Creator Spotlight with Illustrator Art Hondros

Illustrator Art Hondros holding up paint brushes

This week we would like you to meet Art Hondros. He’s an illustrator, graphic recorder, and animator located in the Washington, DC area.

What was the inspiration behind becoming a graphic recorder and illustrator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

It started when I was probably five years old. My dad worked at a newspaper and would bring home these blank reams of trimmed newsprint from the pressmen. I’d fold them in half, staple the spine and draw comics. The fact that I also read comics probably helped.

Can you take us through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?

Not everything, but usually enough. I’ve evolved into digital mediums now, but I still enjoy producing illustration and painting in conventional forms, so I don’t completely lose that. The creative process can differ greatly depending on the medium. But I almost always start with roughs or thumbnails of some sort, often by hand on paper, even if the finished product is digital.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?

That artists are happy to work for free. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I do, but some gigs are actually a lot of work and aren’t always easy.

When did you first become aware of copyright and why?

I became aware of copyright around 1984 when I first heard of the Copyright Act of 1976, which took effect on January 1, 1978 (although my work was not published until many years later).

What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?

Making sure that I only use works with consent from the copyright holder(s). I did a graphic novel adaptation of a 1928 film, of which no reels are known to have survived. But there was an archived screenplay of it, and I reached out to several copyright holders to be sure I was in the clear to use that source material.  It took several months to get answers and permissions, but it was worth the wait.

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