Interview: Finishing Touches with Painter Edward Dillon.
by Daniel Haim
Edward was always fascinated by and passionate about the act of drawing and painting, Edward has spent the majority of his life pursuing the knowledge and discipline of these time-honored crafts. Fine Art, Illustration, and Graphics were equally appealing to Edward and therefore offered him the opportunity to absorb a vast spectrum of influences and disciplines.
His enthusiasm continued to grow through his academic years as his hometown college allowed him to meet and study under renowned artists such as Leonard Stankunas and Anthony J. Waichulis. Upon completion of his degree programs, Edward studied the figure independently. While this was extremely rewarding, the desire to immerse himself into a more formal system of training for Representational painting and drafting, led Edward to accept a position as an apprentice at Ani Art Academy Waichulis. Here, he had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most recognized Representational painters and draftsmen of today.
Currently Ed is the Instructor of Ani Art Academies Dominicana where he has the privilege of passing on knowledge that he has gained to an upcoming generation of artists.
Where are you from? Where did all of this begin?
I was born and raised in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania and as a child, my parents were always encouraging me draw or paint. I have found memories of painting alongside my father, completing illustrative book reports with my mother and creating comics with my brother. It is something that always gave me such joy and fulfillment that I don’t think there was ever any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be anything but an artist.
When did you realize that art is what you were meant to do?
I can’t recall the exact moment when I came to this realization, I sort of just always knew that it was my path. Despite some people trying to discourage me, I stayed true to my dreams and it has turned out wonderfully.
Who are your major influences, inspiration in life and in the art world?
The major art influences for me would have to be the fantasy illustrator, Frank Frazetta, comic book artists Frank Cho, Adam Hughes, Katsuya Terada classical painters William Bouguereau, Alphonse Mucha and of course, contemporary painter Anthony Waichulus. Outside of the art world, I find myself deeply influenced by the works of mythologist Joseph Campbell and astrophysicists Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
What are some essential tools that you consider a must have for every artist?
The number one must have tool that every artist is a good imagination. Aside from that, I have found Andrew Loomis books very helpful for reference or even when you just want to practice drawing the human form.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m in the processing of putting the finishing touches on a painting and then I have another painting lined up to work on once that’s finished. In addition to these paintings, I’ve been working on a series of illustrations just for fun.
What has been your most rewarding achievement as an artist?
So far the most rewarding achievement for me as an artist has definitely been being appointed the Instructor of the Ani Art Academies Dominicana. I have the privilege to help and influence a new generation of artist…and all I’m doing is sharing my love for art with them, what more could you ask for?
Could you share with us your favorite quote?
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell
This is the best piece of advice for anyone, as long as you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, everything else will work itself out.
When you first started, what was your biggest dream? And have you accomplished that?
My biggest dream growing up was to do the illustrations for the comic books I loved so much…this is still my ultimate goal, but I have not accomplished it yet. I’m currently working towards that goal and absolutely loving every bit of this adventure.
What are your hopes for 2013, and where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
My hopes for 2013 are that the current Ani Art Academies Dominicana Apprentices continue to do well and produce some amazing drawings. In 5 years, I would like to have established representation and be well on my way to building a successful career. In 10 years, whether I continue in the direction I am currently on, or make the move over to illustrating, I’d like to have enough works to fill a book or two.