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Sylvia L. Armitstead graduate from Central Washington University with a degree in fine arts. She specializes in drawing and jewelry/metal works. Her DeviantART gallery allows viewers to see everything from her sketches for an comic in the work in progress stages to the finished colored pencil pieces that are filled with majestic animals and fantastic colors.
ToonariPost (TP): Who or what are your inspirations and why?
Sylvia L. Armitstead (SLA): Oh goodness. Lots. Mostly nature. I ADORE being in the great outdoors and seeing everything that this world has to offer. Within that I am very much a fan of artists like Alphonse Mucha, Rene Lalique and even the more modern artist Wim Delvoye who can do some AMAZING stuff with everything from pig skin to car tires.
TP: Would you ever consider teaming up with one of these artists to do a piece? Who, why, and what type of work do you think would come from this partnership?
SLA: If Rene Lalique was alive, I could imagine that I would likely insist on creating an entire house dedicated to the early Nouveau style. There would be everything from banisters, a fireplace, a kitchen that looked like it was probably forged by the elves of Middle Earth (since the artists at Wetta actually took a close look at the Nouveau period for how they designed things for the movies), to jewelry and if it were a true collaboration of inspiration there would likely be a lot of Alaskan influence in the art that I think I could bring to the table for natural elements.
Doing a collaboration with Allison Theus would be amazing as well, though I’m not exactly sure how it would turn out or what it would be. Either way I think I could learn a TON if I had a week of lessons with her on creature creation!
TP: If there was any art medium that you wish you could master, what would it be and why?
SLA: Oh goodness, there are a few of them: I would have to say first and foremost I would love to be able to do gorgeous watercolor and colored pencil works. The other medium I would love to become more proficient in is metals. I adore working with silver and don’t get an often enough chance nowadays.
TP: You have written a journal about the frustrations of shoppers. I think many individuals that have worked in retail would heartily agree with you. How do you deal with this frustration? Does it affect your artwork at all?
SLA: Luckily for me my art is not only my passion, hobby, and way to bring in a little bit of extra funds for fun things in life, but its also my de-stresser. As soon as my pen hits the paper I can literally feel the stress start to leak out of my body. Also, there is nothing that a good session of Yoga won’t solve. I try in general to keep a mostly stress free life as I find that stress does nothing in terms of benefiting me in any way.
Something I think that most people could agree with as well. The other thing that does wonders is just taking a good walk and being out in the wilderness listening to the trees, birds and nothing else. As long as I can have my outlets, as well as my artwork, I’m a happy camper and my artwork can thrive!
TP: I see that you are also working on artwork for an upcoming game (Disaster Looms). Can you tell me more about this project? How did you become interested in creating pieces for the game? Are you enjoying it so far?
SLA: The project is a table top tile based game where you go exploring into outer space in a race for the best resources for your “customers” er…. tourists. You can find out more here.
I’ve always been interested in creating art for games because to me, the art is the game. If there is a game I want to play I look at the artwork of the game first. If I don’t enjoy how the game looks, then no matter how well it plays I’m not going to get into it. So for me, art is a HUGE part of game play (hence why I’m playing Tera. Can anyone say GORGEOUS!?)
As to how I became interested, I was actually visiting a friend and another artist who is working on the game that I went to school for, and we were going to be demoing the game.
She mentioned that their other illustrator had fallen off the face of the planet somewhere, and no one had heard about them. Luckily the creator of the game was coming by and after a brief set of introductions I put my sketchbook in his hand and the rest, as they say, was history! They really didn’t have to twist my arm at all to bring me on board.