Time to shine the Illustration Spotlight on MFA candidate Ethan Mongin, our resident master of black and white ( but can also rock the colors when inspired to do so). So, without further ado, Heeeeeeere's Ethan...
Where are you from?
I’m from the South. I claim two hometowns, Savannah, GA and Lyman, SC.
Where have you been to school?
I graduated with a B.F.A. from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.
What attracted you to Illustration?
Comic books and illustrated versions of literary classics (especially those illustrated by N.C. Wyeth and Trina Schart Hyman) attracted my attention at an early age. As a child with no attention span and no patience for his environment, illustration proved to be an invaluable focusing tool.
Who are your biggest influences?
My influences are constantly mutating. When I was younger, illuminated manuscripts, 1920’s comic strips, and “Where’s Waldo” were rattling around in my subconscious. As a graduate student, I’ve found inspiration in the monochromatic work from the Golden Age of Illustration, Doug TenNapel’s graphic novels, and the mad skills of comic artist Sergio Toppi.
If you weren’t studying illustration at SCAD, what would you likely be doing?
If I weren’t at SCAD, I’d probably have found a random hovel to call my home, and spent my entire waking moment scrawling contour drawings on the walls…
What do you like to do in your spare time?
My spare time is spent stalking strangers and drawing them in my sketchbooks…
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t realize I’m a natural-born southerner.
What would your dream job/client be and why?
Working with Chronicle Books or Top Shelf comics would be fantastic! Chronicle produces some of the most amazing published artwork I’ve ever seen, and Top Shelf is awesome because they publish off-the-wall sequential work.
What’s your typical process for creating your artwork (technique, media, etc)?
I usually begin by stressing myself out. Once I’ve encouraged the required amount of stomach ulcers and chewed finger nubs, I brainstorm a spider graph. After the spider graph I write out random literary terms and try to apply them to the concept of the artwork at hand. Then I thumbnail like an OCD fiend. Thumbnails are followed by really messy pencils, seriously anal-retentive inking, and sometimes digital coloring and texturizing.
Sum up your personal philosophy in 25 words or less.
I’ve purposed to enjoy every aspect of life. And to make art. Lots of it. That looks really cool.