Cover Profile: Jarom Vogel
Cover Profile: Jarom Vogel
This month’s space inspired cover image was created by freelance illustrator (who occasionally dabbles in motion, design and development) Jarom Vogel. He kindly took the time to answer some of our questions about himself and his work.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a 28 year old illustrator from the Salt Lake City area. I’ve been married for a little over three years. I like making things, whether it’s drawing, motion, code, or something else (but mostly drawing). I’m a big fan of Vanilla Coke, downhill skiing, and Ice Cream. I’m a technology nerd, especially when it comes to Apple things. I graduated with a BFA in illustration in 2015 and have been doing freelance work since then.
Do you think it’s important to find time for personal projects and why?
Absolutely! Personal projects are a super valuable way for me to experiment with new methods and ideas, or to just try something totally different. When I have a commissioned project, there’s some expectation of what the end product will be like—the client has seen my previous work and typically wants something similar to that. This is great, but if I’m only ever trying to mimic my own work, I don’t get any opportunity to develop as an artist. Personal projects provide a way for me to do that.
How do you approach a new project?
It depends, but generally one of two ways:
If it’s a personal project, I probably have a sketch or an idea that I run with and just see where it goes. Generally not a lot of planning involved.
If it’s for a client, I usually draw as many small sketches as I need to get 3 or 4 that I actually like, then I take those ones and refine them a bit so someone other than myself can actually tell what they are. I send the refined sketches over to the client, and let them pick what they like, then go from there.
Do you try to get feedback from the client at this early stage?
Always! But I think it’s important to make sure that I personally like all the ideas I’m sending over. Invariably if I include an idea I don’t like as much, that’s what the client chooses. The downside of this is that I often get excited about all the sketches I’ve sent, but probably only have time to draw the one the client chooses.
Do you focus on one project at a time or are you a multi-tasker?
Usually just one at a time. If I have more than 2 things I’m working on at once I start to feel overwhelmed pretty quickly. I tend to get pretty absorbed in what I’m working on, so it’s hard for me to stop and switch to something else before it’s done.
What do you two listen to while you work?
Music and Podcasts mostly. Every once in a while I manage to convince myself that I can watch Netflix and work at the same time, but it never ends well.
What would be your dream project?
Tough call—I’m a pretty big nerd and do some coding on the side. I think I would love to make an interactive children’s book that would combine the computer nerd side of my personality with the artistic side.
Do you work from home or in an office?
From home—we have an extra room set aside as studio space.
What do you do to switch off?
Spend time with my wife / friends / family, read books, stare at the internet. I’ve been trying to get into running lately. I also love to travel when I can. Mostly I’m just not very good at switching off though.
Finishing off with a classic but always useful question, what’s the most important piece of advice anyone has given to you about your work?
This isn’t really advice to me specifically, but Neil Gaiman gave a speech at the University of the Arts where he talked about your creative goals being like a mountain in the distance. Whenever an opportunity comes up, you have to look at it and think “Does this get me closer to my mountain?” If it does, you should do it, if it doesn’t, you shouldn’t. It’s simple, but this has been pretty helpful to me.