Canadian illustrator Jonathan Blessin is the creator of NeonMob's series, "Mars Explorer," which was just released today. He's also the youngest NeonMob contributor – he's only 17 years old! It's obvious from his work so far that he's a huge sci-fi fan – you'll see that he's inspired by the infinite possibilities of outer space. Showing the drive and the talent of a much more established illustrator, I was inspired by the infinite possibilities of Jonathan Blessin. I emailed him to find out what he's up to now and what he hopes to do in the future.
You're one of our youngest artists we've featured on NeonMob! When did you start creating your art and when did you start creating your pieces in digital format?
I started drawing/creating art from as far back as I can remember. Later, I began using the digital medium from the age of 14 years old.
Did someone teach you or did you learn on your own?
I am self-taught. Most of my learning is done online where thousands of resources can be found. I started learning about digital art by watching Feng Zhu’s videos on YouTube.
Can you take us through your creative process?
I start my ideation process by scribbling down all of my ideas I have into small thumbnails. This way I can focus my energy on achieving better compositions early and resolve uncertainties before they come up. After choosing a thumbnail, next I try to block in all major elements in the piece. I use photo textures to create dense details where I need them and speed up the entire process overall. Finally, the rest of the piece is time and care spent.
Do you plan on going to art school in the future? If so, where? If not, why not?
I do plan on attending art school in the future. I am considering Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver BC.
What would you like to do when you're older? Are you hoping to pursue a career in the arts?
My future career goal is to work in the entertainment industry. I am a huge fan of movies and video games.
It seems like your work is mostly inspired by science-fiction. What specifically are your main sources of inspiration?
My inspiration for science-fiction in my work comes from movies, video games, and books. Prometheus, Star Wars, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, and Dune inspire me with their amazingly crafted universes.
Who or what else inspires you artistically or personally?
Creativity drives me forward. The act of imagining something unreal and then visually creating it is super fun! In terms of inspirational people, Feng Zhu and Titus Lunter always inspire me to improve.
What are you planning on doing this summer that you're really excited about?
I plan on attending summer art camps both online and on campus!
Interview edited for clarity by Sarah Han