You?*
Name - Dante Omar Estrada
Nicknames - “D”, “O”, “Big O”, “Mr. Estrada”, “Captain Insane-O”
D.O.B - Feb 20th 1990 (that “91” means something else…)
Ethnicity - Latin American (Puerto Rican, Cuban, Honduran)
Current Whereabouts - Somewhere in the major metropolitan area of New York.
*Growth as an Artist and Influences*
Q: How long have you been drawing?
A: As long as I can remember back when I was just a kid in Kindergarten drawing stick figures in a flip book.
Q: What Inspired you to have such a passion for drawing and create a bunch of original characters/series?
A: It all pretty much started while I was growing up as a 90’s kid who loved to watch cartoons. i would always laugh at the hilarious antics of Looney Tunes, Animaniacs, and be amazed by the the adventures of superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Ninja Turtles. I always wanted to have such characters as my own and wanted to draw well designed characters. My real passion and drive kicked in when I really got into anime around age 8 watching Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Digimon, Sailor Moon, and Tenchi (mostly Toonami anime). It expanded my imagination and made me want to make epic story lines and series of my own along with diverse original characters to go with them. Besides drawing my own characters, I drew a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog, Rayman, and Mario based comics since those were games that I was into as well.
Q:Did you take any art classes growing up?
A: Though roughly 90% of my techniques as an artists is self-taught, I did take some art classes during my elementary/jr-high school years. In high school, I was an art major and started learning the fundamentals of visual arts along with some knowledge in art history. In college, I got a Bachelors in Multi-Media where I learned more about visual art, specifically digital art and graphic design. I also expanded upon my film-making skills and creative writing, so I’m pretty much versatile in related fields which definitely helps out in developing my own series. Since we live in an age of fast flowing information, I also took classes in social networking and advanced arts management.
Q: Any specific influential artists that you have?
A: Since I grew up watching a lot of short animated cartoons, I’m a huge fan of Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. I really digged their take on slap stick comedy and cartoon violence which is somewhat present in a majority of my comedy based content. Other modern cartoonists like Ralph Bakshi and John K. are also a big influence on my work since I grew up on Ren and Stimpy being one of my all time favorite cartoons. In terms of visual art, dynamic art like graffiti really intrigues me (guess it comes from growing up in New York City). One specific visual artist that I’m into is Brian Donnelly (aka KAWS) because his blend of traditional art, graphic design, sculpture, and cartoon-like designs is very engaging and great to look at/observe from an artists point of view. Modern Comic Book Artists I dig include Jim Lee and Joe Madureira Visionary filmmakers that inspire my story telling include Kevin Smith (his social commentary and parodies), Steven Spielberg,George Lucas (for their sci-fi and imaginative fictional work), Zack Snyder, and Quentin Tarantino (mainly his earlier works like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction). Game Designers that inspire me with their games/design/characters work are Hideo Kojima, Yuji Naka, Shigeru Miyamoto,and Keiji Inafune, Don’t really have a lot of inspirational anime/manga artists I can really point out specifically since it’s such a huge inspirational medium to me as a while, but I would have to stick with both Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball/Chrono Trigger) and Hiroyuki Imaishi (GAINAX related anime series)
Q: Any advice you would give any up and coming artists such as a motto you live by everyday?
A: No matter what skill level you are at in any artistic medium, “KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING”. I’m a firm believer of practice makes perfect and that “Mastery of your craft comes from repetition”. As long as you keep practicing with the intention of making your next piece/project better and or different from your last, you’ll be fine as an artist. You must never lose your passion or let anyone tell you “You can’t do it” (but always be open to constructive criticism from others and your peers). It all starts with you picking up a pencil and having fun on a piece of paper; try drawing whats around you like still life drawings then see where it takes you.
*Tools of The Trade*
Q: What Programs do you use to create your material?
- Adobe Photoshop CS3
- Adobe Flash
- Sketchbook Pro
Q: Do you own a tablet?
A: Yes, I currently use a Wacom Cintiq 13HD. I got my first Wacom Intuos 2 back in 2007. I got an Intuos 4 sometime in 2012, but quickly upgraded to the Cintiq a year later. I highly recommend the Intuos model to start out with if you are interested in a graphics tablet.
Q: What is the production process like for most of your drawings?
A: I used to draw on paper and scan it into my computer as a HD JPEG file and digitally inked/colored it. Now I basically do free hand sketches/drafts in Sketchbook pro (and occasionally Photoshop), either fully color it in that program or import an inked drawing into Photoshop to color it, create a background, and add some lighting/atmosphere effects. Other times, I would fully, sketch, ink, color, character models in Flash as full symbols. I really try to mix up the process with different programs, but each one has their benefits for certain art styles (blending/paintings are best done in Photoshop, solid character designs and dynamic art is best done in Sketchbook Pro or Flash).
Q: How long does it take to make a drawing?
A: It really depends on the detail, but a fully detailed drawing takes an average of 2-3 hours of work. Possibly my longest drawing took around 7 hours since it had over 50 character models on screen.
*Stuff that sparks my Interest*
Q: Besides drawing, what other hobbies you have?
A: I like to stay fit and work out most of the time to stay physically active. I do some basic weight training, free weights routines on my upper and middle body. Despite my physical appearance as a result, I’m not all that into sports. I work out as a way to clear my head and have that satisfying feeling that I am in full control of improving my body (no pain, no gain). I also like to read a lot even though I wasn’t that much of a reader back in school. Some books I love to read over and over again includes Catch 22, Rum Diary, and The Divine Comedy (duh). Reading a bunch of news articles in politics, world news, gaming, entertainment, science, and technology does take up a large amount of my day sometimes. I usually have the urge to feed my brain with more knowledge and keep myself thinking about the world around me. Besides those reading materials, I also like to read comic books/graphic novels, and collect art books to help educate myself as an artist. Gaming/competitive gaming is also a hobby I’m fond of, but the older I got, the less I played video games because I felt the time used to play video games could be better spent drawing or reading. Despite that, I do like to keep up to speed with gaming news and developments in the game designing industry.
Q: Speaking of Video Games, what are your all time favorites?
A: Sonic 3 and Knuckles (as in the full game when 3 is combined with Sonic and Knuckles), Metal Gear Solid 2, Super Smash Bros Melee, Super Mario Galaxy, Devil May Cry 3, Catherine, Jet Set Radio, Kingdom Hearts 2 Sonic Adventure 2, Metal Gear Rising, the Ratchet and Clank Series, Mega Man 8, Modern Warfare 2, Turtles in Time, and Street Fighter Third Strike.
Clerks, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Slumdog Millionaire, Tron Legacy, The Dark Knight, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Sin City, Goodfellas, Reservoir Dogs, Sucker Punch, Cool World, The Avengers, Wreck-it Ralph, Not Another Teen Movie, Can’t Hardly Wait, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Favorite Cartoon Shows:
Pretty much any Looney Tunes classic short (especially Pepe le Pew shorts since he’s my favorite cartoon character), Steven Spielberg produced cartoon shows such as Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Tiny Toons, etc, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (both the 89 series and teh 2003 series), Batman The Animated Series, Ren and Stimpy,Teen Titans, Sonic The Hedgehog (SatAM), Batman Beyond, Young Justice, Super Secret Secret Squirrel, and Swat Kats.
Favorite Anime Series:
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Dragon Ball Z, Outlaw Star, Tenchi Muyo/Universe, Kill la Kill, High School of the Dead, Gurren Lagann, Cowboy Bebop, FLCL and Soul Eater.
My taste in music actually has a lot of variety, pretty much anything that’s catchy, I dig it. I love drawing while listening to music 90% of the time. I mostly favor music without any lyrics, especially EDM (Electro, House, Chiptune, Dup Step, Glitch Hop). Growing up, I loved alternative rock and bands such as The Offspring, Blink 182, Fall Out Boy, and Sum 41. I’m a big fan of Hollywood Undead, music from the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin), and Nirvana. Sometimes I will also listen to some rap if it sounds good and some metal.
*BUSINESS/FREELANCE RELATED QUESTIONS*
Q: Do you take commissions?
A: Most Definitely! Here’s all the details, samples, prices, and more here!
Q: Do you take any requests?
A: Unfortunately, No. I do take suggestions, but no real personal requests. My main focus is major personal projects, freelance work, and commissions (gotta put that bread on the table). But if you have the means and really want a request, you are more than welcomed to message me for a commissions. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth in the end, guaranteed.
Q: What are your policies about collaborations/crossovers?
A: I’m open to collabs, but only with really close artist friends and affiliates. If you are a very creditable artist and a fan of my work, I can totally work something out with you when I have the time to so.
Q: Do you go to any conventions as an exhibitor, attendee, etc?
A: As of 2012, I plan on going to NEW YORK COMIC CON annually. Starting 2014, I will continue to apply for a booth/table in the Artist Alley so you guys can have a chance to meet me in person, purchase prints of some of my most popular/fan art, or just say what’s up. I also plan on going to out of state cons such as ANIMATE MIAMI, MAGFEST, and of course SAN DIEGO COMIC CON. Stay tuned for news on such travels and appearances in the near future.
So that pretty much wraps up my FAQ post. Thank you guys for asking these questions throughout the years and I hope I answered them well. If you have any other questions not answered here or want to know whats currently going on with me, be sure to follow me on TWITTER, hit that ASK ME ANYTHING BUTTON on this blog, and be sure to follow this page for some more great art work and content by yours truly.
PEACE ‘N’ BOOB TWEETS