Name: Roland Brown
Occupation: Industrial Designer
Location: New York, NY, USA
Roland Brown is an industrial designer and illustrator based in New York City. He has been working in the design field for 20 years, and also works part time as a pole dancing instructor. Roland has been drawing underground comics as personal art projects in his spare time since the late 1980’s.
What got you into comics?
A love of storytelling and drawing
How did you learn your trade?
I’m mostly Self-taught, though I’ve been lucky to have worked with very talented artists and designers over the years, and was able to pick up a lot by looking over their shoulders.
What tools/equipment do you use (hardware and software)?
Pen or brush and ink, watercolor, Photoshop, and Painter. I also use a digital camera to take lots of reference photos.
What was your favorite comic as a kid?
The biggest influence on my childhood comic sensibilities was probably Vaughn Bode’s beatnik-psychedelic “Junkwaffel”, but I read all of the underground comics that were coming out in the 60’s and 70’s with a voracious appetite. In my early teens, I was obsessed with the work of Moebius, Richard Corben, and Philippe Druillet.
Who is your greatest comic influence?
In terms of drawing style, I am probably most strongly indebted to Gaetano Liberatore. As far as the sensibilities of artistic expression and design, I am also strongly influenced by the work of Francois Shuiten, Lorenzo Mattotti, Katsuhiro Otomo, and Silvio Cadelo.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in comics?
Learn classical and commercial drawing and painting, preferably in a well-respected art school. Find as many mentors as you can.