Stuntkid

03/12/2010

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I got acquainted with Jason Levesque’s (aka stuntkid) artwork when I first set up my myspace account back in 2006! It was love at first sight! His girls are delicious to look at and I absolutely adore his themes and illustration style.

I’m so excited and happy to have him on EyeCandies! Here is what he told me:

Hello Jason and thank you for doing this interview for EyeCandies. Where did your nickname “stuntkid” come from?  

I came up with the name back in 2000 when i was just getting started. I'd played around with a few names ultimately settling on "stuntkid" because the URL was available. Back in those days I was really into mountain boarding and was known around the office for engaging in reckless stunts. I once rode my mountain board down a flight of steps through the secretaries office, out the front door and down two more sets of stairs into the parking lot.
 

At the time the name seemed fitting, the more time passes the less fitting it will inevitably become. I'm fine with that though. By definition "stunt" means something unordinary done for attention. My artwork could in many cases be viewed that way.
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What was your favorite drawing subject as a kid? Have you kept any of your earlier drawings/sketches?  

Girls, it was always girls. I'd also draw robots, skeletons, dragons and ninja's but if you were to look for a theme, it always came back to girls. I have a lot of old drawings, they're not very good, I'm pretty sure I was a late bloomer. No one would say "wow, so talented for being so young".
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Most of your illustrations feature gorgeous girls who often find themselves engaged in almost surreal situations. I feel that color plays a vital role in your work. Can you talk to us about your creative procedure / techniques?  

I usually start with a photo I've taken for reference. Sometimes the photo was taken with a concept in mind, but many times I build the concept around the pose. Many times I'm inspired by a science based subject I'm reading about. I'll get excited about something in the natural world and try to mesh it into my illustration work.
 

If the subject matter is something really foul, like slugs or worms, I'll balance the repulsion out with pretty colors. The pretty face draws you in, the mollusks repulse you then the pretty colors draw you back in.  

Like I said I'll begin work from a photo reference either drawing it in photoshop using a Wacom tablet or drawing it on paper then scanning in the line work. The coloring I do in Photoshop. I lay in my flat colors using the pen tool then apply scanned textures over the image.

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I only recently discovered your delicious photography collection of glam fetish girls. How did you start and evolve in this field?  

The photography started as a means to build up a large collection of reference photography. I feel that it's important, if you're going to heavily reference photography, that the photography be your own.  

It developed into a hobby and i really enjoyed the learning process. I shot for about 5 years and was lucky enough to shoot with some of the biggest talents in the "alt modeling" scene. Doing photography well is no small undertaking and the hobby started to overshadow my real passion which is drawing. It's very time consuming and I'd find myself spending entire months arranging shoots. I was scheduling hair and makeup talent, picking up wardrobe, housing the models, building sets and accessories, shooting and editing photos. The time left for simply sitting down and drawing was getting smaller and smaller, so I gave the photography up.  

It was fun while it lasted and I got a lot of good material. I still shoot reference material from time to time but nothing that will be edited and posted.

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Talk to us about your books “Girls are Pretty” and “Pretty Gross”.  

Both books hold the work of about 2 years. They were a lot of fun to put together, especially Pretty Gross in which I spent a lot of time and effort on page layout. I'm sure in another 2 years time I'll be ready to put out another. I like them, they are a cheap way to collect a lot of imagery since the books are cheaper than most prints.

[You can view and order the books here]
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Which was the most memorable exhibition you participated in and why?  

That would have to be the "Audrey Kawasaki and Friends Show" There were so many hugely talented artists there and it was my first chance to meet a lot of them in person. I still talk with most of them online and have continued to participate in group shows with them. Networking is very important when it comes to showing your art and that was my first chance to network with other artists at that level.  

Any future projects we should look forward to? Give us a sneak peak!  

At the moment I'm working on new stuff to show at Pretty Gross and Friendly Ghosts, a Show with my wife here in Virginia. After that I have a solo show in Toronto, a group show in Monterey, California and group show in Portland Oregon. It's going to be a pretty busy year, which is always a good thing.

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