You’re never too old for cartoons, here at AmpedSound.net, we especially prefer those of Jack Barakat’s half naked shenanigans. Now if you’re not aware of the wonderful artist who is Holly Chapman, that first sentence may sound weird, but rest assured we will introduce you to the world of Holztoons. Holly as she describes herself is a “20 year old kid, geek and illustrator in training” who dabbles in many types of art. Most of what she is known for are her bright and charismatic depictions of our favorite bands, whether it be All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon….
When asked about her experience with art, the creative process, and the music that inspires her, this is what she had to say.
- Do you feel as though your art evolves with the music or musicians you are trying to portray?
I definitely think that this is sometimes the case especially with musicians I have been following for a long period of time (e.g All Time Low) so as they have evolved as musicians, I have tried to develop my style so that it remains on a similar level, partially to keep the interest of people but mainly to keep personal style development goals.
- How do you define and capture the personalities of these characters?
I’ve never really had a method for capturing a characters personality however over time from repeatedly drawing certain characters I’ve picked up aspects and particular characteristics like the size of facial features such as the nose and eyebrows as well as distinct expressions and poses that make them ‘them’. All about the practice!
- Have you ever experienced “artist block” and if so what advice would you give to escape it?
Way too many times to count! It can be one of the most annoying things to get around when it happens however personally has found that taking a small breather to re-think then go into just mindlessly scribbling what ever comes to mind (I mainly draw aliens or anything Halloween related) can get me out of it. Listening to music is also a great way to gain a few new ideas.
- Are commissioned or assigned pieces more difficult to finish due to not having full control?
I Have had a few I have struggled with from having to re-draw something completely however it’s all part of the job and when you see the final piece or product it’s a really cool feeling. However even then it has mainly been very enjoyable and although you may run into hurdles or in a lot of cases feel a lack of control, as a working artist it is a good learning curve and will occasionally push you out of your comfort zone which provides handy experience when future work comes along.
- I know you are a fan of many bands and genres, but a big part of your art revolves around All Time Low, what about the band inspires you?
All Time Low has been a huge part of what I do and that through them I feel that I’ve been able to get the stage I am at with my art style and its development. With them having that ‘not so serious/goofy’ approach with their live shows and music videos yet at the same time having songs with a lot of meaningful messages, it gives me that endless source of inspiration to illustrate from. Plus through the attention I’ve picked up through ATL means I probably wouldn’t be where I am currently at this moment in time.
- Do you feel as though some of you non band related art gets less appreciation? If so does this affect your choice in medium or subject matter?
I definitely feel like my cartoon work does get a lot more appreciation online than that of the more realistic approach I have however I think that is due to my online following being more music/fan based although it switches with uni and outside of social networking, being that the realistic pieces seem to be more appealing so it doesn’t affect my way of drawing, just more on where I chose to focus on displaying and promoting things.
- When you draw or create in general what mood do you usually find yourself in?
I’m quite emotionless a lot of the time however usually when I’m feeling stressed, mad or when I’m generally just having a bad day I will put on some music and doodle away!
- How does it make you feel to hear the love people have for your art, and their comments of appreciation?
It’s still a strange concept for me as I tend to be naturally pessimistic with some of what I draw so when I receive those positive comments and responses its reassuring to see that people actually like what gets uploaded. It’s the same when people re-post my artwork, the fact that someone likes a cartoon that much to re-post it onto their own profile provides a really cool feeling.
- What made you choose art as a pathway? What do you see as possibly the next step?
When I was a kid art was more of an escape route when I was experiencing domestic abuse (which is also why I heavily link what I do with music) and although now it still provides an escape from general stress I realized it was something I enjoyed doing and wanted to go further into. My next step is to graduate from my illustration degree and start free-lancing, as well as continue what I draw now.
- When did the transition to take art seriously occur, what pushed that change?
I think I took art more seriously during my GCSE’s when I wanted to go into book illustration however then started drawing the cartoons in my A-levels which led me to consider general free-lancing as it meant I could go down both routes. Saying this though I rarely ever take the cartoons seriously haha!
- Do you get attached to your creations, as if you couldn’t get rid of them?
There has been a few that I became attached to when I was commissioned as well as having a few I refuse to part with so tends to get them signed if I can so I can then frame them and put them up on my wall for memories of that event. However is generally not fussed with about 90% of them!
- What message do you have for new artist, or artist in general? Any tips on inspiration, creativity, or originality?
Experiment! If you think that it doesn’t look how you wanted it to, keep practicing as you will rarely get it to how you want it to on the first try. The same goes with your medium and style. Mess around with different pens, pencils, paints etc… to see what best suits you and is a style that you feel comfortable in. You need to make sure you enjoy what you are doing otherwise you’re not going to feel excited enough to continue in the long run.
- If you could create anything right now what would it be? No limits on tools, locations, you have the ability to make anything.
Vinyl Figures! It’s something I have been wanting to do with the cartoons for ages so that would be first on the list!
- What do you want for your art, your future? What is your vision?
One future route I would love to go down in the future is band merchandise however still has a long way to go yet so will be working and free-lancing my way hopefully to get to that stage.
Interview by: Tiffany Acrey