Q AND A -- WITH NEIL KROLICKI

UNDERGROUND CHICKEN FIGHTS - YOUR THOUGHTS?

I think I should stick to questions about my work, thank you.

WHAT'S YOUR GENERAL DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

Action is a key ingredient for me, I'm always trying to work in a sense of motion and avoid static scenes. I also like to give the idea that there's a 'story' to a piece, that you're seeing one frame of a bigger movie. Focus is also core, excising anything that doesn't support the purpose of the image. I'm sounding very serious here - creating is my biggest thrill, I try to make that translate in the work.

SOME OF YOUR STUFF'S KINDA "DARK", ISN'T IT?

There is no 'Puppies-Hugging-Unicorns-Under-Rainbows' gallery, true. Some of my work does lean a little "macabre", but I love doing humor too. Cartooning and comedic graphic interpretations - it's in the 'Humor' gallery, go look! I'm not maladjusted or anything!
(Runs away... curls into ball in corner.)

YOU'VE GOT A PRETTY SERIOUS CLIENT LIST - CARE TO SHARE IT?

Target, Walmart, Disney, Kohl's, JC Penney, Hot Topic, Cartoon Network, Spike TV, Rue 21, Fox Movie Entertainment, Paramount Studios, Kellogg's, Tommy Bahama, Miller Brewing Company, Coors Brewing Company, AAFES, Sega Games, to name a few.

WOULD YOU RATHER ILLUSTRATE A CHILDREN'S BOOK OR A HOW-TO-GUIDE ON BREAKDANCING?

Anything that affords some creative license in the execution, I enjoy doing. Character design, anatomy (human or not), scenery, typography, any of it - it's the creating that's fun, not necessarily the context.

WHICH DESCRIBES YOU BETTER: "EXCEPTIONAL ILLUSTRATOR" OR "CLOWN FETISHIST"?

That's tough... Mmmm... the first one.

WHAT TOOLS IN YOUR ARTISTIC ARSENAL GET USED THE MOST?

I've put a lot of mileage on my Wacom tablet and my drop lead Staedtler pencil. Too many hours to count in Photoshop, Illustrator and Painter.

SO IT'S SAFE TO ASSUME YOU'RE UP TO DATE ON ALL THE STANDARD IMAGING SOFTWARE?

Yessir - Adobe Creative Suite 4: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign. Plus Painter 10. I'm literate with Flash, Dreamweaver and the usual admin programs Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, etc.

SO YOU'RE NOTHING WITHOUT YOUR COMPUTER THEN? YOU'RE KIND OF A HACK?

No, I'll make myself get away from the "perfection" of the computer whenever I can, render things out in pencil, make textures with real world paint. It's fun and it gives me a pass to play 'pretentious-artist-type' at gallery openings. "Yes, I too find Winsor and Newton gouache spreads rather gritty on bristol board... Mmm,yesss...indeed...."

WORKING WITH LICENSED PROPERTIES ISN'T ANYTHING NEW FOR YOU THEN?

No, I've handled brand assets and identities for a whole range of companies. Working in the parameters of established branding schemes, I'm very familiar with that.

ARE THESE INTERESTING QUESIONS?...SHOULD I JUST STOP?...

You're doing great.

WORKING 'SOLO' OR 'COLLABORATIVE' - WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

I love exchanging ideas with teams of creative people that challenge me and offer up different approaches, but I'm also really self-sufficient and focused when I'm on deadline - so, can I say "Both"?

SURE, IF YOU WANT TO GIVE A NON-ANSWER

I'm afraid it's a non-answer then. I really enjoy both dynamics.

ARTISTIC INFLUENCES?

My mentor Drew Posada (Photoshop GOD, R.I.P.), Ashley Wood and Ian Francis (masters of focused chaos) . Tim Vigil and Jim Lee (line art gurus), Shawn Barber, Android Jones (all the black belts at Conceptart.org, really) Chuck Palahniuk and Clive Barker (shocker, I know).

THAT'S ALL I'VE GOT... WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU?

I've had better.