Dave Pressler

27 Oct

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Website: davepresslerart.com

Tell me about your “Creative Space”.

My studio always seems to be in a state of controlled chaos. I mess it up working on projects, get it just clean enough to make another big mess. It is away from the main house and on a second floor above the garage, many windows, and trees around for a nice calm atmosphere. The space is broken up into three areas, a sculpting table, a drawing and painting art desk, and the computer area. Most of my projects involve one or more of those mediums, I also have a small seamless photographing table for taking pics of sculpts. There is one big wall of built in shelving for toys, robots, vinyl, and tons of reference books.

What is your typical day like?

Now itʼs very different then it was a couple years ago. Iʼm currently working at Nickelodeon animation studios on my new show Robot & Monster so Iʼm there every day. My typical day before Robot & Monster would start between 9 and 10 pm I found as a free lance artist that I had to have set hours that I stuck to with my work. Usually I ramp up and drink coffee for the first half hour, peruse the internet, answer emails. I strongly recommend notcot.org for morning reading. The best round up of design in all aspects Iʼve ever seen. Then just dive into what ever project I had waiting for me. Since my space has a kitchen and bathroom I try to stay focused and in the work mode the whole day. My clock out time is 7pm. Even if I wasnʼt actively painting or sculpting for a specific project thereʼs always something to be done, promoting my work, looking for new projects, even just thinking up my next project. I believe that when youʼre making your own way in the creative arts thereʼs never really an end, that can be invigorating, and a curse. Sometimes after a long day after a took a dinner break and time with my family I would start to think about that project I was working on, and maybe I could just get a little more done tonight…

I was first introduced to you as a painter, but it seems you have been spending more time sculpting. Do you enjoy one style over the other?

They have always coexisted with me. I learned most of my sculpting skills in the special effect business. Sculpting large scale creatures to small maquetes. Painting on canvas came a bit latter. I started painting for gallery shows. Most of my design work for television was done in markers pencil, and latter computer. I feel I have to work harder to get a painting to look the way I imagine. It can be a struggle. Sculpting on the other hand always ends up 99.9% they way I planned, it just come easier to me.

You have been involved in more then just art, you also have worked in television developing cartoons for Nickelodeon and Henson, how do you split up your time between development, art and sculpting?

Iʼve been doing production / character design along with gallery art for about 13 years. The gallery work started to take up a bigger percentage of my time around 2001. Thatʼs when I started doing sculptures and paintings for gallery shows. When I was working on a TV project thats where most of my day time hours were spent. Night after work was my time to do my gallery art. It could be really hard at times, like having two jobs, but that was what i needed to do at the time. Also many times I would be designing characters and concepts for a TV show pitch and I would always end up with many cool little characters that werenʼt going to be part of the show. I would enlarge the sketches and make them into paintings. I found lots of great subject matter in the doodles I made during meetings. Something interesting happens when the conscious “planning” part of your brain is busy paying attention, and the creative subconscious gets to come out and express itself unchecked.

What inspires you?

I think any art work or design that makes me jealous. As in; “thatʼs so good I have too quit painting”, or; “what a fucking great idea! Damn I wish I thought of that!” Or; “That is amazing! I am too lazy to ever do that much work!” Any time I think those thoughts it inspires me to push further.

What are you working on now?

Right now the biggest project is Robot & Monster for Nickelodeon. It will be a CG animated show based on my characters and art. Fall 2011 is the air date. I still have time to participate in some group shows, I have some pieces coming up in: The Idol Hours at London Miles Gallery November 13th and a benefit show through vivalaart.org Also in November.

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One Response to “Dave Pressler”

  1. Dennis Salvatier October 27, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Great interview. I met Dave a few months ago for lunch. Not only is he a great artist, but he’s the nicest guy. As busy as he is, he took the time to talk to me about art, characters, sketches and careers… fun stuff. It was a lot of fun and I’M jealous of his creative space. 🙂

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