Caught Creatures is the creation of artist and illustrator Daniel Davis. It’s “the world’s finest Art-Haiku-Monster book,” and it’s not just for kids. In Daniel’s words:
It’s a monster-art-haiku book, good for kids, good for adults who think like kids. I made sure that it was printed with high-quality, heavy paper stock, with a matte finish on the perfect bound cover. It’s nice and heavy, with 48 full-color pages.
I get a chance to talk with Daniel at the Refresh Phoenix meetings and he showed me a few more of his illustrations. They are totally awesome and you can see more of his work and drawings on his site. Here’s an interview I did with him a few days ago about his work. I hope you enjoy it!
Matt: What motivated you to create the Caught Creatures book?
Daniel: Well, a lot of things. I really dig drawing monsters and weird creatures, and I really wanted to get my illustration career going; so instead of waiting for someone to publish me, I decided to publish myself.
Plus, I have a little-monster hunting son, and I wanted to create something for him that he could look at for the rest of his life, and know that his dad loves him.
Matt: How do you come up with your characters and ideas for your artwork?
Daniel: I’ll sound like an egomaniac, but I have more ideas than I can deal with. I’m an idea guy, at least in terms of making up weird little stories, and creature designs. I just don’t have time to get all of my ideas out. I find tons of inspiration from looking at other artist’s work, reading books, watching movies, the web… it’s kinda like drinking water for me.
Matt: Are their any artists or illustrators that really inspire you?
Daniel: Oh yeah, tons and tons. I love these guys:
Rhode Montijo, illustrator/director/author, Happy Tree Friends/Cloudboy. Stephen Silver, animation character designer, Kim Possible. Sanjay Patel, Pixar storyboard artist and author of Little India. Tim Biskup, illustrator/painter/designer. Mark Ryden, fine artist.
I could go on and on… I mean there’s all of Art History too… There’s so much talent out there to look at.
Matt: What tools do you use to create your artwork?
Daniel: Anymore, I’m a 96.86% digital artist. I absolutely love vector art, and it’s even changed the way I draw.
I use Freehand MX and the pen tool, for just about everything I do. If I painted on canvas, I’d just try to do art the way that I vector it in Freehand. The beauty of vector art is once you get the hang of it, it’s FAST. For me, I need to get ideas done quick, because there are always five more in the queue. Also, it’s totally resolution independent. I can put the art on t-shirts, billboards, posters, whatever, and it all scales perfectly… no loss of quality. AND, I can pull my characters into Flash and animate them, really efficiently.
Matt: Anything else you’d like to let people know about you?
Daniel: I have a number of secret zombie hunting skills that I use to protect our way of life. I can throw this corndog over those mountains over there. I can drink 1 gallon of foreign soda in one sitting. I think that toys are better than automobiles. I talk too much, but it doesn’t stop me from from building an imitation robot on my kitchen table. I like to laugh at myself. Pretend I’m famous in Japan.
Thank you Matt Bob Jones, for taking the time to interview me.