Artist Profile: Monty Draper
Updated: Apr 2
CA: What made you first start drawing?
MD: It came naturally. When I first started, my dad sat me down with drawing circles. Then I went on to cubes. Then I went on to drawing Sonic the Hedgehog. Then I started winning art contests. It has been a constant thing. Definitely more family (as an influence). My uncle used to draw so it just passed down the line.
CA: When it comes to art, what sparks a piece for you? MD: Any and everything. I can take the degree behind you and can make something out of it. Anything. Anything I am inspired from, I will draw it. It can be any aspect of life (life, death, love, hate, anything).
CA: What helps you get in the mindset to draw something? MD: A lot of times what I do when I’m on tumblr, I scroll through everything to get inspiration. I may see a picture of an open field with one sunflower growing from that, I’ll get inspiration from that. I might not draw a sunflower but maybe something related to that. That is just showing that anything beautiful can come from this one little bit of life. I’ll just feed off that.
CA: Do you have any inspiration from art (heroes)? MD: That didn’t happen until I got into college. When I first started drawing, I was only worried about making the work look like the cartoon. That was the only thing I was worried about. I went to college with my mind set on being a graphic designer. So before I started college, I downloaded photoshop and learned it in 6 months. I didn’t need college. When I got to college, I knew art was life. Art doesn’t imitate anything, life imitates art. Art creates. Life creates. Art can destroy something. Life can destroy something. Everything in life is art.
CA: What do you feel in front of a blank canvas or empty notebook? MD: I feel anger. Why is this blank? Let me show you my book I carry around with me. I have been drawing in this book for over a year now. I make sure to cover every page. If I have something on this side, I have something on the other side. I will create around it. A blank page will upset me but it doesn’t get me to the point I need to draw something on this page right now. It is more of how can I relate to this page. There is something on this page, I just can’t see it yet.
CA: What do you do to improve on your craft? Techniques? MD: This is when I start studying. There is this one guy (@actionhankbeard), who I pay attention to a lot because his art is amazing. He doesn’t use define lines, he uses just straight marker. I’ll have a piece that looks very anime with very hard black lines. His is more landscape, fluid color, no hard outline or anything. I looking at that and asking how am I going to get to that level. I don’t use his methods. I create my own. When I do that *points at his book* it goes from something like this to something like this with no define lines. I use other people’s work as inspiration. A lot of people don’t like that because they consider it stealing. There is nothing new under the sun. Nothing. If I use your method, it is inspirational. You got it right. I might use it for myself. It is not about the right answer but how you get to the right answer.
CA: What is the perfect piece of art to you if it exists? MD: There is no such thing. Except for life. There is no such thing as perfection. Life is the grand masterpiece. It is still growing, still maturing. You know it is going to end but you don’t know when.
CA: What is your goal in art? MD: I want to change the world through art. I don’t how but I know I want to do it. If I have to draw every day, I will do that. If I have to teach a kid everyday, I will do that. I just want to change the world.
CA: How do you describe your style? MD: My style is realism with a dark twist.
CA: Do you prefer pens, pencils, or a brush? MD: When I first started, I was in love with using a ballpoint pen. I felt you weren’t an artist if you couldn’t draw with a ballpoint pen. Any mistake you make, you would have to cover it up or else you got to start over. I love markers, water colors, and colors pencils. These blend so well together.
CA: How long have you been doing artwork? MD: From the time I knew how to write my own name. I would say when I was five so for about twenty one years of drawing.
CA: Do you have a favorite piece? MD: My Christian Bale – American Psycho/Dark Knight mashup piece is my favorite. Next would be my Paul Walker piece I am currently working on.
CA: What do you feel is the best quality in terms of art that you have right now? MD: Always coming from the left field. No matter what drawing I do. It could be a regular drawing of the Mona Lisa and I’ll put something to put a twist on it.
CA: And the biggest opportunity for growth in regards to art you have as of right now? MD: Somehow simplifying my work for branding. For me there is two realms of art. There is mainstream and underground. I am underground. Mainstream is more the Johnny Cupcakes, Banksy, and Warhol. Their style is so broad, it can go anywhere. My style is fit to a set of people who can relate to me. Art is art but some art doesn’t sell to the mind or the culture.
CA: What is fun and rewarding for you in regards to drawing? MD: Surprising myself. I surprise myself a lot when it comes to my artwork.
CA: Where do you want to take your career in art? MD: I’m still winging it right now. I care what happens but I don’t care what happens. As long as it is related to art.
CA: How do you want your work/portfolio to be remembered for? MD: I don’t care what it says. I care what you (the people) have to say for it.
CA: What is the best advice you can give someone with a strong desire to do art like yourself? MD: Don’t be afraid. As an artist, it is hard. When other people that are worse than you are “better” than you. Whatever happens, you have to roll with it. You just have to keep going.
Follow Monty on his IG @halfpastfull