Through my convention travels and networking. I got to meet a digital artist by the name of Jay Peralta. When we first met we exchanged info and started following each other. I thought “Wow, his work is pretty dope.” The second time we met we hit it off because of our love for wrestling and anime. I have witnessed this artist carve a name for himself and he continues to build a name for himself not just through his craft, but also through his efforts to support a community he loves.
Hi Jay, how have you been?
I’ve been great, it’s the end of a long year. I’m looking forward to resting after my last convention this year, but I’ll be back on the scene in February. This year has been awesome, made a ton of great friends including yourself so can’t complain at all!
Let’s start out by introducing yourself to our readers.
My name is Jay Peralta, otherwise known as Atra Messor Art.
I’m mainly a Digital Artist working with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and a Wacom Cintiq. I have been doing graphic design for about 12 years and Digital Art for about 4-5 years. I’m a freelance artist doing all kinds of artwork including clothing design, logos, commissions and commercial/corporate besides my own personal art.
So what inspired you to become an artist?
Comics and Anime! I’ve always collected comics since I was young and even into my adult life. Its escapism for me and manga is huge with me right now. I love all styles and that’s what got me into drawing when I was younger. Not to date myself but I grew up before computers were around, so it was always traditional drawing for me. I would try to make my own comic for my art class in school. But man once my dad brought home that first computer, a whole new world opened up. I don’t even remember how, but I got a copy of the 2nd version of photoshop and I was HOOKED! I’ve been playing with it ever since and when I was in the military, I started to create art as a hobby. From there I did stuff for myself and doing cheap things for people on craigslist. The next stage was learning new programs and become a freelance artist and do commercial work. I did lots of things for clothing lines and bands mostly. Then I got into logos, which I still do to this day as my “main” job. This is going back 12+ years now. About 4-5 years ago I started doing more and more personal art and doing little shows. I didn’t know about the comic con scene and was introduced to that and fell in love. Now I’m trying to get out there more and more!
What is your thought process or game plan when coming up with your artwork?
It depends on what I’m working on, but usually a simple sketch of what I’d like to do before getting into my digital session. I work between Photoshop and Illustrator, going back and forth. If its a logo or something similar, I work until I get a good draft done. I always work in black and white with anything commercial because nine out of ten times that’s how it’ll be printed. So if it looks good like that, it’ll look good once colored.
In terms of my own art, I do the same thing. Start with a rough sketch, then I’ll get my parts in order to create what I want and slowly build it up. It’s like a painting where the layers build to create the final result. What’s nice about digital art is I can go back and forth and try things without ruining it. If I’m in a good flow on something, I’ll spend hours straight working. I’ve started a piece at say 7-8pm and when I’ve finished, I would look and its 3-4am, time really does fly. If its something that’s not flowing I’ll take breaks. I usually have a few projects I’m doing so I’ll go between them. I don’t like getting stuck on one thing then “forcing it”, I want it to come naturally until I’m happy with the results.
Artist Club is something special, it started with what we call the OG’s which are Me, Fatguy inc which is Peat VaZquez and Brendan Shaw, Sebastian Bonet, Arash Zandieh/EVO comics inc and Angel Lopez. We’ve done quite a few shows together and have gotten very close. We’re fans of wrestling and they have a group called the Bullet Club. We always joked about having our own club and one night we were talking about it and I decided to create a logo which became the original Artist Club shirt. From there I wanted it to be something for all artists, a community where we supported each other and other artists like our small group did with each other. I’m very much into promoting and pushing other artists so I wanted this to be an extension of that, especially with having experienced being at shows and having artists who didn’t have a mindset of support and were very negative. That’s why I have Artist Club, to be that positivity and supportive community. I always say if you draw traditional…welcome to Artist Club. If you draw digital…welcome to Artist Club. If you cosplay…welcome to Artist Club. If you craft or create…welcome to Artist Club. All skill levels, all styles, no judgments, only support. That is Artist Club, and the shirts, while a clothing line, is really just a way to represent being a part of that community! I have an Instagram page set up for it which is just another way for me to promote shows and everything for artist club and that is @artistclub.official. I’m always coming up with more designs that will represent everyone, I just created a shirt for cosplayers because I feel like they don’t get the respect as artists that they should. I also did one for kids because I feel you have to encourage and grow a budding artistic mind. Alright plug over (laughs) but honestly, Artist Club is all about supporting artists and building them up.
How does one become a member of the Artist Club and where can one buy Artist Club Gear?
Artist club is a mentality, it’s all about support and building each other up and that’s all you gotta do. Just be a good person and genuinely love art and respect all art styles and all skill levels regardless of age. Instead of looking at that artist across from you in artist alley as competition, look at it as what can I learn from them and how can I make a connection. I want it to be a stable and a community. When you see us at conventions, you see attendees wearing wrestling shirts and they see me or any of the members wearing the Artist Club shirt and give us that too sweet. It’s a wrestling thing. I want the attendees to see artists wearing the shirt and know these are cool people and possible support and make it a great experience for both artist and attendee. I’ve walked around at cons wearing the shirts and have had artists stop me and ask about the shirts and were to get them. They all have loved the idea behind it and what it represents and that makes me feel good about it. Make no mistake, you don’t have to be a “professional” artist, you can be the fan that goes to cons and buys art and loves to draw and doodle. You’re Artist Club, it’s for everybody!
As for where you can get the shirts, you can go to my online store. I’m always creating new designs and teepublic rotates a 30% sale that I always announce. The shirts are really well done and I’m very proud of them and how they’ve been received!
What are some of your dream projects you would like to work on?
Man, there’s quite a few! Definitely covers for comic books like variants. I would love to do some promo materials for Marvel, DC or WWE. I would also love to collab with some of my hero artists like Bosslogic or the very dope 3d artist named Kingsletter just to name two. Finally, I’d love to do some art for some of my favorite bands whatever it may be, shirts or album art. Those would be my dream projects or type of projects to work on.
You do a lot of digital work and your colors are fantastic. I know a while back you spoke to me about practicing coloring other artist work. Would you ever consider working as a colorist in the industry?
Thank you! I would love to try my hand at it and see what I can do. I would probably do it as a project by project type of thing. For instance, I’ve always wanted to do stuff like variant covers and one-offs. Something that would be special for someone. I have some heroes that do things like that like the artist Artgerm. His cover work is beautiful. I would love to do special covers like that. I’ve been fortunate in that I have several artist friends that are letting me practice with there line work and I value that trust. I’m slowly working on them and can’t wait to get their feedback and critiques. It’s all about learning.
What advice would you give to someone looking to enhance their digital talent?
Honestly, the age-old adage of practice is most important, practice practice practice. Always try to learn new things or techniques. Look at your peers/heroes and if you see something you like that they did, try to figure out how they did it and you may create your own technique. What’s nice about digital art is there’s no one way to do something. You may find a way to create an effect, color something or anything that’s completely different from how I do it. It builds your library of techniques. Practice hand drawing, even if you work digitally. Never be complacent, you get out what you put into your craft.
Most of my interviews have a theme about networking within this industry. It’s funny because I met Angel and through Angel, I met Arash. And through them, I met you. I’m happy to say we have become good friends. Can you give those looking to get into the industry your take on Networking and how you incorporate networking as an artist?
We definitely have become really good bros! For me, networking is super important and also takes on many forms. There’s in person at events and cons, talking to the artist and making friends and associates that are truly important. I feel like with Social Media you need to have a broader view. For example, I’m always pushing my stuff out there daily as any artist would. I’m also pushing out my friend’s and peer’s art and shows. I’m interacting by liking and commenting on amazing artist that I’d never get to meet in person because of maybe location. Beyond that, I also make a point of going through Instagram and finding artists I like and every Saturday I’ll do a shoutout and put their names and profiles out there. I typically try to find an artist who isn’t as well known. It helps me make a connection with them. It shows support and for me, it’s not a “you give me I give you” situation. I want to make real connections. Just be genuine, support art, all forms of art. Not to go off on a tangent but cosplay is art too. Regardless if its regular, lewd, gender bender or a different interpretation and should be respected as art, that’s why I’m always shouting out cosplays at shows too when I can!
Doing conventions, we have both seen our fair share of good and bad. We have had cons where we made nothing and face negative feedback to cons that were just awesome. What advice can you share with those interested in vending at cons in how to overcome a bad experience and bad show?
For doing cons, prepare, build up a decent inventory of art and then book a show, take the jump. If you’re an anime artist, I’d say find a smaller local anime tailored show. Something for comic fanart. Once you get your feet in, then plan it out. Do what you’re financially able to do at first. Remember it’s not just table costs, there’s travel, hotel. inventory, food. But don’t get discouraged, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ll have your shows you make money and some you’ll break even and some you might leave at a loss. It’s all experience you build up! Also, respect everyone and support everyone, different styles of different kinds of art, were all artists, let’s support one another, that’s the Artist Club way!
Now I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences, and I won’t go into details about it too much. All I will say is one if it happens to you, just ignore it and make sure you do you. Make sure you don’t lose sight of your goals and who you are, and also always remember it’s not just making art. Finally, it’s also your business. So treat it as such. You can have fun and still make a living if that what you want to do. It’s all up to you, its all mindset!
What have been some of your favorite Convention experience?
This year was a big year for me and I was able to do some amazing cons. Believe it or not, the smaller local ones can be just as amazing as the big huge ones! I’ll give you my favorite of each. Cradle Con which is a local Long Island NY show was AWESOME! The staff was great and the way they treated the artist and vendors was so good. That’s a perfect example of a smaller show doing BIG things and I can’t wait to do it again in 2019! As far as big shows, not counting NYCC because that’s NYCC (laughs). I’d say AwesomeCon in Washington was a big favorite for me. The place was set up very well and the crowd was awesome, the staff was helpful and with it being a big show it still felt intimate and it was really well done!
Jay, I want to thank you for taking the time and letting us interview you. Please let out readers know where we can find you on the web.
It was my pleasure this has been awesome and thank you for the opportunity!
My main social media is Instagram and you can find me there at @atramessor_art, I also have Facebook @atramessor Twitter @atramessorart and Vero @atra messor art I also have my online store at https://www.society6.com/atramessorart and my Artist Club store again at https://www.teepublic.com/user/atramessorart Once again Thank you so much!