We here at Den of Geek have awarded the author of this article for all of his good work (actually, we’re just avoiding his “Ethan For Princess” campaign) by allowing him to interview one of his favorite artists in the comic industry, Juan Ferreyra. Mr. Ferreyra is currently the artist on Dark Horse Comics’ Colder and we absolutely adore him.
Den of Geek (DoG): Some people might say your job is a geeky dream come true. How did you get into this field?
Juan Ferreyra (JF): I always loved comics since I was a little kid and I always saw me drawing them one day. I started self publishing my own comics in Argentina. That's when you learn the most actually doing the issues, so I did like eight issues of different projects. When I decided to give it a try at being professionally published, I started talking with different writers over at the Digital Webbing Forums, where I ended up teaming up with Jason Rand and we submitted our comic, Small Gods, to Image where we got published for 13 issues. After that I worked over at Shadowline on different projects until I met Arvid Nelson in San Diego and after some months he called me up to work on Rex Mundi with him. Rex Mundi was later was picked up by Dark Horse where I have been working since!
DoG: On the topic of work, what does a typical week look like in the life of a comic artist?
JF: It depends on the project, but for Colder, for example, I wake up like at 9 a.m. and after some coffee and web surfing I start working. I can't work hours and hours straight so I mix it up with other activities, like playing tennis or soccer, watching TV, playing video Games, making something to eat, or going out. But since it depends a lot on inspiration, when I’m having an inspired moment I might keep working until 4 a.m. or even through the weekend.
DoG: Where do you find inspiration for your incredible horror/fantasy art?
JF: From everything I see, but if I can't find some inspiration right away I surf the web and look for something that catches my eye.
DoG: How would you describe your style?
JF: Although for me Colder calls for a more cartoony style than I'm used to doing, I think I have a realistic style.
DoG: Who are you major influences?
JF: I’ve always loved John Byrne, Alan Davis, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, Kevin Nowlan, Travis Charest, Stuart Immonen, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and a lot of others!
DoG: What is the most difficult part of this work?
JF: Being alone all the time I guess. And sometimes, because of deadlines, having to deliver work that you're not always happy with. Or having to draw something you're not interested in. The good thing is that on Colder I get to draw everything I like, and it was really fun!
DoG: What work are you most proud of?
JF: I'm proud of some issues I did of Small Gods, some issues of Rex Mundi, but I think I'm really proud of Colder! Especially because I was able to do five issues of the comic in full color. I even added more pages than what was planned on almost every issue and was able to do it on time!
DoG: What are some challenges you have faced in becoming a graphic artist?
JF: I guess getting my work to be known by others. Because I live in Argentina, every time I go to cons in the States it's a lot of money for me, so I don't end up enjoying them. It's a lot of pressure, and I end up sucking at selling my art to editors or writers. It’s not because I'm not friendly or I can’t communicate well but because it's egocentric for me to go out and tell someone, "look at my art! I'm great! I draw really well, so hire me!" I could sell someone else's art right away, no problem, just by telling all the great things about them. But when it comes to my art I just can't do it.
DoG: What advice would you give to people who want to become artists?
JF: Do what you want the most, I love drawing and I tried different fields, but doing comics is what I love the most and that makes it a lot easier and enjoyable when I’m doing it every day. Also if you want to do comics the fastest way to learn is too actually do comics, even if they are just for you, finish a whole issue, and you'll learn a lot from it. Be patient, but constantly work and try to learn new things all the time to make your stuff feel fresh to you.
DoG: What are some upcoming projects we can look forward to from you?
JF: I have a lot of different projects that I have in store, With Paul (Tobin, writer of Colder) we're talking about doing more Colder and how to continue the story so if everything goes well we will have more of that. I also might be doing short stories for different outlets with him. Right now I'm working on a new creator owned mini-series for Dark Horse that might come out in the future, but I can’t say with who or what it’s about, yet! I'm also working on doing some concept art for a couple of movies that might start shooting soon or later this year.
And that does it! Thanks, Juan, for taking the time to speak with us! Colder #5 from Dark Horse Comics hits shops this Wednesday, March 5th! It’s the last issue of the series, so get caught up fast, and then come on back to read Ethan's review!