Logan Schmitt Illustration and the artist Logan Schmitt first came to my attention at Franklinton Fridays when he exhibited his work in the Franklinton Arts District’s office lobby. He was there with his wife and we started to talk about the pieces he was showing. Turns out that he is from the Wheeling area, close to Pittsburgh (my home town) and where the guy I date is from. Always find out that it is a small world! Anyway, I loved the detail in his work and his subject matter so asked him if he would be interested in an interview. Happily, he agreed but it took us over a year for us to get it together!!!
He’s been in business for about a year and a half and initially ran his physical goods through Etsy, but now primarily receives all sales through his own website.
As I said, he is from West Virginia where he grew up on a dead end gravel road by the woods.He was home schooled as a kid and never took any art lessons when younger. Any art he learned at that time was on his own by just looking at comic books and trying to draw like the cartoonists did. Formal training eventually came from attending Columbus College of Art and Design…the reason he ended up in Columbus.
Even though he had no formal instruction as a child, he always enjoyed drawing and immersing himself in films, books, and music. It wasn’t until he started working at restaurants, doing maintenance work, etc, that he realized he had to follow through with the idea of making art for a living. Although he was actually really good at waiting tables, he hated it. Nothing else really brings me the same joy as making things from my head and getting paid for it.
He categorizes his art as a mix between Art Nouveau, comic book art, and traditional Japanese woodblock prints. A lot of those old print makers drew on the essence of nature, rather than being completely true to life.Inspiration comes mainly from nature, but really just about anything can be fertile ground for his works.
When doing commissioned work, he states:
Generally, I take into account what the client wants, or if it’s personal work, I’ll think about the season, if there are any animals or concepts I want to explore, and go from there. I base a lot of my ideas off of the essence or feeling that I want to create. I start with a pretty rough sketch, add another level of refinement, and then scan it into my computer. I’ll make any necessary tweaks and do any additional refining digitally. Then I ink the piece digitally and add flat color. Then I’ll add cell shading and highlights. Textures are the finishing touch. Then it’s off to the client or separated for screen printing.
He sells his work at craft shows in the area. Sometimes traveling to get to shows that are outside Columbus because he says “it’s really fun to just go on a weekend trip to sell screen prints.” He also usually sells his work at the CCAD art sale, and did the Craftin’ Outlaws on April 24th show this year at High Line Car House. He really enjoys this show and recently had the pleasure of creating the graphics for all of their 2016 shows.
Instead of applying to gallery shows and jury competitions, he states that he tends to focus on making things and getting them directly to his customers and collectors saying that this isn’t really necessarily a bad thing. The latest piece that was selected for a show was “White Fang” and was featured at The Society of Illustrators in New York City in May.