Karl Altstaetter, he’s the guy with ideas. He makes comics, tell stories and invents toys.
A little background and then a few words from Karl:
I got my start in the Comic Book industry where I worked for Marvel, DC and Image Comics, working on such characters as X-Men, Avengers, Superman and Bloodstrike. Eventually I started my own publishing company Hyperwerks where I co-created the comics Deity, Saint Angel and Catseye. I’ve also spent time in the toy industry where I created the Marvel Authentics line of Die Cast cars. I am currently developing an exclusive digital comic for MTV called Me2 which will appear on the MTV Geek website and will be available through Comixology for the IPad later this year.
Inspiration for Karl is two things. On the most basic level it’s what makes him want to create a specific piece of art. That can be anything from a story he wants to tell in Comic Book form to the desire to express a particular emotion in a standalone piece. On a different level it’s about finding the inspiration to keep making art.
“If I didn’t feel the love of creating or the want to learn I don’t think I would be inspired to keep making art. Pushing through the clutter of daily life and trying to find that place where you are inspired to push your art forward either on a technical level or on a conceptual/expression level is a challenge. I believe finding that inspiration is the key to finding a new plateau with your art.” says Karl.
I’m inspired by many things. I try and take in a lot of information and always be in the mindset to learn and observe. Being open to the world around me and to new ideas is for me the key to being constantly inspired to do new work. Every couple years I’ll going back and look through art work that inspired me when I first started making art so I can reengage with those first feelings that got me on the path to becoming an artist. Finding the balance between looking forward and looking back while living in the moment I think is a big part of what artists do. Capturing the moment and casting it through your own filter is where the magic happens.
In terms of getting over a lack of inspiration I’ll start looking at my old sketchbooks and see ideas that I had. Often times those will lead to new ideas or give me the inspiration to complete those ideas. I also will do my best to just log time at my drawing table. Just being in the place where I create with a block of undisturbed time is often all I need to get the creative fires going. I also have a monthly meet up I host called Koffee and Komics. We meet, talk shop and draw from a theme. Watching other artists in the group work always makes me want to draw more. Often times after the meeting I’ll go back to my studio and draw late into the night. I also attend Bob Kato’s Drawing Club from time to time. Drawing from life is always a source of much inspiration because to me it’s the jumping off point for all other types of drawings you may do. You have to have that basic idea of how things look in real life in order to bring authenticity to more fantasy or imagination based drawings.
All images belong to Karl Altstaetter ©2011
Follow Karl Altstaetter on Twitter via @Komickarl or see more of his work via his portfolio site here.