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Nerdlocker Artist Interview: Christopher Skinner

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As with most things, I discovered Christopher Skinner because of my love of Star Wars. Hero Complex Gallery released a new series called Viewpoints. I was intrigued when I read the press release. But seriously, how many Star Wars art pieces do we need?

Then I saw the artwork. Holy crap the rich black blacks used against a world of grays was beautiful. I’ve never seen such a dynamic X-Wing or pristine TIE Fighter. Of course I had to have them. And I do.

I immediately had to know more about this artist. So I looked him up and discovered he’s amazingly talented beyond just screen prints. Luckily for us, Mr. Skinner is also very gracious as he sat down with us to answer our hard hitting Nerdy questions.

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Nerdlocker (NL): Tell us about yourself.
Christopher Skinner (CS): I’m a freelance motion graphics artist and illustrator from the UK.

NL: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences?
CS: From my family, I have a 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl who are so imaginative! From peers, books, comics, movies, television, I would like to say video games but I never seem to have time to play them these days. I’m in a secret Poster Posse group which is great as the guys are all awesome and I get to see a lot of work in progress and finished prints before they are released.

NL: Where did you get your training and how do you continue to perfect your skills?
CS: I did a degree in Transportation Design at University which pretty much involved drawing cars every day and making scale models which was pretty cool!

NL: When did you get your professional start?
CS: After university I got my first job as a graphic artist at a small start-up games company. I spent my days designing spaceships and characters for games.

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NL: Why are so many American superheroes played by British actors? What are you guys doing that we can’t?
CS: Ha ha! I don’t know but every time I see Henry Cavill I feel slightly less manly…

NL: What is your game day process, meaning when you start your day with a project, how do you get prepped/psyched to write?
CS: It normally involves dashing about on the school run followed by a nice big mug of tea. I like to go through all my social media first thing so it doesn’t distract me later on when I should be working. About once a month it might involve a few press-ups…

NL: What’s your favorite nerd related snack? (like what do you munch on while playing video games, reading comic books, watching movies, writing, etc…)
CS: Some form of nut… if there’s a beer in the other hand.

NL: Who wins in a battle royale of Sheffield’s most famous actors, Sean Bean, Eddie Izzard, Donald Pleasence, Dominic West or Patrick McGoohan? Why?
CS: Despite the fact he will probably be killed I’m going to have to say Sean Bean! He’s been in Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones, James Bond and he’s plays a good bad guy and has a great voice on screen.

NL: Who is your favorite British comedian?
CS: This is a hard one, I reckon I will go with Steve Coogan for his role as Alan Partridge, I’m also a big Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer fan.

NL: Who is your favorite American comedian?
CS: Jim Carrey, for his roles in The Mask, Pet Detective and Dumb & Dumber.

NL: What is your favorite medium to work with?
CS: I would say digital, I do like to get the sketch pad out now and again but I’m normally at a computer where everything is to hand. I use a few different programs depending on the project or the look I’m going for but my main tools for illustration are Photoshop, Illustrator, ZBrush and Blender. I use a Wacom Intuos to draw and sculpt with which I’m hoping to upgrade to a Cintiq soon.

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NL: Who are some of your favorites artists?
CS: Argh! There’s too many I could list but here’s a couple. Jock, the guy’s work just oozes style to me and I love the raw inked nature to it. Laurent Durieux, love his attention to detail, line work and his compositions are always spot on. Aaron Horkey, Ken Taylor, Brandon Holt, Godmachine, Jim Lee, I could go on! I would have to say the Poster Posse as well, we have a Facebook group where we share ideas, work in progress and generally help each other out where we can.

NL: Star Wars or Star Trek?
CS: Star Wars. It has more action and lightsabers. I do like Star Trek but there are only certain films/episodes I would watch again where with Star Wars I could sit down and watch that from any point at any time.

NL: What do you do in your free time?
CS: Think about what illustration I’m going to work on next.

NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
CS: I am wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle underpants.

NL: What is your favorite movie?
CS: More hard questions! Transformers The Movie (1986), I watched this so much when I was young and still do now and again. Great action and awesome soundtrack. True 80s nostalgia.

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NL: What is your favorite video game?
CS: Streetfighter 2 on the SNES. I know it’s an oldie but I don’t get the chance to play games these days. Ooh, I would have to say Tekken on the PS1 as well. That game blew my mind.

NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
CS: Batman. Because he’s Batman!

NL: What are some of your upcoming projects?
CS: As much as I would like to I’m afraid I can’t really talk about any upcoming projects. I’ve got quite a few booked in for the next few months. Half are private commissions and half are officially licensed. Things have really taken off on the print side of things in the last 6 months, hopefully that will continue throughout the year!

NL: Is there a question you’ve always wanted to be asked, but have never found the opportunity?
CS:

Man those Brits are so polite!

Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us Christopher. We really appreciate all that you do.

Check out more of Christopher’s work on his website – http://www.skinnercreative.co.uk/. Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter as well. Also, stay tuned to his shop to support a great artist – http://skinnercreative.bigcartel.com/products. He also has several pieces available over on Hero Complex GalleryHERE

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I'm a true child of the 80s from a small town near Cleveland, Ohio. My all time favorite topics are Star Wars, slasher films and Cleveland sports (despite the misery it causes). I narrowly avoided law school, instead choosing film school. I have been accused of being a walking IMDB, but I take it as a compliment!