Tim Doyle wears many hats. Illustrator, comic book artist, printer, company owner, husband and father. The busy Texan takes time out of his hectic schedule to talk to us about Die Hard, Alan Rickman, working as an artist and... carrot growing.
How long have you been in the illustration game for now? How did you get started/interested in drawing?
I've been drawing since I could. My mother sat me down at an early age and drew with me. I've been making a living on my art talents for 5-6 years now. I've been working exclusively on projects I want to for almost 2 years.
You run a business that shares the same name as the skyscraper that John McClane spends all his time running around in, Nakatomi inc, tell us about it?
The name of the company came out of a back and forth we had when we were trying to think of a name for the business. Nakatomi just fit perfectly, in capturing what we wanted to do. It says it all w/out boxing us in a corner as to what type of products we want to put out. Some shops out there have very specific names, and I always think- what if you want to do something else? You'll have to change the damn name.
Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman) is an amazing 'bad guy' and in my opinion without him there is no John McClane? What are your thoughts on Mr Gruber?
Rickman is killer in that role. His sneer, his contempt for Americans. Heck,he's pretty much running a gang of male-model-terrorists. He's that perfect mix for a mid-80's action villain, effete enough w/out being mincing, foreign enough w/out being a racial stereotype. I think he's brilliant. Rickman's the best thing about those Harry Potter movies, too.
Is there a movie you have seen recently that has blown you away?
I've actually just come off of a huge comic-book project that ate up my free time, so I haven't been to the theater to see a movie in a while. Although, I can hardly say I feel like I've missed anything. I made it out to see Iron Man 2, and I think I forgot I had seen a movie by the time I made it home. It was like Chinese food, you know? 30 minutes later I had gas.
How did you learn your craft?
Practice. No drugs. Not much drinking. I gave up video games. While everyone was out doing cool things, I sat at home drawing through High School and College.
What illustrators inspire you?
Geoff Darrow is really rubbing my rhubarb right now. Moebius. Paul Pope. Mostly comic book guys, actually.
How did you go about designing the Die hard poster?
Watch Movie. Pick most iconic scene. Draw. I purposefully didn't draw his face, as I didn't want it to be about him so much, as what was happening. A face can really tie up a poster- people can focus in on the actor's likeness, and they'll miss the forest through the trees. And it's not that I can't nail a likeness, it's that everyone has an idea in their head of what a cartoon drawing of a person is SUPPOSED to look like, as opposed to what they actually look like. So, by covering his face I drew attention to what's going on, the glass, the bullet casings, etc. I like it- it's a lot simpler than a lot of my other prints, but it gets the message across very clearly.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given as an artist?
Don't do free work. Artists that do free work are suckers. A lot of people don't realize what it takes to be a working artist, and under-pay or outright expect free work for 'the exposure.' All that happens is that the artist gets exposure as being a 2 dollar trick, and can't get respect or better paying gigs.
You have an awesome DIY attitude, the walk through of setting up your own screen printing shop was very inspiring. Have you always been like this?
Yes and No. I've always been a self-starter, and am constantly trying to refine the process & exploit the gaps in a certain market. It wasn't until about two years ago that I finally built up the confidence to realize that I didn't have to work for anyone else to do it, & that in fact, by doing it for other people, I was never going to get myself where I wanted to be in my career artistically or financially. If you work for someone, it's in their best interest to keep you chasing that carrot, but never actually give it to you. So one day I said fuck that, I'll grow my own carrots.
A large amount of your work is inspired by film. What is it about movies that you love?
Well, lets be clear- SOME movies I love. The movies that really appeal to me have a great sense of design and atmosphere. Heck, even Dune with all it's flaws is a beautiful movie to me. But really it boils down to- I enjoy drawing it, and people enjoy buying it. Anything other than that is just the artsy crap people like to throw out there to make them seem deeper than they are.