Who are some of your favourite artists, and what it is you admire about them?
“I’ve been influenced by so many different artists over the years – everything from classic comic book creators, through to the classical painters. I grew up with comic books, so some of the famous old school comic artists such as Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, John Buscema, Gene Colan all made an impact on me. I’m also a big fan of the old EC horror comics from the 50’s – there’s some amazing art in those old volumes. One of my biggest influences in the horror genre of art is Bernie Wrightson. He did an adaptation of the ‘Frankenstein’ novel which to me, is the most incredible illustrated version of that work ever done.
As I moved more into creating fully painted artwork, I got heavily into the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta and Richard Corben – amazing use of colour and composition that still influences my work to this day – this led to me seeking out and studying the famous classical painters of the 16th Century such as Caravaggio – a true master of lighting and colour. His style is still heavily referenced in films today, and really got me to experiment with my own lighting, mood and shadows in my painting.
I’ve always been drawn to horror and creatures and these artists created so much stunning work in this genre that played a huge part in shaping my own art style and the themes I like to explore in my art, and is all evident in the first volume of my ‘Bloodlines’ graphic novel.”
What or who inspires you in your work?
“As I got more into the storytelling side of art, my background in painted comics led perfectly into developing my own original material. Aside from traditional artists, I also look at different film makers and how they approach framing and storytelling. Since I now paint most of my art digitally, I try to give my final art pages a bit of a cinematic look and feel with the lighting, textures and some special FX touches here and there. The classic Universal Monsters movies are big favourites of mine but more recently, the work of Guillermo del Toro – a true original in my opinion, and his use of colour and design sense are areas that I pay particular attention to.”
Have you discovered any new artists in the crypto space since you got into NFTs?
“I’m still new to the whole crypto art scene, so maybe not totally up to speed on names and everything that’s out there, but I think I lean towards, and respect, the artists that are creating truly original art for this space and stretching what can be done in the medium. As with any new format, it’s going to be flooded with a lot of sub par work (the usual Photoshop filter stuff, tacky GIF type animations or fan style art, etc) but I think over time, the quality material will rise to the top and some very innovative stuff is going to be seen. I think myself and Terra Virtua are committed to producing that kind of material. The good stuff takes time but hopefully will be worth it.”
What advice would you give to new artists starting out (either in comic books or NFTs or both)?
“There are so many avenues now for new artists to get their work seen. When I started out, you had to physically go to conventions, dragging hard copies of your art with you, hoping to meet editors and hustle for work (no internet!). Today, with social media, it’s not a problem to showcase your art. Of course, the bigger problem is that you’re then in competition with so many other artists who are all in the same boat. I would say that for comics, you can at least self publish your work online, which editors can then see and get in touch with you – I know a lot of young artists who are getting their first break in the industry this way. Luckily, I’m a grizzled old pro, so people come to me with projects, but I appreciate it can be difficult for someone who’s just starting out with their career. It can be hard to get noticed but at least there are no barriers to entry now.
It’s the same with NFTs – it’s a very crowded marketplace and a lot are trying to get into it to make a fast buck. But if you take the time to create something different, original and really think hard about what the format can offer (with animation, sound, FX, etc), it’s an exciting time to be a creator and we’re at such an early stage of the technology, I think it’ll really provided great new ways to create compelling visual content. I know, personally, for the second volume of my ‘Bloodlines’ graphic novel that I’m working on, I have some very cool ideas about how all of this can enhance the story and the experience of the reader/viewer.
It’s all just beginning…”
Wise words, as ever, from Nick Percival. We love hearing about his experience in the comic book world, and his transition to NFTs, and we are crazy excited for his brand new graphic novel, BLOODLINES, to drop on 26th May. If you’d like to hear more from Nick, don’t forget to join us on our Twitch channel at 4pm BST on 26th, for a live Q&A and the official reveal of this groundbreaking new work.