Rory Kurtz | Interviewed On The Artfuls!

June 06, 2011    Rory Kurtz

Levy Creative Management artist RORY KURTZ is interviewed on The Artfuls! See the full interview below or click here to go to the site.

  • Rory Kurtz

  • Read interview with Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
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  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • The work of Rory Kurtz
  • Introduction:
  • My name’s Rory Kurtz and I live in small town in America’s Midwest. I’m a grown up that hasn’t completely grown up, and surrounds himself with comic books, action movie posters, and all manner of geeky paraphernalia. I’m fuelled almost entirely by caffeine, and can’t stand Reality TV.

  • How did you first get into illustration?
  • It was at my fiancée’s insistence. I had been working as a freelance photographer for years before, and would sketch out ideas for shoots, or add in little hand drawn embellishments to finished images. She would pick up on these and constantly suggest that I spend more time drawing and growing that skill. It wasn’t long after that I started branching out from photography to illustration and making an honest go of it.
  • How would you best describe your style of illustration?
  • I have no idea, actually. The work comes out the way it does. The work needs to speak on it’s own, and I’d like to think it does.
  • Please take us through your design process, where do you start?
  • I always start with drawing. I think many illustrators do. Sketches go back and forth to the client/art director getting tighter and tighter each time. Then, with approval, I go off to create the final piece based on these sketches. This is the relaxing part, as all the biggest challenges are usually addressed in the drawing phase, and the painting is where there is a sort of guided play.
  • What tools do you use for your work?
  • Man alive, you name it and I’ve worked with it. I’ve got reams of different papers, stacks of all manner of pens and pencils/charcoals and so on. I go back and forth between inks and graphites and sometimes both for the early stages. Later stages could include oils, coloured pencils, digital colours, and on and on. I have light boxes, overhead projectors, scanners, printers, a Wacom tablet and a 27″ Mac that I compile everything with.
  • When illustrating, do you sometimes get blocked for ideas? If so, how do you overcome that?
  • Sure, I get blocked all the time. But, luckily, most art directors come with something in mind already, or some sort of jumping off point. So I’m rarely starting from nothing. As for personal work, I don’t know, I just keep at it until something comes out worth finishing. And I realize that I’m not the sort that can be pumping out brilliant work every hour of the day, so I let myself step away for awhile when I feel burnt out and come back when I’ve refilled the well a bit.
  • What would be your ultimate goal as an illustrator?
  • Just to keep going, see where it leads. I’m often trying to loosen up in my approach and experiment a little more. This can be difficult, because a client bases there choice to hire me on my past work, and they don’t want the rug pulled out from under them with something that looks completely different. So maybe I’d say my goal is to create a larger more varied body of work that gives me some wiggle room on projects.
  • What style music do you mostly listen to when you work?
  • At the moment I’m listening to Cinematic Orchestra. Sometimes it’s Massive Attack or White Stripes. Depends on the mood of the piece I’m working on.
  • Do you have any advice for aspiring illustrators?
  • Get the word out about yourself. The web makes this easier and easier. The most talented illustrator won’t find work unless they get seen. So send your work to blogs, share it with friends, or post it on social media sites. Go to the market, so to speak.
  • What web sites would you recommend viewing?
  • I love CGunit.net for their constant flow of new and established talent on exhibition.