Q and A with Dan Martinez, UnVale Artist
Who is Dan?
I am a Senior year college student living in Texas. I’ll be graduating next May with a degree in Business Marketing as well as a minor in Media Industries. I’m just a normal guy. I love movies, comics, and baseball. My favorite movie is The Boss Baby, my favorite show is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, my favorite team is The Texas Rangers and I really enjoy my time playing tennis every other day
How did you start creating art?
My interests with niche communities on the internet allowed me to explore the characters who are human like animals just by coincidence. I also grew up with a love for art, especially illustration and it wasn’t long before those two interests merged. Around when I began high school I started seriously getting into illustration as a hobby and made things for myself mostly. I posted some of my Sonic and Parappa the Rapper fan art pieces that really got a lot of attention online. I continued making art and illustrations and that moved more and more towards being fandom related content. I enjoy doing it and I’d be doing it if I was at this company or not.
How did you start working as a professional artist?
I used to do it for myself, just for fun as a hobby, or during class doodling on the side of my notebook. At college I started making more art on a regular basis when I joined the school paper’s comics department. Once I got those creative muscles really flexing I had a ton more art to post on my instagram art page on a more regular basis and was able to build a small following. I made things that I liked, but also that had a fanbase and from there it was a slow trickle of people following me regularly. Eventually I opened up some commissions, and being in that community led me to this company, where I now make art professionally.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve made art?
I tend to move around a lot, I’m based in Texas but I bounce between living in Dallas, Austin, or San Antonio but mostly I stay in Austin on the weekdays. But over the summer I went on a vacation to Greece and I had a deadline to meet so I’d say the weirdest place that I made art was while in line to go through TSA.
I was flying out of Chicago and I was working on a special project with a tight deadline. As I entered the terminal, the security line looked infinite. I also realized it was the only opportunity to finish out an art piece I had due. The work was mostly finished, I just had to complete shading and do a render. I balanced my laptop on one arm, and used the other to work the trackpad on my computer. As soon as I began to make real headway on completing the piece, the line suddenly lurched forward.
I worked while moving through the lines and barricades without a chance to rest. This was a huge line, and I was working for about 15 minutes, so people definitely saw what I was working on. No one seemed to mind at least? I approached the x-rays and scanners and still wasn’t quite finished. I did this insane juggle at the end where I worked to finish as I took off my shoes and all that other stuff on the conveyor belt. I actually sent off the finished piece right before I put my laptop in a bin.
What is your dream job?
My ideal job after college would be to drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile across the country. I’ve been in love with the idea of doing it ever since I learned that it was first year post undergraduate students who are the ones that get to drive that behemoth. After that, my ideal job would be to write comics. I have two or three viable ideas that I love and that I work on regularly. Ideally I would just post it online as a webcomic and eventually move it into print. But, I’m a business student so sadly and realistically I’ll get a job as a fortune 500 CEO. That’s a joke but actually my ideal job in the business world would be as someone in Hollywood either as a producer or hopefully as someone at a studio who would be allowed green-light and oversee the making of all different kinds of movies.