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?
I’m Frances Ashton Neil Arguelles. But Ash, Neil or Tofu would do. 23 yrs of age single and looking hehe! I took up Communication Arts at Far Eastern University, I also studied Culinary Arts somewhere in Makati and I’m still in school right now taking a short course on Photography. Basically I just like to draw and I didn’t take any art lessons but I’m planning to take one in the near future.
Ash just call me Ash please.
What inspired or convinced you to become an artist?
It's my first love, I used to collect comic books way back when I was in grade school and I was amazed on how artists could create lifelike sketches. I worship Jim Lee Frank Miller and Todd Mcfarlane back then. My teacher usually nags at me. instead of writing down lectures I draw funny looking stick figures on my notes. I was also the school journal’s art editor and since then I always dreamt of becoming an artist.
What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?
I got hooked up with radio broadcasting recently, as of now I’m working on a local radio station, on free days I teach Korean grade school students English and Tagalog lessons. I also take pictures but I’m still a budding photographer.
What are some of the things that you have worked on?
Well I’ve tried indie comics with some friends and fellow artists. I’m working on a title right now though I lack time I still manage to squeeze in and do some rough sketches and lineart. This is for charity by the way, to help cancer patients. HELP 100
How do you go about an illustration, what goes through your mind, from start to end?
Before I start making an illustration I make sure that the image has already materialized in my mind. Some artists would usually think on what others would say about their work or how they would react to it at first glance but I guess everyone should always take a second look at it and try to see the depths of the subject, there’s always a story behind every art.
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 hate coloring, on traditional I use colored pencil and copics but most of the time I scan my sheets and use photoshop or painter for coloring.
What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?
I read a lot of books, most of my ideas comes from the books I read, you might find this weird but I watch F channel and I have a huge collection of fashion mags locked up in my drawer.
What is your most favorite subject to draw, and why?
Women! As most men would say.. A woman’s body is God’s best creation. I’m trying to work on my anatomy and facial expressions.
Who are the top illustrators whose works excite you the most?
A lot! Hmm locally? to name a few.. Whilce Portacio, Carlo Pagulayan and Chester Ocampo would be on the top of my list. There are a lot of talented Filipino artists out there, they just need a good break and a proper exposure. Heck we can even do better than the Japs.
What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen? (this is Question #10)
The usual accept bad criticism and learn learn learn proper anatomy, Listen to what others say about your work it’ll help you become a better artist and also try to go beyond your limits.
What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?
Google and next would be of course Deviantart and Youtube, haha ! Any site that would feed my mind with information. Torrent sites tehee!
What wisdom could you give us, about being an artist? Do you have any tips you could give?
I’d also say the same thing (question#10) but based from my own experience I guess a good amount of sleep, proper diet and occasional book reading.
If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?
Here’s my email yeytofu[at]yahoo[dot]com or they could always visit my DA page. You’d probably often catch me hanging out on malls particularly in the Ortigas area so just approach me and ask whatever it is that you want to know. Lol But don’t ask for money I’d probably ask the same question XD
Do you have any of your art work for sale (comics, prints, or anything)for fans of your work can know where and when to buy it?
Honestly eventhough I’ve been doing this for quite sometime, I don’t consider my art desirable. There are a lot of things that I need to learn. Deviantart lets artists sell their prints right? Just note me if you want one LOL I might accept commissions but I’m afraid I might frustrate them =(
If you were given the chance to illustrate an official cover art for an existing comic title, which comic title would you choose?
I’m a sucker for Spiderman titles it would even be a LOT better if the title would involve crossovers. A remake cover for Spiderman and the Ultimate Six. How about Spiderman with Son Goku?