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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Art Interview With: Forrest Imel

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Forrest Imel. As well as being a fantastic artist he also runs a live stream. Be sure to check out his various portfolio links.

Deviant Art:
Kitchen Sketchbook:
CGHub Sketchbook:
ConceptArt Sketchbook:
Live Stream:


What got you into art?

Dragonworld by ~ForrestImel

What got me into art? I've kinda been drawing ever since I was born, before preschool even. I really started realising that I wanted to become an artist as a career in kindergarten after checking out a book in the library filled with poems about mythical creatures and each poem had an illustration done of the creature. It really inspired me. Of course back then I would trace the pictures straight from the book and think I was good at art but I mean c'mon I was 5 or 6 years old. I changed my career choice multiple times although all of them were art related. At first I was all about becoming a cartoonist and then later I wanted to draw Yu-Gi-Oh cards and then a video game concept artist. This went on for awhile until about 8th grade when I finally decided to get better at drawing for real, to really get serious with it. I decided after realising that there are so many people out there who are better then me and after getting inspired by a lot of the illustrations on Magic: The Gathering cards.

Who are your inspirations?

Feast or Famine MTG by *chasestone

My inspirations, oh lord there's too many. My first inspiration ever was Todd Lockwood, then it was probably Jason Chan after that and people just kept getting added on to the list. I suppose for recent inspirations I've really been obsessing over Chase Stone's ( work lately.

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

Ha, well the best piece of advice I've ever been given wasn't really directly given to me. It was a quote from Chuck Close that I read during a time in my life where I really wasn't inspired to draw or improve and was desperate for motivation. Among all the quotes and inspirational stories I read a quote from him that said "Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work." Since then I've never really had a problem with needing motivation to draw, after all I don't want to become an amateur haha.

What is your favourite piece?

All time favourite piece? That's way too difficult, but I will show one that always seems to blow me away even though it's been my wallpaper on my Mac for almost a year now ( Brad Rigney's work is too delicious to not stare at for hours.

What has been the key to your improvement?

Application of what I learn. I discuss this a lot on my streams too, it probably gets boring to hear after awhile but it's true. If you're studying something, let's say arms, then after you draw 10 arms from an anatomy book draw 10 more arms from your imagination. Once done compare them, ask yourself "why do I suck?" It might sound harsh but you have to be honest with yourself. If you go on in life thinking you're good or okay at where you're at with your art then your art will never improve.

You do regular streaming sessions. How do you feel this has helped you improve?

I like my stream sessions, it's kind of a way to help me relax and talk with other artists. I usually work on stuff that I want to work on while I stream and then afterwards get back to studies. Streaming is also nice because I've usually got some sort of an audience, so I don't go and check facebook or art forums or whatever. I stay focused.

There are quite a few pieces of fan art in your sketchbook. How do you feel about fan art?

KidBuu by Forrest Imel

I enjoy fan art. I actually did fan art recently because I honestly think it's a good way to help yourself out of an artistic rut. If you've got artist's block then draw something that you loved as a kid or even still love and don't take it so seriously, mess around with it and have fun with it. I drew Dragonball Z fan art a little bit ago because it was a huge inspiration to me as a kid so I kind of wanted to return to the roots of where I began my journey to remind myself why I'm doing this.

Are there any areas in your work you wish you could improve?

Is everything an ok answer? ha. Seriously I notice something wrong with my work every day, recently it's been composition and value but I know my anatomy needs work, I want to make more dynamic of figures, half the time when I draw cloth I'm not sure what I'm doing, the list goes on and on.

What do you do in your spare time?

Draw and on occasion maybe play a game or watch a movie or something, lately my thing other then art has been Magic: The Gathering. My girlfriend lives with me also so I usually try to make time for us to hang out and have me not be in front of the computer for awhile.


What are you currently working on?

Right now I'm working on my submission for the Crimson Daggers' Bloodsports competition ( I was working on another fan art piece of the DC comics villain Deathstroke but I'll have to continue work on that after the Bloodsports piece.

Is there anything you wish to promote?

Anything I wish to promote? hmm... Other then what I just promoted I guess I'll promote the Crimson Daggers forums ( which is a great place for people to improve, everyone there is pretty friendly and helpful even to brand new people wanting to get better. And while I'm at it my blog (, I have multiple links to people that inspire me, resources, and a link to my portfolio. I try to post every day and always post everything I've done that day.

Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview it's always nice answering questions like these because they make me think back on why I got started in this in the first place. Thanks :)

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