We had the good fortune of connecting with Dale Novak and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dale, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting a new business or career takes time and patience. The more planning that is involved, the more you can pinpoint the direction that you would like to take your business. Be willing to take critiques and adjust to the environments around you. Throughout the last twelve years, my art career has shaped and evolved through inspiration from my peers and the experiences that I’ve had along the way. Being willing to learn from your mistakes is also key. I’ve had to start many of my illustrations over, due to a lack of planning or a critique that I got along the way. Networking and having a support system is great because it helps move your career forward. I wouldn’t be where I was today if it wasn’t for friends that supported my artwork when I was just starting out.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I specialize in traditional pen and ink illustrations. My illustrations are rendered though pointillism and creating different textures with ink. Black and white drawings are my forte, but also really love coloring my art with the endless color palettes that this world has to offer. I am influenced by science and retrofuturistic depictions of what the past thought the future could be. Illustrating characters that have yet to be discovered beyond our solar system has been my favorite thing lately. What makes me most proud about my art, is just to be able to create and materialize visual interpretations from my imagination. I love to draw. If all I had some pens and endless stack of paper, I could entertain myself to no end. When I started to try and make a career from Illustrating, I couldn’t have predicted to where I am today. Initially all I wanted to do was help create artwork for the local music scene in Milwaukee, WI. This led me to enrolling into MATC and studying animation for three years to develop my skills. When I was finishing up my animation degree, I started to realize that being an animator was not exactly what I was trying to be. All I wanted to is draw every idea that popped into my head. I decided to enroll into RMCAD, continuing my education by studying Illustration. I packed my bags and moved to Colorado later that year. For the next 4 years, I tried balancing school work, a personal life, and trying to get my artwork noticed around town. This quickly made be realize that there wasn’t enough hours in the day and the importance of time management. Throughout this time, I had a few art shows. Some shows were successful, while others didn’t pan out so well. I took each mistake as a learning experience, and tried to adjust my methods to better my future art hangings. While finishing my Illustration degree, I started to design posters for local concerts around Denver. One of these local bands, The Dirty few, had me design the cover art for one of their vinyl record releases. This art gig led me to illustrating for the Denver based print media, Barf Magazine, in which I even ended up designing their logo. Drawing content for the magazine helped get my name across town, which led to a lot projects and design work for local musicians. The last few years were filled with continuous music related commissions and sharing my art through local pop up art shows. Currently, I have been working on starting a new paper based magazine with other local artists around town. This new magazine, titled Vibe Raider, will have it’s first release later on this summer. Besides that, I continue to draw each day and look forward to what might happen in the next chapter of my art career.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend were to visit, the first thing I would do is get out of Denver. Denver is very centralized in the state, so the farther you head in any direction away from the city, the prettier the surrounding areas are. There are some really beautiful nature related activities in this state if you willing to travel to. But if I had to stay located in the city of Denver, there are plenty of wonderful art attractions and delicious restaurants to keep any guest happy.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
One of the people who has influenced me and helped jump start my art career would have to be my first college art professor, Tim Decker. The first time I met Tim, I was taking my first course in traditional animation at MATC Milwaukee. Right off the bat, he seemed like a larger than life character. He was very strict and passionate about teaching others animation. His class was no joke, and my classmates and I quickly got on the page to take his teachings very serious. Any others who didn’t take his class serious or didn’t turn in assignments on time, quickly felt his wrath. He pushed the class to go above and beyond with their art projects. Tim also helped our classes’ animations end up on a PBS spotlight, which led to the class winning an award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. By the time I was finishing my animation degree, he encouraged me to continue my education, but put the main focus on illustration. He pointed me in the direction of applying to the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, in Colorado. My art career wouldn’t be where it is today without the drive he helped to push me to have. Others who have helped push my career forward would have to be my friends and family, who have always been supportive of my artwork. They continue to believe in me and always look forward to where I take my career next.

Website: www.dalenovakillustrations.com

Instagram: @dalenovakillustrations

Image Credits
“Personal Photo” was taken by Jordan Robichaux

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