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Sun, Jul 17 2011 8:44:03 UTC

Interview with Sean Ellery

Today we have an interview with Sean Ellery, a teacher from Australia who also does amazing coloring for various comics including Sherlock Holmes - Kolchak, Contra Alliance, and various Marvel Entertainment projects.

Could you briefly describe yourself and how you got started drawing comics?

Male, 6' 1 '', green eyes, brown hair, Australian, 44 years old, Gemini..

But seriously, I'm just a self taught COLOURIST of comics. That means I don't actually do the drawings themselves. I just add the final colours to make them look all pretty and nice! Someone else has drawn the picture and then usually a second person has done the inks before I even see the the final B&W picture.

Otherwise I'm just a high school teacher that got hold of a copy of Photoshop and needed a hobby that was relatively cheap (read - free...) to do and this seemed like a good idea.

I assume you were a big comics fan as a kid?

Nope!! The last comic I bought was most likely a Richie Rich and I must have been 10 years old at the time. Otherwise I was never really into them in a big way. I could read one if they came my way, but I didn't rush out to get the latest issues of everything from the comic book store.

This is actually a hindrance to my colouring work now as so often I haven't a clue who the character is or what their colour scheme for the costume is meant to be and I have to go and look up all sorts of references first before I can start! I once coloured a Fairchild from Gen13 as a blonde with a blue costume as I dodn't recognize the character and when I posted it on the internet forums was very quickly howled down for getting it wrong. I quickly re-coloured the picture!

You make amazing looking images, how long did it take you to get to that quality?

It's taken me about 10 years of self taught effort and practice. I didn't start getting paid for anything in any capacity until about 5 years had passed.

You've done work for many companies including Marvel, can you talk about how you initially found those gigs?

I don't actively solicit for paying work at all. I have a day job as a high school teacher which keeps me busy enough and any colour work is just extra money on the side. So far everyone I've done work for has found me vi my website or art posts on various art forums, and that includes the Marvel editor! It's just a matter of getting your stuff posted out there on the internet as much as possible and hoping someone will notice.

Website galleries such as Deviantart.com, ComicartCommissions.com and Renderosity.com have been great places to start but otherwise try the various art forums such as digitalwebbing.com, penciljack.com, conceptart.org and anywhere else you can find.

What is it like to work for a big-house production, as opposed to doing images for yourself?

I don't know... I haven't really done that much for Marvel overall, but I do have my name in the credits of a few Marvel books and have signed a work-for-hire contract so I can officially say that 'yes I work for Marvel... kinda...'

Your day job is as a teacher, how much time does that leave you for the art?

Not enough.

Do you have any specific artists that inspire your work?

Steve Firchow, ''Blond the Colorist'' and Nei Ruffino come to mind.

Do you draw mostly just comic, super-hero type images, or did you ever try other styles?

As I said, I don't draw the pictures themselves.

How much time does it typically take you to do an image, from start to finish?

It all depends. Anywhere from 2 or 3 hours to a week. Longest one was 40 hours all up.

Working on anything new you can talk about?

Not really, my life is boring and mundane.

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