Tadashi Osborne, aka :icontadashi-station: is an artist and illustrator of all things scifi, fantasy, and horror, among many other things... Rama-Kay caught up with Tadashi to find out more about his eclectic talents, and his many contributions to the artistic community.


Rama: Tell us about your artistic career?

Tadashi: My love of art grew out of my love for Dinosaurs (with a capital "D"), my first grade teacher introduced me to the "terrible lizards" and I was hooked! Self-taught, I went through reams of paper, recreating my favorite prehistoric creatures. As I studied and copied great painters, I noticed how each artist differed in their style of art. I was mesmerized by how Charles R. Knight infused such dynamic energy into his paintings (his creatures leapt off the pages of the countless library books I checked out). I appreciated  Rudolph F. Zallinger's warm color palette, and even though I didn't know what the term chiaroscuro was, I knew Zdenek Burian utilized stark light and shadows to great effect in his paintings.

From my love of Dinosaurs, I discovered comic books (Turok: Son of Stone), and from there I discovered my teachers: the comic book gods.  Burne Hogarth taught me about anatomy, while Jack Kirby taught me about dynamic composition. Neal Adams taught me about foreshortening and perspective, and Bernie Wrightson taught me about lighting and shading.  I learned a lot from comic book artists.

I benefitted greatly by studying the work of William-Adolphe Bouguereau Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Arthur Hughes, John William Waterhouse, Frederick Sandys,  Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Gustave Doré, Maxfield Parrish & Alphonse Mucha.

I also learned from cartoonists such as Charles Schulz, Carl Barks, Gahan Wilson, Harvey Kurtzman, Wallace Wood & Don Martin, as well as book illustrators Louis Darling, N.C. Wyeth, James Bama, Michael Whelan, & the Brothers Hildebrandt, but the greatest influence on my artistic growth was the legendary Frank Frazetta.

Right out of high school, I got my first professional job doing Sci-Fi themed illustrations, cartoons and covers for Core & Hardcore Computist magazines.

I have worked as a freelance illustrator  (and occasional writer) for Newspapers, Magazines, Businesses & individual clients:
creating logos, comics, cartoons, covers & illustrations. tadashi-station.deviantart.com…

I work in pencil, colored pencil, pen & ink, watercolor, acrylic painting, photography & some digital artwork.

My forte is colored pen & ink work. I specialize in Sci-Fi & Fantasy illustrations and cartooning: tadashi-station.deviantart.com… ,
but I can also do realistic illustrations as well: tadashi-station.deviantart.com… .

I co-hosted / co-produced a cable access Sci-Fi TV show: Phantasmagoria (1993,1994)   'PHANTASMAGORIA' by TADASHI-STATION

I hosted and produced a cable access Sci-Fi / Art  TV show: Tadashi Station  (1997-2007)  youtu.be/7tZ8fpPyZls

I write blogs about my passions: Movies, Art & Pop Culture
as seen here:
my.spill.com/profiles/blogs/an…
my.spill.com/profiles/blogs/th…
my.spill.com/profiles/blogs/my…

I enjoy making movies with my 3 sons: youtu.be/oo5-7Hu58RQ

I have fulfilled a dream and met three of my childhood heroes:
Forrest J Ackerman: Editor of "Famous Monsters" & coiner of the term "Sci-Fi".
Ray Harryhausen: Academy Award winning stop-motion animator and special FX wizard!
& Stan "the Man" Lee: 'Nuff Said!

I joined deviantART a little over a year ago with the encouragement of my good friend (& talented artist) Shannon Potratz voya
with the express purpose of making professional connections (& friendships)  with fellow artists, to have a resource to ask questions, learn new techniques & to be inspired.

I feel (personally) it's important, as an artist, to communicate with other artists,& I really make an effort to communicate with other artists in their own languages.

Rama: Why do you find it important to communicate with other artists in their languages, and where did you get that idea?

Tadashi: Haha, I guess I'm a closet polyglot wannabe. Being half Okinawan, I've always been fascinated with other languages. I was on DA one day & someone from France favorited some of my art. Luckily, I remembered enough français to thank them & they responded so warmly. Which led me to believe, since DA is based in Hollywood, USA, the bias is definitely toward English, yet, there are thousands of DA members from non English speaking countries.  I know this sounds corny, but I believe we can make others feel welcome and make bridges (connections) by meeting others half way.  So, I make an effort to at least say "thank you" in the other artist's language, I love to surprise people by saying  شكرا in Arabic or asante in Swahili.

RODAN OVER TOKYO by TADASHI-STATION

Rama: What can you tell us about your time as a freelance writer/illustrator ?

Tadashi: I do freelance illustrations & occasional writing. Like I said earlier, I've done illustrations, cartoons & covers for magazines, illustrations and political cartoons for newspapers, an audio book cover, as well as designed logos for various businesses & an illustrated article about meeting my boyhood idol Ray Harryhausen for a newspaper.

'Lil' Girl Lost' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What attracts you to Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror?

Tadashi: I grew up with a passion for Sci-Fi (thanks Forry!), Fantasy & Horror movies. Through Forrest J Ackerman's "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine I learned about the films of Ray Harryhausen & Eiji Tsuburaya, Universal and Hammer studios Horror movies, & many, many cinematic mon-"stars" of yesteryear.

I got into Sci-fi and Fantasy through the movies, which opened the door to a much larger world of comics and books At a young age I dove into Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile fiction, which led to H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg, Arthur C. Clarke, H. Beam Piper, Jack Williamson, Frank Herbert, Philip K. Dick, Harry Turtledove, S.M. Stirling & William R. Forstchen. On the Fantasy side, I was drawn to Karl Edward Wagner,  Robert E. Howard, Gene Wolfe, C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien. For Horror: Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King & F. Paul Wilson. My two all-time favorite authors are Edgar Rice Burroughs & Kurt Vonnegut, jr.

My attraction to Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror was pure escapism! I LOVED Dinosaurs, but barring jumping into a time machine,I was out of luck in ever seeing any prehistoric monsters.  Yet, through H.G. Wells time travel was possible and through Edgar Rice Burroughs books, I could be transported to Pellucidar and fight great beasts along side David Innes. Ray Harryhausen's movies let me "see" living, breathing, FIGHTING Dinosaurs! I could imagine myself fighting giant beasts in the pages of Turok: Son of Stone. As a kid my imagination was colossal, yet here were genres of movies  & literature (Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror) BIG enough to hold my imagination, and through the "collective" imaginations of countless writers, artists & directors opened my mind to vistas I hadn't even begun to dream of.  It's a giddy time to be a kid and to have your mind "blown" by Stan Lee with his incredible tale of "Tim Boo Ba" in Amazing Adult Fantasy # 9, or to tune in to Rod Serling's weekly dose of head trips  such as "To Serve Man" when I entered  The Twilight Zone.

'Prehistoric Battle' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What can you tell us about the art shows you co-hosted?

Tadashi:  Phantasmagoria (1993,1994)  fav.me/d5nf6tq

This was a half hour cable access TV show, which was like Siskel & Ebert's "At the Movies", but focused on Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror movies, TV shows, comics & books. Instead of talking about "My Dinner wth Andre", we'd talk about "The Stuff"  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stuf… and the films of Larry Cohen:   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Co…
 
Tadashi Station  (1997-2007)  youtu.be/7tZ8fpPyZls

We tried to make this half hour cable access TV show the  antithesis of "Phantasmagoria".  Instead of just talking heads,  we bashed heads (in the recurring sketch comedy segment  "5 Teens Fighting" a "Power Rangers" parody).  Being a nature lover &  photographer / videographer, I cut together music videos of all kinds of wildlife from the Woodland Park Zoo, San Diego Zoo & Wild Animal Park, from Sea World & the Oregon Coast Aquarium.  We even had Keiko the killer whale ("Free Willy") on an episode.  Far from the biggest star, we also filmed our trips to the San Diego Comic Con, where we talked to many notable stars of Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror.  We also spotlighted rock bands & musicians ( such as Tyrone Wells), taught "How to Draw Dinosaurs" on a weekly segment and showcased original animation.  I did this show with my good friend Shannon Potratz (who created the show's CG intro).

'MOTHRA - MOSURA' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  How would you describe your art? And what mediums/tools do you work in/with?

Tadashi: Hmmm,   ...fairly traditional.  I try to be realistic, with a little room for whimsy. I'd say it's predominantly traditional with a bent toward fantasy. Like I stated earlier, I work in pencil, colored pencil, pen & ink, watercolors, acrylic painting, photography & some digital artwork.

My forte is colored pen & ink work. I specialize in sci-fi & fantasy illustrations and cartooning: tadashi-station.deviantart.com…  ,
but I can also do realistic illustrations as well: tadashi-station.deviantart.com…  

'A 1,000 Parsec Peregrination' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What do you think of online communities like deviantART?

Tadashi:  While I embrace technology, I'm no spring chicken,  so I'm on a learning curve. I don't Twitter or Skype, but I LOVE deviantArt & the opportunity to showcase my artwork, make friends with fellow artists & get inspired  by the artists on DA: which feels like the world's biggest art gallery. I really enjoy the interaction with people from all over the world that online communities make possible.  Making art (unless done in a class setting) is usually a solitary venture done almost in a vacuum.  I love the cathartic solace of making art, but it can get a bit lonely. When I first started out, years ago,  I would have thought I died and gone to heaven to be able to "post" artwork as soon as I created it and to get instant feedback from fellow artists.

Frankie 'B'- lack + White by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What motivates you the most?

Tadashi:  Hmmm, I had a "passion" a "spark" in my youth where there weren't enough hours in the day to finish my artwork, I still have file boxes full of unfinished art ideas, studies & projects. In my mind, the drawings, felt like they couldn't be contained,  that they HAD to get out, I'd catch myself unconsciously doodling. I was that guy that doodled on EVERYTHING, phonebooks, pee chees en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pee_Chee…  , Homework!*It's SO cool to belong to an online community that "gets" that fervor!* As I've gotten older, that fire has died a little, I've faced the blank page or canvas & fought the dreaded "artist's block", from time to time. I've never been one to psychoanalyze why I draw what I draw or  where my ideas come from, because in my simple opinion they come from the amalgam of "me": every gallery or museum I've ever toured, every movie I ever saw, every book I ever read. So, I'm looking outward, at other artists, movies, music, & literature, I look at anything & everything to get inspired. Like an arsonist in search of an accelerant to light that fire, I'm trying to reignite that "passion" I had,  and I believe I've found my accelerant in deviantART.

'CORE' Dragon by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  How did you improve yourself?

Tadashi:  Drawing, sketching, doing studies daily was key to my improvement.  Also, exposure to a variety of artwork   and artists was important. I couldn't always get to art galleries or museums; so I wore out my library card checking out art books.  I find it odd, that some attach a stigma to "copying" other artists artwork, but I did so with gusto.  I felt this was quite all right in the early "learning" stages of my progress.I bought or checked out as many books about drawing, painting, photography, anatomy, perspective, composition, lighting, color and shading as I could find. I would fill dozens of  sketchbooks, working on the fundamentals. Also, I'd constantly try out different art supplies & techniques; how did inking with a brush differ from inking withtechnical pens or with pen and nibs? Yet along the way, I would routinely, look backover the body of my artwork with a critical eye. This retrospection only worked when I was brutally honest with myself; do my anatomy skillsneed improvement? Can I draw hands well or do I hide them behind objects to avoid drawing them? Do I feel I've figured it all out? Heavens, No! I still strive daily to improve, it's an artist's journey.

'Bull Elk in Repose' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What do you do when you have an artistic 'block'?

Tadashi: I doodle, sketch and do quick gesture studies.Sometimes I'll pull out my "idea" files to spark my imagination, and I look to other artists for inspiration. I'll either look through my art books or peruse deviantArt.

'Babe' -alicious by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What is the essential thing in making a piece an excellent one?

Tadashi: Well, I know I'm not on any level approaching my artistic idols, so I couldn't personally share any keys to excellence, but I can offer  what I notice about their work. I know it sounds clichéd, but they all exhibit attention to detail.  Their art shows the infinitesimal minutiae of the everyday:  shadows & light, bends, curves & creases, the odd quirk.

'Suintilla' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What do you hope to accomplish with your art?

Tadashi:  If it's for a client,  I hope to exceed what they've asked of me, within the deadline.  I try to do the best job I possibly can to meet  their needs, while still trying to instill my personality into the artwork.

When I'm doing artwork for myself, I'm only trying to please me.That's it, plain and simple, no seeking "truths" or reaching artistic epiphanies.  I do it for my pure enjoyment; if the piece conveys any profound meaning to those who see it or if it's a cathartic experience and I can exorcise any demons, Bonus!  I'm not gonna lie though, I do hope people enjoy it & I'd be thrilled if my art actually inspires anyone

'Futuristic Guitarist' by TADASHI-STATION

Rama:  What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Tadashi:  Sorry, I hate to break it to you, but there is no magic shortcut. To get good at anything, one must put in the effort. This may seem trite, but learn the fundamentals. Learning anatomy, perspective, composition, color theory, lighting & shading will give you the building blocks to "start" from.  I feel, it's like Jazz, you have to be a sound musician before you can break the rules. Also, I feel (in my bones) when drawing or painting from life (or photos) one should be looking at the subject 90% of the time and looking at the paper or canvas 10% of the time. Really look at your subject; notice how the strands of hair "wisps" fall on her forehead or the deep grooves of wrinkles that comprise his knuckles. Keen observation is vital, "God is in the details!"

Feedback is necessary for growth as an artist. In sports the way to get better is by playing against opponents better than you, so, I feel, one should seek out artists more talented or have developed a style you admire and seek their advice.  I know this is hard, but ask for a critique of your work, and be open to constructive criticism.  The opinion of an art editor most likely will not be the gushing praise you're accustomed to from your relatives, but they might offer sound advice on what areas you need to work on to improve as an artist.

'HARDCORE' Computist #1 Cover by TADASHI-STATION

By :iconrama-kay:
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:iconezri-krios:
Ezri-Krios Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What a great interview! Tadashi is a really REALLY nice guy and I have been looking forward to this interview for so long. :boogie:

Thanks so much Rama for another awesome interview, and of course to Tadashi for allowing the interrogation to take place. :highfive:
Reply
:icontadashi-station:
TADASHI-STATION Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
Sorry guys for the delay! (I've been SO busy!)
Thank you SO much, Ezri! I'm truly honored!
شكرا جزيل Giant kudos to, راما !
*she should be a nurse administering shot's= she make's interviews "painless" (& fun!)* :)
Reply
:iconezri-krios:
Ezri-Krios Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Ditto on the busy thing, this is just a flying visit for me.

You're very welcome Tadashi. I'm really glad Rama didn't hurt you during her interrogation process. :XD:
Reply
:iconrama-kay:
Rama-Kay Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
But I don't bite!!.... or do I?? D: :XD:
Reply
:iconrama-kay:
Rama-Kay Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you Ez for giving me the opportunity. and big thanks to Tadashi for being awesome and keeping up with my craziness :XD:
Reply
:icontadashi-station:
TADASHI-STATION Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
شكرا جزيل Thank you, راما ! You make interviews a pleasure!
Reply
:iconrama-kay:
Rama-Kay Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:blush: Why thank you! you're the one who made this interview really exciting and fun.

Cheers Tadashi! :tighthug:
Reply
:iconezri-krios:
Ezri-Krios Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Pleasure. You work hard for this group and it really appreciated. :hug: And yeah, kudos for Tadashi for keeping up with your craziness. :rofl:
Reply
:iconrama-kay:
Rama-Kay Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:lmao: \:tighthug:
Reply
:iconripleynox:
RipleyNox Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Professional Writer
Amen re: "no magic shortcut". No matter your field, it is damned hard work. But fun, if you're respecting your process and always open to learning.
Reply
:icontadashi-station:
TADASHI-STATION Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much, Emily! I guess that is germane no matter what your craft, eh? :)
Reply
:iconripleynox:
RipleyNox Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Writer
You got it :)
Reply
:iconrama-kay:
Rama-Kay Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:iconepicclapplz:
Reply
:iconripleynox:
RipleyNox Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Professional Writer
awesome gif
Reply
:iconrama-kay:
Rama-Kay Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Lol yeah :XD:
Reply
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