Daniel Govar is an artist and illustrator who works in pencil, ink, watercolor and digitally. While majoring in Imaging and Digital Art at the University of Maryland, he focused on animation, interactivity, web programming and traditional film. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree, he worked for a few years as a programmer/animator and project lead at the Calvert School in Baltimore, MD. Daniel developed two award-winning animated series for the SyFy Channel, ‘Eclipse’ in 2000 and ‘Chi-Chian’ in 2002. He spent the next four years creating concept art for gaming, film and magazine clients.
He co-founded the Tolkien and Lord of the Rings website There And Back Again. The website, dedicated to illustrating the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, won many awards and was featured in TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. There is a ThereAndBackAgain Curiosity Shop where you can purchase TABA themed, t-shirts, mugs, stationary and more.
In October 2008 Daniel entered the Zuda Comics Competition and won a contract with DC Comics for his sci-fi, underwater, post-apocalyptic adventure series, Azure. The Azure series, which Daniel created completely in Photoshop, lasted for two years until DC closed its Zuda line of comics. It is still available online here at comiXology.
Daniel has illustrated close to 15 books, numerous album covers, written and illustrated comics, and created art work for a diverse list of clients. Just a handful of those clients include Marriott, the USDA, Nike, MCI and Simon and Schuster. He is also a Creative Director for the Washington, D.C. media firm MetaMedia Training International, Inc. He is presently developing a number of creator-owned comics projects.
He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his 2 cats and a boxer named Sandor. Visit Daniel’s website where you can see much more of his Tolkien work, comics, illustrations and sketches. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
What is your favorite pen to use?
Copic Brush-tip Multiliner
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Drafting pencil with replaceable leads.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both - traditional if a commission, in the computer if sequential work.
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Copic markers and watercolors.
What type of paper do you use?
Arches hot press tablets and papers.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both online and a chain called "Plaza" art supply.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
If it's been a day or so, I do warm up sketches to loosen things up.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
All different types - but probably Alternative mostly.
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Still do, and my favorites are all over the place - I think when I was younger though, "Sandman".
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
American Gods - yes - many.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes and no - the only formal would be a few watercolor classes here and there and painting courses. My degree is in imaging and digital art. The illustration work I do though could be attributed to drawing all the time - self taught for the most part.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A little bit of both.
Did either of your parents draw?
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Do you keep a sketchbook?
Multiple. I have 5 ongoing right now for different subjects.
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes and Yes.
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both in equal parts.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
No idea. Probably an Animaniac.
Are you a righty or lefty?
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Nothing. Perhaps art direction.
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Large office with two drafting tables and an easel, one desk as well which has my digital workstation and scanner.
Do you play any musical instruments?
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Find your own style quickly and begin honing it.
Who is your favorite artist?
Too many to name - living it changes but I love the work of Charles Vess.
Thanks again for your time Daniel.