Greetings gaymers! This week we’re featuring Zach Brunner, a gay artist from Manchester, New York. He is a working illustrator who has worked on comic books, children’s books, concept arts, and storyboards. He is currently working as a colorist on several different graphic novels. He even has a Gandalf rune tattoo on his arm.
Do you have an educational background in art?
I went to the School of Visual Arts for Film, specializing in Film Editing. During my junior year, I decided to take an illustration course. As much as I love film, I realized that I needed a career path that was more creative and fast-paced. Also, I enjoy working alone rather than on a team, because I’m a perfectionist. On set, I always wanted to do everything, because I had such a specific idea of how things should look. With illustration, I have complete control of the final product.
What makes your artwork different or unique than others?
Since I studied film, I have a firm grasp of visual narrative, which comes in handy when laying out comics. I was also mostly self-taught for most of my life. My mom, who was a fashion designer, gave me the basics on drawing the human form and clothing, back when I was 4 or 5 years old. When I was in first grade, I discovered comic books, which I used as manuals to teach myself how to draw. It wasn’t until college that I took a real illustration course.
I’m also heavily inspired by the fantasy genre, which is sort of unique in the comic book world. Obviously, most comic books can be labeled as “fantasy”, but live more in the superhero world than, say, a medieval fantasy world with elves, trolls, goblins, stuff like that. That’s the fantasy world I’m most attracted to. It’s very rare to be involved in a comic project like that.
What got you into art?
Not really sure. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. It’s always just been a big part of how I express myself. All my notebooks in school were covered in doodles. II’ve always had these images and ideas in my head that just had to get onto paper.
Noteworthy mentions of your art (museums, galleries, design companies)?
Several published books are available online or in comic book shops. You can check out my website for details!
Are you into anything nerdy/geeky (videogames, anime, cartoons, TV shows, comics)?
I’m a huge Tolkien fan. I’m reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the 7th(?) time right now and it just keeps getting better.
When it comes to comic books, I’m a sucker for anything illustrated by Joe Madureira, specifically his Uncanny X-Men run in the mid 90’s. Also anything by Mike Mignola and Sean Gordon Murphy. I follow artists more than the titles, that’s what draws my attention.
I’m not a huge gamer, but I enjoy the Zelda games, my favorite being Twilight Princess. And obviously Super Smash Bros.
I guess you can say I have a nerdy, unhealthy obsession with anything related to Guillermo Del Toro. He can do nothing wrong.
For aspiring artists like yourself, what kind of advice can you give them?
Make sure this is really what you want to do. Being able to support yourself as an artist requires years and years of hard work and effort. I’ve been working 16-18 hour days for the past five years, and I’m still at the ground level. It’s rough, so be sure you’re all in. Also, move to Canada for the free health insurance.
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
I just really appreciate everyone who follows me and enjoys my stuff. Big thanks, it honestly means the world to me.