The next artist to be profiled by Caitlin Mitchell is the newest member of the DCCS studio; meet Andrew Strachan!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name’s Andrew Strachan, I’m 55 and I’m from Edinburgh originally but lived in Dundee for 20 years – I now stay in Newport.
What made you want to become an artist?
That’s a really good question. I suppose it comes from being influenced by comics at a young age – my first aspiration was actually to be a comic book artist, but everybody said that was daft so I kind of got deflected. That’s why I’m here at 55 coming back to comics after doing other art related things – I’ve worked as a graphic designer, an illustrator, and a character designer. I also spent a few years in the games industry, which was a lot of fun.
Do you have a preferred style of art?
I like to use both digital and traditional methods – I suppose I’m focused on old school just now, as I’m getting into the art of inking. Also I don’t have the budget for technology like Cintiq tablets – that’s a wee bit in the future for me. I do use digital Photoshop a lot – I use blue line pencils and scan things in, and when the work’s scanned in I can do a bit of editing – not too much hopefully.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Reading, which has also been caught up in my focus on comics – I’m reading science fiction books that might be an influence for me at the moment. I like to keep fit by going running, and like a lot of people I enjoy watching movies and that sort of thing – my favourite movie is American Beauty because the themes touch on me, being of an older generation, and I slightly identify with the main character. It’s not your run of the mill plot but it appeals to me quite a lot. My favourite animation might be The Jungle Book – I like the old classics.
What is your favourite comic of all time?
I’d probably have to say 2000AD – I like it because it’s one of the only surviving British comics. I read it for a while as a kid but it got put aside. Then when I started thinking about comics again, I looked back into it and started reading it again. I suppose it’s because I like the writing of the comics and the diversity of the scripts.
What are you most looking forward to about working in the DCCS?
I’ve got a wee studio of my own at the moment but I’m looking forward to working not just on my own but in a more social studio environment, where you can see what other artists are doing too. It will be good to meet and make connections with other people.
What are you working on at the moment?
At this moment I’m working on a sample script for 2000AD – I’m illustrating this and am looking to send it within the next three or four weeks, when 2000AD have an open submissions period. One of my ambitions is to be published but this is more if you send it in and they like it, they might do a Future Shock strip or something.
How can we follow you on social media?
I’ve actually almost actively avoided social media in the last few years because it uses up a lot of time and all of my time is spent drawing or reading at the moment – but sometime soon I will start it up!
I do have a blog of my caricatures –http://caricaturesbyandy.blogspot.co.uk/
Also some of my work for 2000AD is online –https://www.behance.net/AndyComics