NEW VEN­TURES

Il­lus­tra­tor and art di­rec­tor Justin Maller has landed a new role as chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of De­viantArt. We caught up with him to find out more

Computer Arts - - Contents -

Il­lus­tra­tor and art di­rec­tor Justin Maller dis­cusses his new role as chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of De­viantArt

This year has been a busy one for dig­i­tal il­lus­tra­tor Justin Maller. He’s just be­come chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of De­viantArt, has re­leased an LP with his band Book Club, which he also cre­ated art­work for, and has moved from New York to Los An­ge­les. We found out more about what’s in­spired such big changes.

How did your new role come about?

I’ve been a part of the De­viantArt com­mu­nity since 2001 – it’s where I got my start as an artist. I’ve main­tained a great re­la­tion­ship with the site and its ad­mins over the years, par­tic­u­larly with An­gelo, the CEO. He broached the idea of me tak­ing the role prior to us go­ing on a trip, and af­ter a few long con­ver­sa­tions, I started to see the fit.

What will your new role in­volve?

I’ll be work­ing with the in-house and Tel Aviv stu­dios, as well as across prod­uct and mar­ket­ing to de­velop new tools for the com­mu­nity and then share them with the broader world. I’ll also be work­ing on of­fer­ing more to artists, and en­sur­ing that every­thing is done with artis­tic cred­i­bil­ity. There’ll be a lot of strat­egy de­vel­op­ment that goes in to all that, of course.

How do you plan to bal­ance your new job with other projects and free­lance work?

I’ll take some jobs here and there to main­tain my stand­ing as a work­ing artist and the re­la­tion­ships I’ve de­vel­oped, but it will be a much smaller part of my day to day. I hope to make more per­sonal work, and De­viantArt is very en­cour­ag­ing about that!

Tell us more about your new LP...

Mak­ing that al­bum was one of the most in­tensely re­ward­ing cre­ative en­deav­ours. I made the art­work to ac­com­pany the songs be­cause we’re a new band with no la­bel, no PR, and up to now, no mu­sic on­line. Ac­cess­ing my art au­di­ence was the best shot we had at get­ting the mu­sic heard, and cre­at­ing a new se­ries in­spired by the tracks felt like an hon­est way to broach the sub­ject.

How do you think you’ll ad­just to life in LA?

Leav­ing my friends and the life I built in NYC over eight years is re­ally hard, and I’ll miss it. But I’ve done it be­fore, mov­ing from Mel­bourne, so I’m sure I’ll ad­just again.

You men­tioned on Twit­ter you’ve had some per­sonal is­sues lately. Do you think it’s im­por­tant to be open with your fans?

To an ex­tent, yeah. I don’t bring a lot of per­sonal stuff to my so­cial me­dia. How­ever I think peo­ple got used to see­ing a cer­tain vol­ume of pro­duc­tion of art, and due to per­sonal cir­cum­stances I was way be­low my usual lev­els in 2017. I wanted to re­mind ev­ery­one that I am still a hu­man be­ing, and their Goku wall­pa­per might have to wait.

Any tips for keep­ing on top of projects?

Flail fran­ti­cally at them in a fre­netic and dis­or­gan­ised fash­ion un­til you’re ex­hausted. Then take a nap.

Justin Maller is an Aus­tralian il­lus­tra­tor, art di­rec­tor and mu­si­cian. www.justin­maller.com

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