Atlanta-based illustrator Nuri Durr is known for his traditional portrait art and stylized caricature drawings. We asked him about where he finds inspiration, his process, and the importance of supporting other artists.
Tell us about your piece for the January #CopicColors challenge.
When I was younger I was really into drawing furries so I thought it would be fun to revisit some of those characters from my old sketchbooks for this challenge. My general approach to coloring with Copics is to do everything without linework, relying mainly on the colors themselves to separate the different shapes. Working with only 3 colors proved to be more challenging than I expected, but it was a lot of fun!
So where does your handle, @ActionHankBeard, come from?
I needed a name when I created an Instagram account years ago. My name was taken and I couldn't think of anything else catchy so I went with actionhankbeard because at the time I was watching the Action Hank episode of Dexter's Lab.
We've noticed you draw a lot of inspiration from pop culture — music, cartoons, video games, movies, etc. — has that always been the case? What inspired you to become an illustrator?
I've been drawing since I was very young so pop culture has always had a big influence on my art. I like to reference things that I loved from my childhood. There was a period during high school where I did nothing but realism, but I eventually found my way back to illustrating because of my love for comics and animation.
How would you describe your style and how has it developed? Was there a moment when you decided — yeah, that's my style?
I think for years my drawing style went through a lot of phases. Whichever artist I was into at that time I emulated and it showed in my art. It wasn't until recently that I made a conscious effort to develop a unique art style that I felt was true to me. I think I'm still in the process of defining that style.
What's your process? How has it changed from when you first started?
My process consists of sketching lightly and coloring directly over the sketch with Copics. I like to define shapes with colors and separate the forms with Multiliners. I've never been very confident in my ability to ink so this process has always been my way of working around that.
What are your favorite projects to work on? Are you working on anything now that excites you?
I like doing fanart of things that I enjoy mostly. It's my go-to when I'm in a rut or dealing with artist's block. This year I made the decision to spend more time doing original artwork. It's still a little early, but I have some personal projects that I'm working on that I'm excited about sharing soon!
We love how supportive you are of other artists on social media — are there any you'd recommend our readers should check out?
I believe supporting other artists helps us all learn from each other and grow! There's tons of artists I could recommend, but some of my favorites lately on Instagram are @porkbellyramen, @hebrocharacterdesign and @renomsad!
What words of advice would you give to aspiring artists reading this?
Practice makes proficient, but it never makes perfect. You'll have a hard time seeing your own growth if you never finish anything!
Learn more about January's #CopicColors.