Justin Castaneda has a passion for art. He is passionate when he talks about his career and future plans. And he delights in pointing out that the most rewarding part of his career as a Comic Artist is getting his art work completed and finished in a timely manner, then moving on to his next project. And there are many!
It’s a career journey that Castaneda enjoys, taking him to various conventions where he engages with other artists and supporters and at the same time showing off his beautiful art work creations. One can feel that joy and emotion when he speaks about his work and the time and effort he puts into his writing and illustrations of his books and prints.
Castaneda started putting his book ideas together in 2007. “I had my own idea for a children book because I thought there were not a lot of kid-friendly comics or books out there.”
That was then, not now, he said, explaining that a lot of different books have cropped up on the market now. Nonetheless, Castaneda wanted to get his book out in the domain “to share it with everyone,”
Before starting his Comic Artist career, Castaneda attended school and was freelancing. If he hadn’t made it in his chosen field of art, there was certainly no plan B, he said. But inasmuch as he loved to draw any field that he entered had to be “something related” to that.
Castaneda specializes in books and prints. The ideas for his prints came from his book. He wanted to illustrate his childhood, “all the things I did when I was a kid,” he said.
In an interview with Escapism while in Chicago attending the Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Castaneda said his big brother, a graphic designer, inspired him to draw. But he also boasted of having the support of his family, that of his parents and girlfriend.
“Oh, he’s excellent,” he said of his brother. “He’s the whole reason I became an artist. So he went the design route and I went the other route which was cartoons…my parents love that I’m doing what I like. They’ve been real supportive and try to make as many shows as they can. My girlfriend is a big supporter…it’s been fun.”
However, there’s a problem with being creative. Castaneda talked about the good side first which is “actually getting the job completed and finished.” The problem, he added, is that being creative you’re always thinking of other projects to do and they kind of get piled up with “stuff and some you have to leave on the back burner and some you got to go forth with.”
Castaneda talked about one of his proud moments: “I was really proud of the last book,” he said. “I went on a convention tour and had a submission box and asked people to submit their own childhood memories.
“I wanted other people to share (their childhood memories) and that was a real thrill because a lot of people responded to it.” He used the responses in a book. “I got it out and I kept in touch with all the people who submitted a child memory. It was a real thrill.”
What makes the adrenaline overflows when doing his art work? “It depends on how late it is (laughter). I mean, sometimes you just got to persevere and do it even if it’s late hours or early morning.”
So, what about his future goals? “I think it would be really nice to expand it (childhood drawings) and things that I do into clothing line for kids. I still plan on doing my books and series. But, yeah, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. Right now it’s kind of having fun with the idea.”
On a final note, Castaneda said artists want their projects to succeed, and sometimes they don’t. But if that happens, Castaneda suggests that they move on to the next thing. “You can’t get burned out,” he noted.
Article by PMac