Wednesday, December 7, 2022

G33k-hq Interview: Artist Phil McDermott

We here at G33k-hq are g33ks ourselves, we love finding cool new books, movies, artists, etc.  We’ve decided to try and bring some of those cool discoveries to you!  We met Phil McDermott through our many countless hours sharking social networking sites…at least that time has paid off!  Phil has a wild style that breaks from the traditional mold and lends itself incredibly well to the sc-fi/horror/fantasy genres.  Phil was awesome enough to take the time from his schedule to do this interview with us.  Be sure to check out his gallery following the interview and see more of his work on FaceBook

BA1G33k-hq: What is your earliest geek memory?

Phil McDermott: Probably when I first saw either Star Wars, or Doctor Who. I remember when I was about four or five, drawing my own Dr Who comic in which the Doctor hung around with an android. I was too young to fully understand the appeal of women and I thought it would make him cooler to have an android sidekick instead of a girl… it doesn’t get much geekier than that does it?

G33k-hq: What was your first introduction to drawing?

BA2Phil McDermott: As far back as I remember, I was drawing. It was really just so I could see the thoughts in my head played out on paper. Like, what would a badly drawn Robocop, fighting a cyborg version of Freddy Kruger look like? The kind of questions we all ask ourselves. I think when I read my first copy of 2000AD, and saw what was possible, that’s when I got really inspired and started getting serious about it.

G33k-hq: Who are your biggest art inspirations?

Phil McDermott: Primarily, a lot of the 2000AD legends like Simon Bisley, Greg Staples, John Hicklenton and Kev Walker. Also Chris Cunningham (for his illustration and concept design as well as his video work)and of course, H.R Giger.

G33k-hq: Describe your work area to us?

Phil McDermott: I seem to have created the antithesis to the trendy digital artist workspace. No white hardware or exposed brick and timber. There are no toys or beanbags or ping pong tables. Picture Hitler’s bunker filled with Borg technology. I have a big Wacom screen display, a big, powerful PC with the side hanging off and big speakers to blast music. Everything is dark grey or black and there are wires tangled all around the place. Basically, my rule is— if someone who works at Google or Apple would feel horribly uncomfortable in it, then it’s a place I can work.

BA3G33k-hq: What helps you draw?

Phil McDermott: Music creating a soundtrack to the visual I’m working on. Having a good album or playlist going, creates an atmosphere where I can get inspired.

G33k-hq: What is in art arsenal? What do you like to draw with?

Phil McDermott: I do pretty much everything with my Wacom Cintiq 21ux. I do also have a big tool box full of traditional art stuff and a compressor and airbrush, all of which I like using… but they seriously need to add a CTRL-Z function to real paint.

G33k-hq: If you could take over drawing any series, what would it be?

Phil McDermott: There are too many… I’ll go with my first thought and pick ‘ABC Warriors.’ The idea of doing that seems as cool to me now as it did when I was ten. In fact, probably more so.

BA6G33k-hq: Happiest convention moment ever?

Phil McDermott: The only conventions I’ve ever done are ones for my T-shirt artwork, and they’re not happy occasions. So I’ll just say ‘the time I found the edge of something to sit on, after standing up for seven hours.’


G33k-hq: Do you consider yourself a “geek”?

Phil McDermott: I like to think I’m not… but have I had completely genuine, heated arguments over whether or not Superman could survive being hit by a photon torpedo? Yes. So I suppose I must be at least part-geek. I try to balance it out by drinking a lot of straight whiskey and striking matches on my chin stubble.

BA7G33k-hq: What does the word “geek” mean to you?

Phil McDermott: A real geek to me is one of those guys that goes deep. Someone who finds a zen-like acceptance of their social awkwardness and outcast status. They don’t care, they just love their fantasy and sci-fi and live in that world because it’s better than this one. Now of course it’s become a fashionable term, and hot, attention seeking girls dress up as comic book characters and call themselves geeks… and I don’t need to tell anyone who ever got punched in the face at school for liking Star Trek, how ridiculous that is.

G33k-hq: What genre brings out the best in your art?
Phil McDermott: Sci-fi/horror. Anything where I can draw weird deformed creatures and mechanical monsters . That’s when I don’t even have to think and can just enjoy the work.

G33k-hq: Stuck on a deserted island, you can bring ONE series’ entire library to keep yourself occupied…what would it be?

BA4Phil McDermott: That’s a tough one… A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) maybe? Partly because I haven’t read it all yet and partly because, if things got desperate, the hardcover of A Dance with Dragons would be big enough to use as a raft to go home on.

G33k-hq: Tell us about your forthcoming book/motion comic series ‘Arcis’

Phil McDermott: It’s the most ambitious and exciting thing I’ve ever worked on. It’s a sci-fi story, based around some ideas that I think are really important, and also quite timely. Finding an alternate economic model , the dehumanising effect of wage slavery and big robots firing rocket launchers.
The central piece of the project is going to be a sci-fi novel called ‘ARCIS – The final concept of liberty.’ That will be surrounded by an array of side-stories and extra content, spread across a range of formats, from motion comics, to serialised written stories, to short films. It’s the kind of thing that a fan can really delve into and continually discover more about the universe.
You can follow the development of the project at the ARCIS Facebook page

Some More Artwork from Phil McDermott:

Evil genius and future ruler of this puny planet.

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