The Emmy and Chesley awardwinning artist talks Florida rain and aliens
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