Big Friday - Aka Will Coyner April 06 2018, 0 Comments
We have the best jobs in the world. Connecting with artists that peak our creative interests, learning more about their creativity, and telling you all about it.
We had this revelation that we’re sort of like the David Lettermen & women of #LowBrowCulture (self proclaimed of course - with as little ego as possible).
That said, since we began the #TMMartistInterviews project we’ve had a lot of our good friends & folks within our network introduce us to creatives that they feel deserve the chance to shine brightly before you here and on our IG and Fanpage.
We met Will through another mutual Designer homie Mike Mariano - shout out to @cmmariano for the humbling intro! We had connected at the baptism for baby G @chevyandgrace @guiltybyassociation @the_design_concierge regarding Lucasfilm artists and the possibility of showcasing the work of these talented designers and here we are now telling you about them!
(Self Portrait by @big_friday)
Will, we were so stoked to have Mike link us to your work. Going through your site and IG and some of the work we’ve seen on the web, we were curious to know more about your background and how that may have somehow influenced your work.
Can you tell us where abouts you are from, and also something interesting about your childhood and where you grew up?
Certainly, I’m from Waynesboro, Virginia; a small country town nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, next to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I grew up on a farm, for which I am eternally grateful. I got to play outside in the dirt, daydream for hours and read comics with no distractions.
Man that sounds amazing & peaceful.
Can you talk about your earliest memory with regards to creating and how your style may have transitioned over time? By the way how long have you been illustrating and involved with your art?
(GGE by @big_friday)
Well like most, I imagine, I have been “doing” art since childhood, copying comics and drawing whatever caught my eye. But the first piece I remember being asked to create was a full-scale replica of the Virginia state flag for a member of the family church when I was 15, I think. He did Civil War reenactments and it was for his regiment.
It was my first paying gig, 50 bucks. It took me like a year to complete because I immediately realized I had little interest in doing commissioned art I had no interest in.
In terms of illustrating as an adult, I’ve done everything from pin striping and airbrushing, to logo and t-shirt design, to marketing and concept art for games. I have been working full-time in the game industry since 2012.
(Bros by @big_friday)
As far as style, I really like line drawings with vivid color like comics, or dramatically lit, moody character paintings. I typically go between these two styles in regards to personal work, and it tends to satisfy my visual creative needs. The biggest change over the years has been going from tangible paintings and drawings to digital versions. The process tends to stay the same, though I tend to have less of a plan going into a digital piece as I can iterate and design on the fly, something that is useful for production but often detrimental when returning to physical pieces.
So Will, what is your typical process when you create work?
Ideally, I start with as much reference as I need for a piece, materials, poses, mood, and other artists that embody the style and level of execution I am striving for. I always start with a drawing, digital or otherwise.
Sometimes its tight, most often very loose, but drawing with paint tends to be the process I ultimately resort to. I’ll draw over the original rough multiple times to refine it, and when working digitally, paint underneath the drawings until it’s time to bring everything in the piece together.
(Timothy by @big_friday)
Then it’s building the forms over and over, mostly monochromatic, glazing color over that, then back into the piece with color and light as needed. Working with a limited palette of two to three colors for the majority of the process has been my primary way of resolving a piece, as I find I am better able to better understand forms as they relate to light. I find proportions by drawing shapes of light and shadow first, then check for technical accuracy.
My latest approach has been to do ink drawings with pen or brush, scan them, and paint digitally. It’s satisfying and caters to my frequent desire to complete a piece quickly.
(Hell Boy by @big_friday)
Will can you talk about any creative influences that you feel transpire in the work that you do?
I really love classic artists like #Rembrandt and #Caravaggio, #Durer and #Dore, as well as comics from the #GoldenAge to 90’s alternative stuff. Various aspects of these find their way into everything I do.
(Moebius Monster by @big_friday)
Beautiful. So Will, we’re curious about your take on #graffitiandstreetart as a form of expression and creativity? Have you ever personally experienced this on your own creatively or otherwise?
I have never done any street art, but I think it’s amazing what artists can pull off. The variations of scale, style and location are fascinating to me, and I think it all has a place. It gives a loud voice for artists and thinkers to expressive themselves.
Getting in people’s faces on a daily basis is important to promote socially conscious ideas and critiques, to influence everyone’s perspective in healthy ways. It’s also important to add “color” to otherwise lackluster environments.
Cities would be drab dwellings without street art - though I do think there is a distinction between art with intention and random tags the violate people’s personal property.
(Pigman by @big_friday)
Right, and understood. So in your process of creating the work that you do, is there anyone that you love that your art is created for?
Anyone finding my art entertaining or inspiring is a huge payoff for me. It’s easy to get critical and stay in my head, forgetting that making art with love transpires that energy to everyone who sees it.
I really enjoy making art for people I am close to who are not artists. Normally making a logo or random design for Joe Average would be demoralizing, but for someone meaningful to me there is an emotional investment knowing that this will be extremely useful for them, and hopefully make them look good. When it works, that’s the best.
Will, can you name some artists that you follow or are a very big fan of their work?
I’ve been really inspired by tattooers a lot lately, like #JeffRassier, #SteveByrne and #JamesBuie. They do a lot of off-kilter, trippy designs in a traditional style that never ceases to entertain and inspire me. Most of all, with good tattooers in general, the level drawing skill and output is endlessly humbling and aspirational.
I also really love seeing any artist that keeps obsessive sketchbooks. Sketchbooks are the true window to the soul and I have always had a craving to amass as much work in my sketchbooks as I possibly could (a dream that frequently starts hot and dies a slow death), so any artist that is prolific with their sketchbooks gets my motor running.
(Joe Louis by @big_friday)
If there were any artist dead or alive today that you could paint, illustrate, and maybe visually create with who would it be?
I used to idolize #FrankFrazetta, so being able to create with him or pick his brain would cool. #JackKirby would be wonderful to meet and work with. The amount of creative output that guy gave was incredible. He and #WillEisner, they were so influential. #Monsters. Seeing how those guys worked, listening to their stories and understanding their thought processes would be amazing.
Awesome, we’ll definitely have to check all these amazing artists out!
So Will, what are you listening to or really into right now? Anyone spectacular that you think we should check out?
(Anna by @big_friday)
The new #LeonBridges songs are really good and I’m excited for his new album. The new album from #RiversOfNihil is amazing all the way through. I tend to listen to different channels based on mood and conditions. I like the #CryoChamber Youtube for dark ambient stuff, #GimmeRadio for metal and punk, #40sJunction on Sirius while I’m driving, then a mix of things like #JamesBrown and #Nails when I’m working out.
So Will if there were any musician dead or alive that you could work with today who would it be and why?
I was a huge fan of #TypeONegative growing up and always fantasized about working them somehow and meeting #PeterSteele. Jamming with #RayCharles would be a wrap on life.
That would be epic for sure!
So Will, what major project are you working on right now that you’d like to let folks know about?
I am working full-time on really fun stuff for #DisneyInteractive #Lucasfilm Games, my day job. I occasionally get to do designs for well know bands like #Ghost, which my inner fanboy does giddy dances.
Hahaha we'd love to see that giddy dance sometime!
By the way how did you come up with the name @big_friday for your IG handle?
So I got Big Friday from my friend Adam at a company party years ago. I was trying to convince him to get another drink, he said he was taking it slow because it was only Friday, I clumsily said "well it's Big Friday", and it stuck. Not too dramatic. And I don't drink anymore, haha.
(Uncle Creepy by @big_friday)
You can learn more about Will's work by visiting his site. You can also follow him on his IG. If you are interested in future projects that The Method Makers and Will will be working on together, be sure to sign up for our mailing list or following The Method Makers on IG.