Hello, everyone! Here is the second of what will hopefully be a series of interviews with artists on this forum. There is so much to learn and share within this community, and it seems that going deeper into people's stories draws out a lot of insights.
Today's words of inspiration and wisdom come from forum member @Nasvikdraws, who caught the attention of many with his humorous and relatable Inktober series, "The Adventures of Dad-dad".
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Viktor Nassli, originally from Hungary, working as an architect in New York. I am married, in my thirties and my son just turned two. He is the most amazing thing that happened to me ( ...but next year is last season of Game of Thrones so this is subject to change….:)
In a few words, what would you say led you into art?
I was alway eager to create. I remember as a kid I was drawing all the time, making clay figurines, building lego skyscrapers, planning out hand-made Christmas gifts in August, reading DIY books for kids, I even embroidered. I was a single child so I learnt to occupy myself. Always something.
Then I went to architecture school because in Hungary the choices were very limited. (I almost became a lawyer…whew) After graduation I had brief experience in many different fields. I did graphic design as a freelancer, I worked at an advertising agency, an editing studio, an animation studio, a game developer and of course at architect offices. A little bit of each. These different experiences helped a lot in finding my way.
Could you share three pieces that you feel are your best to this point? Or that you learned something new from while creating?
I really like working on Adventures of Dad-Dad and as that is my most recent work I may be biased.
Therefore, I would like to present the following 3. Not sure if these are the best but I feel that these were all challenging in different ways. Also they show an array.
’QubeSix’: I attended a short concept art course at School of Visual Art in New York and did this dystopian piece as my personal project. I spent a lot of hours on it and I developed a full story which I will share later. I haven’t yet published this anywhere but here. Looking at it with a fresh eye I could have composed it better but this piece means a lot to me.
‘#nofilter’: This one was done for a competition and it was exhibited at the ARC Billboard Exhibition 2018 in Hungary. I wanted to depict the falsity of social media. It was so much fun to study the technique of line engraving and reproduce it digitally.
‘Bullied’: I really like working in black and white. My recent pieces have a similar style as this piece.
- ‘Flash Intro’ : https://vimeo.com/284847465 This is a bonus one as this is an animation, made for a TV program at a Hungarian music channel. This one is fairly old but I still remember this as a great experience. Except for the music I did the entire thing by myself from concept to final.
What are your goals as a "visual storyteller", and what point would you say you're at in that journey?
My main goal is to create art for a living. Most likely for children as they are the most important audience and they are exposed to so much low-quality content with no curation. Therefore, I would like to create children’s books but first I need to do a lot of color pieces as I am not confident with colors yet. On the long run, with my art, storytelling and accompanying activities I would like to help children to be raised more mindfully and more aware.
As a short term goal I am continuing the Dad-dad strips. I still have a lot to tell. I also have an animation short to finish that I am pushing for a few years now. I would like to have more experience in traditional and digital sculpting. I have so many goals that I will not be bored in the next 200 years.
I started thinking consciously about my art only a few years ago. I have a long journey ahead. My artworks may look developed to some but I think I try to disguise my inexperience with lot of thinking and OCD. If I don’t like something I polish it until I am confident to share. I know it is against the ‘finish not perfect rule’. Therefore, one of my goals is to do art more intuitively and less methodically.
Your comics, based off of this year's Inktober prompts, called "The Adventures of Dad-dad" had me laughing all October long. What has been your inspiration for the characters and their personalities? Do you have plans for publishing the comic?
Thank you. I am happy that you liked my comics. The positive feedback I got from the community helped a lot to carry on.
The biggest inspirations for the characters were my relationship with my son and my role as a father. As a parent you are often trying to be perfect in your role. I just want to show that you don’t have to do that. Be honest instead.
I was inspired by Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean too. He is infantile, playful, observant, egoistic and a little mean. Like a child. He is a misfit in the adult society but as he doesn’t care, he is free. I would like the Dad-dad strips to have the same ideology. Also, I read a lot of Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes when I was a kid and their way of storytelling had a big influence on me. I learnt a lot about comics from Scott MCloud’s books. They are awesome. Furthermore, I am a movie-buff so I think a lot of the movies I watched seep through too.
As for the style, Genndy Tartakovsky’s expressive and graphic style has always been very inspiring to me. I wanted to create a carefully laid out, simplified style enriched with nuance details. So many webstrips have rough, dumbed-down visuals that just don’t add anything to the written story/dialogue. I want the visuals and the written text to organically tell the stories hand in hand. I guess the SVS influence surfaced too. Hahaha.
I would like to self-publish the Inktober strips to have a finished product. I am also planning to continue creating more strips and would like to reach out to publishing companies about a year from now when I have enough material for a real book.
There are many parents on this forum trying to juggle illustration and caring for young children. What has been your biggest learning concerning this subject? What workflow do you use to accomplish your art in addition to other responsibilities?
Before my son was born I wasn’t that conscious about my art time. I wasted so many hours of my life with Netflix marathons and reading about stupid politics. After he was born we had to get used to a new schedule with much less “me-time” and I realized that in order to develop my art I needed to dedicate almost all of my personal time to art. I am much more focused now but it is challenging. You can’t take time away from your day job and you don’t want to cut down family time so you cut back sleep. Eg. I have been doing the Dad-dad comics from 10pm to 3am usually then off to work in the morning. That is why I couldn’t keep up with daily posting. I also draw on the subway and in lunchtime. Anytime when I have 5 minutes.
Also an extra challenge for me is that we are living in a super small apartment so I don’t have a personal workspace. I often have to draw on the cooktop, or the bathroom floor or under our desk covered with a blanket so I don’t disturb the rest of my family. I guess the harder the time the better the memory
Is there anything you need that the SVS Learn community could provide?
SVS Learn community is the best. It is vibrant, resourceful, supportive. I try to be as active as I can to participate (I need to share more WIP work for instance). As I didn’t go to art school I don’t have a network of art friends. Here at SVS I am developing relationship with artists at different levels while learning a lot from others. I am not a misfit anymore :).
I subscribed to SVS Learn too and I need to continue the education after I am done with Inktober (god! it’s mid November…..Lol) I am looking forward to @will-terry ‘s Composition Class 2.0.
Thank you Kathryn for the opportunity.
Thank you, Viktor, for taking the time for this!
Check out more of Viktor's art at the links below. If you haven't already, definitely give those Dad-dad comics some attention. And Viktor, let us know when we can buy the collection.
Adventures of Dad-dad: