Interview with Club Member Joe MacGown

8 min read

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Member Interview #1

1. What is your inspiration when it comes to your artwork?

The inspiration for my surreal art is multi-faceted and includes anything that happens to cross my mind. However, science fiction and nature, especially entomology, are integral components of my art. Working as an entomologist for the past 21 years has given me the opportunity to view myriad insects and their structures, both in nature and under the microscope. Thus, it is not surprising that some of my more recent drawings include many entomological elements. Beyond the purely visual aspects that insects have to offer, their interactions with each other and with other organisms are equally fascinating. The underlying theme of my art is that all things are connected. Life is an incredibly complex, chaotic machine with all of its parts having to work harmoniously together to keep the system working efficiently. I attempt to illustrate this chaos and interconnectivity by drawing highly detailed crowded scenes with mutated beings, strange combinations of organic and inorganic matter melding together, or designs with a slightly Celtic or mystical flavor.

Ossiforestation by JoeMacGown Out of the Fold by JoeMacGown self searching 9 by JoeMacGown Echinodermatter by JoeMacGown Zabulation by JoeMacGown
self searching 8 by JoeMacGown

2. What is your favorite aspect of collaborating with another artist? In other words, what do like most about doing this, and why do you KEEP doing it?

Collaborating with other similar minded artists stimulates your brain in slightly different ways because you are trying to match the other artist’s style and way of thinking, while at the same time infusing the image with your own unique viewpoint. Another wonderful aspect of collaborating is that typically each artist does a piece for the other to work on and then each artist gets to keep something done in part by another artist. Additionally, it is a wonderful way to meet some very interesting artists. On the negative side, the time spent doing collabs could be spent doing your own work. It also means that the collabs tend to be somewhat small, so as not to occupy the other artist’s time too much, as many of us have very busy schedules. However, the positive experiences of doing artwork with the wonderful artists here on DA far outweighs the negatives.

3. What is your preferred media to collaborate in?

My favorite media is pen and ink, although graphite is fine as well. I have also enjoyed using other artists' abstract color works to "pull" things out of with ink.

4. How many years have you been a member of DA?
Two years.

5. How many (total) different artists’ have you collaborated with here on DA?

So far, I have collaborated with 9 artists and done at least 19 collaborations, with several more in various stages of progress.

6. Do you remember your first collaboration? Who was it with?

My first collaboration was called “Ancient Neogothic Eye”…

Its a graphite piece done with :iconchaoskatie: I drew the left side in pencil, covered in up except for a 1 inch strip and mailed it to her to finish the other side. It turned out quite nicely.

7. How did you approach the collaboration process? What is the first thing you do when it arrives in the mail? (Or on your computer, if digital?)

Usually, I don’t do anything in particular, but just start drawing. In general, I don’t like to think too much about the drawing process.

8. Can you leave us with a favorite quote or phrase that you like, or live by?

"Don’t think, it impedes the creative flow."

Thanks Joe for providing a little insight into your work and your collaborations!


:iconjanellemckain: :iconreality-must-die:


:iconbernardumaine::iconalmanegra::iconsalhunter::icongromyko::iconneedtobleed::iconjoemacgown::icontonharing::iconr-l-frisby::iconchelovek::iconchris10belgium::iconzyphryus::iconvanoostzanen::iconlarkin-art::iconhectorpineda::iconsheelasingla::iconamykollaranderson: :iconartistm0nk::iconiness69::iconblueburgstudios::iconartofthemystic::icongloriagypsy::icontimebush::iconvmoldavsky::iconmtrip82::iconbikini666:


Club Submissions must be....

1. Collaborative work between two (or more) artists at an advanced skill level.

2. Collaborative work which is digital,traditional, or mixed media

3. Collaborative work that is surreal in style.
(Not sure if your work is surreal??
More information on surrealism can be found…)

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MBKKR's avatar
Great interview!
I think his work is truly amazing and detailed.
The longer i look the more i see, it's a world on it's own.