Gunship Revolution's Artist's Dossier returns with Hinchel Or, one of Gunship Revolution's most stylistically distinct illustrators! We chat with Hinch about his influences, his routine and where he hopes to take his career.
Okay so, first off: when did you start getting into art and how did that come about?
Started drawing when I was around 6 years old, maybe? Started contemplating a future in it around the fourth grade... and I was still just into drawing Batman and Sonic the Hedgehog back then.
And what have you learned about being an artist since then that most nonprofessional artists still tend to have misconceptions about?
That being an artist isn't easy. Sure, we technically get paid to do something we absolutely love to do, but it isn't all fun and games. The endless hours you have to sacrfice in order to improve on yourself and your art, coupled with the occassional frustration you get from bouts of self-criticism can be draining. You've got to cultivate a strong mindset. You have to WANT to be good.
Which artists would you say makes you want to be good? Who’s influenced you the most?
I admire many artists, each one influencing my style in one way or another, but if I had to pick my absolute fave OF ALL TIME… Todd Lockwood, hands down. That guy is my art hero.
Somewhere along the way though, you took up and actually became a licensed architect—which is still, after all, an an arts background. Would you recommend for aspiring artists to take up, like, a formal four-year arts course?
You don't necessarily need to be in an art course to succeed in art (we have guys in Gunship who don't come from an art studies background and they are some of the best artists I know)... but it does help give you a solid foundation.
Do you plan on going back to Architecture as a career?
Being an artist now—no. I told myself the day I decided to pursue a career as a professional artist, that if I really wanted to be taken seriously with my art, I couldn't keep going around and telling people I was also an architect. I was gonna dedicate myself 100% to becoming a great artist. And so, here I am, 4 years later, no regrets.
In the immortal words of Ron Swanson: "Never half-ass two things; whole-ass one thing".
And you parked it right here with Gunship Revolution. How did you learn about us?
A friend recommended it to me. I think GR was on a recruitment drive then so I applied on their dA page. The rest is history.
How did you fare in the admissions art test?
God, I can't remember the name, but I think it involved a character being cloaked in faerie fire, standing in a church with an ornate rose window. This was the first time I had ever added "effects" on my art, so when the description called for faerie fire I actually got worried I wouldn't be able to pull it off properly (and I think it shows, haha).
Well, you got in so you must’ve done something right. How has working freelance with GR differed from working with a conventional company?
You do everything at your own pace. The harder you work, the better your rewards. You are literally the master of your fate.
And how does mastering your fate translate in your day to day routine?
The usual work day: Wake up, eat breakfast, browse the net, draw, sleep (optional). Once I start working on a project, I zone in. I don't like leaving the house (except to refill food supplies) until the project’s done.
The usual off day: Wake up, eat breakfast, leave the house for R&R, draw in a random cafe/ watch a movie, go back home, a little gaming before bed, sleep (optional).
So when you’re about to do an illustration, how do you jump into it? What’s your first priority?
Getting myself psyched for it (i.e. If it's horror themed, I ready a library of horror movies to watch while drawing, or a playlist of appropriate ambient music. If doing art for a client, a bit of character backstory can go a long way). I draw better the more I feel what I'm drawing.
In GR though, you also work with art directors on these projects. What have you learned working with art directors?
You realize that there are always stuff you can improve on. Even if design-wise you can have different tastes, you just take everything in stride and treat it as a learning experience. The moment you feel you know everything is the moment you die.
And providing you survive, where do you plan to take your career?
To become an epic fantasy artist... and do art for DC.
How about roads that you WOULDN’T take in your career?
Porn maybe? Call it a moral stance... or maybe I'm just really not comfortable with it.
Okay, penultimate question: if you could give any advice to any artist interested in joining Gunship Revolution, what would it be and why?
Fix your portfolios (no WIPs and rough sketches, more full pieces with backgrounds, diversify). Also, if you're the kind who can't take criticism, you're going to be in for a rough time... and not just with Gunship.
And one last, for the road: one person you consider as your spirit animal.
Andy Dwyer, cause I’m really just a huge man-child in real life.