First Im­pres­sions

The Emmy and Ch­es­ley award­win­ning artist talks Florida rain and aliens

ImagineFX - - Issue 152 October 2017 -

JP Tar­gete talks Florida rain and aliens.

I feel that some stu­dios and pro­duc­ers lose sight of the artist be­hind the art

Where did you grow up and how has this in­flu­enced your art? I grew up in Mi­ami and spent a lot of time ei­ther play­ing out­side or draw­ing in­side. The weather in­spired me. Rainy days and thun­der­storms were the per­fect mood-set­ters for my art. What was your next step in art? I re­ceived a full schol­ar­ship to The School of Vis­ual Arts in New York and stud­ied il­lus­tra­tion. Sto­ry­telling and art al­ways ruled over any of my other in­ter­ests when grow­ing up. Does one per­son stand out as be­ing help­ful dur­ing your early years? I had a few good teach­ers who en­cour­aged me to push my art. My dad in­spired me to just draw: he was an ar­chi­tect and had his own of­fice at home. I’d sit on the floor and draw for hours while he played clas­si­cal mu­sic. He never kicked me out or told me to do what he did. He gave me silent en­cour­age­ment and free­dom just by let­ting me be in his stu­dio. I miss him. What was your first paid com­mis­sion, and does it stand as a representation of your tal­ent? My first se­ri­ous paid com­mis­sion was a book cover for a young adult novel back in 1989 called Ap­point­ment with a Stranger. This was done in tra­di­tional oils It’s not a representation of my tal­ent be­cause what I en­joy do­ing is more fan­tasy, sci-fi and darker art. How­ever, it does rep­re­sent the metic­u­lous de­tail that I en­joy cre­at­ing. What’s the last piece you fin­ished, and how do the two dif­fer? I cre­ated a few Alien Covenant mar­ket­ing pieces. Nowa­days, much of my com­mis­sions are done dig­i­tally. The big­gest dif­fer­ence be­tween my cur­rent and older work is re­ally more of a tran­si­tion be­tween tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal. To date, what’s been your most dif­fi­cult con­cept art as­sign­ment? It was cre­at­ing in­te­rior il­lus­tra­tions for HG Well’s The War of the Worlds, pub­lished by Eas­ton Press. There were only about 10 or so im­ages. I han­dled each im­age as if it were a still frame from an epic film. Ev­ery­thing had to be per­fect: com­po­si­tion, mood and light­ing. How has the games and film in­dus­try changed for good since you’ve been work­ing in it? There are a lot more cre­atives work­ing in those in­dus­tries more then be­fore. It’s opened up a lot for younger artist com­ing out of school. What gripes do you have about the games and film in­dus­try right now? I feel some stu­dios and pro­duc­ers lose sight of the artist be­hind the art. Be­cause im­ages can be dig­i­tally gen­er­ated fairly speed­ily, some di­rec­tors are spoiled into see­ing pol­ished ren­der­ings. The de­mand to pro­duce such art quickly is high. What’s the most im­por­tant thing that you’ve taught some­one? Draw, draw! Un­der­stand­ing the ba­sics of a com­po­si­tion and the dif­fer­ence be­tween a static and dy­namic scene. Sketch­books are key. Would you say that your art is evolv­ing? What’s the most re­cent ex­per­i­ment you’ve made? My sketch­book, Once Upon a Time in My Mind, cap­tures where I’m at and how I feel about sto­ry­telling and the world I live in. It’s not an ex­per­i­ment as such, but more of an ex­ten­sion of me. JP’s crea­ture, en­vi­ron­ment and con­cept art can be seen at www.tar­geteart.com.

Pro­duc­ing the art for Eas­ton Press’s edi­tion of The War of the Worlds proved to be a chal­lenge for JP. JP painted cos­tume con­cepts for the new Won­der Woman film. 20th Cen­tury Fox com­mis­sioned JP to pro­duce a series of Alien Covenant mar­ket­ing posters. won­der Woma n Alien Covenant Poster

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