Night of the Sentinels Artist Profile: Nixon Na
By day, Nixon Na works as a graphic designer for a Christian publishing house, designing book covers and publicity materials. But in between his duties as father of two boys and husband to lovely wife and editor Joanna, he illustrates street-level action heroes for his indie comic group, Polyhedron Comics; and with creative lighting, he takes clever snapshots of his action figures. The industrial design graduate was also one of the 34 finalists of C.B. Cebulski’s nationwide Be The Next Marvel talent search.
Let’s get to know more about Nixon Na, one of the amazing artists sketching this Saturday, May 31 at Kapow! Universe’s Night of the Sentinels event.
What inspired you to start drawing?
It started with my fascination with cars. When I was young I drew cars from different angles—top view, front view, etc. Cars progressed to robots, and then to superheroes. Thanks to my brother who collected Hong Kong comics, my first exposure to superheroes was not from Marvel or DC but from Jade Man Comics.
Did you take any formal lessons?
If you count those summer classes for grade school kids as formal, yes.
Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
I can’t exactly pin it down to one particular thing, but most of the time it would be from other artists.
What tools do you use for your drawings?
My set of pencils for sketching, Uni Pins 0.05, 0.2, and 0.5 for inking, brush pens and Chinese brushes plus inks for added texture and blacking. And of course, Photoshop.
Other mediums I enjoy working with are water color and pastel. Although I haven’t touched those in a long while.
How long do you usually spend on one artwork? And how do you find the time to draw with a full-time job?
With a full-time job it’s kinda hard to tell, as I can only draw in the evening when everyone’s already asleep. That’s usually between 12 mn to 3 or 4 in the morning. So from start (sketch) to finish (photoshopped), it’ll probably take 6 to 8 hours total.
Which artists inspire you?
A LOT! Hahaha! Let’s see, here are the first 10 artists that came to mind
1. Jim Lee
2. Ashley Woods
3. Luis Royo
4. Frank Frazetta
6. Ma Wing Shing (Creator of Storm Riders, a famous Hong Kong comics)
7. Frank Cho
8. Leinil Yu
10. Andy Seto (Another Hong Kong-based artist)
What projects are you working on?
I’m currently working on my own title tentatively called The Chi-Noy. I’m not going to get into any details yet though.
What is your most memorable project so far?
CADRE: First-Born Sons.
Was there ever a time that you doubted your creative ability? How did you overcome it?
Yes, and I still do. How do I overcome it? Prayer. Surrounding myself with good and supportive friends who are not afraid to tell me when my drawing sucks. And having a very supportive wife.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Don’t stop drawing. Get advice from friends who are better than you. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Challenge yourself by copying artworks of your favorite artists. Copy poses from photos. Watch other artists draw. Practice, practice, practice.
Random question, if you were a superhero, what will be your codename and superpowers?
The Chi-Noy! Hahahaha!
Check him out!
For more about Nixon Na, view his works on Facebook and Deviantart. Better yet, meet him and have him sketch on your Marvel blank covers this Saturday, May 31, at 10 am – 12 nn at Night of the Sentinels Sale at Kapow! Universe, second floor, Glorietta 5.