We caught up with Jon McCormack a concept artist from Ireland, to see how his art developed into storyboarding and what it’s like working with film directors .
Hi Jon, tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a freelance concept artist and illustrator living in Dublin, Ireland. My background is in film and I work mainly with film-makers - storyboarding and developing concept art for their projects.
How and when did you get into art?
Since I was a child I have loved drawing and it has always been a hobby of mine. I decided to study Film & TV Production and that is where I first began sketching storyboards. Not long after I had requests from film-makers to do their storyboards and it has just rolled on from there!
Is storyboarding your full-time job or more of a hobby?
It’s only recently that it has become a full-time job. I love the fact that I can work from home and make my own hours. While I can’t be certain that storyboarding and concept art will be what I’m doing in ten year’s time, I know that I will always be drawing. I could be doing this for the next ten years or I could fall into something else because of it. Either way is fine, as long as I’m making a living doing what I love!
How has your skill developed over the years?
Since I’ve started sketching storyboards the only aspect that has changed is that I now work mostly using a graphics tablet. I would have to say getting to grips with the software can be challenging but also quite fun.
What has been your favourite project so far?
The project I worked on recently was very enjoyable. It was concept art for a short film called ‘Safehouse’. The script presented very stark and picturesque visuals that were fun to conceptualize. It was an enjoyable experience working with the directors so closely. It really helped me to capture the mood and imagery of their film.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Anything really, I reckon it’s important to keep yourself open to anything, you never know what could affect and inspire you. Films would be a great source of inspiration for me, the overall aesthetic of a film or simply a single frame can provide a wealth of inspiration.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
If I’m doing artwork on commission it’s not so bad. The director and I should be on the same page as to what the images will look like. I may start to get fed up with a drawing but then I leave it be for a little while, do something else and come back to it. When I’m doing my own sketches it can be more difficult. Often I try putting pencil to paper and draw without thought. Sometimes an idea will come to you out of nowhere, simply by letting your mind relax for a minute.
Is your business generated mostly on-line or is it more word of mouth?
I think as much one as the other. Having an online presence has been very beneficial in showcasing my work but other times I may just get a call from someone who heard about me from someone else.
Apart from art, what new skills would you like to learn?
I would like to develop my creative writing skills so that someday I could have a graphic novel or screenplay developed. I studied screen writing as part of my college course and really enjoyed it but I’ve kept it on the back burner for a while now. I’d also love to learn how to play a musical instrument. I’ve tried both piano and violin but I’m very impatient so I haven’t been very successful!
Thanks Jon for sharing your story!
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