Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted September 10th by Design Splat in Illustrators


Hey Tucker! Thanks for joining us at Design Splat!

Get us started by walking us through a typical day in the life of Tucker Cullinan:

After a few hours of restless sleep and hitting snooze a dozen times, it’s time to work. Right now I spend a good deal of time working on my website and promoting my work. Maybe a beer or two peppered in.

How did you get into art and Illustration?

Well an overdose of video games and older brothers to sneak me into movies as a kid didn’t help. I’ve always doodled as a kid drawing little stick wars and what not, but then it became a real habit. At some point I was doing it all the time and really enjoyed what I was making. I guess at that point I really wanted to take it seriously.

When creating art/illustrations, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?

For me it’s all about planning. I could get lost in an idea before actually making some real work based on it. At some points there would be so much extra work done on excess planning that it looked like I was designing a bomb. I just like having something that is a whole other beast with out me in the end.

Do you create your pieces by hand or with the use of the computer? Or both?

As a watercolorist my place is on the paper not on the computer, but as an Illustrator I’m both. Digital paintings are amazing and require a lot of work but it’s not something that’s tangible. People will always admire what they can touch, see, and smell. I feel a great admiration for the two but will always enjoy working by hand.

Where do you get inspiration for your art work?

Growing up with the science channel was a wonder because it left me with an overwhelming knowledge of random facts. This and an intense love for everything sci-fi related helps boil up new ideas.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Haha, I ask my self the same question all the time but it’s more of where in the next couple months. In 5 years hopefully a position where I wouldn’t have to worry about how long ago I worked in a restaurant to put on a resume.

What’s the dream ambition?

Working in the Entertainment Industry, movies, video games and the like.. Getting Down to brass tracks I would really just like to have a full time job working as an Illustrator or Concept artist

 Does fame attract you?

Sure, I would be lying if I didn’t want to be apart of something that got a lot of publicity. I’m also fine with seeing a flaming spaceship crash on a planet and knowing that I had something to do with it.

 How do you rate yourself as a designer?

Right now I say I’m doing well but it’s all about when it comes down to the wire.

 What makes a good artist/illustrator?

Work Ethic! Setting up times to work and sticking to them. That and always pursing new avenues, I might not work in specific fields but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it a try if the offer comes around.

 Do you think the design Industry will be difficult to get into? Are you worried about the amount of competition?

I feel like I’m on a crest of sorts in my life and something is going to happen. Every week a new thing is happening and I’m trying my damnedest to keep it going that way. So it’s really just a matter of time I think. Competition is everywhere, no matter the career. If I let that get in my head I’ll probably just spend all my time checking out everyone else’s work.

What do you think it takes to become successful in the design industry?

Having some friends already in it, haha. I think it’s about having a dependable skill. If your regularly producing quality works it’s just a matter of time. Possible clients are going to notice this. Rather than having it all over the place, which might scare some people off.

 Which is your favourite piece? 

The pieces I made when working from Cormic McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian” was out of my norm and everything that I created I really liked. Death Hilarious is probably my favorite considering I have it in a huge gold frame with a nameplate.

 Three words to describe yourself?

Godzilla, Cooking, Shorts.

 Hobbies and Interests?

Riding my bike around the city in search of places that are in the open yet away from people to read a book.

 Favourite Illustrator/artist?

Growing up I didn’t have too many just me and my Saturday Morning Cartoons. Later on I met Elizabeth Ockwell and she flipped my world up side down along with Peggy Macnamara. Other artists that always keep me motivated are Syd Mead, Hokusai, Mucha, Louis Sullivan and a crazy number of directors. It’s all over the map.

 Tools of the trade?

For me having a studio area is a must. Somewhere you can get away and not relate to home, it should be a place you can focus and get goals done. I work mostly on paper with microns and watercolor then scan them and start the digital process. Also if you’re thinking about getting a wacom tablet I say go for it!

 Best and worst piece of work?

Well if I stare at anything I consider to be my best work for long enough it will become my worst after a week or so.

 Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Don’t expect things to happen for you. People are people and they usually have there own intentions in mind so you gotta fight to get what you want.




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