BEAU recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dustin Craig, one of the most distinguished artists to graduate from BEAU. Dustin is a professional comic book artist and has managed to become one while attending school. As a graduate/professional, Dusty shares some of his memories and thoughts on school, art, and the path to becoming an artist.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Dustin. I’m a comic book artist.
How do you work?
I write the script, sketch it out, ink it, color it, render it, and then publish.
Do you have a favorite artist?
I was mostly inspired by Tom of Finland. He had a hyper masculinity to his art.
Instructors tell me you’re one of the most talented artists BEAU has seen. What did you focus on?
I focused my entire education on comics. I would think about what my instructors said critically. I would mostly focus on the tiniest details. What I tried to do the most was take critiques to heart. I also learned from other student’s critiques and applied them to my work. I learned to take pride in my work.
What were some of the most memorable homework assignments?
I had an interior fantasy drawing project where I drew the inside of an imagined Io station on Jupiter’s moon. In 3D III Sculpture, I built a character from bone, to muscle, to skin using clay. In my screenwriting class I wrote a 45 minute script for a short film.
What were some of your favorite memories at BEAU?
In Write Club, I enjoyed being able to critique other people’s stories outside of the classroom. We don’t tiptoe around our critiques. We said exactly what we wanted to say. I also liked game club and playing Magic the Gathering during game night.
What were you most proud of?
Doing real life experience as class credit.
What led to your first published work?
A professional writer mentioned on Facebook that he was looking for an artist. I was interested in his story and showed him my work. At the time I didn’t have a professional website (oops) but I sent him some samples of my work. Just from the samples I was hired on the spot.
What was that process like?
He gave me the script. I would send in sketches, he approved, I would send in inks, he would approved. It was that same approval process for coloring and rendering. After I sent it all to him so that he could edit it, he published it for us.
Was school difficult?
At times I really wanted to quit school because I thought I couldn’t do it. But looking back, I learned so much. I didn’t realize how much work I actually did until it was finished. I finished the first professional issue while I was a student. I published two of the comics that were in-class-assignments. There is light at the end of the tunnel even when you think you can’t see it.
What would you say to students who might feel like giving up.
I want to reach into their soul, grab them, say “you are an amazing artist! Get over yourself!” I noticed that students that don’t put enough pride in their work tend to have low self-esteem. I know because I know I had low self-esteem before I came here. Take pride in your work. It’s okay to have weak parts in your art. Your instructors will take the weak parts and build them up.
Example of Dustin’s Art and Style