Friday, September 25, 2009



Sanford Greene Interview

Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

I went to a small liberal arts college in South Carolina and graduated with a BA degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. Got an internship with a graphic design firm and worked with that firm for about 2 years. I always had a desire to do comics and design work for animation and toys. So I put together a portfolio and went to Chicago Comic Con. Dark Horse comics was interested. I followed up with them when I got back. I called them while I was working at the graphic design firm. A few weeks later I handed the design firm my walking papers and I've been doing this ever since. Almost 10 years now.

How do you go about drawing, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

I try to envision the entire composition before I begin putting pencil to paper. I would say 90% of my process is research and sketching various ideas. I imagine that's how most artist work. I do research and gather reference from all types of things. Everything from watching a movie to watching my kids. Once I get a solid idea I then go do various sketches of that idea. I then come to point where I am satisfied with a sketch or rough that I would then take to final line art. I then begin to add color. I do some value studies to get my light and shadow in a place I am comfortable with and then I go to final color.

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

An average day goes pretty much like this. I get up around 9am shower reflect and meditate for the day. Then I get breakfast if time permits. Then I go upstairs to my office. I check my emails make some business calls then I hit the drawing board. I usually take a short lunch break anywhere between noon and 2pm. I work until dinner time which is around 6:30pm I spend time with the family then when everyone is in bed I get back to drawing board that's usually around 11pm. I then work from then until 2 or 4am all depending how heavy of a deadline I have on my plate.

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

I worked for DC Comics on Superman, Legion of Super Heroes, Teen Titans GO! and Bat Man Strikes. Other book publishers like Marvel, Dark Horse, Archie Comics, Harper Collins, Grand Central Publishing to name a few. I've done a lot work outside of Comics SONY, Warner Brothers, 4 Kids TV, Universal Studios, HASBRO, EA Sports.

What are you working on now?

I just finished a Hulk/X Men one shot and I also just finished a Deadpool special for Marvel Comics. They both should be out September and October. I am currently working on some character design work for a few major campaigns that I can't really say just yet.

Who are some of the artists that inspire you?

I'm all over the place when it comes to influences. My biggest influence is Norman Rockwell. My art doesn't come close to what he does, but I always go back to his work whenever I need a recharge after a long stressful deadline. I went to see a Rockwell exhibit a few years back and spent almost 5 hours just studying and absorbing his process. I left the exhibit feeling very overwhelmed. That man was the greatest Illustrator that ever lived. I then learned about the artist that influenced Rockewell. Artist like JC Leyendecker and his influences of the Renaissance era with heavies like Michelangelo and da Vinci. I'm also into urban culture. They style and attitude is what gets me inspired to create. As far as comic artist goes Michael Golden and Darwyn Cooke are 2 of my greatest influences now. I am also really getting into Rodolfo Damaggio. Great concept artist and story teller!

Could you talk about your process in coloring your art, as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

Like I mentioned earlier. I do value studies, once I figure out my light and shadow I then go to final color. I use Photoshop CS2 and Wacom table.

What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most hard?

The hard part is the beginning stages. All the planning and gathering of ideas so I could do rough sketches. I then develop the ideas into composition that works best for the project I'm focused on. Once that phase is complete I can then go into doing the final art. That's the easy part. To be honest, each part can be fun in its own way..

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

I listen to pod cast about art and artist. I also listen to a lot of music mainly instrumentals. I like music with out words so I can think clearer. I also like going to conventions. I usually come back inspired, tired but inspired nonetheless.

What are some of your favorite pieces of art work that you have seen?

It’s kind of hard to say. I've seen so many pieces that inspire me. I guess I like looking artist and there bodies of works more than anything, from Illustration, Comics and Animation etc. I don't really have one set of pieces that just stand out, to many to count.

What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

I love to draw and create characters. I love discovering new ways to develop concepts. Plus characters can be varied. That type of work is never dull.

What inspired you to become an Artist?

Watching cartoons when I was young gave me my first jolt. Shows like Robotech, Mighty Orbots and Spiderman and his Amazing Friends were some of the shows that got me drawing. Comic books played and even bigger part into me developing my art. Books like Secret Wars and Crisis of Infinite Earths were always on my desk as kid. I created my own comic book mini series because of those comics. Huge influence!

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

I've learned sooo many things. I think one of the biggest things I've learned has nothing to do with art. In the early stages of my career I learned that it pays to be a professional. That has a lot of meaning to be honest. It goes beyond being a good artist. It's about meeting your deadlines, being upfront and truthful with your clients and art directors etc. Most importantly treat those like you would like to be treated. That sounds elementary but it goes a long way. Trust me.

What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?

Mostly pod casts and blog spots.,, and or course this site! :D

What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

Work hard and take nothing for granted. Be on time and study your craft. Make a decision on where you want to go and work as much as possible to get there. Even if it takes years. Also surround yourself with other artist that's just as good as you or even better. All that does is keep you humble and hungry.

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbooks, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?

My new sketchbook, Deadlines vol3 is ready to order... 2 versions. With sketch (of your choice) $50 plus shipping OR without sketch $30 plus shipping. You can PayPal me. Or see my website/blog for more details.

Here's my PayPal info....

Sanford Greene Gallery