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BeKyoot Interview


Phyllis Diller once said, "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." That is the essence of BeKyoot - the sharing of smiles and laughter through stories and art.

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When was the first moment you decided you wanted to be an artist?

Though I've been drawing for nearly as far back as I can remember, my moment of revelation came during college. I was in Bio Core and some of the classes were really not my cup of tea. I had a Calc prof that could barely articulate and several other classes that I was not doing well in. I found myself making wallpapers and skins for music players in all of my spare time - like I was running to it as some sort of therapy. And I really was. I was running to the things I enjoyed to escape the stuff I didn't. It really clicked after finals that semester that I was not where I should be. Why am I forcing myself into a mold where I can't perform? Shouldn't I be doing something I loved that I could do WELL?  That's when I left Bio and moved into creative writing and ultimately CG and Illustration.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration everywhere, from music, to movies, and animation. I love looking through the work of artists I admire. I bought my first artbook when I was in 6th grade. I saved up for a long time to buy it - it was $60. It was The Art of Michael Whelan, and I'd spend hours reading it and looking at his illustrations. What I loved most about it was the commentary he left about each piece he included, and the interviews. That started to teach me about the thought process behind making art. Beautiful art is everywhere, and the opportunity to learn from it is yours for the taking. I go to SDCC every year and it's like a mecca of new artists to discover. When I get free time away from my booth I head to Stuart NG, then the publishing section of the exhibit hall. Keeping the flame lit can be hard, so I also turn to reading. Chuck Amuck by Chuck Jones is an incredible book, full of inspiration. My copy of it is tabbed and bookmarked so much I might as well have tabbed every page. The work of Austin Kleon, Show Your Work, and Steal Like an Artist, are both books that I suggest to anyone and everyone I can. Brian McDonald's books are also well worn residents on my bookshelf, right beside ZenPencils.

If you could work with another artist, who would it be? / who is your favorite artist?

I have so many, but I think right now, I would love to be a fly on the shoulder of Claire Keane or her father, Glen Keane. I love animation, I love reading about how my favorite movies were made and these two are at the heart of many of those. Hayao Miyazaki is another. 

What has been the best moment in your career?

I count every time one of my characters or comics connects with someone emotionally as the best moment of my career. To reach out and touch someone you've never met with something you made, something that came from your heart, is as special a moment as they come.


So much power from so much cuteness!

What is your ideal day?

I am a sun creature, so any day I can feel that on my cheeks is a good one. I love being able to get outside and exercise, and then come back in to pump out an illustration that's been sitting in my head. I have a goal to move my schedule back so I'm rising earlier. I'd like to be able to take advantage of the cool mornings. In Houston during the summer, you go out then or in the evening when the sun drops. Otherwise you're just sending a big invitation for heat/sun stroke.

Who is your role model?

Right now Gary Vaynerchuk is a big role model for me. He started out as a small business entrepreneur making wine videos on youtube and is now head of a massive marketing company. He is the definition of hustle, and it is in every fiber of his being. He's taught me that time you have and what you can do with it is the most precious commodity in your arsenal. 

If you could do anything, what would it be?

What I'm doing right now - creating characters, writing their stories and illustrating the world they live in.

Why do you create art?

Because I have to! I'm not sure how to explain it. I started writing short stories somewhere around 4th or 5th grade. I had to write. I loved creating with words, and now I create with words and art.

What art do you most identify with?

I love works that show a mastery of light and color. I can stare at that stuff forever and try to break it down and figure out the why and how. 

How has your art changed throughout your life?

I'm always learning, and I like to show that in my work. As far as what I've done for BeKyoot, I think it has gone from "flat" to "full". I feel like my line art is getting more interesting, and my grasp on creating mood and manipulating color is improving. I used to be terrified of color mostly because I didn't understand how to use it. And I still have lots of room to grow, but I think I'm making progress in the right direction.

What is your dream project?

A full length animated movie of my characters. 

We're not entirely sure what's going on here but we're ok with that

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Show your work. Create something new EVERY DAY. The latter piece of advice is so simple, but so difficult in practice. It's so easy to skip a day or rationalize that you don't have the time. Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day. Warren Buffet has the same 24 hours as me. The difference is in what you do with the time you have and what you MAKE time to do. It takes time to get good at what you want to do. It takes repetition, and hard work. Can I watch one Artgerm livestream and suddenly draw like him? Of course not. For whatever goal you have in your life, the same process applies, be it losing weight, or becoming a good artist, or starting your own business. You have to show up EVERY DAY. Talent is great, but the world is littered with talented people that never see the light of day because they don't have the persistence, will power, and drive to put themselves out there again and again until they get noticed.

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