Wednesday, November 3, 2010

4 After 5 Q&A: Meet Travis

Travis Eck
Kalmbach Smith Meadows, Graphic Designer

Q. What's your take on the 4 After 5 art exhibit? 
I see the 4after5 exhibit as unleashed creativity.  In our day jobs we spend all day creating for clients, which is great because it pays the bills, but it's not REALLY our creations.  It's directed by the client or the project.  This show represents what we come up with when we're exploring OUR ideas.  I think that's what makes it so special.  No one paid us to create these pieces...they came straight from our love of creating. 
Q. When did you start drawing?
My first memory of drawing is preschool or maybe even earlier when my mom would lay out newspaper in the kitchen floor and let me go nuts. I was in 8th grade when I realized I could create drawings in a sequence and create my own comic book...not sure why that took so long, but I was hooked after that.
Q. Between work and home life, when do you find time to draw? 
I'm a married father of two, so any artwork has to wait until I've put my family to bed.  Luckily I've always liked staying up late at night. 
Q. What are your sources for inspiration?

I can be inspired by just about anything. Recently, I created an illustration that was inspired by a jar of gummi bears I spotted at the frozen yogurt shop. I'm still a weekly comic book reader and have an extensive superhero/sci fi movie collection, so those provide a large part of my creative inspiration as well. 

Sample Panel from a 4 After 5 Jam Comic

Q. The 4 After 5 exhibit comprises of 4 artists. What's it like collaborating with the other artists? 
As far as the pieces that are actually in the show, the collaboration mostly came from asking the other artists which pieces they would like to see in the show.  The jam comics, on the other hand, are ALL collaboration.  I've had so much fun with those.  I love seeing the scenes play out in each artist's unique style and the jams with a story are always fun because you never know where the next guy is going to take the story! 
Q. What's your drawing technique?
I'm most comfortable with a mechanical pencil, but I've recently discovered art pens, so now my usual process involves drawing in pencil, then drawing on top of that with art pens of various thickness.  I will then scan in the drawing and clean it up or color it in photoshop as needed.
Q. What type of art will you exhibit at 4 After 5?
I'll be showing a variety of artwork.  From 2005-2006 I illustrated a book of children's poems written by Stan Blossom. I've chosen my favorite 8 illustrations from that project to be a part of this show. In the past year I've also developed a fun process for creating pop-art style paintings. I'll be showing two of those in this show, one of He-Man and one of Skeletor. Also, I have created a series of 4 pulp-era-inspired illustrated movie posters starring my comic book character, Hue and his friend, Herbie. I created one for a Western movie, one for a Sci-Fi movie, one for an Adventure movie, and one for a Horror movie. I had the most fun with these pieces, as they were created specifically for this show. They star my character, Hue, who I've been drawing for over 15 years.
Q. What other projects are you currently developing?
After years of drawing Hue comics on lined notebook paper, I finally created a full-color, printed comic book starring Hue and his friends this year. I've created a website for the comic book that features character bios, history, downloadable content and links to buy merchandise. You can find out all about Hue and company at
Additionally, being in this group as reawakened my love for illustrating on a frequent basis, so I've started an art blog to showcase whatever it is that I'm working on at the time.  You can see my most recent work at "Sivart" is "Travis" backwards, btw. 

For more info about the 4 After 5 art exhibit, visit or the 4 After 5 event page on Facebook.


  1. Plus he's a swell fella! But he can't handle spicy food. :o)

  2. It's true. I like it bland, cause that's how I roll. Gotta keep it real, Oklahoma style!