Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Rural Alaska before TV’s were common place so folk tales were still told by the elders to us children, because of this I also spent a lot of time drawing my own stories though this was primarily to entertain myself. I didn’t really think about becoming an artist or writer until much later, up through most of high school I wanted to be a biologist. In addition to my own random drawings I also learned to make traditional Yupik art which still influences my work. My interest in story telling led me to theatre near the end of high school and this lead me to study story boarding in college. After this I got a job illustrated children’s books which are used to teach Hawaiian children their native language and values for the Hawaiian Language Center. During this time my interest in fairy tales let me to get my BA in cultural studies which largely included the study of fairy tales as cultural artifacts.
At this point I have only published two books which are available publicly, my Hawaiian Language Books are published by the Hawaiian Schools and given directly to them.
How do you create your art? What is your inspiration and/or do you set yourself a schedule?
I’ve found that its difficult for me to just create art from scratch so I tend to write stories from which to create my art. These stories are inspired by fairy tales and folk religions across Eurasia. I haven’t really released these stories, though I’ve put up a few bits and pieces of them. For now I use them to inspire my art as they give me characters and scenes to draw. I do hope to release some of them someday.
As for schedules I tend to focus primarily on research and writing schedules as I’m constantly drawing so I tend to get a number of pictures done per day regardless.
What are your tools of choice (paint, pencil, computer)?
I use a mixture of pencil, water color and digital painting (gimp) to create my art.
What inspired you to publish The World of Fairy? What is your favorite picture?
I thought it was strange that while there were some scholarly books on fairies most books on fairy tales didn’t discuss belief systems in things like fairies, rather they looked at fairy tales as if they were literary symbols or historical artifacts. While they can be these to some extent I believe that many fairy tales are related to people’s old belief systems and folk religions.
Who is your favorite artist/writer?
I love the work of Fred Moore, an animator who created a lot of iconic characters including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the redesign of Mickey. Although he was very successful as an artist I feel that animators like him a very under appreciated. I also love the work of Barbara Lavallee, an Alaskan Artist who paints very fun whimsical images. I think for me the primary purpose of art is to create beauty and or to tell stories because these are the ways in which art can have the biggest impact and can best reflect a culture.
I could be wrong but I feel like its rare for a piece of art to have a major emotional or philosophical impact, rather groups of art do within the context of a story. Stories like “Where the Wild Things Art” by Maurice Sendak and “Sylvestor and the Magic Pebble” by Stieg can have a big impact on the children who read them, while animated films like “Up” can be meaningful to multiple generations. I also feel that art which is made to appeal to a culture such as that of Lavallee or to tell a story such as that of Moore are much greater representations of the cultures they come from.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I’m hoping to build a relationship with the people who see my works. I’ve worked with and been friends with a lot of people over the years would created wonderful things; directors, producers, writers, animators, game designers, etc. They all made good money, perhaps more than I ever well, but most struggled for artistic control because they all have to go through an editor who decides if what they are doing is good or not. I’m hoping to get direct feedback on my work, I have over a thousand fans of my work on Facebook and only a 4 or 5 are my friends. I also gain a lot of links to my scholarly research from Universities, etc. I feel like the opinions and feedback received from so many people who aren’t my friends, but who are choosing to read and recommend my work is better than that received from one person.
I’m also hoping that by self-publishing I’ll be better able to build a relationship with my audience because they’ll be interacting with me directly. I would say the biggest challenge I face with this right now is the time it takes. It takes a lot of time to write and illustrate while trying to maintain a website, format books and build these relationships.
Where can readers find you and your books?
I’m listing all of my books at http://www.zeluna.net/worldsrise/
In addition I’m listing current projects and rough previews of these. I’m working to create picture novels based on my research in to fairy tales and folk religions.
Thank you for letting us into your world, Ty.
Ends September 10, 2012
Win a copy of The World of Fairy by Ty Hulse.
1 copy available
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How to win?
Just leave a comment below with your email address to let me know you’re interested.
Winner chosen by Random.org