Artist's Dossier for August: Brian Fajardo


Gunship Revolution stands and falls with its artists, of course, and we’d like to introduce you to some of our finest. In this weeks Captana’s Log, we’re at the table with Gunship Revolution Junior Art Director Brian Fajardo!

GR: First off, we call you Kratos. How did that happen?

BF: You guys started started calling me that because ofmy sexy bald head and  incomplete facial hair. hahaha. I did not complain because I love GOW!

Gunship Revolution: So, when did you start drawing?

Brian Fajardo: I started around 6 or maybe 7 years old; I use to draw TMNT and wrestlers from WWF - Hogan and the Undertaker. Then the animated X-Men shows came out and so on. I also went through am anime/manga phase in my high-school days. Batang 90's eh! (Hey, I was a 90’s kid!)

GR: And later on, who would you say influenced your art the most?

BF: Back in high school, I’d say it was Jim Lee but that was because of the Marvel Trading Cards. I never really checked the names of the artists so I really don't know if that was him, hehe. After that, there was Joe Jusco from Marvel Masterpieces. In college, Alex Ross really was my hero and I even did my thesis based from his work. Right now, though, I know a lot of good artists, especially digital painters, that I follow. Marko Djurdjevic, Jason Chan, to Ryan Meinerding, Andy Park and those high-level artist from different studios.  

GR: And when you decided to be an artist, how did people take that?

The only story I remember about that was from high school, right after graduation, I asked my class adviser what I should take up in College. Should I go with Architecture or Fine Arts? She said "Kelan pa nagkapera sa Fine Arts?” (“When was there any money in Fine Arts?”) 

GR: What did you do?

BF: I took up Fine Arts, hahaha. “Challenge accepted!"

GR: Would you recommend aspiring artists to to take a four-year art course?

BF: I really think young people who feel that being an artist is really what they want to be can go far just learning a lot of this online or enrolling in an online art school. I know people who are self-taught and got really good. I also know some people who studied non arts-related courses for 4 years, became artists, and also got really good. I'd say you can learn what you need to learn online.with the right amount of interest confidence and push. I also feel that most universities and art schools I know have not had curriculums that were very effective in enhancing skills. They usually didn’t focus on the relevant skills at all.

GR: Do you think this has any effects on the local industry? 

BF: I honestly can’t say. I haven’t been as immersed in rest of the local arts industry as I could be; traditional art, paintings, sculptures and even in contemporary art - I’m not very updated. 

GR: How about your experiences with our studio? How did you find out about Gunship Revolution?

BF: I honestly can't remember how, but I guess I found you guys from because that was the only art community I knew back then, haha. I thought it was a US-based studio or somewhere far like that, haha..

GR: So you found Gunship Revolution, you took the Admissions Test. What theme did you get and what did you do with it? 

BF: It was for a character card entitled "the Sun Rises Within" (haha I had to dig in through my files for that one!) back in 2012. The instructions were straightforward enough but I did need to research some of the elements on google. Of course, I was still in the process of learning my basic digital process that time.  

GR: And now, you’ve been with us, like, four years.

BF: Yeah.

GR: What’s a regular day like, freelancing with GR?

BF: Right now my schedule is a bit of a mess. Weekdays if my daughter is not around. I wake up maybe 1 or 2 in the afternoon. I eat my lunch, check emails and open all my pending work to plan what to do with them next. I start working between 3 and 4, usually with the easy stuff like editing and sketches. If I’m still far enough from deadlines, I bike to get a bit of cardio from 4 to 6. I eat dinner between 6 and 7 then I just keep working until it's five or six the next morning. I still do a bit of work on the weekends but not as much.

GR: How do you think that kind of freelancing life differs from working with a regular, local company?

BF: Well, it’s got some upsides and downsides. The pay is way better for one thing. It’s easier to manage my time, especially with the time I get to spend with my family. I also think I’m more productive. On the down side, I have to personally take care of a lot of the bureaucracy on my own: Social Security, health insurance, that sort of thing. I also don’t get vacations, leaves or breaks unless I pass on projects. I also don’t have much of a social life but it’s not that important, haha.

GR: And if you weren’t an artist, what do you think you’ll be doing?

BF: Construction worker. I like those physically exhausting jobs I guess. hahaha.

GR: Well, as a Junior Art Director, that’s probably not all that different. But you work under art directors too. What would be the most important things you've learned from them?

BF: I learned that we all need to be honest about corrections and we need to be mindful of those tips and apply them on later pieces, not just the current work. I become a lot more aware with my mistakes at medyo nakakahiya pag nagawa ulit yung mag mali (and it’s embarrassing when I repeat them.)

GR: Then as a a newly-minted Junior Art Director, what’s your mindset when you comment on other people’s artworks?

BF: First, I spot the good points on the works if there are any. I'll let them know what the positive things I see on their pieces are. And then I give the corrections. I recall how Tots, Kriss and other AD's online give corrections. I try to be clear and straight forward then I try to give detailed solutions to the problems.

GR: Do you still consider their feelings or would you rather be unfiltered about your comments?

BF: I still believe considering their feelings is important but not to the point that everything will be soft or spoon-fed. I mean, I say what I think needs to be fixed. I critique honestly and give positive or negative comments that will easily help the artist understand what the problem is. It's like my mindset is that every artist is already programmed to take in negative comments and take it as a positive, productive thing.

GR: And where would you like to take your art career from here?

BF: I want to work on those popular projects, to be one of the high leveled artist out there. To be able to travel and be invited abroad maybe to deliver talks or have workshops or maybe for conventions too.

GR: Sounds like a plan, haha. Now, if you could ask the local government for support regarding the local art industry, what kind of support would you ask for?

BF: I know it's a long-shot but I hope we can have better schools and universities for art programs with better curriculums for artists. Help them focus on what they need to enhance their skills and not to spend so much money and time on unnecessary courses. I'd also want them to look out for good artists/students who can't afford to learn from or experience these schools. I want our country to be a producer of good quality art.

GR: And if you have any advice for artists joining Gunship Revolution, what would you tell them?

BF: Don’t Join! Save yourself! Haha! Just kidding. 

I'll tell them that this is a serious job, and that every action you do, every artwork you produce will eventually affect the whole team. Be sure to give your very best.

GR: Last Question before we go: Name a person who would be your spirit anima? Go!

BF:  Crap, di ako makaisip sa ngayon (can’t think of one now.).But if we’re good with fictional characters, I'd go with Walter White from Breaking Bad. Sorry, re-watching it. But seriously wala ako maisip ah (can’t think of anyone.)