Artist Seth Brown is responsible for the FIYAH #11 cover art. We asked him a bit about his process and the work he’s excited about.
1) What inspired you to originally want to be an artist?
I’ve always had a deep love for creating ever since elementary school. I was the kid who would draw in class instead of paying attention to the material being taught (those drawings didn’t survive class to say the least). Growing up and being bullied gave me fuel to create stories that would help me cope with my fears. As I got older and began to understand what illustration really is, I fell in love with how one can create believable imagery that would touch and unite others. The fact that I could achieve this through picture making moved me to take it on, and in the process, give glory to God.
2) What advice would you have for people looking to become an artist as a career?
My advice is this: Stay strong and be encouraged. I won’t say don’t be doubtful and don’t have worries because as creatives, we all have them. However don’t dwell on such feelings nor surrender to them. Don’t be afraid of the grind, but cherish it. If you should believe in the extraordinary, just as the many who have come before us, you will achieve the extraordinary. Keep drawing, keep painting, but above everything else keep BELIEVING.
3) What are your own personal goals for your art? Where would you like it to be in five years?
Personally I’m working towards including more people of color in my work. There’s been a significant increase of Blacks in illustration (Both in content and illustrators) and I’d love to contribute to the growth of such things. I can’t ignore the need to highlight the actual strength, worth, boldness and mysticism of Blacks as a whole. Many have lost sight of that and some simply have no knowledge of such attributes. Within 5 years I would love to have my work on more book/magazine covers, movie posters, and I’d love to have published my first Graphic Novel (if not close to it).
4) Who are some of your favorite artists currently?
Some of my favorite artists are Kadir Nelson, Donato Giancola, Dominick Saponaro, Jamar Nicholas, Gregory Manchess, Julie Dillon, Jen Bartel, Jake Parker, and many more. Too many to recollect!
5) What thought process did you take into your FIYAH cover? Did you have a specific artistic goal in mind?
My process with creating this cover was actually a ‘happy accident’. Right before I got commissioned, I had a sketch in my sketchbook that was intended for a personal project, but the opportunity didn’t present itself. It was on reserve. But as I was cranking out thumbnail after thumbnail, I remembered the sketch and how I wanted to do a portrait of a beautifully strong black woman highlighting the mysticism, strength, and power of Black women. With the help of great art direction, I was able to take this concept further.
6) If you could instantly work on any established property, what would it be and why?
Wow… this is a tough one because there’s so many intriguing properties out there. Reaching down to my artistic roots, I’d absolutely love to do work for Marvel comics. I grew up reading Marvel and—as I said earlier—Marvel helped me cope with being bullied. As I grew up I understood the metaphor of superheroes on a new level. If I may add a few more properties that I’d love to work for, they would be DC Comics, Tor Books, Image Comics, Orbit Books, Universal Pictures, and much more.
7) What projects do you have coming down the pipeline? Anything you particularly excited about?
I have quite the lineup for the remainder of 2019! Moving forward I’ll be including more portraiture in my portfolio of characters that tell their own stories, and overall illustrations depicting spiritual warfare, adventure, and the extraordinary. I have two sizable universes I’ve been writing and I’d love to hold them in my hands as Graphic Novels and share them with others. The key is taking one thing at a time and planning accordingly. I’m not excited for one project in particular. They’re all my children and I’m equally excited in bringing each of them into existence.
8) Tell us where we can find you. Social media, website etc.?