Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Questions 28: Dane Ault

Dane Ault is an illustrator and graphic designer who has done work for Marvel Comics, Upper Deck Entertainment, MTV, Arizona State University, and Rude Dude Publications.  He is also the owner of Monkey Minion Press.  Monkey Minion Press is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Dane Ault (Artist) and Ashlie Hammond (Writer). Their goal is to make great items and books that geeks will love.  They offer a well-rounded approach to any problem presented to them, be it illustration, design, layout or copy writing. They can do it all.
MMP is also a retail-oriented venture they sell products such as t-shirts, art prints, original art, buttons, and their signature item – Zombie Greeting Cards. Recently they had their Valentines Day Cards.
Checkout Dane's portfolio and Monkey Minion Press

Doug Dorr:   What projects are you working on currently? 
Right now, I'm elbow-deep in our new kid's book, "Too Many Monsters in my House" and various illustrations and prints.

DD:   What is your artistic Process? 
Chaotic. LOL! It depends on the piece I'm working on and style necessary for it. For digital work, some pieces require a really well-plotted and intense prliminary sketch and some don't before I scan them into the computer. Once in the computer, however the process is similar no matter the piece. I do all of my base drawing in Adobe Illustrator and depending on the finish style I want on the piece, I'll the put it into Photoshop to add effects and brushwork.

DD:   When are story illustrator, how involved are you in the writing? 
Depends on the story. I prefer to be kind of hands-off as far as writing goes, as that's not where my strength lies, but reserve the right o make some changes as needed to help the story flow visually.

DD:   What Comic/ Trade would you recommend? 
Right now, I'm REALLY digging Batgirl by Brian Q. Miller and Dustin Nguyen. Great book, great, fun writing and gorgeous art.

DD:   What Comic/ Trade would you recommend to someone new to comics? 
Thor: The Mighty Avenger, because it's just a great book, with no obligations to ongoing storylines or continuity.

DD:   What skill would you like to learn? 
I'd like to better at sequential art. Also: Scuba Diving.

DD:   What's the most important thing you've learned? 
Keep Trying. You can't succeed if you don't try, and sometimes it's gonna take you more than one try.

DD:   Do you have a collection?   If so, what is one of the items you're most proud of?
I have a couple, actually. I collect comics (natch), altho I've scaled my monthly habits down quite a bit. I also have a small  collection of original art and sketch cards, that's growing slowly. One of my favorite Collected things has to be my 11x17 Steve Rude Batgirl Painting that I have on my wall. Love it.

DD:   What is your favorite genre of Comics? 
Gotta say Superheroes. Altho, I dig this new genre of Mouse fantasy that's sprung up recently (Mouse Guard and Mice Templar)

DD:   Do you have an Ipad?   If so what do use it for the most. 
I do, indeed. I got it so that I could take credit cards at conventions and shows, but I think I used it mainly to play games on. LOL!

DD:   What is your favorite TV show/ movie? 
MY favorite TV show depends on whatever I'm watching at the moment. I don't watch regular TV, just Netflix, and right now, I'm really digging Monk. (I'm a little behind) As for Movies, I have to say that even, what, 12 years or so after I first saw it, I still love The Crow with Brandon Lee, but Jurassic Park is right up there, too.

DD:   How does the Portland comics culture shapes your work? 
I'm not sure, yet. I'm just starting to get into the PDX culture, since moving here in 2008. I will say, tho that the sheer level of productivity and awesomeness the local scene has going for it is astounding. The guys and gals out there doing it really make me want to do great work.

DD:   What was your first comic convention? 
Phoenix Comicon 2005. Back then, it was a 6-hour long flea market-type show with one guest. The year after that, I was part of the staff for the first 2-day Phoenix Comicon. But that was the show that really got me interested in trying to do comics and art in the way I do now.

DD:   What is your favorite part of comic conventions? 
As a fan, just going. I love going to cons and seeing all the other people like me. I grew up in isolated parts of the midwest where there weren't that many comic shops or fans (Before Internet). So, it's still pretty cool to me that we have these big gatherings where you're allowed, nay EXPECTED, to let your geek flag fly! As an artist I love going to shows to meet people and fans and hopefully make new fans. I love watching people wander by my table, look at the work displayed and see their faces light up. It's just a great feeling.

DD:   If you weren’t doing comics what would you do?
Play video games. and cry.

DD:   Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would recommend? 
I'd have to go with either The Original Hotcake House on Powell or my favorite Mexican place "La Ochoca" which is a taco cart on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. $1 Tacos and they are AWESOME!

DD:   How long have you lived in Portland, what made you choose Portland? 
Going on 3 years now. I love it here. We moved here from Phoenix, AZ. We had friends in Seattle, but Seattle seemed a little too much like Phoenix north as far as size goes, just too big. Portland seemed just about right - mild climate, greenery everywhere, people who actually like living here, and the second largest concentration of comics creators in the US.

DD:   What is your favorite part of Portland? 
All of it. I really like the way that PDX is kind of divided into neighborhoods which are kind of little self-contained mini-towns. And each little mini-town is different. Hillsdale is different from Hollywood is different from Multnomah Village.

DD:   Where in Portland/ Oregon would you most like to visit? 
I've never been to the Zoo, actually. I think I'd like to go there.

DD:   Would you like to write/Illustrate for another media? or conversely, how would you feel about writing a comic of a character from a different media, for example, Dr. Who, James Bond?  What would you explore?
I love working with other properties. I have done some work with media properties and one of my favorite things is taking other properties and spinning them on a new axis. 

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