Hello Folks, Lissy here. Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Mr. Han Randhawa, who is the talented artist who draws the cover art for my aunt’s books. Han is originally from England but has lived in the States for ten years.
Originally from Birmingham, Han has lived in California, Texas and now lives in Washington State where he works for a small up-and-coming company called Microsoft! Han’s main job is to oversee the creation of video games and can often be found flying back and forth to Japan. Cover art is just something he does for fun!
LP How old were you when you realized you wanted to be an artist?
HR My earliest memory of art was at Wattville Infant school in Birmingham UK, I was probably six and I made a side view of a car out of rolls of plasticine( English Play-dough) and was fascinated by its 3d-ness and 2dness! I remember painting bright colours about the same time and I recall the summer breeze through the open windows. Then later about when I was nine my dad got me a comic book called ‘SUPER FRIENDS’, it had superman, Batman, Aqua-man, Wonder woman and these twins who had super powers. Read that comic book a billion times and I spent hours copying the awesome dynamic poses. I didn’t realize I wanted be an artist till much later maybe fifteen or sixteen. I didn’t know how or if it was even possible.
LP Where did you study art?
HR: I went to St.Philip’s Sixth Form in Birmingham to study my A Levels, but I really got going when my teacher recommended I go to Bournville College of Art and from there I went to Liverpool John Moores University to complete my BA in Graphic Design and Illustration. But I’ll tell you a secret, I learned most of what I know from drawing from that Super Friends comic book and following my face concept artists who worked on Star Wars. I used to draw all day from TV or books. I think this was the most important part of my studying. THE DOING!
LP What is the most challenging part of drawing cover art?
HR Probably getting the likeness of the characters. It’s such a tough thing to do. Also getting the lighting to look right.
LP What do you like most about designing video games at Microsoft?
HR I get to learn a lot about how Japanese Game designers work and how other Art Directors create the game visuals. I get to work with a whole bunch of different artists, from 2d concept guys, 3d modellers, animators, graphic designers. Plus, I get to increase my art skills by applying all I’ve learned these years. The stuff I apply in video games is pretty much the same stuff I apply when making book covers, colour, composition, visual storytelling.
LP What kind of games have you designed?
HR Mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. I worked on games like X-men, StarTrek, and also I’ve worked on a lot of non-movie games, I was the art director on Darksiders 1&2.
LP What words of wisdom would you give to an up and coming artist about following their dreams?
HR First: Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. If it’s your dream, keep on making art! I had so many people tell me I couldn’t get anywhere doing art. Somehow I carried on!
Second: Make Art! Every time you have some time spare, keep a little sketchbook and pencil. I even keep a wad of PostIts and a tiny IKEA pencil just in case I have 10 mins to spare. Draw people, draw ideas, draw anything! Paint, sculpt whatever you need to.
Third: All artists are scared of showing their work, because we are worried that people might not like our art. Remember it’s okay if people don’t like your art, ask them why? This is how we learn to make our art better. You won’t learn anything if everyone told you it was awesome all the time. Its even better if you ask other artists they may see something you missed!
LP If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
HR Wow tough one. Traveling the Galaxy swashbuckling with aliens and adventuring across planets! Maybe make music in a band? I actually quite like being an artist, one thing I would add to that would be storytelling! I’m inspired by Sam and I want to tell stories that make you laugh, cry and jump up for joy!