HP: Name and Occupation?
AA: Arnold Arre. Freelance graphic designer. Comic book writer/artist
HP: Where were you 7 years ago and what were you doing?
AA: Doing my very first comic book flop 'Age of the Valkyrie'.
HP: When you were a 7 year old kid, what did you dream of becoming and why?
AA: An Astronaut. I was fascinated with space travel.
HP: Name seven things you like most in the world besides Cynthia. =)
AA: Atough one, but I'll try :)
2.2001: A Space Odyssey
4.cool rainy days
HP: What is the state of Philippine art to you?
AA: In my opinion, there's been little progress in Philippine Art in terms of style. Most are rehashes of old ideas and techniques. I blame corporate thinking and the big name companies who are employing large numbers of artists, throwing them to the pits of commercialism before they get a crack at artistic freedom. That leaves very little room for growth. This happens because job opportunities for artists here are so unbelievably limited that there is very little choice. The only true breakthrough I know of now is digital art and web design. It's a fresh new medium--practically
virgin territory for the true artist to explore.
HP: Was it always a joy for you to draw comics? When did it all start?
AA: It all began when I borrowed my brother's 'Incredible Hulk with Doc Samson' comic way back when I was 6 or 7. I've been fascinated with sequential art ever since.
HP: Would you say your style is heavily influenced by anime? Why or why not?
AA: It's fair enough to say that we Filipinos are greatly influenced by anime--our generation at least. Like Pearl Harbor, the Japanese bombarded us with those super robot shows back in the late 70's. Today, I see anime as a new form of artistic movement mainly because the style is incredibly noticeable (and I won't even begin discussing about those big eyes). I used to have a style that greatly resembles anime...then of course I discovered Moebius' work and several other artistic styles. I would say that my art has evolved through the years the result of which is what you see today.
Speaking of style, I believe that it's a free world and no one has the right to stop the artist from doing his/her own thing-whether anime,or otherwise. For aspiring artists, I can say that there is nothing wrong in copying a certain style...as long as it does not hinder one's artistic growth. We should take into consideration the obvious fact that anime is purely Japanese in origin and copying it means copying their culture and sensibilities, which will result to certain doom for the true Pinoy talent. (Gerry Alanguilan, creator of "Wasted", points this out so well in his dicussions. To me, he's one of the few Pinoy artists we can truly be proud of.)
HP: "Mythology Class" catapulted you into cult status in the local comic scene and gained you respect among local art circles...what is it and how did you hatch up something like that?
AA: There were no comicbooks or graphic novels dealing with the subject of Phil. Mythology at the time, so I decided to do my own. On a more personal note, 'Mythclass' was also my only way of reliving those days of hanging out with my friends back in college. I never thought it would actually gain a following, so knowing that it has is one big bonus for me.
HP: What's up with "The Lost" and who's involved in it? And tell me, what are those quasi-lesbo characters?! Hehehe
AA: I had a great time working on Dean Alfar's 'The Lost'. His characters are endearing and his style of writing is visually rich. The third issue should be out by Jan 2002. As for the lesbo characters, 'The Harem Women', they're Dean's creations and everyone had a kick out of seeing the clothing I designed (or the lack of it).
HP: How come it's not colored like the work done by the Culture Crash kids? I'm sure you can do as good if not better...
AA: (Thanks. I can say that the CC guys are a very talented group of artists :)). Given the price of printing nowadays, a regular colored comic book of 28 pages with a print run of, say a thousand, would cost roughly half the price of a brand new Civic. That's a big pain for the bank account especially if you're a struggling artist-unless you own a printing press or if you have the salary of a game show host. So the decision was more of technicality than principle. But B&W comic books do have this certain appeal not found in colored ones. The lines are more distinct and the art has more depth and
dimension. (Given the chance though, of course I'd do a colored one.)
HP: Any plans of launching an online comic of sorts? Halfproject would be happy to support such a venture and help promote Filipino online comics with you.
AA: Absolutely. I have several stories that I'm working on right now and I'd be happy to share some of them with you guys.
HP: I understand you were a Painting Major from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts... Did this help or hamper your growth as an artist in any way and why?
AA: I was a Viscom Major, actually. Doing storyboards for several Ad Agencies helped me a lot in visualizing and story telling.
HP: So, tell us about your future plans for Tala studios and also a little more about the nature of this outfit you started with honey Cynthia Bauzon...
AA: For now, Cynthia and I are saving up so we're focusing on getting projects that deal more on graphic design. We're still developing the publishing side of the studio and we'll only be releasing one-shot specials.
HP: Any word of advice for young aspiring Filipino artists out there?
AA: Develop your own style. Be original. Write stories that no one has ever heard of. In comic books it's not how well you draw or write. It's how well you tell the story.
HP: What do you think of Halfproject and where do you think we can improve on this site?
AA: I love it as it is. The art is fresh, dynamic and full of energy. It suits me just fine. Keep up the good work and congratulations on your win at the recent web awards. I can't think of any other site that would deserve it.
HP: Well, it's been an honor chatting with you. Send us a tikbalang once in a while. See you!
AA: Thank you too. Sure, it's just that there are no Tikbalangs this time of year. (They migrate towards the warmer regions of the Visayas :))
HP: Be sure to check out Arnold's website at http://www.arnold-arre.com
Halfproject DIALOGUE - All Rights Reserved 2002
Interview conducted by : Redberger.com Layout by: Zoorex.com