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David Yardin (Marvel Street Art) Interview - Impulse Gamer Interviews David Yardin - -


Hi David, thanks for the opportunity of speaking to Impulse Gamer Australia.. 

It's a pleasure. 

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 January. 

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 difficult character? 

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? 

Drawing 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 superheroes. 

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. 

Long story 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. 

Specifically 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. 

Which character (doesn't have to be Marvel)... would you like to draw in a series? 

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. 

Easy question... Marvel vs. DC, which is better? 

You mean 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? 

I've heard 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. 

Finally, why 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!


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