Interview With Pascal Campion (Part 2) :: ArtCast #75

The Tour Pascal Campion

“I can’t take ten steps without seeing something I want to paint or draw…”

- Pascal Campion

In part one of this interview, we learned about Pascal Campion’s early career and his development into a uniquely versatile professional artist.

In this episode, Pascal manages to communicate to us how his creative mind actually works – which is extremely difficult to do.

He also shares some stirringly thoughtful responses to questions from my color theory and digital painting students. We talk about portfolios, art school, composition,  lighting and, of course, personal style.

Click through to listen…

Pascal’s “Skill-Builder” Project:

Up A Tree Pascal Campion

To make more time for his family, Pascal committed to a full-time freelance in the Spring of 2007.

A wave of vocational success followed as Pascal’s client base has grown to include major media companies like Disney, Dreamworks and Cartoon Network.

Listen To The Interview:

[ download the mp3 ]

Episode Highlights:

  • How Pascal developed his personal style.
  • In-depth insight into his workflow and creative process.
  • How to find freedom and joy in your artwork.
  • How to come up with inventive ideas.
  • What should you look for in an art school?
  • Common problems with student portfolios…

Help Pascal Kickstart His New Book!

’3000 Moments’ is a 250 page collection featuring the best of Pascal’s Sketch Of The Day!

Click here to support Pascal’s new Kickstarter Campaign.

2948 Pascal CampionAwesome Pascal Links:

Pascal’s Sketch Of The Day

Pascal’s Portfolio

Follow Pascal On Twitter

Follow Pascal On Facebook

Follow Pascal On Tumblr

Follow Pascal On deviantART

Pascal’s First Ever Solo Exhibit: Pascal will be at Center Stage Gallery in Burbank, CA on August 2nd for a Storytelling Workshop, Kickstarter Party and Reception!

More Awesome Links:

Sketch Dailies

Sketch Dailies Twitter

Lorelay Bove

Stephen Silver

Nico Marlet

Brittney Lee

Robb Pratt

Why Your Concept Art Portfolio Is Being Ignored

The Technique Trap

The Magic Box: Digital Painting Tutorials

The Breakthrough:

This week’s Breakthrough Story comes from Jose-Luis Segura.

Check out Jose’s work at LucidShanty.com and watch him on deviantArt.

Please consider sharing your own Breakthrough Story for The ArtCast.

We Want To Hear From You!

What did you learn in this interview that inspired you most?

…and how are you going to use this inspiration to guide your own art or creative career?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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[ I will never spam you or share your information ]

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Derrick "Captain Dutz" Utz

Thank you so very much Chris and Pascal!!!!

There were more amazing and touching moments in this set of interviews than I can easily speak to in a single comment but one I have to say for sure is thank you for the reminder that I don’t have to be amazing in every moment, every time my pencil hits page or stylus to pad. Sometimes the best I could give is right there and that is ok.

I too have kiddos running around, house responsibilities, full time work, blah blah blah…make a blank and I will fill it with the usual stuff that blocks my calm. Then, when I drag myself to the page I sit there with all of that in my backpack…looking over my shoulder and reminding me that this or that could have been better or I should have done some other thing too.

I don’t have to. It’s ok. I am not…perfect, and my art doesn’t have to be either. It just has to be me.

Pascal, I also cannot tell you how thankful I am to hear another Daddy talk about lovingly having his kids with him while he creates. I honestly put up an invisible wall with my kids some times like am performing some special alchemy and if they breathe by it that action alone will destroy the gold I am making! My kids actually want to know what I am doing and are excited too!!! Who could ask for better than that! All they need is structure and not a wall. It helps a great deal to be reminded of that, thank you.

Much love Chris and thank you so very much for introducing me to Pascal!!!

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, my friend.

You’re a really good dad.

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Derrick Utz

Thank you Chris. They are more than worth me improving as much as I can!!!

I cannot tell you how amazing you and Mama Oatley will be when that time comes!! Oh, the dreamers they will be!

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Jeff Morris

Haha! Mama Oatley! Oh man, that will be the only thing I call Angie from now on.

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Derrick "Captain Dutz" Utz

…This pirate might be walk’n tha plank for that…

High five to tha Mrs.!

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jason pickthall

This one really resonated with me. The idea of taking a year off of looking at art on the net so as I can hone my own style in isolation without chasing the next trend was in my mind. I may give a version of this a go.. its a tough one though.

It was also refreshing to hear an artist say that they wanted to work less and live life. Afterall its what we are doing it all for. There’s so much machismo in working all hours for the love of ‘art’

It also made me think that I need more personal narrative in my work. I have a good array of tools at my disposal but somehow feels less than the sum of its parts. If I can make it more personal I think it will have a great effect. The same with narrative, perhaps I need to write ideas more rather than jumping in and committing too early

A great cast though and its very motivational whilst Im working.

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Chris Oatley

You hit the nail right on the head, Jason. That machismo “I don’t need nobody but art” attitude is, in my opinion, detrimental.

No, having a family isn’t for everyone but empathy, self-sacrifice and other-centeredness is vital. Family is one of the primary ways we become whole people.

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Kev "boybogart" Tan

Wow. There’s a lot of truths in this episode Chris. The way Pascal brings into surface the important questions in life and career is also in the same style of his art – simple but profound. Very inspiring stuff, thank you both for spending the time and sharing your thoughts.

On another note, I’ve been listening to the podcast for 2+ years now and I must say it’s been a pleasure seeing your audience grow and your show improve by leaps and bounds. The production values, the topics, the guests, it’s just been on a roll lately. Here’s to more success in the future for you and your crew Chris. Onwards! (yeah, callback!)

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Chris Oatley

Thank you, Kev! Thanks for the kind words about the show.

It’s an interesting coincidence that you made that callback specifically. …you’ll know why when you hear the next episode! ;)

Thanks again for the kind words and your ongoing support of the show.

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Raluca

I said it before and I’m going to say it again: I love this website! And the amazing interviews I found here! The things that are discussed, the ideas spoken and the experiences shared totally changed the way I see my own artistic adventure.
With the risk of repeating what Chris quoted from one of his students messages, it’s not one podcast that brought a new perspective on things, it’s the entire row of artists that shared their thoughts and impressions in the numerous interviews shared here. They all help me to better understands what I am going through and explain why I see things in a specific way or why I feel insecure about my own art…and so many other things! I think the greatest relief, or how to call it, that I felt after listening to these podcasts was to know that I am not the only one who haves ( or had ) troubles on the road and not being a perfect artist is normal.
Thanks again for the awesomeness, Chris and Pascal !!!!! You guys rock!

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Chris Oatley

Thank you, Raluca! That’s so encouraging to hear.

We have had some amazing guests on the show and there are many more amazing guests to come!

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Marite

Hi, Chris and Pascal! :)
It has to be one of my favorite Artcast episodes so far.
Thank you for being such an admiring inspirations to me – for a long time I’ve been listening to Artcasts and Paperwings podcast and as I listened while working on my own pieces it has been awesome with so many great insights and advice. (It always brightens my day as I see in my inbox an e-mail about a new artcast episode).
There is so much soul in every single sketch of Pascal, that evokes the emotions and mood so clearly. I can fully agree on thoughts about living your life to the fullest – traveling and seeing beauty in everyday things – It was such a lovely reminder.

Wish you all the best and can’t wait for more amazing artcast episodes to come. :)

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Chris Oatley

Thank you, Marite! It’s wonderful to hear that the show is inspiring you!

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CartoonRobinson

Wow, those parting words by Pascal almost made me well up.

I’ve been following his work for a couple of years now, and I try to gobble up all the passion his illustrations and paintings evoke.

Great stuff, guys.

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Chris Oatley

Me too.

And thank you!

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Mandy Milliron

Great Artcast! Hearing Pascal’s own work/life balance makes me feel better that I don’t have to be perfect to be an artist, both in work and real life. I am taking a step back from my artwork and doing a loose daily sketch/doodle thing in a sketchbook(and posting to Instragram to figure out how that works for later). I am doing this to keep up with my drawing while I focus on writing for a bit and also trying to get a day job to help pay the bills(and save up possibly join up in Magic Box and SVS classes). I have found, quite oddly, myself looking at how I draw with just letting what is in my mind form on the paper and liking the way it’s going. That and my writing is getting smoother as I am finally getting a daily habit of writing, sometimes reminded by my daily doodle to do so.

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Chris Oatley

Mandy – Check out ‘The Creative Habit’ by Twyla Tharp. I think you’ll like it.

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Mandy Milliron

Thanks and just put a hold on it at the library online so that I can grab it. For once a book I am looking for is in the library that is not check-out or in another parish! I’m still waiting for Invisible Ink to come in as they are getting it coming from another parish on loan.

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Britny Arnett

Wow. Just…. Wow. I can’t even… Wow. I’m just going to sit back and let that all sink in. Thank you Pascal and Chris.

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Chris Oatley

Awesome. Thanks, Britny.

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Jose-Luis

Thanks for the great ArtCast! and thanks for the shout out… you humble me.

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Chris Oatley

Likewise, buddy.

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Bethany

Great conclusion to the interview, Chris and Pascal! It’s been really encouraging and inspiring. Pascal’s insights about how competition breeds sameness in art really stuck out to me. I’d never thought of it like that before.

Another thing I’m still mulling over is the idea of being yourself in your art. Does anyone else struggle with that? I feel like it should be so easy, but taking such a big, nebulous concept and making something tangible with it is challenging. And then I start to wonder if I’m over-thinking the whole thing. O.o

Thanks again, Chris! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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Philip

Hey Bethany, I know what you mean, and you’re right, we all over-think this idea of “being ourselves” in our art. Not sure why that is, but when you look at the amount of output artists like Picasso and Van Gogh had in their lifetimes (in the tens of thousands), it tells us that they didn’t waste much time thinking about it. They just did it. Every day. That’s what’s so great about Pascal.

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Chris Oatley

Yeah. That’s a great point, Philip.

Picasso and Van Gogh definitely just let their freak flags fly.

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David Wilson

Chris and Pascal, this episode stands out to me as one of the finest. Not only because of the wonderful guest and questions asked by Advanced Color students, but there is a very real and exploratory dialogue between the two of you without fishing for answers. The parallels and responses from each of you have a beautifully clarity.
There are so many nuggets here. Comparing technique and artist’s POV contributions with saying “Hi Chris how are you?” was particularly poignant. Technique gives you clarity of voice and and a common language to speak, POV gives you a message and emotional tone.
Thanks for another fantastic episode.

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Scott Wiser

That’s what I was thinking, David … one of the FINEST!

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Tegan Clancy

Agreed!

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, David! Glad you liked the show! Thank you so much!

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Scott Wiser

I often don’t feel like I’m a very good artist … because I didn’t go to one of the great universities, or I’ll look at the “similar portfolios” at CTNX and my work looks technically nothing like theirs. Just hearing you say these things DON’T MATTER brings me hope. The only way I even see progress is by finding a project I’m passionate about and diving in, which is why I can’t get enough of Pascal Campion’s thought process and art.

I mean, I’m trying to build an animation career at a University Bookstore and somehow continue my education through Oatley Academy – it’s extremely untraditional. I’m still grasping for a way to take my work to the next level. Thanks for making the journey a little clearer.

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Chris Oatley

I’m a big fan of Scott Wiser. The man and the artist.

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Scott Wiser

Thanks Chris, that means SO much to me. :)

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Tegan Clancy

Yep Scott I love that we are all taking our own unique journeys with our studies and can be inspired by artists from all over the world! Keep making awesome art and inspiring me

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Scott Wiser

Likewise, Tegan. You SOOO inspire me!

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Caleb Barefoot

I waited to listen to part 1 until part 2 came out because I wanted to hear the whole talk in one go, and as the Oatley standard goes, it was phenomenal.

One thing I was surprised to hear was the observation of the portfolios of many students from big name art schools looking the same, or lacking originality. That makes those of us who have gone to a smaller school or forging our own way feel that we’re not missing out on some industry secret or opportunity, but rather that with hard work we can still “make it”.

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Chris Oatley

Last year at CTN-X some of the strongest portfolios I saw were from small schools I had never heard of.

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Emily Hann

A M A Z I N G

This one’s going into the podcast Hall of Fame! I’m going to listen to this again right now!

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Chris Oatley

Hahaha!

Great to know, Emily! Thank you!

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Philip

What I learned from today’s podcast: Don’t do film studies, don’t do thumbnails, don’t join daily painting competitions, don’t look at other artist’s work on social media, and finally, live your life and study the world you see. Sounds good to me!

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Chris Oatley

Haha. Well, I don’t think anyone intended to communicate anything that prescriptive or didactic.

The point is to question everything and understand that there’s no magic bullet.

All of those exercises have great value for most artists.

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Tegan Clancy

Super inspirational artcast! I have learnt so much about designing with colour from both Pascal & Chris am exetremly grateful. His answer to Jessie Kate and my question makes perfect sense after completing Painting Drama colour theory at the Oatley Academy. I found myself the other day pulling over on the freeway in the countryside to stare at the colours and figure out how the magic hour was working and noted that palette for the future! :)

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Chris Oatley

Tegan – When it comes to color (and a lot of other things) you are one of my favorite artists working today.

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Tegan Clancy

And Chris when it comes to teachers/mentors/friends, you have taught me more than I can ever be grateful for :)

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Hanna

So great, again! What made the most impression on me was the idea that your story is more important than you technique (or your “style”). I think I can worry too much about the way I draw being interesting, when it’s the story I’m telling that is really going to set me apart…as it’s my story.
Thanks for the thoughtful podcast :)

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Chris Oatley

That’s a million dollar tip right there, Hanna! ;)

You’re welcome! And thank you for the kind words!

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Tami Traylor

Before I go any further, let me mention that I’ve admired Pascal’s work for years. It’s no surprise to me the person behind those gorgeous images is so honest and open and full of life…his work reflects that.

I am so relieved Pascal shared his feelings about competition and sketch-dailies (and others like it). I’ve felt hesitant about participating in the online prompts. They have their place. Illustration Friday was helpful for me back when I made the shift from full-time graphic designer back to illustration. At the time, it was the kick start I needed and it gave me a sense of forward motion, encouragement to create new work weekly.

Like Pascal, I follow and am amazed at the work I see on the sketch dailies twitter feed. But the problem with seeing all these amazing pieces folks are throwing out there daily, is I start doubting my own abilities as an artist…and insecurity starts eating away at my confidence.

That’s why I really appreciated Chris’ quote, “You have permission to NOT compete.”

Thanks, Chris and Pascal, for reaffirming a recent decision I made to focus on drawing/painting the things that I’m passionate about…the things I love. I am choosing to put my energy into personal projects that reflect the stuff that holds deep meaning for me instead of those daily group things and/or contests.

As a wife, mom and freelance illustrator, my time is limited and I really just need to get the greatest ROI for that time spent on creative endeavors.

Committing to this choice has given me a more focused sense of direction where my work is concerned (not to mention freedom from the temptation to compete).

There were so many really great thoughts shared in this interview…I fear there wouldn’t be enough room in this comment box to cover them all. Thanks both you guys for the honesty and sincerity. You are such an encouragement.

Best,
Tam

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Chris Oatley

Thanks, Tami! And thank you for your enduring of support of The ArtCast!

I’m delighted to hear that our advice helped.

I, personally, look forward to participating in Sketch Dailies.

I’m also a big fan of friendly (and healthy) competition (as we talked about in the most recent Paper Wings episode about Storyboard Portfolios).

But I also don’t think that to participate in Sketch Dailies is automatically a competition. …and I don’t think Pascal intended to communicate that either. I think Pascal was saying that it’s hard to resist the competitive spark and that his Sketch-Of-The-Day project needs to remain it’s own thing.

I believe that one can create freely, share your art publicly and still opt-out of the competition aspect. I also believe that one can do this even while participating in Sketch Dailies.

Again, thank you SO MUCH for the kind words and continued messages of encouragement! They mean the world to me!

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Abrian Curington

So many great moments in this interview! Two of the most prominent points for me were time management and the way Pascal looks at reference. I feel guilty when I don’t stuff art into the downtime around my day job since it never gets done otherwise! It’s nice to get a reaffirmation that you have to experience life in order to have something to pull creativity from.

I have a tendency not to take many pictures in general. Even when I do take pictures, I actually examine the moment first. The picture is just something to jog my memory later. I didn’t realize this was how I processed things until now!

Great content as always. I get so much information from ArtCast and PaperWings and I’ve grown a ton since I’ve started tuning in. I’m now a Magic Box student, hoping to improve my traditional painting with the foundation of building an image and I can already see an effect after the first lesson. Thanks for the great content Chris and for the wonderful interview Pascal!

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Melissa Howell

I loved the last piece of advice: go live your life! Explore the world. The more you live the more your art will impact others.

I always feel sorry for the people that look shocked when I talk about snowboarding all weekend, or the long bike rides I would go on, and their response is: You must not be very committed to your art.

I have to say that I feel more energized and my work flows more easily after I’ve “lived” for a bit. By going out and experiencing the world, I am in fact committing to my art.

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Manny Tamarez

So did I! I always believe in having balance and to hear it from a pro is refreshing.

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Ben Yockel

I loved how Pascal talked about constantly observing your surrounding environment. I’ve done this all my life, but I’ve never been able to put it into words. Next time I’m asked about my work flow I’ll have to reference back to this podcast!

Thanks Chris and Pascal!

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Manny Tamarez

To go and enjoy life. Go explore things. That’s what I got most out of this interview. I’ve got this voice in my head that keeps telling me that I have to get stuff done yesterday. I have to make it! But I refuse to alienate myself from my friends and family. I always believed that having a balance is the best thing I can do and this interview only strengthens that idea! Thanks again guys! Another inspiring episode!

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Pat Marconett

Another great podcast Chris! Pascal is such an inspirational artist to listen too. He did a CGMA interview that is a great listen too. I love his take on observing the world around him.

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Aumes

I just listened to the podcast. It´s impossible not to learn something important. I especially liked Pascal’s approach to study by description of the view. I realize that “technique”, alone, is not what makes a piece of art interesting. The observation translated to the medium, being the artist the “filter” to express the idea/theme is key, but also really difficult to achieve, as there are plethora of options/influences, all around, nowadays.
I´m thinking about the picture of the “father sitting at the desk every day”… It takes a crazy amount of discipline to integrate art in a family life style. the other way around is exclusively dependent of “understanding” wich is rare and belongs to the department of “relativity”. Pascal is absolutely mastering it.
Each podcast is better than the previous.
Thank you for the inspiration.

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Chris Perry

Live life limit art time and love family. These are all things that Pascal means to me when I see his art. It is wonderful that you have interviews with many of the artists I have grown to admire… Pascal, Will Terry, Noah.

I endeavor to focus my art time to create a daily sketch and to spend more time with the family (I already put a block on the computer to keep me from being on it at all hours of the day and night.) In school I did a project where I conceptualized, drew and finished one piece of art 5 times a week then turned the results in as my final project. I had fun and it really freed me up. I hope to start doing daily sketches with the same mode- to create, have fun and shut off the inner critic. and most importantly to limit my art time to make time for family and life.

Thank you guys for showing us how to be truly successful.

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Lu

I am so grateful for this. Thank you Chris and thank you Pascal. I am lost. I know that I want to make art and I have so many things inside me that I want to share but I am always afraid of sitting down and drawing. I am afraid of the failure, of my technic not being good enough. You guys helped me realize I have to get rid of my fears and sit down. No matter what.

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Ben Sinclair

Hey! This interview has of course, helped me a lot with what decisions i will make in the future. I’m in my mid teens and love art and drawing and now getting into digital and concept art. This podcast has seriously opened my eyes to the kind of things I need to do, such as get out more, learn more about the world etc. instead of being at the computer for hours. This will let my creativity broaden and let my style come to me. So thankyou, Chris and Pascal! These podcasts are helping me a lot!

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