Jon Vermilyea recently sat down with The Stuff for a hard-hitting interview in tandem with his new Nakatomi Invitational release.
Biafrah Winfrey: What is your current studio set up like?
Jon Vermilyea: My studio is my bedroom in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Its mainly just a drafting table with a lamp and a desk with my computer, scanner and tablet.
BW: In your work, do you employ any unique artist techniques that you’d be willing to expose to the world (with tools, media, software, etc)?
JV: Most of the work I do is drawn on plate finish bristol board. I like really smooth drawing surfaces, not rough or toothy. I pencil with a PaperMate mechanical pencil. It’s not especially fancy, but it’s really light. I don’t like heavy mechanical pencils! For inking I use a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. In some ways it’s not as good as an actual brush. It’s harder to do dry brush effects and the bristles aren’t as firm. But you don’t have to worry about cleaning it and the tip is always at a point. For panel borders and lettering I use a ruling pen and a glass pen.
BW: What was the inspiration behind teaching Vincent Van Gogh about nutrition in your /Breakfast Crew/ series?
JV: I just thought it was a good mix. He looks very stoic in paintings. I thought it would be funny to put him in a situation with over animated characters.
BW: Can you talk about some of your artistic influences that might not be apparent in your style, or not well known in general?
JV: Some cartoonists I’m influenced by are Basil Wolverton, Richard Corben, Gary Panter, Joann Sfar, and Vaughn Bodé. I’m also a big fan of the animators Ralph Bakshi, Vincent Collins, Bruce Bickford, and John Kricfalusi.
BW: Do you have a day job, or are you able to survive on your bare artistic instincts alone?
JV: I’m currently surviving on doing art projects. I also do freelance work in book production.
BW: What do you have lined up for the Nakatomi Invitational in May?
JV: I have a really awesome poster and shirt called The Brood. It’s very inspired by Basil Wolverton.