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Art & Life with Rick Hefner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Hefner.

Rick, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have been practicing art for about 11 years now, and it all started as a means of catharsis to escape constant harassment in middle school. I didn’t have any friends, if any, and was bullied daily, physically and mentally. After a year of trying to play guitar, which I found was something I didn’t have the passion for to make it a lifelong endeavor, the idea popped into my head to try out drawing. I had characters and ideas in my head for as long as I can remember, and I wanted to put them on the page. The day I began to create these characters, I became addicted. Since then I have never looked back.

I bought countless art instruction books, taught myself as much as I could. I would continue to seek knowledge, having many teachers. This ultimately led me to my current enrollment at Art Center College of Design to study Concept Art in the Entertainment Design major.
I have had several small freelance gigs in the past for various projects, from indie films to start up games; however, I am currently enhancing my skill set and knowledge so that I may get a position a bit more fulfilling in the industry.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have experience in a plethora of media, from traditional dry and wet media to digital painting, 3D, and sculpture. I prefer to work in digital because of the freedom of the medium, and primarily enjoy creating Sci-Fi characters, props. and vehicles.

I take inspiration from a lot of breakthroughs in modern technology, the shapes of high-end sports cars and motorcycles, and media that has sleek design language. Also themes such as the evolution of humanity, what it means to be sentient/human, and turning weakness into strength are very interesting to me. These are things that I employ in more of my personal work, which unfortunately I have not had much time to pursue lately.

Most of my work, in fact, all of it, is designing something unique. This is not an easy task at all. When I am approached with a prompt, I try to think outside the box to extreme circumstances, and use extreme shape language, then reel it back into a more realistic standpoint as I approach the final design. This is something most designers, especially concept artists do.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
The best advice I ever received was to keep working at your craft every day because there is someone working just as hard trying to get your dream job. Every day you aren’t working on your craft, someone else who wants it more is trying to take it from you. Also, take breaks, experience the world. We don’t live in a vacuum.

Something I wish I learned earlier is to put my health first as well as to learn how to effectively plan. We get so caught up in creating sometimes that we neglect a lot of things.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My website is rickhefnerdesign.com. Most of my work is located on this site. I also post on my Instagram @rickhefnerdesign, which contains a bit more work, although it is more of a sketch log.

If people want to support me, the best thing they can do is provide exposure for my art. If you like what you see, follow me on Instagram, or, if you know someone in the industry, share my art.

I also am currently selling hardcover books with custom drawings in them in order to raise funds for my time at Art Center.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rick Hefner

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