Art, Artist Interview, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, interview, Jason Heuser, JFK, Obama, Presidential Paintings

Artist: Jason Heuser

Jason Heuser is the hottest thing since Slice Bread. His presidential Series has blown up all over the internet and for good reason. They show so much talent and imagination. You can’t help but smile looking at these works of art. My Favorite would be his Benjamin Franklin vs. Zeus piece. One thing is for sure the Skies the limit for him. I had a chance to talk to Jason and here’s the man himself..

BBM: What was your first major experience with Art and how did you know it was for you?
I really wouldn’t say I had one thing that made me go Yup this is what I’m going to do. My earliest memories are sitting in front of my mom’s chair. She sat in a recliner and I would sit and draw with this little book thing and crayons. I remember sitting there she would watch soap operas and I would be there drawing Ninja Turtles. She said I’ve been drawing since I could hold on to a pencil. From there I went to school my mom would always get a ring from the teachers. I wouldn’t focus on my assignments I would rush through them and draw. So I wouldn’t say there was a major experience it’s just a summary of a bunch of little things.

BBM: Give us a little history on yourself?
My current project I’ve been doing a lot of presidential stuff. I also work full time for a game studio kixeye out here in San Francisco. So pretty much any free time I have I’ve been drawing presidents. That’s been going really well the internet’s been eating it up. I’m getting a following from that.

BBM: I know dude I love them there amazing!
Thanks man. If I wouldn’t have had this reaction from people that I got I probably would have only done a few and moved onto the next project.  I get messages from fans saying you’re so awesome you need to draw Richard Nixon doing this.  So that’s what I’m doing next. Everyone has been really encouraging it’s got me drawing more stuff. I’ve been working on a graphic novel for a while. As far as character write ups and designing. I have about 35 characters each of them with a background and likes and dislikes. So I can put together a pitch at some point maybe or a graphic novel or movie. I haven’t quite got those connections yet. I figured if I’d keep doing working on this and do what I do with the president’s things and it will work out with that as well. I don’t normally just draw presidents. The project I’ve been working on called lawless I’ve been working on for the past 3 years. Conveniently the movie just came out with the same font I used for my posters a few years ago. I just saw it and was like ahhh damn it. I’m still keeping the name I don’t care (laughs)

BBM: (laughs) will touch a little more on the presidents in a little bit. I wanted to talk more about the graphic novel. What’s the art direction for it?
The character art itself will be realistic pretty much the style I did the presidents. The story takes place in the future I would say a mix between Blade Runner, Road warrior, with some time travel involved. Its 2 main characters with a lot of supporting characters. I have a lot of it worked out I just have to get everything out there so I can release it and show everyone. It’s a mixture between a revenge story and saving the world in a weird way.

BBM: Sounds really cool! I can’t wait to see it. So what was your inspiration behind the presidents? What made you want to create these Kick ass Epic scenes?
It started out when I was a security guard. I would sit and work with a friend who’s an artist as well. I say let’s start doing art jams I come up with an idea and you draw it. It got to my turn I said lets draw the most epic thing you can imagine. I came up with a Viking fight a great white shark. I posted it and it got eaten up so then I said what can I do next. I went back to the drawing board and whenever I’m drawing I’m watching something. It sounds weird to most people but when I draw I have my headphones on or watching a movie. I’m not really watching it just listening I watch a lot of documentary’s about history on PBS. I just like history and I was like alright let’s take some presidents doing something ridicules. I thought who’s the most famous. I drew George washing fighting a tiger in the Delaware. There wasn’t much thought to it I just drew it. While this is all going on I was trying to get my portfolio up to standards to get a job and no one was giving me the time of day. I was getting really frustrated and I was like I’ve been focusing on my portfolio for the last 8 months. I was really getting burned out with it and I said I’m going to draw some shit I want to draw. I was bored at work on night and I started drawing Abe Lincoln riding a Minotaur but it looked really weird. I scraped the Minotaur and thought grizzly bears that pretty mainly and at the time I was watching a documentary about grizzly bears. So I drew him ridding a grizzly bear and threw it up on the internet and it blew up. I thought to myself I draw all this cool shit and as soon as I do this it gets 5 times the hits and exposure. Seems like people really like this sort of thing. I did some more sketches here and there and did Teddy Roosevelt and I decided to make some prints and did an Etsy store with some prints. 
I went to bed and woke up they were all sold out. My first two where Teddy and Abe.  I really didn’t think people would buy them and I’m like shit. I’m scrambling to get this printed out and look good. I get it all done and shipped them out after that it was George Washington fighting Zombies. When I did that I was watching the Tim burns Civil war documentary the entire thing. I was drawing Ulysses S Grant I haven’t got done with him he’s kind of on the back burner. I pretty much so some research on the presidents and learn about there personalities. Like FDR he has polio and he has a wheel chair. So I made his wheel chair transform into a mech soldier fighting aliens. The devils in the details I love drawing all the little nuts and bolts and everything. I guess the rest is history as they say. After that it got me great exposure Kixeye saw my work and flew me down for an interview.

BBM: I love the stories that you made for each of them there very entertaining. You should make a comic for each of them..
Yeah that’s also a thing that I want to work on. I want to make an alternate history text book that’s on the list. Basically take a history book and create events. The Civil war fought with Mechs, Light sabers and jets
Very cool! Can’t wait to see more on that.

BBM: Very cool I Can’t wait to see more on that! Three words that describe your art style?
Ridiculous, Detailed, Epic

BBM: That comes off of everything you do.
We’ve got it up to 7 on the epic scales but we have to crank it up. I think I would work great in a Michael Bay film if he ever wants to hire me. I love Big ass robots and explosions

BBM: Tell us a little bit about Kixeye
we make Face Book Games. I know everyone’s like oh god Facebook games making Farmville. We don’t make that. Where real popular for War Commander and we make war based games you and your friends build your base and wreak havoc .It’s also free to play so go convince your friends to play with you it shouldn’t be too hard.

BBM: How you enjoying game design now?
It’s great I starting doing concepts and now do concepts and marketing. At the same time I do the art for events and advertisements. They want me to make ridiculous high res and crazy detailed stuff. It’s awesome

BBM: Where do you find inspiration in life?
My big thing I really like comedy. One thing at the end of the day that everyone can agree on is everyone likes to laugh. I figured the best way to do it is through my art. Since I’m not a stand-up comedian at the moment and may never get around to it. The thing that works best with my art is its Good, Ridiculous and epicenes and you can put my art in any of those and it would fit. People would me like holy shit this Mech looks awesome or this is so ridiculous. I guess my biggest inspiration is making people laugh and enjoy it. Just by looking at an image if I can make someone’s day. Also all of my prints you can download high res images to make your desktop background. Everyone can just have it they don’t have to buy it. I’m not one of those people you have to buy it or you can’t even see it. That’s good enough for me as long as people see my art that’s what makes me happy.

BBM: I think you definitely accomplished that you know Obama ridding a lion with a crossbow and light sabers (laughs)
Yup, Hopefully he saw that. I got a lot of messages from people and someone from his campaign office bought one. So I’m assuming he saw it I don’t know for sure. If I saw a picture of him holding it that would be the PR on the planet.

BBM: (laughs) For real. Besides are what are some of your hobbies?
I like cars I’m hoping this year to get a rally car going and get my Rally license.

BBM: You work at a game studio are you a gamer?
The last game was Halo that was pretty awesome I’m an avid battlefield player.  Most people can see that by seeing the alternate of Ronald Regan. When I did that that’s when battlefield made the premium and a lot of people where upset about that that’s why I made it. I’m also a Need for Speed guy and Assassins Creed 3 obviously for the history.

BBM: What’s your console of choice?
360 I play pc as well but I’m surprisingly better with a controller. When I tell people that its like I tryied to explain quantum physics.

BBM: Most Memorable carrier Moment?
There’s been a few that would be the best question for my mom. When I get feature anywhere my mom blows up Facebook and shares it anywhere. I’ve been featured in Huffington Post, Good Morning America, and Interviewed by good morning Sacramento.  I guess the biggest overall was getting flown out here by Kixeye and there like here’s your offer letter.  Working solid for two years as a security guard. I took that job so I could just draw for 8 hours on my computer and after two years of struggling with minimum pay and just getting the offer. Someone giving me a chance that’s all I needed. It’s so hard to get a job people are like you have no experience. Well if I can’t get a job without any experience how am I supposed to get any. What the hell am I supposed to do? The studio hired me with Zero experience it was like this guy can blow up in our face. I’ve been there over a year and everyone loves my art. So far my best carrier event some people are like dude your on Good Morning America. I was on for like 5 seconds they showed my Obama ridding a lion print. It’s all cool and great but my main goal is get my art to people. I still work like I have to I’m constantly working I do about 80 hours a week. 40 at work and 40 drawing at home and a few games here and there.

BBM: What are some words of wisdom you would a youth wanting to be an artist?
Don’t give up or give in. You have to be stubborn you’re going to get a lot of people that are like it’s not going to work you’re not going to do that and won’t be successful. That’s how my high school art teacher was and I can’t wait till my high school reunion to see her she was so awful. You should never think your art is as good as it’s going to be. Be careful with college as an artist they only care about you art. I did the entire college thing and sunk a bunch of money into it. It really didn’t benefit me I have people contact me because I’m in alumni and they ask me for tips. I say to be honest stop what you’re doing and focus! Go live in your parent’s basement for 2 years. Take 8 hours a day to draw and constantly improve. Sometimes here and there you’ll find a teacher that will help. It’s really about self-improvement and you always need people to support you and my girlfriend

BBM: How did it work with Good Morning America did you know about it?
No I had no idea some guy bought a print and said he saw my work on there. I was like cool I don’t care and I’m always up for interviews if they want to fly me out. I’ll be on the View

BBM: Any Last words anything you want to add?
I appreciate you wanting to interview me thanks for that. 

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