In addition to creating some really amazing commercial work, Designer Artist Vinh-Luan Luu of Fort Worth, TX definitely has something to say in his personal projects. You can't help but fall in love with the almost comic-book style illustrations and paintings. The linework and color choices are spot-on, bringing me back to my childhood days of reading the latest edition of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight. The subject matter, however, is decidedly more grown-up. You'll find a message lurking in nearly ever piece. Whether loud and in-your-face or hiding behind subtlety, his body of work brings many of today's issues to light. Take a look and let me know what they say to you. To commission original art or purchase prints, shoot an e-mail over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Do you support yourself through your art? If not, what else do you do? If so, how long did it take and what were some challenges?
A: I am lucky that I got to live a very art-centric life. From graphic design, photography, illustration, and painting; practically all of my income has come from the broad field of the arts. Art is a weird mix of humbleness and swagger; so putting one's self out in the open can be very scary. Sending out resumes/portfolios and proposals is daunting because of the likelihood of rejection; and there is a lot of rejection. But when the art drive runs deep, we have to push outside of our comfort zone and be prepared for the outcome. Whatever it is.
Q: What's your favorite quote? A: "You cannot achieve success without the risk of failure. And I learned a long time ago, you cannot achieve success if you fear failure. If you're not afraid to fail, man, you have a chance to succeed. But you're never gonna get there unless you risk it, all the way. I'll risk failure. Sometimes, half the fun is failing. Learning from your mistakes, waking up the next morning, and saying 'Okay. Watch out. Here I come again. A little bit smarter, licking my wounds, and really not looking forward to getting my ass kicked the way I just did yesterday.' So now, I'm just a little more dangerous." -Paul Heyman 2005, "The Rise and Fall of ECW [DVD]"
Q: What inspires you? A: I love moments that create an emotional response. It can be a beautiful landscape as we drive across Texas; the tug on the heartstrings as Andy gives away his toys at the end of "Toy Story 3"; a stage tribute to queer burlesque performers who stood tall for the right to exist. I think art should be about these types of moments; it should leave an impression with the audience after they've walked away.
Q: How has your style changed over the years?
A: I use to use a lot of spotted black in my pieces; bold areas of dramatic shadow. Now there's a lot of open lines as I let my coloring carve out the dimensions.
Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: I grew up with the pinup works of Olivia De Berardinis and Patrick Nagel; for comic book work it was Trent Kaniuga, J. Scott Campbell, and Jim Mahfood.
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