Rob Davis is an illustrator with credits including Star Trek (DC), Star Trek: The Next Generation (DC), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Malibu), Scimidar (Malibu), and Pirates of Dark Water (Marvel). The Missouri-based artist’s recent projects include Daughter of Dracula with Ron Fortier and the upcoming Robyn of Sherwood: The Reboot with Paul Storrie.
Rob isn’t just an accomplished illustrator, he’s also a long-time friend of Comics Career. In fact, he drew the cover of Comics Career Newsletter #1 (April, 1988). You can find illustrations and links to his work on his blog.
Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?
At eight years old!
Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?
My parents, for the obvious reasons.
Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?
Presently it’s Ron Fortier who has pushed me in new directions with his constant fountain of ideas that he’s anxious for me to do — too many for me to actually keep up with.
Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
Read a good book.
Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.
When I was full-time freelance it was up around 8:30, 9:00 a.m. quick breakfast and then to the drawing table for at least 4 hours. Lunch, read e-mail/online news then back to the drawing board for off and on until 10:00 p.m. with plenty of mental and physical breaks.
Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?
My art tools are constantly changing. My one regular tool is Photoshop, which I use on nearly everything I do these days. Otherwise it is whatever will put the line down on the bristol board (I’m still not totally digital, I like the tactile feedback of working on the drawing board on a sheet of paper).
Question 7: What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?
Nearly every facet. It would be hard to pinpoint one aspect that outshines the others.
Question 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?
Daughter of Dracula, it took two years of steady weekly pagework and is the most detailed and original project I’ve ever tackled.
Question 9: We’ve all met very talented newcomers who are trying to get their first professional projects. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator?
The “Five P’s”: Polite Persistence Prevents Poor Performance, or Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice. If you truly believe you are destined to work in comics you will stay with it until it happens.
Question 10: Time to get philosophical: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?
Do what you love and the money will follow — just don’t expect to become a billionaire that way.
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