ARTIST DAVID YARDIN INTERVIEW
thanks for the opportunity of speaking to Impulse Gamer
Tell us how you
got involved in the Marvel Street Art Event?
C. B. Cebulski
over at Marvel's NY offices contacted me about participating in
a Marvel event "down under", and told me they wanted to showcase
some of my Marvel comic art in a week long exhibition at the
RTIST Gallery. It sounded cool to me, so I was more than happy
to jump on board. I'll be there at the opening of the exhibition
of the Marvel Street Art Event on the 14th January from 2:00pm
to 5:00pm to interact with the fans, and answer questions. The
exhibition of my work will be going right through to the 21st
What are you
most looking forward to with the Marvel Street Art Event?
Can I say
everything? I really want to see the street artists' take on the
Marvel characters, I'm also looking forward to seeing my work in
a gallery setting, and I'm always keen to meet the fans.
What is your
favourite aspect of Marvel Comics?
Marvel from its
inception has always had relatable characters, set in the real
world. Although the characters can do these fantastic things,
they've always had realistic flaws to them too. The heroes
sometimes act as villains, and villains sometimes act as heroes;
there are a lot of different shades of grey within the Marvel
universe. The Marvel creators and editors have done a great job
of keeping those elements consistent throughout Marvel's
history, and that is a large part of its appeal to me.
It's good to
see Marvel weaving all of that throughout their recent movies
too, especially the ones that have come out directly under
Marvel's film studio. I can't wait to see what they do with the
Avengers Movie in April.
Who is your
favourite character to draw and why?
Well... I don't
really have one favourite character in particular, but I do
enjoy drawing the X-Men for nostalgic reasons; "Uncanny X-Men"
was the title that got me hooked on U.S. comics.
What about most
There’s not one
character in particular -basically if I'm spending more time
thinking about how to make a drawing of a character work, than
actually drawing the character, they are the most difficult. The
thing though with badly designed characters, is that there is
almost always an opportunity to redesign the characters, and/or
their costumes somewhere down the line
How did you
become an artist?
is just something that I've always done, for as long as I can
remember. One of my earliest memories is sitting in front of the
TV, watching "Battle of the Planets", trying to copy the
animation. We didn't even have a VCR back then, and I remember
getting annoyed that the characters kept moving. Thankfully the
deadlines of producing a cartoon serial, and the Japanese to
English editing meant that they re-used a lot of footage.
I drew from a
lot of cartoons throughout my childhood, but I didn't really get
into American superhero comics until later. My parents both come
from Mauritius originally, so having a French speaking
background, the only real comic exposure I got as a child was to
bande dessinée like "Tintin" and "Asterix" (both of which
I loved). When my little brother brought home a copy of Marvel's
"Uncanny X-Men" when I was about fifteen, I was instantly
hooked, and hunting down X-Men back issues, and other Marvel
titles to collect. I also started drawing nothing but
At school I was
always the "kid who could draw", and drew in all my classes
(whether they were art classes or not). I went on to study
visual arts at university too. Although I majored in computer,
video and photographic art, I always kept drawing my comic art
on the side. After I finished my studies I decided to put a
portfolio together. Australia didn't really have a comic
industry at the time, so I decided to hit some American comic
conventions, and show my work around to different comic
companies over there. A friend of mine had also found out that
one of my favourite artists, Whilce Portacio ("X-Factor" was the
second title I started collecting, and Whilce was the artist on
that at the time), had semi-retired in the Philippines, and had
set up a school/studio there and was helping out the local
artistic talent. So I decided to go to the USA via the
Philippines and show Whilce my art too.
short, Whilce liked my stuff enough to offer to privately mentor
me, and also attend the comic classes he had set up. So after
spending just over two months in the Philippines refining my
craft, I ended up getting my first professional comic work
through Whilce. I've been working professionally as a comic book
illustrator since 2000.
What do you
enjoy about the comic medium?
Well at its
essence comics are a sequence of images, which means just about
everyone can understand them with ease, which makes them a great
communication tool. That sometimes means comics get mistaken for
being solely a children's medium (especially in English speaking
countries), but really there are a lot great comics which cater
to adults too.
I also love the
fact that there is a purity of the creator's vision in comics,
more so than other visual mediums like TV or Movies. What the
reader sees of my work is pretty much exactly what I have
envisioned and drawn on the page.
Do you have any
tips for up and coming artists?
Draw, draw, and
draw some more. It really is a case of practice makes perfect
with drawing. I also advise artists, no matter what style they
may work in, to draw from life as much as possible, because it
will give them a much better foundation to their art than just
copying the stylistic traits of their favourite artists. With
comics especially, you have to be able to draw anything and
everything the story calls for, so drawing as much as you can
from a variety of subjects, can be a great asset.
with comics you need to know anatomy, perspective, light and
shadow, how to draw backgrounds, and most importantly
storytelling. Getting the basics of drawing down will serve you
much better than mastering the superficial elements of style.
(doesn't have to be Marvel)... would you like to draw in a
My own one
day... but if I was to say a Marvel character it would again be
difficult to narrow down just one. I've been doing mostly covers
for the past couple of years now, and as a result I have gotten
to draw quite a few different characters from Marvel's various
editorial offices. I always find an angle of interest in
whatever cover assignment they send me, so I always find myself
saying "wouldn't it be cool to draw this character in a series?"
Marvel has more than 8000 characters too, so that's a lot of
angles to find interest in.
question... Marvel vs. DC, which is better?
putting aside the fact that Marvel is paying the majority of my
income at the moment? DC has some great iconic characters, but
I've always been drawn more towards Marvel than DC. Marvel has
iconic characters too, but they also always seemed to have the
cooler, more relatable characters to me.
What do you
think of DC's reboot with their New 52?
quite a bit about it, but to be honest, outside of three of
their new #1's I haven't read any of the comics. As a stunt to
get more readers to try their line, I think it's a ballsy move
to relaunch their entire line, and definitely one that has
gotten a lot of attention. Whether it pays off for them in the
long run, I don't know, but a healthy DC is good for the comics
industry in general, so I hope it is a success for them.
Do you have any
scoops for our readers?
I make a mean
fried ice cream... but I can't divulge any upcoming storylines,
my editors would kill me.
should our readers attend the Marvel Street Art Event?
It's a Marvel
event in Australia leading up to the launch of what will no
doubt be their biggest movie property, The Avengers. There will
be street artists battling it out with their renditions of
Marvel characters, you get to see my original comic artwork,
Marvel will be giving away prizes at the opening, and best of
all it is FREE!