IATT Interview with Artist Alan Ashcraft

Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? (name, age, education, the basics!)

My name is Alan Ashcraft. I’ve been a freelance graphic designer for seven years. I love trashy TV, and large female rear ends.

So when did you first realize your passion for the arts and what really drew you to it?

I’ve always been interested in drawing, organizing, and creating. However, it wasn’t until 2005 that my love for the overall branding of horror films, and the general gritty design that I saw coming from my favorite designers, manifested into an infinite attraction with band merch design.

So did you go to school or get any formal training in the arts or are you self taught?

No. I’m completely self taught, although I do intend to eventually attain some sort of additional education.

What have been some of your favorite projects to work on?

I’ve gotten this question several times, and my answer is always the same: My favorite project so far, would have to be the album artwork I did for my band, Across The Sun’s record, Before The Night Takes Us. The pressure was on since it was our debut album on Metal Blade. I worked tirelessly to complete the giant fifteen panel layout in a very short period of time. In the end, it’s something I couldn’t be more proud of. Everyone at the label, and the rest of the band have expressed how happy they are with it as well.

What is one thing you hate about being and artist and one thing you love?

I hate the poor communication that some clients can have. I love making money doing what I love, and would otherwise do for free.

I talk to many clothing line owners whom say they have a hard time conveying a concept or idea for a design to artist. If you could offer advice to clients that are trying to convey a design or an idea to an artist what would you say?

I always urge my clients to refrain from being too descriptive. I work the best with keywords, or loose themes. When a client is too descriptive, this suffocates my creativity, and normally
produces poor results. It’s the artist’s responsibility to know how he/she works efficiently, and communicate that to the potential client.

What advice would you offer to aspiring artists that are trying to make a name for themselves?

Roll with the punches. Your fellow freelancers can be a competitive and pretentious bunch. Don’t take things personally, and strive to create what you want, when you want.

Huge thanks to Adam of IAMTHETREND for allowing me the opportunity to answer some questions and get my art out there further. Everyone can feel free to follow me on Twitter [@AlanAshcraft], Tumblr [alanashcraft.tumblr.com], and LIKE my Facebook page