South Carolina-based artist, Logan, has been honing his artistic skills for several years. He blends his love for art, old-school anime, and passion into a perfect blend of his passions. Recently we asked him about his art and artistic processes.
Q: Where are you from and how does that affect your work?
A: I am from West Virginia originally and moved down to South Carolina in 2001. Regarding how it shapes my work, I am in a bit of a culture vacuum here with the stuff I make. The scene here is heavily magic, 40k, DND (in which I do partake!) but beyond that, those of us into gunpla and especially outside-the-box stuff like 3d printing, exist here, but nobody talks to anyone. There is an upside to this in that you’re forced to figure out some things on your own and will develop a unique style. But I do find it important to bond with my fellow locals, so we do some meetups now at our FLGS and I’ve made some great new friends.
Q: Tell me about your favorite medium.
A: I don’t even know at this point because I treat new mediums like collecting Pokémon. I love that I can find something like for example speed-paints and find someone amazing that shows how to utilize them and then it just becomes part of my core toolset. Most people won’t believe me, but my biggest secret is probably baking soda! It can be mixed into the paint for different textures at differing ratios, or it can be mixed into superglue to make it stronger and sands better!
Q: What tools are crucial to you?
A: A signature Logan toolkit will have disposable scalpels, Raser sanding tools, single-blade hobby nippers, Gundam markers, Duplicolor sandable primer, A cheap ass 4-sided nail sander/polisher, Dremel with dozens of attachments, and probably some bottle of Turbodork. If any of this is missing I have been taken by the pod people. Don’t send help, I am part of the Hive now.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: My amazing friends first and foremost. I love them to the end of the earth. We sit and talk about obscure anime from the eighties or That Saturday cartoon nobody remembers (Exosquad for life!) Also, those obscure ass anime and ovas (Guyver, Genocyber, Appleseed, Toriko, etc.) All the comic books! Incal, Devilman, Dorohedoro, Alien, Predator, etc. If it’s weird, sign me up.
Q: When is your favorite time of day to create?
A: Magic hour these days seems to be around 10 am to around 4 pm. The caffeine and nootropics are in full effect, Machine mode is activated and the wellspring of ideas flows.
Q: How do you think art is important to society?
A; I view Art as holy. You could almost call it my religion. It is the noblest thing we put forth on this earth, and one of the few acts that separate us from our worker-ant existence every day. It’s catharsis to some of us. A way to get the inside out, and express our love, hate, frustrations, and dreams. It says something to me that in some societies, so little is spent time and money on the arts. Or when you can tell me for hours how your favorite book touched you or made you think about something different.
Q: What motivates you to create? What burns you out?
A: Motivation for me feels like a burning fire in my mind. When I am in the zone, it’s that feeling where I want to hurry up and cook my breakfast and do my morning chores as fast as possible to get back to my drafting table and start making shit. It’s an idea sometimes rattling in my head screaming to get let out. Burnout comes from losing that spark. Sometimes it comes from life kicking my ass outside the boundaries of my craft. Sometimes a project loses its flow and has to be set aside for a time. Trying to force that makes it worse. For me, the worst one comes from Compromising myself for money. When I did commissions, it was the absolute worst. It became a job, and I stopped looking forward to it and started putting it off. If you want to buy my stuff, I’m not attached, but it’s got to be pure from my heart or it won’t be something from me and neither of us will be happy.
Q: How do you define success as an artist?
A: To me, success as an artist shakes out to what was the idea in your head, and how close to your idea did your product come to be? Some music isn’t the most complex, but did the band achieve what it aimed for? I feel like you can feel that in the final product. The artist feels it whether they understand that or not.
Q: Does art help you in other areas of your life?
A: Art for me first and foremost turns off my brain and allows me to find a Zenlike place to escape my anxiety. If this wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t have ever picked up a paintbrush. There’s a monster inside my head that makes me constantly push to learn new things or pick up a new skill. If I pacify that monster, I’m a positive force for the world and a happy person.
Q: How do you develop your art skills?
A: I am constantly looking for people that are carving a new path different from what I do or know. I know how very little I know about how to do art stuff. This month it’s Dana Howl. She is amazing and made me finally understand speed paints. However, there will come a time when I’m too comfortable with that skill, and it’s time to move on. Never get comfortable or you won’t grow. There’s a fortune taped to my laptop screen bezel that says, “If you understand what you’re doing, you’re not learning anything.” Please, push me kicking and screaming into the deep end of the pool. I’ll be better for it.
Q: Which art trends inspire your work?
A: Let’s just pretend I haven’t been slap-chop-priming my stuff for the last 2 weeks LOL! I am so out of touch with trends. I’m an old man with no TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter. I’m seldom aware of what is going on unless it pops up on my YouTube feed. I don’t know if you want to call it a trend, but the whole moving beyond gunpla into minis and other stuff and combining it. I’ve been doing it for years and kind of dumped myself into it parallel to people like Millennial Model Mayhem, though he was the one to get me using glazes.
Q: How has your style changed over time?
A: My friends could tell you better what my style is than I can. They tell me they can see something and know I made it so I must have a style. I feel like my style is just changing and assimilating. Loud colors seem to be a thing I do a lot. I’m not an earth-tone kind of guy. I love psychedelic art. My art has been and probably always will be about growing, learning, staying humble and surrounding myself with wonderful, talented people, and just tossing ideas back and forth.
Q: Is there a specific environment or material that’s crucial to your work?
A: My office is like a shrine. I’m surrounded wall to wall with models, death metal posters, and action figures. It feels like a safe space for my brain with all the things I enjoy, because outside my office door, the rest of the world is everyone else’s space. In this church, we worship ugly monsters and beautiful machines.
Q: Who are your biggest artistic influences?
A: Right off the rip, James Stokoe, Don Suratos, Q Hayashida, Mamoru Nagano, James Gurney, Juan Giminez, Sergio Toppi, Wayne Barlowe, Sophie Campbell, so on.
Q: What do you listen to when working?
A: It depends, Spotify claims I listen to a lot of synthwave, technical death metal, “slam” death metal, and classic rock. I love almost every kind of music. It’s just a matter of matching my mood. Sometimes I’ll do podcasts, but they tend to require more attention than I can give them when I’m actively making art. I don’t like missing whatever cool stuff they’re talking about, so I usually delegate them to clean and organize my office.
Q: What do you do outside of your hobby?
A: Reading manga and comics, learning about something new on YouTube or Wikipedia, riding my exercise bike while watching anime, meditating, and sometimes I get to play video games. They get the last priority on my stuff to-do list. Lately, I’ve been loving the game High on Life, and It Takes Two.
Q: How can we motivate more neurodivergent creators to share their art?
A: With us on the spectrum, it’s just important in general to make sure they have a place at the table. My message to my fellow autistic and ADHD people is don’t be afraid to fail. Take big risks. Even when you fail, you learn something. The internet is a harsh place and just know that the terrible things strangers say don’t matter to your growth as those comments tend to come from a horrible place of ignorance and their own personal pain. You may have to find a place to share your work and every place isn’t for everyone. If sharing stuff doesn’t make you feel good on things like Twitter or Facebook, maybe find a discord full of kind people who are better for you. You can message me on my Instagram if you need a kind ear or help or words of encouragement for your work. I may not instantly respond but I’m here for all of you.
You find more of Logan here at:
What do you think? Drop a comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear it.
Have a Monday everyone!