10 Questions with Tony McVey
1…. who is your favorite artist?
Well, the list is long and changes occasionally but for now it includes Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham, Gustave Dore, Heinrich Kley, Charles Knight, William Stout, Frank Frazetta, Jack Kirby, Rembrandt Bugatti, Antoine Louis Barye, T.S. Sullivant and Mike Mignola. I also have to mention French illustrator Jean Giraud, aka. Moebius, who’s work in Heavy Metal magazine had a strong influence on me early in my career.
2…. do you offer workshops for artists?
Not so far, but you never know.
3…. what do you like to listen to while you work?
I tend towards female singer-songwriters like Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Bjork, but I’ll mix it up with Jeff Buckley, Peter Gabriel, Bill Nelson, David Sylvian, Fleetwood Mac (the Peter Green version) and Active Child, and then sometimes I’ll just listen to NPR all day.
4…. what medium and tools do you use to create your art?
I use Van Aken plastilene, (which I was introduced to when I worked on the first Gremlins movie back in the early 1980s,) Sculpey Pro and occasionally Magic Sculpt and even Bondo, because it’s really fast setting and can hold a hard, precise edge quite well, as in robot parts, for instance.
As for tools, I’ve managed to accumulate a large number of them over the years but tend to use a range of about ten or so for just about everything I do now.
5…. during an average week how many hours a day / week do you work on creating art?
I used to regularly work 10 hours a day, 12 hours sometimes, but stopped because I realized it was ruining my health, plus I’d get burned out. Now I try to do a standard 8 hours, 5 days a week.
Doesn’t always work out that way, though.
6…. are you working your dream job?
After all these years, I still really enjoy the work I do but I have to admit there’s a certain amount of cynicism in the mix now, so the notion of this being a dream job is a little dented around the edges by now.
7…. do you feel its important for others to pursue their dream jobs?
I think it’s very important for people to find and pursue whatever it is they enjoy and feel they have a talent for.
8…. where can people see your work (online, conventions or exhibits)?
Anyone who’s interested can look at www.menagerieproductions.com, my old and nearly defunct website and my new blog for the stop-motion series Gardens of Miranda http://tonymcvey.blogspot.com or do a Google image search and become stupefied by all the stuff that’s out there.
9…. was there a certain moment that you knew you wanted to be an artist?
When I was about 9 years old my Dad took me to see The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, then when I was 13 I saw Willis O’Brien’s masterpiece King Kong and realized there were people who actually made a living doing this kind of work. Of course, I soon discovered that’s not always the reality of the situation and a host of other factors nearly always come into play.
None the less, the seed was planted back then and it’s grown into this gnarly old hedge I can’t control any more.
10…. is there anything else you would like to add or say to other artists?
Only to restate what was said in answer 7, and I’d add that if an opportunity to realize your dreams presents itself, grab it with both hands and go with it, because it may not come around again.