Ignition Zero is a project that Noel Heimpel puts a lot of time into. It updates almost every day, despite Noel having a full courseload and tons of other activities to do. Noel lives in Towson, Maryland and is currently studying illustration for his Bachelor’s Degree.
His skill with watercolors and painting techniques make his imaginative work stand out, especially in the age of digital renderings of everything. Check out his store here: http://society6.com/changenotcoins
We got in contact with Noel and asked him the following questions about his work.
How long does a typical piece take?
Hard to say, since I rarely do an entire page in one sitting! I guess that’s a good answer–that it’s not something I can do in one sitting. I would estimate 5 hours for one page with 4 hours going to the color part, and only 1 hour maximum of those four being actual painting time–the rest is waiting for areas to dry before moving on to others.
Do you think it harms or enhances your schoolwork?
I can’t really say yet. I’ve only been an art major for as long as I’ve had the comic, and I’m still getting used to how the work dynamic is different from a more traditional, note-taking and paper-writing based subject. I would say it does neither, as far as I can tell.
Do you wish that you had started studying illustration earlier?
Part of me does, but I think the path I took gave me two really important advantages: one, I had time to explore art on my own without the pressure of performing, and two, I’m not going to take anything for granted now, having already tried to “do something else where you’ll actually make money” and having that fail.
What underlying themes would you say are most important in your work?
Diversity, multiculturalism, the effects of emotion on relationships and at an individual level–especially the effect on how one perceives reality, and the idea that there are many different types of love. Usually when people use that last phrase, they’re talking about non-heterosexual relationships, but my focus is on the fact that love exists between family members (biological or chosen), friends, on a romantic level, a sexual level, and many others.
Do you get inspiration from certain websites or movies?
Too many to count! In particular, I like to browse imgfave.com for inspiration and keep a handy collection of images there to browse when I need an artistic pick-me-up. Other webcomics also inspire me on a regular basis, particularly ones like Lackadaisy. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but Pan’s Labyrinth never fails to get me going.
Do you ever get burned out? You seem to be going almost non-stop
So far I have not gotten burnt out on drawing comics. There are times when I’ve got a general art block or feel burnt out from school, but I always power through it to get my updates done. My readers are expecting them!