By Myron Tay, STGCC 2014, August 28th 2014.
Adi Granov is a comic book artist and conceptual designer who is best known for his work on Iron Man. In particular, he was the artist for the Iron Man: Extremis miniseries and concept artwork for the Iron Man movie in 2008.
Who are the artists (both within and outside of comic books) who influenced your style?
I think Jean Giraud "Moebius", Drew Struzan and Hajime Sorajama had the most influence on my art style. Over the years I've been influenced by countless other artists, but those three really stand out as far as my technique and style go.
Do you think that comic book artists should make changes from time to time? Why or why not? What factors should determine changes (if any) should be made?
I think artists progress and change over time as we learn new things and techniques and our tastes change. I think it's important to naturally grow and improve your art, so if that necessitates a change, or just a gradual evolution, then that's 100% fine. Without it there is a danger of becoming stale and bored with the work.
Which of your past projects did you enjoy doing the most? Why?
I enjoy most of the things I do as I choose them based on my feeling about being able to do something exciting with them or not.
Most recently I've really loved doing the Darth Vader cover as it was something new and exciting and I felt really inspired.
Working on the short X-men story called Ghost Boxes with Warren Ellis was a real highlight as I tried to do the best sequential pages possible as I could afford to spend the time since it was a short story.
Working on the first Iron Man movie was also a big highlight as it was a pioneering project which seemed like the beginning of something great.
What about your work would you like to be remembered for? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 to 10 years?
I'd like to be remembered as someone who produced very high quality work and contributed to the world of pop culture in a
meaningful way. I'd love to create something which would live on into the future. But primarily, I'd really like to just keep being hap-py with what I do and keep drawing fun stuff.
What challenges did you face as you were starting out in the comic book industry? How did you overcome them?
I think, as with most artists starting out, the main challenge is be-ing able to develop as an artist while surviving by having to do other jobs. It's tough balancing a regular job, a life, and finding time to draw and paint in order to get good enough to turn that into a job. I was lucky to have the focus and the determination to build my skills to the level where I could quit the regular jobs and dedicate all my time to doing art.
What are your thoughts about the current state of the comic book industry? Where do you think it is headed to and what are your hopes for the industry?
Oh boy, that's a loaded question. To be honest, I don't know... There is some of the best art ever produced being done in comics now, and there is such a huge exposure to the comic book world through the movies and the conventions, etc., but it's difficult to judge whether the books themselves would be as popular without all of these other influences. I hope that this current boom and popularity are able to be maintained and even grow further as there are some amazing stories being told, and, as I mentioned, some beautiful art created.
What words of advice would you give to aspiring comic book artists?
Work hard and do the best art possible. It's important to build your foundations first, so basic stuff like perspective and anatomy, fol-lowed up by composition, storytelling, etc., and then add the style on top of that. Many young artists focus on the style before learning the fundamentals, and it's much harder to correct that later.
Good work will always come to the top. There are so many ways these days to be noticed with the internet and social media, that having great work is more important than ever. It doesn't matter where you live any more, the doors are open to anyone who has the goods.
What are the comic books you are currently reading that you would recommend to your fans?
I've been really bad lately with keeping up with the newer stuff and have been mostly rereading the Incal series by Moebius and Jodorowsky. I always like Hellboy and the various spinoffs. I really need to catch up with some of the more recent books out.