We at Illustrae are pleased to chat up our spotlight Artist, Rion Vernon. Rion’s gothy pin-up babes can be seen at Pinup

Interview after the jump

Mr. Venon, When did you get started in Illustration? How did you land your
first job?

My dad’s an artist as well, so it runs in the family. He actually got me my
first job when I was eight years old. I always drew, so by the time I was
out of high school I had a pretty hefty portfolio. I was luck enough to get
hired at a special effects studio when I was nineteen years old. I’ve been
working ever since

What materials do you use for a typical job? Do you draw from life? Take
photographs? Or make it all up as you go?

I always begin with a drawing done in pencil. I prefer to use photographs as
my reference material. If I need a model, I will photograph them rather than
have her stand there. It’s easier on the both of us.

Now, most people wouldn’t link alterna-porn and illustration, yet with the
burlesque and pin-up revivals the two are becoming increasingly entangled.
What do you think about this new market for illustrators? And more
importantly, how can they profit from it?

Styles are always changing and what was risqué yesterday is acceptable
today. I think there’s also been a rise of the sexually confident female and
the marketing of her image. The pinup has always been popular and it always
will be, only the styles change. I see a lot of what many would call pinup
art leaning towards the “porn” arena. More explicit types of pinup work. I
have always felt that pinup should be a tease. It should conceal and let
your imagination fill in the details. That’s what I prefer at least. Much of
that comes from my influences such as George Petty and Gil Elvgren.

What was it like doing the Suicide Girl Calendar? Did you get to meet any
of them? Inquiring minds need to know.

It was a great experience. I was really very impressed with the staff and
the girls. They were all very nice and enthusiastic. That goes a long way.
Missy, the photographer of many of the girls, does great work so it was
wonderful to be supplied with such great reference material. It has been a
great experience and we’re currently working on more projects together. Keep
your eyes peeled for more SuicideGirls pinups!!

Best Art Director? Nightmare project story?

Oh jeez. There’s been a lot of nightmare projects. That’s why I am currently
self employed. I got very tired of dealing with morons. Now I can pick my
jobs and avoid, for the most part, those who don’t know what they’re doing.
As far as good art directors, well the projects I liked the most were the
ones where they let me do my thing. It was like that early on at DreamWorks.
Working with the SuicideGirls has been like that too. They contacted me to
do my thing…they have been happy with what I come up with and that has
allowed me to invest more of my creative passion into the project and do my
best work.

Now you sell prints of your work online, how has the response been?

Yes, that’s been great. I want to sell more stuff and I’m trying to work
angles to make that work. It’s basically a one man show over here right now,
so I have to balance between putting my energy into selling merchandise or
working on my craft. People continually want more Pin-Up Toons stuff which
is great. More stuff is in the works.

Anyone buy the Hearse yet?

Not yet, though I have several potential buyers pending. I just want her to
go to a good home.