Pimps and pinups

Published:  January 19, 2010
Pimps and pinups

Martin Abel is a Melbourne based freelance illustrator who has been working professionally since 2003 creating pinup art and magazine illustrations. Abel has come a long way since his childhood drawings of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and now has clients including Official Xbox Magazine, Maximum PC, Ralph, Picture Premium and Viper Comics under his belt.

Copyright Martin Abel

Copyright Martin Abel

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m a freelance illustrator from Melbourne, mostly known for my Pinup Girl artwork and various illustrations for magazines.

How long have you been illustrating and what drew you to it?
Like most artist’s I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, but I have been illustrating freelance since 2003. When I was younger I always just wanted to draw comic books, what drew me to illustration was realising that artists can get paid for drawing all sorts of different things. And the idea of being published in different media really appealed to me.

Copyright Martin Abel

Copyright Martin Abel

What are your weapons of choice when creating?
Coffee, Nicotine Patch, Wacom Tablet and Photoshop. Traditional media; pencils, inks, copics and paint pens.

Can you tell us about your set-up/ studio?
Very cramped and messy, but I will be moving house soon and we are using the master bedroom as one big studio which will be awesome.
I have a big old desk for my computer, a smaller adjustable drawing desk and big draftsmen’s desk thing-o which I have had since I was 12 years old.

How would you describe your style?
Currently Evolving. I’m at the stage where I have been a bit stagnant for too long, and I think a lot of artists sometimes feel the same way, so right now I am having a lot of fun trying new methods. Most of my previous work has been very clean and bright, people often confuse it for vector illustrations but it was all created in Photoshop with my wacom. Right now I am trying to digitally paint and free myself creatively instead of restricting myself to a constant method of creating art.

I actually much prefer the movement and energy of my sketches compared to some of my finished work. So that is another thing I am working on, trying to keep that movement and energy through to the final illustrations.

Copyright Martin Abel

Copyright Martin Abel

Who/ what inspires you and why?
Music inspires me, and passionate people inspire me.
Music can just take me to a different place and really inspire me to create something amazing. When I see someone who loves what they do, whether it be other artists or not, they inspire me to get motivated and be as passionate as they are about what I love doing.

When starting on an illustration, what process do you follow?
I start with simple thumbnail sketches to get my idea out of my brain onto paper. I’ll either draw in a sketchbook or go straight into digital sketching using Sketchbook Pro. Once I have decided on what I am going to do, I do a bigger version of the sketch and really flesh it out.

Copyright Martin Abel

Copyright Martin Abel

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt so far, and how did that come to pass?
My biggest lesson would be, always be prepared. That came by getting the chance to go to San Diego Comicon in 2008 and then realising I had no business cards or anything to show what I actually do. Even though I was there as a guest like everybody else, people still asked me if I had a sketchbook or card or something. It was a hectic time, but I was disappointed I didn’t have much to show when I was there.

If you could work for anyone in the world who would it be and why?
Image comics. Because that was my dream as a kid.

Do you have any tricks/tips for illustrators out there?
Know what your goals are, and work on making them come to reality every day.

What else do you get up to besides creating amazing illustrations?
Not a whole lot really!

Music wise, who’s in your top 5?
Thrice, Beatles, Bouncing Souls, Coldplay, Frank Sinatra. I like to mix it up a bit.

What’s can we expect from you next?
You can expect to see me experimenting and trying new things.
Pinup Art has been a big thing for most of my short career so far, but you can expect to see me branch out and be doing all sorts of different things in the future.

Copyright Martin Abel

Copyright Martin Abel

Any final words?
If you like my pinup girls, go check out pinupsticks and inkcorrect I have just launched a few merchandise deals, we have some kick ass Drum Sticks and some very awesome Bottle openers!
Oh and thanks for reading!


One Response

  1. Antony

    Hello Martin
    JUst thought I’d say that your work blows me away. It is the sort of art I was striving to produce many, many years ago at school. I have now picked up my pencils and have started again from scratch, with a view to hopefully have a career in art within a few years.
    Have you any advice regarding equipment, references, tutorials, software, programs, inspirations, etc.
    Anything would be greatly appreciated.



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