Interview No. 42
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is one who creates and shares through the Newgrounds Art Portal and Art Forum. He is known throughout the Art Forum for his thread The Art of Burning Bread and his contributions have been showcased within the collaboration entitled The Green Line Collab. He has many pieces of art that are both bizarre and simple. He is @Toast-Tony.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: I cant exactly remember how i found newgrounds, i think it was recommended to me by a school friend called Joe-Spink, i used to go over to his house and watch him animate and draw, i became quite a fan of his work. I have one or two other accounts knocking about, but the names of these will remain a mystery, i was an angsty teen and spoke a lot of bollocks at the time (not saying i don't now) haha, but the main reason i joined NG again was just something to do in between tasks at work, i had no intention of going back to doing art at this point.
Q: Your first entry into the Art Portal would be a piece entitled Ash Portrait. A depiction of a woman is what I see and I believe it to be your girlfriend for an early work of this was posted in your first thread to the Art Forum entitled Portrait advice. For your first submission to the world of art here on Newgrounds why did you decide to choose your girlfriend? What was the process in creating this piece?
A: She's awesome is why! I tend to enjoy drawing people i know personally, i like the persons reaction when they see it, I feel they mean a bit more if i have a connection to who i draw and i felt she would appreciate it. The drawing started in Macromedia Flash, a legit version of course :P, of which i had a fair amount of knowledge with how to use it, despite this i got some basic outline and colours down to find myself staring at a brick wall, this led to seeking advice from the Art Forum. Scouting through the forum i found photoshop to be a worthy "purchase" to continue the drawing, i had used it before but not to draw. I think in the end this portrait took the longest out of any drawing i have done since it was a learn and apply job, also it was drawn with a mouse which can be a pain at times.
Q: The Art of Burning Bread would become your art thread to showcase your works in progress for opinion and critique. Your thread was created after your first submission to the Art Portal. With the Art Portal in place why did you feel the need to make an art thread? Also for those getting into art would you say it is necessary for them to create an art thread for feedback before jumping head first into the Art Portal?
A: I would definitely recommend a personal art thread if you are a beginner of sorts to NG before posting in the portal, most users will jump straight into the art section of NG and want to be scouted by another user, this of course can be easier said than done. Having an art thread allows other users to get to know you, see various pieces of your art and make a decision on whether you are worth scouting, as scouting a user who is likely to post something highly inappropriate will cause a problem for both themselves and you. As i had discussions with people in the art forum using the PM system about my portrait of ash and slowly got round to finishing it, i felt it was time to start my own thread and showcase the finished result.
Q: When I interviewed HeRetiK we talked about the flash entitled The Red Line which was an Art Forum Collaboration. You would take part in the thread entitled [Collab] The Green Line and your art would be included in the flash entitled The Green Line Collab. What drew you to this collab? How did it feel making art for this collab? What were the experiences you had working with other artists? What do you think of the collab overall?
A: I was introduced to the "Line Collab" idea by my friend Joe-Spink who featured in the Red line collab. I was drawn to this collab as i found the idea to be a great way of experimenting, working around ways of implementing this line into an image, i tried making my image work around the line so it is the main feature rather than the line hit a random drawing and exit in the same way. It felt great knowing i was making some sort of contribution to Newgrounds and it really gave me a chance to get along with the other members contributing too. I was on top of the world when i found i would be set as a Co-Author, it's not a Grammy but i was proud nonetheless. I feel the finished animation was alright, a few tweaks here and there would have made a difference to quality but you can say the same about anything. A collab isn't exactly meant to be the most groundbreaking, jaw dropping piece of animation to hit newgrounds, i believe it is a great example of what people on the NG community can do when they put their heads together, and it's a way of showcasing out art to those who focus all their attention to the Flash Portal.
Q: When looking over your works, one thing I notice is the fascinating ways you draw people. It's a style that I have seen before, but was lost at one point. You bring it back with a sophisticated look in that of Fox and Pearson and you also bring in a bit of grunge and discomfort with Tom Portrait and 'Cha Lookin' At!?'. When it comes to drawing people when does reality shift to fantasy? In our terminology how do you draw realistic people into this style?
A: Haha, i'm not entirely sure. I guess the style comes about with my taste in art, when it comes to lineart i prefer the comic book style drawings with black outlines and simple hatching to show shadow and emphasise bit's of detail. Colouring on the other hand has come through my own skills (or lack of), i'm blown away by hyper realism but i find simple block colours to be fun. I've tried a hand at both but don't enjoy it, i'm too picky with details to use block colours but lack the patience to sit for any longer than a few hours on a single piece to go into a realistic look that i tried for in the Ash Portrait. I kind of tried to hit the middle of the two and try a semi-realistic look but still a kind of fun, cartoony style colouring as applied in fox and pearson, i think it is this mix that gives off such a simple style but keeps it real (I'm so fly). Tom Portrait and 'Cha Lookin' At!? are a different kettle of fish, Tom Portrait is a drawing of a friend who seem's to be able to make the most comedic of faces, i did a quick sketch of a photo of him and put it to one side, after taking a lot of advice from the God of Advice Kinsei01 i learnt i should try to apply different colours to show highlights and shadows and bring a bit more life to my portraits other than different shades of one colour, so i went about applying this to my sketch of Tom, i did over step the mark a bit to say the least but it turned out alright. 'Cha Lookin' At!? was a very random sketch thats is supposed to represent "Hardcore (hXc)" kids.
Q: What is "The Friday Flood" and what are your experiences with it?
A: The Friday flood is an Art forum invasion of the art portal. Basically a theme is given to the users, the users then conjure up a drawing like magic, and submit the drawing with the flood theme image as the thumbnail at a specific time and date leading to a "flood" of the "portal" page. Blood is spilled. We all meet back at the specified rendezvous point and plan our next attack. I am the new guy in the flood, so have experienced forgetfulness (not actually posting the image) and lateness (partying rather than contributing). It's all good fun.
Q: As an artist what information can you give to other artists out there who are just getting into art?
A: Practice, there's not much more to being good at art than that, talent doesn't come to you as if by magic. Find a style you enjoy and stick with it, don't be afraid to experiment though. Personally the best advice i can give is not to try too hard to be unique, let your own personal style come to you naturally, in the world of art it is the most obscene that i would class as unique, because not many people WANT to do it, so you won't see it often. People try too hard to be different sometimes and get frustrated at themselves, that isn't the affect art should have on you. Finally, enjoy drawing anime, try drawing anime, but god forbid do not commit to drawing anime, it's a plateau to improvement in my opinion...but...you know, each to their own and all that jazz.
Q: Have you ever considered taking a shot at animation? Whether your answer be yes or no could you tell us why?
A: I tried my hand at animation a long long time ago and it was fun, at the moment i haven't even considered doing it again but i may give it a shot at some point now you have mentioned it. I haven't even fully committed myself to producing art really, i don't practice often, but i really want to commit to it before i start something else alongside it.
Q: What can we expect from Toast-Tony in the future?
A: My work is all spur of the moment stuff, you will see me poking my head out here and there with contributions to collabs and the friday flood but for the time being i need to knuckle down with improving my art. I've been wanting to start a portrait request thread as i haven't done an awful lot lately and i would enjoy drawing members of Newgrounds, keep an eye out.
Does Toast-Tony produce the most beautiful or the most captivating art of the Newgrounds Art Portal? Maybe not, and maybe so. Overall though he has a certain style that is both interesting yet amazing at the same time. His works are something that you could see gracing a magazine and drawing you into it, which is the purpose of all art.