Fun fact #1: today's comic was originally created in October 2012.
Fun fact #2: today's artist might be the most inspirational artist we've had on FML.
Fun fact #3: one human hair can support 3.5 ounces.
Fun fact #4: I just googled "fun fact human body" to be all scientific, serious and stuff.
Fun fact #5: the interview begins right now!
-What is your name, surname and nickname? -Roberto Torres, friends call me Rob.
-Why did you choose this nickname? - I didn't choose it, most of my friends are anglo so they just shorten my name to rob since it's easier than Roberto or Berto.
-How old are you? -36.
-Where do you live? -Central Florida.
-What's your job ? -Full time artist/illustrator.
-What's your journey? (Side note, this may be a long answer but believe me, this artist's story is an inspiration.) -Uf, this is a long one. When I was a kid I was a bright and, honestly, self absorbed guy who believed he was smarter than anyone else in the world. As a result I made some of the most spectacularly stupid decisions ever recorded by anyone ever. The first of which was quitting school in 12th grade and getting a GED because "a high school diploma and college degree was just a piece of paper and what matters is that I'm a freaking genius".
I left art behind and began to concentrate on technology as my thing and during that I got jobs doing anything I could get paid for. Everything from file clerk to oil-well monkey in the gulf of Mexico. Eventually I got tired of back breaking work and decided that I needed a piece of paper from a school so I can use what I already knew to make money. So I went to a technical college (ITT Tech) and got my paper and started doing IT work. I did that for 11 years. Then, I spent 3 years of looking for work in IT and 3 years of disappointments, frustrations, tears, anger, depression, weight gain... It was an awful time.
Anyway, during the time I was employed, I managed to make the FIRST right decision I had made since I was 16. I bought Photoshop CS2 and a Wacom intuos 3 drawing tablet. I left them in their boxes because I was too busy, but this would come back to me after I went through the whole three years of hell I previously mentioned. So there I was one day and I was actually crying and yelling at the world in my tiny apartment while my wife was at work. I remember I was yelling at God or whatever is out there that is bigger than us and admitting that this situation was all my fault but I really needed a break. A sign that there was hope for me because I was feeling really useless.
So there I am crying and a mess when I look up and literally sticking out from behind a closet door was the edge of the Wacom box. I went over and took it out along with Photoshop and suddenly remembered I had bought these things and wondered why I hadn't installed them yet. I remembered when I was 14-16 and was drawing my own comics and making stories and would jealously guard my comic book collection from my younger brother and it made me smile and just like that... light bulb. Definitely a groovy moment. So I started googling about art, art careers, how to become an artist, how to make this ME. I was surprised to see that I could do this. The rest is history. I started doing a webcomic then two webcomics and that lead to my falling back in love with my first love, art. I began to dedicate myself to everything about comics and the mediums used to make them. I became this devourer of art styles, instruction, technique, and now... three years after that day where all I felt was pain and despair, I am a self employed freelance illustrator that does everything from commissions to comics (indie publishers for now, but that may soon change)
-(See? Told ya.) What are your inspirations? -Life, my wife, pain, anger, sadness, television, music, great books, other artists.
-Do you read webcomics? -I do! At first I mostly read funny ones but these days I am really into a serialized story driven set of webcomics. My favorite are Adrastus by Liz Staley, Twilight monk by Trent Kaniuga, Dynagirl Online, Super fogeys, Skullkickers (which was originally a print comic and is now both a print comic and a free online comic and it's made by a team from image comics), Off-white by Anna Podedworna & Katarzyna Redesiuk are just the ones I can name off the top of my head
-Tell us more about your website, Punkin Studios. -Funny story. I love my wife dearly. This is a woman that supports my art career and the fact that it doesn't bring in a steady check is A-OK with her. We are not rich by any means (she's just a public school teacher after all) so we do struggle. Despite all that, she manages to love me and appreciate me and she never calls me by my name. To her I am just punkin. So while I was deciding what to name my studio and site, she said, "Oh! Call it punkin studios because you're my punkin and this is your studio." So I did! She's given me many a chance to back out of the name because she's concerned it makes my studio and me sound stupid. But to me, the name reminds me of the one thing in my life that gives me more peace than my art does. So the name stays.
-How do you work? -Mostly digitally and while I have gallons of coffee coursing through me. But at conventions (and on rare occasions) I will do traditional pencil and ink stuff. Though if I sell that, it's a little more expensive than my digital stuff since that is basically all printed and therefore worth less.
-Why did you choose this FML story? -HAH! because I have a cousin who is really pretty, in that she paid for it with money and time on her back under a knife way, and she thinks her looks can get her out of anything. I know that isn't true and could see this totally happening to her someday... if it hasn't already.
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DeviantArt. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!
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