Arnold Arre is a Filipino fantasy artist, graphic novelist, and self-taught animator best known for his graphic novels “The Mythology Class” and “Trip to Tagaytay” which won Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards in 2000 and 2001 respectively. His debut short animated film “Milkyboy” was screened in several festivals worldwide and won awards at the 25th Gawad CCP Para Sa Alternatibong Pelikula, the 7th Animahenasyon Festival and the 30th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Aside from his comics and film projects he has animated music videos and illustrated for numerous publications. He lives in Quezon City with his wife, graphic designer Cynthia Bauzon Arre and their cat. You can follow him and his work through the following channels: his website, Instagram, YouTube.
*Copyright of all images belong to their respective artist.
Q: Everyone has an origin story. Could you share with us the exact moment (or moments) wherein you realized that you wanted to become an artist?
It all began when I borrowed my brother’s Incredible Hulk vs. Doc Samson comic way back when I was 6 or 7. I’ve been fascinated with sequential art ever since.
Q: From that moment, and throughout your journey as an artist, what has been your biggest struggle?
In the early days, whenever I started writing a book, there was always a lingering concern about how to get it published. But I’ve learned not to think about that until the book is done, because worrying will just hinder the progress of my work.
Q: How have you been able to cope with (or overcome) this struggle?
I just kept drawing and writing until I’d finished the book. It was easier to market a finished story to a publisher as opposed to pitching unfinished ideas.
Q: What would you consider is the ONE thing that REALLY helped you level up your skills?
Drawing everyday, consistently.
Q: What is one thing you’d wish you’d known before you started your artistic career? Why?
That this profession entails a lot of hard work, and that there are no shortcuts to success.
Q: What drives or inspires you to continue making art or comics?
Knowing that I’m connecting with readers through my stories is a very fulfilling experience.
Q: What does your average day look like? And when do you fit in the time to create art?
I usually work late in the afternoons to the evenings, and well into the wee hours of the morning after. That’s when most of my ideas are born.
Q: How do you deal with distractions or challenges that you encounter while you’re working on your art?
I just try to focus on what I’m doing. That’s why night time is best for working and brainstorming, there are less distractions.
Q: What do you do when you feel just completely uninspired or burnt out? How do you motivate yourself to start working again?
I do something else entirely. I go out. I watch a movie. I play video games. I take a nap. My wife and I take a break and travel. When my mind is refreshed, I’m able to start working again.
Q: What would you say has been your most EPIC win so far?
Winning the New Directors/New Visions Award at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for my animated short film, “Milkyboy.” Animation was something I just started exploring a few years ago, so it was good to be recognized for it.
Q: What would you say has been your biggest failure?
When I was in grade school, I wished I could’ve read more Filipino comics. Then again, there weren’t a lot of local comics back then so I wouldn’t really call it a failure. Maybe a “missed opportunity”.
Q: What, for you, has been the best way to promote yourself and your work to potential fans, clients, or publishers?
Being active on social media, especially Facebook, has been a great way for me to connect with my readers.
Q: What has been your game plan throughout your journey? What’s the BIG picture here? The ultimate dream? The end game?
I just want to be able to share the stories in my head. Having someone tell me that they can relate to a character or that the story moved them and made their outlook better is a big plus.
Q: What, for you personally, has been the source of your ideas, creativity and talent?
Inspiration is everywhere. From past experiences in my childhood to surroundings and environments I’m exposed to. I always tell budding writers to “write about what you know.”
Q: What is your big “WHY”?
Why does ink always run out when I’m putting finishing touches to a drawing?
Q: What 3 stories (comics, movies, documentaries, novels, etc.) would you say influenced and inspired your work the most?
I grew up loving comic books and the works of Bill Sienkewicz, Syd Mead, H.R. Giger. But I greatly consider French artist, Jean “Moebius” Giraud, as my biggest influence.
Q: What are the top books, art books, blogs, podcasts, or workshops you’d recommend that helped you level up your skills?
Akira, books by Hayao Miyazaki and Jean Giraud.
Q: If you could work remotely, from anywhere in the world, where would your office be? Why?
I like where I am right now.
Q: Name ONE artist/writer that, if you could, you would pick their brain and find out all the hidden secrets behind their amazing work?
Jean “Moebius” Giraud.
Q: Who do you consider your biggest mentor that helped you improve your skills? (Doesn’t have to be someone you’ve met personally.)
Jean “Moebius” Giraud.