JD: When did you first decide that you wanted to specialize in fantasy art and illustration? Do you dislike the term fantasy art?
KT: I never decided to specialize in fantasy art and illustration itself, I create the art that I want to, and it happens to be classified in those fields. If we lived in a situation where this type of art was used on tissue boxes and yogurt containers you could ask me what made me want to work in advertising.
I don’t personally take a dislike to the term “fantasy art”, but I try to avoid putting any weight, positive or negative, on categorization. Trying to avoid terms with a negative connotation is running from the problem of art being marginalised into sections of varying approval and disapproval. I think the avoidance of using classifications held in poor regard actually reinforces the negative label.
JD: What was the most incredible defining moment in your life that inspired you to create any particular illustration? What are your other inspirations?
KT: Luckily my life has been very conducive to creating artwork up until now, so events in my life have allowed me to create my work, as opposed to influencing it per se. My primary sources of inspiration are from all artwork from any culture, though usually it predates impressionism. A lot of Japanese fantasy and sci-fi art has also had a big impact. I derive inspiration from so many disparate sources, it’s hard to really name anything too specific.
As well as this, I tend to draw a lot of inspiration for my narratives from the history of any period, including current events (though I have no interest in dealing with anything that’s overtly “topical”.) (read more)