Our feature artist for August is Ian De Jesus, a long time member of the Color On! coloring team and member of our companion coloring group, Coloring Books for Adults.
What made you decide to become a coloring book artist?
I attended an event in the Philippines organized by National Book Store. One of the guest artists was Kerby Rosanes (Sketchy Stories, Animorphia). I’m with a very good friend, Meann, and she actually asked me, when will I do something like Kerby did. It just started from there. A rediscovery of my love for pen and ink, and drawing came back.
How do you create your art? Do you create your drawings by computer or do you prefer old school pencil and paper?
I am a designer/graphic artist by profession, and I do most of my works on the computer, but there is magic when you draw on traditional paper and ink. There is a certain feeling when you feel your pen running around the paper’s surface. Most of my drawings are done with pen and ink (I rarely use pencils when drawing my lines), but whenever I need symmetrical and geometric shapes, I usually draw it digitally.
What is your inspiration for the different types of art that you create for your coloring books?
I love organic shapes and forms, floras and faunas, mythological and fantasy themed books. I love watching anime, animation, reading manga and comic books.
Do you ever color your own work? And if so, what’s your favorite medium? Do you like pencils, markers or are you dipping into random reserves around the house for anything that can apply color in an interesting fashion?
I color my works as much as possible, not as often as I should. I want people to be unrestricted by the colors that I will choose. I want them to view the black and white illustrations with a fresh eye.
I love colored pencils, they are precise and very forgiving. I enjoy using markers too because they are efficient and fast. I use watercolors sometimes, gouache and acrylics too. I also add details with inks and gel pens. I have lots of art materials, and I don’t want to limit myself on how I apply it on my colored works.
How do you define success and how do you measure it?
Success is measured by how many times an experience takes your breath away. I think the best way to measure success is the wonderful and positive effect that you have on other people. If your work transcends happiness and makes other people smile.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite coloring book artist?
Some of my favorite coloring book artists are Kerby Rosanes, Johanna Basford, Marty Woods, and Millie Marrota.
What color or colors do you most love to work with?
I love Purples, Magentas, Turquoise, and Yellow Greens
Outside of creating coloring books, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you love?
I love cooking pasta. I also adore reading books, specially art history books. I love traveling and taking pictures.
What are your plans for the next year? Do you have any new coloring book releases planned?
I hope to finally release my coloring book this year internationally. And I hope I can also have another one next year.
What are the titles of the last three books you have read or movies you’ve watched?
Last films that I saw were Planet of the Apes, Spiderman: Homecoming, and In This Corner of the World (A Japanese animated film that you should watch)
If you were deserted on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?
A sleeping bag, a sketchbook, and a pencil.