Nestled away in his apartment on Decarie Street, Montreal-based illustrator Joel Seguin earns his living turning a passion for fan art into the next generation of comics. Adding onto the work of a group of sketch, concept and ink-artists, Seguin spends countless hours hunched over a computer, breathing life into the inked lines of soon-to-be comic books.
Facing tight deadlines comes with the territory of being a comic book colourist. According to Seguin, the industry’s structure demands dedication and cooperation among a wide range of artists in any given project. Hours are long, but the work is rewarding.
“Each of the artists are putting in anywhere between six to 12 hours a page,” explained Seguin. “So you multiply that by the penciler, the inker and the colourist and you’re looking at 30 plus hours per page.”
Forget the old image of a sketch artist spending days under a dim lamp. In recent years, the illustration industry has gone digital. No longer burdened with paint, inks or brushes, Seguin’s primary tools are now Photoshop and a Wacom digital drawing pad.
According to Seguin, the downside to this digital revolution is that, like most technology, it is vulnerable. “My last pad, I shocked it to death. I was wearing all fleece one winter day and I sat down on my chair; I touched it, it went ZAP, and I felt this huge shock.”
When comparing earlier material like Task Force 1 – a comic based on life after 9/11 and Boodrayne, one of his favourite projects he has worked on – Seguin feels his art has gone through drastic improvements.
“Task Force 1 was my first big published work so I was really proud of that, and now I can’t stand to see it because it’s just not good at all compared to what I’m doing now,” admitted Seguin.
Not all of Seguin’s time is taken up with technology, however. What free time he has, is spent creating the endless sea of drawings, paintings and sketches that overflow from every nook and cranny in his apartment.
He said that these idols are “inspirational. “These are characters who are above and beyond what normal humans represent, and they kind of strive for greatness which I’ve taken into my own life.”
“I’m headed along a pretty specific path, as I keep getting more jobs and establishing myself as a colourist. we all hope to work for Marvel or DC one day,” said Seguin.
Currently Seguin is working on Dark 48, a series slated for a January release.
You can find more of Joel’s artwork on his on-line portfolio, www.joeljseguin.com.