David Amorando, a freelance cartoonist living in Cincinnati, Ohio, is saving lives everyday. Well maybe he isn't, but his artistic creation, Lightning Man, is. Amorando spoke with ArtSeen about his creations and his artistic process.
Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic process, and what types of artistic materials you use?
Sure. I'm a freelance cartoonist who writes and draws a print and webcomic based on my own character “Lightning Man.” Lightning Man at its core is a superhero story. I basically started drawing this character in high school.
When it comes to the process, usually I just start drawing the story I want to tell. Since comic books are a visual medium it's important to be able to convey the story with pictures. The approach is a little backward as most comics are scripted first, but it's the process I feel most comfortable with.
As for materials, it varies. For the printed comic I use industry standard comic art boards and two mechanical pencils (a 0.5 with 2H lead and a 0.7 with HB lead). The colors are done on the computer. I send it off to my publishers at Hazzum Productions who inks and letters on the finished product.
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?
The cop-out answer for that would be "everything inspires me" but that's the truest answer: everyday life, people, and humans wanting to do more for their community. That's what a hero is. And when I write/draw comics I take that away. Also, the city of Cincinnati; it has inspired much of the background art in the Lightning Man webcomics. That made the transition of taking the universe of Lightning Man from the fictional city of Mineport to setting the printed book in the very real Cincinnati, OH.
The reason I create is simple; I like telling stories. I always try to tell a fun story with great characters.
What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?
The themes are pretty basic ones: power, responsibility, maturity. What makes a man turn into a monster? What makes another become a hero? Though, it's not really that deep or philosophical. After all, how is that fun?
|"Spidey and Belle|
Who are some artists that you admire, and why?
Four creators stand out to me: Bruce Timm, Seth MacFarlane, Joss Whedon, and Trey Parker & Matt Stone.
Bruce Timm's art helped me develop my style. It's a take on his work on Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. Seth MacFarlane's work ethic has been something I've tried to follow. He is involved with every aspect of the shows he runs. I try to be that involved. Joss Whedon's a master at playing with tone. Buffy and Avengers are two examples. Both are serious with flawed individuals trying to save the world. Some can't take the job seriously until the danger is thrust upon them. Matt and Trey stick to their guns when they tell their stories. When they're censored by ANYONE they let them know. I know it's dangerous to mention Family Guy and South Park in the same topic, but they are really the risk takers in cartooning.
|"Lightning Man Comics"|
Can you talk about any current or future projects you are working on?
Some of my webcomic readers and Facebook followers know that the end of Lightning Man: The Official Webcomic is coming. And if they don't, they do now. Electrifying Lightning Man (the alternate reality of the webcomic) has been taking up most of my creative time and energies. I will say this won't be the end of Lightning Man in webcomic form. I've been building in the last few stories the idea of a team called The United. I've always been interested in the idea of a group of super-people. I used to read a lot of Spider-Man comics with crossovers. Plus, I know what it's like to work with a group of people. Some get along, others have friction, but the goal is always the same. Should be fun.
|"Blaze Season Finale Version"|
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?
Don't be afraid to show off! Not everyone will like what you have, but those who do? They'll be the ones to help you, to push you into improvement. Also, don't get into comics just to make millions of dollars. That's not going to happen. Not overnight, anyway. If you love your art, it will love you back. It may be a long road, but it's worth the journey. Facebook, Deviant Art, Tumblr, Twitter. All these are great places. You meet so many new and exciting artists. Some of my favorite comic artists have Deviant Art accounts, so it's a great way to follow them.
Keep everything in balance and you'll go far. Reach for the stars. No, scratch that. That's too cliche. Just do your best. That's all anyone can.
For more information about Amorando and his latest creations, you can visit his website and Facebook page for more details.
All images provided by David Amorando.