I’m Bogart D. Richards the Third and I’m your host of the Interesting People Show. I want to thank you folks for joining us here today. We’ve got a great show coming up. Our interesting guest for tonight, Eric Blais, is a professional artist and illustrator and I’ll be chatting with him a little later. But first , and I’m pretty excited about this, we’ll take a look at some letters from you, the viewing public! Okay, let’s give this one a read. It’s our very first letter that’s not from my mom! This one is from Matthew. Ahem:
“If you are a man, how did you get a moose head? If you are a moose, how did you get a man’s body? Are you a moose or a man?” Matthew, Age 10
Well, Matthew, thanks for your letter. You know, I get this question a lot. It is kind of a long story that I plan to go into detail at some point. But for now, I’ll just say that I am in fact a man with a moose’s head. My family has been tagged with the term “Moosemen” and I’m the third generation. Okay, my producer says we have time for one more letter. Alexander writes:
“So, are your parents moose or are they human?” Alexander, Age 10
Wow, you guys sure are a curious bunch. Good question, Alexander. Actually, I have one of both. My Dad is completely human and I inherited my moose head from my Mother since this “moose” thing runs in her family. Alright folks, enough about me! Let’s meet our guest. It gives me great pleasure to introduce our guest, artist and illustrator, Eric Blais!
B: Hello Eric! Thanks for joining us on our show.
EB: Hey Bogart. Thanks for having me.
B: So Eric, when did you decide to become an artist? What sparked your interest?
EB: When I was young I loved hockey and comic book superheroes, so I started drawing some of my heroes from both hockey and comics.
B: What are some projects you’ve worked on that the kids might be familiar with?
EB: I’ve done a lot of work for the following companies: Northern Getaway, JC Penney, Harley Davidson, Ducks Unlimited, NHL, Major League Baseball and Disney.
B: I see. And what part of production do you do? Can you explain how it works a bit?
EB: I’m purely an illustrator and work with both freehand paints and illustration board and on the computer with Photoshop, a graphics software.
B: Alright Eric, let’s be serious for a moment. Now if a baboon and a donkey had a fight, who do you think would win and why?
EB: Definitely the baboon, because they are crazy, quick and can be vicious.
B: Well, you certainly seem to know a lot about baboons. Me, I’d go with the donkey. Now, what character or illustration did you most connect with personally and why?
EB: I read and loved the work of JRR Tolkien and the illustrations of the Brothers Hildebrandt and Ted Nasmith, who have illustrated both the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. It’s my dream to one day do illustrations for Tolkien’s work.
B: Say, speaking of dreams, have you had any weird dreams lately? Like maybe one where you’re riding a camel through the desert, but it doesn’t look anything like a camel, and it has wings and talks. What do you think a dream like that would mean?
EB: It would mean that I haven’t been getting enough sleep and reading too many fantasy novels.
B: Hmm, interesting. Alright, so what’s your favorite part of the job?
EB: My favorite part of the job is the initial black and white thumbnails of an idea. They always have so much energy in them. You try to bring to the final illustration the same feel and energy and look the way your mind’s eye sees it from the first spark of creativity. If the final illustration matches that initial creative in your mind, that is the most satisfying feeling.
B: Okay, so what’s the toughest part of being an illustrator?
EB: Definitely the deadlines. To finish up an illustration for a certain time and day can be difficult, especially if your client phones on a Monday and needs final art by Wednesday. You tend to not get much sleep.
B: I guess not. Any highlights in your career?
EB: Yes, I’ve done work for the cover of Hockey News and also won awards for my wildlife work including being part of the Ducks Unlimited print program, and Best of the Show in the North East Wildlife Art Show in Lansing, Michigan. Some of the best wildlife artists in the world attend and to be recognized as a peer among them was very gratifying.
B: Congratulations, that’s pretty cool. Ever draw any moose, perhaps? Never mind. What would you recommend to young people who enjoy art?
EB: If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to ‘copy’ some of your favorite artists. Use them as inspiration, and most of all don’t be afraid to make a mistakes. And also draw, draw, draw!
B: Okay, one last question: Now, if you were food, what kind would you be? a) macaroni and cheese, b) duck a l’orange, c) steamed broccoli, or d) none of the above.
EB: I guess a) Macaroni and cheese, because I’m kinda soft and definitely cheesy.
B: Good answer. Well, thanks again for joining us today, Eric. It was my pleasure to have you as our guest.
EB: No problem, Bogart. Thanks for having me on your show.
B: Alright folks, that’s all for “Bogart and the Interesting People Show” today! Thanks so much for joining us. I’d like to thank our viewers who sent in letters and once more thank my new friend Eric for stopping by and joining us. And remember this: You can’t wade in the ocean without first getting your toes wet. See you next time!
How did you enjoy Bogart’s show? If you have a letter or question for Bogart, send it to submit! You could be part of his next show!