Friday, August 10, 2007

David Alegre

Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you go to school, and what extra-curricular activities did you take up? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

Whew, that's a doozy! Uhh, I'm actually an amboy... I was born in the US (New Jersey to be specific), but moved back to the Philippines when I was 12 years old, for high school and college. I went to Colegio San Agustin for high school and Ateneo de Manila for college - I took up Interdisciplinary Studies, which is basically about finding a balance between two schools of thought/practice... just think of it as double majoring to a lesser degree. I took up Computer Science and Fine Arts.

The Fine Arts of my course wasn't really art-related so much as it was theatre-related, since I initially went into college hoping to be an actor of sorts. Thus, my extracurricular activities for school included being in a bunch of plays, indie video productions, and the like. Other than that, I was a pretty humdrum student that wasn't really proactive and I didn't get stellar grades. And I played a lot of Starcraft and Counterstrike.

I would have to say that video games steered me into the veins of being an artist. playing super Mario and Zelda and mega man when I was a kid was just.... phenomenal. To be sucked into a fantasy world that you could actually interact with... Man, it totally one-upped traditional stories, in my opinion. You could travel your own path, you could do things your way, you could come to different endings... You didn't need to save the princess immediately, you could explore, and just.. have fun at your own pace. If you looked at my sketchbooks when I was a kid, all you'd see were my drawings of Mario levels, or Zelda equipment, or my own robot masters. My love for video games is something that has always been at the forefront, actually maybe even more so than my love for comics, or manga, or anime.

What inspired or convinced you to become an artist?

See Above. haha! this is actually an extremely deep question for me, it depends on what you mean by becoming an artist. If you're talking on the level of how i came to love putting my thoughts into pictures.. then it's something that's always been there. I find it amazing that people are capable of that. That history and personal experiences can actually be retold through such a seemingly mundane medium. It seriously blows my mind. I'm very grateful that people have this ability and that's been my mindset as far back as I can remember.

If you're talking about being an artist as a profession, or as a vocation, then that's a whole different story. I finally realized that I wanted to do something that dealt with creative aesthetic in my last year of college. I had wanted to try my hand at graphic design, or advertising... But not art per se, I wasn't confident at all in my skills yet. I think I was a bit of an anomaly in terms of artistic development... I was always doodling in my notebooks, but I never furthered it. The only thing I did were doodles, nothing finished or polished or even serious.

I got a job pretty quickly after I got out of college at I was appointed graphic designer, and really had a great time. They're a great company, and they are doing great things. It's amazing how high you will soar when you work with people that nurture your creativity, and more importantly, treat you as a real person or friend. or family member. It made me think that my personal limits weren't as low as I had originally thought them out to be... And so, I decided to embark on a journey to better myself as an artist. This eventually led to me leaving the job that I really loved and moving back to the states in order to make it as an artist. And make a comic and stuff. Arte noh??

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

Currently, a typical day for me is biking to work, working until 5, biking home, and then doing random things or drawing until i pass out. And I draw a fair amount on the weekends. The people I work with... Bleh, there's really nothing interesting to say. I'm kind of a loner in the company that I work for right now. But things are going to be changing radically, soon!

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

Well, I've done a lot of work for I made the website(not by myself though) and 95% of all of the print material that went out for chikka, like the billboards that used to be on the libis flyover. Also, I did the housemate artwork for Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition.. And helped produce the animations as well! Aside from that, various freelance-ish work. A flyer here and there, and an ad here and there, and some commissioned art here and there.

How do you go about an illustration, what goes through your mind, from start to end?

Uhh, usually, I'll see something on tv or in a comic book that I think would adapt really well if my own characters were in that situation. I work largely out of DIRECT inspiration. I mean, I don't copy or anything like that, but if you look at the right angle and knew what influenced me at the time, you'd go 'ohhhh, so that's where he got that.' haha!

Could you talk about your process in coloring your art (if at all), as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

I'm a digital boy. all of my work starts and ends in either photoshop or painter, with a Wacom Intuos3 tablet. Recently, I've been getting a more fleshed-out system going for my art, which is as follows: 1. On a new layer, roughly sketch out what I want to make, with a 1-pixel brush.

2. "Ink" the final idea... Generally make lines thicker and cleaner

3. Color in the lineart on a layer/layers directly under the lineart. I used to have billions of layers per piece, but I've come to embrace having just one layer underneath.. It's more.. chaotic? it makes me feel like I'm a little closer to traditional art.

4. add textures or layer effects. tada!! that's pretty much it.

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

It's a cookie cutter build, but... video games, anime, comics, and 4. play guitar. Recently though, I've learned to appreciate taking random walks or bike rides around town and just observing people... It's pretty awesome, the stuff you'll notice. All of it is so ripe for drawing!

What is your most favorite subject to draw, and why?

I'm not sure how well this actually translates when I draw it, but my favorite subject is drawing those little in-betweener moments when people think no one is watching. I lot of the time, I like to think of art as a form of pseudo-photography. You know, capture life and stuff like that. And my favorite photos are always, and always have been, candid shots. And I try to recreate that in my art.

Who are the top illustrators whose works excite you the most?

Bryan Lee O' Malley, Corey Lewis, Becky Cloonan, and Tessa and Sarah Stone, to name a few. all of these things have something in common that I can really relate to. Their art styles sort of mosey into this western / anime hybrid, which i think is a really amazing and inspiring notion. like. A nod to both cultures, and utilizing what you like about them in order to come up with an even better end-result. I'd like to think that my work runs in a similar vein. We're artistic mutts!

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

Oh man, this is a hard question to answer coherently. Just about every artist that I have worked with has imprinted something on me that I try to incorporate into my work. For instance, Nicc Balce ( , a pinoy as well!) showed me how to use textures creatively, Shaun Healey ( is teaching me the importance of really... Solid linework, Tessa Stone is teaching me kind of a more 'zen' way to go about art..Complexity in simplicity and all of that, Sarah Stone is teaching me how foundational color really is. And that's just a FEW people, there are tons more that have directly impacted my theory and technique. It's all an intricate web of mooching off of other people, hahahaha! Basically, the art that you see coming out of me is a collective light bulb moment, nodding back to everyone who just.. Wows me artistically. Did that make sense? hee hee. I tend to ramble.

What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?

Deviantart! that place is a continuous source of inspiration due to the sheer mass of talent that resides within. I would NOT and I mean NOT have improved my art in any tanglible way if it wasn't for deviantart. It's a weird paradox (is this the right word to use?) of being stunned by artists that are 293204982 times better than you, but feeling like comrades in arms with all the artists that are at your level. I've recently got into veoh ( because you can watch full anime series there with impunity! Take that, youtube! It's letting me catch up on a lot of anime I've been meaning to watch, like Eyeshield 21 and Gurren Lagann.

John K's blog ( also eats up my time whenever it's updated. John K (the guy who made ren and stimpy) is like, a legend to me. He's such a great artist / cartoonist that just LOVES doing what he does, and the best part is that he's damn good at it too. I would melt into a puddle of joy if I met him, or shook his hand

What wisdom could you give us, about being an artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

Uhh... this sounds extremely cliche, but.. Have fun. That's the most important part about drawing, yet it's funny how so many people miss this point! Your stuff's gonna come out like crap if you aren't enjoying it. Find a way to make your art continually exciting for you - there ISN'T a formula for how these things work. Cast off your shackles!!!! Soon you'll find yourself drawing page after page of sketches or comic panels.

Do you have any tips you could give? If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

scrotumnose[at]gmail[dot]com for my email address for my DeviantArt account, scrotumnosed if you wanna chat me up on YM or AIM, or scrotumnose[at]hotmail[dot]com if you wanna MSN me. chat me up, folks! i love meeting new people!

Do you have any of your art work for sale (comics, prints, or anything)? If so, for fans of your work can know where and when to buy it?

Well, no, not at the moment. I'm currently working on a bunch of things... The latter half of this year is going to be big for me, on a personal level. My website's going to be up, I'm working on a comic called The Ballad of Meng Francisco that's going to be part of the Snafu comics collective, and a lot of other things that well, I'd rather keep to myself at the moment. :)


If you want to do a collab artwork with a famous artist, who would it be and why ?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN!!!! No really, Corey Lewis THE REY. ( is his website, check it out!!!) This guy has changed my perspective on comics and drawing SO much. To work with him would be to reach art-nirvana for me. hahahaha!

1 comment:

andrael said...

I created a Livejournal feed for this blog so I can read the updates from my LJ Friends page (it just syndicates the rss feed of the blog). In case anybody else is interested in subscribing through LJ, it's here:

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