Over the next couple of weeks, as well as profiles of our artists, we will also be creating profiles for the team behind the DCCS! Up first, Art Director Phillip Vaughan.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Phillip Vaughan, Course Director MDes Comics and Graphic Novels. I’m 43 and I’m from Dundee.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
I run two Masters courses at Duncan of Jordanstone, I currently run the MSc in Animation and VFX and I will be running the MDes in Comics and Graphic Novels from September 2016. My background was in animation, video games and storyboarding. I’m also the Art Director of the DCCS.
What made you want to become an artist?
I can trace it back to my childhood, and watching a stop motion animation called Rupert the Bear in the early 1970’s. My parents would sit me down in front of it and I watched it constantly as a kid, which got me interested in animation. Being from Dundee, the newspapers were always delivered with The Beano and The Dandy, which got me interested in comics from a very young age. I would draw my own versions of the comics and hand deliver them to my neighbours! I suppose that was the start of my entrepreneurial comic career.
Do you have a preferred style of art?
I work basically 100% digital these days but I came up through the traditional route. At art college I never missed any life drawing classes, and worked with traditional means on paper. Over the years, working in the games industry, technology kind of took over so I now work with a Cintiq tablet but try to replicate my original style so I don’t think you can tell the difference between my original line work and my technological line work.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I like to catch up on comics and graphic novels I’ve not read. I do like to travel, recently that’s been travelling to comics events – I just got back from Comic-Con in San Diego, which is the biggest pop culture event that there is! We were lucky enough to be invited over for the academic conference, it was also great for networking and we were able to spread the word about Comic Studies in Dundee and projects like the DCCS! To put it into perspective there’s more people in the Comic-Con conference centre than there is in the population of Dundee. It’s a strange one, when your hobby becomes your job, you try to find other things to unwind, so I like to get out and about and explore the environment a bit more than I used to. But I’m always looking for sources of inspiration when I’m out and about.
What is your favourite comic of all time?
I’ve got a real soft spot for a comic from the 80s – the New Eagle, which had a mixture of photo stories (!) for boys and a brilliantly illustrated new interpretation of Dan Dare. That was my favourite growing up and my influence in a way. I really liked that run because it was one continuous story line and if you invested the time in it, it rewarded you for sticking with it. I loved the artwork by Ian Kennedy, who I am now lucky enough to have in as a guest lecturer at the art college! Currently I’m very impressed and excited by DC Comics Batgirl: Birds of Prey, illustrated by our ex-Dundee comics student Claire Roe.
What is the best thing about working in the DCCS?
It’s got a very vibrant, creative atmosphere! Also seeing the comics that the kids from our workshops create is really inspiring to someone who’s been around the block a bit, because they see comics from a different perspective and their ideas are really just off the scale sometimes. It’s also great to see that the kids have an outlet for their creativity, because I would have loved to have had something like this when I was younger. It’s great they can come together and share their comics with a tangible outcome.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m preparing the coursework for the MDes – I’ve updated the course substantially. Out with university work, I’ve started work on my own creator owned comic, which is as of yet untitled! More news on that to come later.
Finally, how can we follow you on social media?
Twitter – @phillipbvaughan