Vincent Villafranca, one of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art’s more award-winning 3-D artist, spoke to us recently on about his origins in bronze sculpting, awards and the importance of conventions, demos and shows. Currently involved in genre and mainstream exhibitions, Vincent is an artistic force to be reckoned with.
Here’s what he had to say…
SF SIGNAL: You are a renowned bronze sculptor. There are much easier forms of sculpture to do, especially here in Texas in the summer, what drew you to bronze sculpting? How did you learn to work with bronze? You sometimes work with Bolivar Bronze? How did that relationship come about?
Vincent Villafranca: As a child I had a wild imagination. I drew endlessly in school and at home. When I was in first grade, my teacher gave each student some clay to play with, and I loved it. The only problem was whatever I made eventually wilted away or was somehow destroyed. I always wished there was a way to preserve a design. When I went to university in the early 90’s, I took a sculpture course as an elective. The instructor, Roger Colombik, introduced me to the process of bronze-casting. I was instantly hooked. After I graduated, I did an apprenticeship at Michael Hall’s Studio Foundry in the Wimberley area. I learned the more advanced methods of casting metals and mold-making. When I moved to north Texas, I interviewed at Bolivar Bronze and worked there several years. We were producing public art for various institutions and organizations. I still help them out with projects from time to time.
John Picacio is one of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art’s more prolific and distinctive artists. Currently appearing in Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art as both a featured artist and as the cover artist, he’s not stopping any time soon. He is also the artist for George R.R. Martin’s 2012 calendar, due out July 19th. He will be signing with Martin during San Diego Comic Con. We recently caught up with John to ask him about his new projects and his take on the industry and conventions.
SF SIGNAL: John, Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art just came out, and you were one of the featured artists as well as the cover artist for the book. Can you tell us a little about the book, and how you come to be involved in it?
JOHN PICACIO: Karen Haber’s the editor of the book and she invited me to be one of the featured artists. Looking at the finished book, it’s an international collection, not just artists from the US and UK. That’s a great thing. Art is a world conversation. Maybe even more significant is that she divided the book into sections — ‘traditional’, ‘digital’ and ‘hybrids’ (combined traditional/digital). That’s a really smart call on her part because it recognizes the rich territory where traditional and digital media combine and make something new. It’s a misnomer to label hybrid artists as digital only. Her book may be the first one to recognize this, and plant that flag. Hopefully other journalists, curators, and historians will carry that nomenclature forward. As far as the artists included, it’s an amazing array — Donato Giancola, Todd Lockwood, Dave Seeley, Shaun Tan, Kinuko Craft, Brom, Greg Manchess, Charles Vess, Stephan Martiniere, James Gurney, Bob Eggleton, and many more. It’s beautiful.