I first noticed our next artist because of his entry in the “More Than You Imagined” show with our friends at the Bottleneck Gallery. He captured the essence of one of my favorite anti-heroes, Dexter Morgan, with his knowing smirk, blood splattered background and of course knife sharping in the foreground. Definitely one of the best depictions I’ve seen. Obviously I had to know more. That’s when I discovered JP Valderrama and all of his amazing work.
Nerdlocker (NL): Tell us about yourself.
JP Valderrama (JV): I’m just like everyone else here, a nerd who loooves and appreciates art with a passion for creating it as well.
NL: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences?
JV: I draw my inspiration from a lot of things, but I must say that it’s really the positive feedback and support I get from my followers and friends that truly drives me to do more art. Seriously.
It’s quite obvious with my style (cross hatching & textures), that comics have been my biggest influence. As a kid, I was very much into collecting comics and would draw Spider-Man, characters from X-Men, X-Factor and X-Force at school every day. But then as I got older I’ve ventured into semi-realism and it kind of worked pretty well with my comic influence.
My favorite artists then were Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane and I would try to mimic their style a lot. It’s kinda ironic that I draw comic styled art but I hate doing sequentials and couldn’t do it to save my life. (0_o)
NL: When did you get your professional start in the art world?
JV: I’ve been in this gig for a quite a while now, started around late 2010 doing free portraits and art services just to get my work and name out there. Wouldn’t say I was a professional at that time but my work did get a lot of positive feedback in Deviant Art and Shadowness.com.
A little over a year later, a gallery curator found me through deviant art and invited me to participate in my first group art exhibit “Awakenings” at the Gallery U Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey. The art exhibit took place on March 16 and there was no better feeling to have sold my first digital painting that same night. It felt so badass, haha.
Shortly after the show was when the Fresh Doodle really took off… I’ve had more commission requests, society6 store was doing better and been invited to more art shows (Bottleneck Gallery, Light Grey Art Lab, Hero Complex, just to name a few). I say 2012 was the year of the Fresh Doodle, but with the way things are going right now, 2013 is very promising!
NL: How did you get involved in creating such fantastic nerd related art?
JV: Like I said earlier, it’s the people who support my work that get me involved. But it’s also something that I love to do and very passionate about. Since childhood, the only thing I knew I wanted to do as a career, was art. I did it as a hobby, I went to school for it and now I make a living out of it and still having fun, fun, fun! And as I’ve mentioned before in my interview with Japan cinema, when you feel good and have fun with what you’re doing, it actually reflects on your work / output. =)
NL: What’s your favorite nerd related snack? (like what do you munch on while playing video games, reading comic books, watching movies, etc…)
JV: Dairy Queen chocolate sundaes and oreo blizzards, Carvel chocolate sundaes, Sonic chocolate sundaes, McDonald’s chocolate sundaes, Magnum ice cream bars, green tea ice cream and anything Haagen Daz. Yes, you can call me an ice-cream-head lol!
NL: Who are some of your favorite artists?
JV: At the moment, it’s Russ Mills, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Philip Tan and Godmachine. Oh Mark Lone is also good and he’s cool to chat with. =)
NL: What posters/art do you have on display in your house?
JV: Sorry, but the only art / posters me and my girlfriend have on our walls are my drawings. Yeah you can definitely say it’s like liking my own status on facebook or just straight up licking my own balls.
HOWEVER! I really do find Godmachine’s style to be really sexy and attractive and his work might be the first to be hung on my wall. ^_^
NL: Star Wars of Star Trek? Why?
JV: I’d say Star Wars just because I’ve seen all the movies, but honestly I was never a diehard fan of either. Sorry nerds! ^_^
NL: What do you do in your free time?
JV: If I’m not drawing, I’d be running or playing tennis. I luuuurve to run and play tennis. I spend ridiculous hours on the courts and I’m very active at leagues (USTA) during spring / summer seasons. It definitely keeps me in shape and with my weekly ice cream intake, yea it’s a necessity.
NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
JV: I’m a metal head and I love going to metal fests. \m/
Aside from real awesome good music… I love the fact that these musicians are so down to earth and low profile that they just walk around the field when not on set and would take photos with fans who would recognize them. So far I’ve had the privilege of meeting Kerry King of Slayer and was lucky enough to catch members (Wayne Lozniak, Chris Beattie, Matt Byrne) of Hatebreed at a parking deck in New York! \m/
NL: What is your favorite movie?
JV: There’s too many to mention! But to name a few it would be Shawshank Redemption, Braveheart, Gladiator, Training Day, Fight Club, Primal Fear, The Green Mile, Memento…
NL: What is your favorite video game?
JV: Again, there’s too many to mention! BUT to name a few it would be TEKKEN, Streetfighter, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy series, Uncharted and the old PS1 Resident Evil and Tomb Raider games! It’s pretty hard to balance my time between my day job, Fresh Doodle, running / tennis and gaming so I had to sacrifice my gaming time. =( I always preferred fighting, RPG and puzzle type of games.
NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
JV: Spider-Man and Spawn, just because they were both drawn by Todd McFarlane at one point in time.
NL: What are some of your upcoming projects?
JV: Oh boy. A lot lol
Here’s my schedule for April and May.
1. “When the Lights Go Out” – April 12, Bottleneck Gallery
2. “Righteous Rides” – April 26, Hero Complex Gallery
3. “Bros before Hoes” – May 10, Bottleneck Gallery
4. If there is enough time on my hands, I’d probably be releasing a new series of works on my store
NL: Is there a question you’ve always wanted to be asked, but have never found the opportunity?
JV: Hmmm, now you’ve got me thinking lol
There is no particular question that I’d like to be asked on interviews, cus that just means it will take me another 5-10 minutes to think of a good answer, like this one lol.
BUT, I would like be approached by more galleries (galleries from UK too) to do shows with them, particularly Ltd. gallery and G1988. I’ve been seeing them putting out some great shows and would like to be part of it someday. HINT HINT! 😉
And there you have it! Special thanks to JP for taking the time to indulge our nerdiness. Stay up to date with his ongoings by Liking him on Facebook: HERE (facebook.com/freshdoodle), Following him on Twitter: HERE (twitter.com/thefreshdoodle) and joining his mailing list HERE. And of course, please show your support for a great artist by visiting his store – HERE.
For more Nerdy news and interviews, stay tuned to Nerdlocker.com!