Q&A interview with Drawn Volume.3 cover artist, Casey Rolseth

Casey Rolseth is an illustrator and visual effects artist working in Vancouver, Canada. We spoke to Casey about his work, influences and day job in the film industry.

Hello Casey,

Thank you for your time today in answering our questions, we’re looking forward to learning more about you and your practice!

We are absolutely delighted to feature your artwork ‘Callisto’ on the cover for our upcoming illustration publication, Drawn Volume. 3, Leaders in Contemporary Illustration.

Drawn Volume.3, Leaders in Contemporary Illustration

Drawn Volume.3, Leaders in Contemporary Illustration

How did your relationship with art begin, and who were your early artistic influencers?

I grew up in a house with artistic parents who were creatively versatile and always very supportive, which led me to experiment with everything from silversmithing to woodworking to drawing and painting. There was always a growing library of art books around and I was captivated by surrealists like Dali, the graphic nature of pop art from the 70's and 80's and the scientific illustrations of Ernst Haeckel. I was also heavily influenced by abstract expressionists like R.Rauchenberg and F.Stella.

Where did you study art and design, and were there any valuable insights that you took away from your studies?

I studied Graphic Design in Edmonton AB and Visual Effects in Vancouver BC where I combined my love of art and computers together and learned very quickly that I needed to learn the rules before breaking them and that a computer is indeed a lite-brite for so many bad ideas.

© Casey Rolseth - Finland2060

© Casey Rolseth - Finland2060

We are very interested to hear about what you do in your day job, you’ve got some very impressive credits on your CV!

Thanks! I have been a visual effects artist for thirteen years now and have been fortunate enough to work on some pretty big feature films with some really talented artists. This year I recently finished working on the look development for the 3D components of lead characters Black Panther and Killmonger in the movie Black Panther.

We’re proud to feature your work on the front cover and within our new publication, ‘Drawn Volume.3, Leaders in Contemporary Illustration’, could you tell us about the pieces you have selected for the publication?

I'm still trying to discover my aesthetic approach and most of those pieces are an exercise in a kind of "stream of consciousness" doodling, where random ideas pop into my head and I try to draw them as quickly as possible in a compositionally attractive way. My goal is to able to focus more on a consistent style and then produce larger format images, either printed or painted.

© Casey Rolseth - Aphrodite

© Casey Rolseth - Aphrodite

Your painted works are rich in texture and detail and built up over many layers. Could you give some insight into your creative process and how you develop works of this nature?

The paintings are mostly layered up acrylic paint/pencil/oil paint/pastels etc, on canvas or board. I usually start with an abstract drawing and colour palette that I project onto the canvas and then layer paint over and over again until I'm happy with the result.

We noticed you have a collaboration with Flux Socks. How did that come about and how do you decide which of your pieces to include in a design?

Flux socks came across my instagram feed and were interested in collaborating on a collection of socks. I decided to use my more vibrant, surreal artwork for the sock designs. I've always favoured colourful socks. I'm an avid sock connoisseur myself and have an extensive collection that needs to be downsized.

© Casey Rolseth - Callisto

© Casey Rolseth - Callisto

Is product design and merchandise an avenue you would like to develop as a revenue stream for your business?

I would love to be more involved in product design, in particular fashion design collaboration.

As an artist who also has a successful career in the design industry, how do you manage to strike a balance between your day job and the time you spend creating your personal projects?

Luckily, I do have free time after I get home from my day job. I tend to spend time with my family and then after they go to sleep I stay up for a few hours and work on personal projects. I find it therapeutic and relaxing after a stressful day of indulging Hollywood clients to just work on something that I want to work on.

Do you listen to music or podcasts whilst you’re working, and if so, what’s on the playlist at the moment?

I do listen to music while I work. All genres really. Currently I'm listening to a band called Mutoid Man.

© Casey Rolseth - Cherophobia

© Casey Rolseth - Cherophobia

You live and work in Vancouver, Canada. Could you tell us about your local creative community - any artists or galleries we should check out?

Vancouver Mural Festival is a yearly festival that showcases many brilliant artists from Vancouver and beyond. There is the East Van culture crawl that involves over five hundred artists in East Vancouver opening their studios to the public for four days. There's the Vancouver Art Gallery that supports the accomplishments of First Nations artists and hosts a variety of international exhibitions and many more galleries in the city exhibiting local and international talent.

© Casey Rolseth - CDFM

© Casey Rolseth - CDFM

You’re very active on your Instagram profile, Case.More and we love seeing your new work and updates. How do you use Instagram to promote your art?

Instagram is merely a way of getting my art out into the world. Eventually I would like to start selling prints, if and when I've accumulated enough work that I'm satisfied with.

What’s coming up next for you, can you share details of any new projects you’re working on?

I'm currently illustrating a cover for a short graphic novel, trying to finish an unrealistic, realistic oil painting of a friend of mine and I have a few  digital illustrations in the works for my next Instagram post.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to us today Casey!

Don’t forget to follow Casey on Instagram to stay up to date with his latest work.

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