If you have read any recent DC or Marvel comics, chances are you’ve heard of John Cebollero; even if it was in passing. This up-and-coming artist has not only lived every geeky artistically inclined child’s dream by working for two of the most prestigious comic book houses in the world, but his resume boasts gigs at Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers Animation and the Topps Company as well.
Cebollero is also a native of New York City, having attended the High School of Art and Design before going to college at the uber-famous School of Visual Arts (SVA). He has also had a few exhibits in the Big Apple as well, mainly at the Last Rites Gallery.
Having made a recent appearance at Long Island’s Eternal Con, LIB Magazine was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to speak with Cebollero and learn more about how he got into art, who his inspirations are and more!
LIB: How did you get into art? Was it a lifelong passion or something you stumbled into?
Cebollero: I’ve been into art as long as I can remember; and drawing was a way of entertaining myself—I was always constantly drawing. It was definitely a passion of mine that was driven by an inherent sense of wonder.
LIB: How has your style changed over the years?
Cebollero: I think my work has become more surreal over the years. I have a great interest in the power of contrasting elements and how the marriage of conflicting properties can enhance art–things like contrasting colors, textures, and the juxtaposition of certain forms and tangents.
“Practice your craft and work hard. Remember to explore art and all its incarnations. This is how you develop your own unique style and grow as an artist.”
LIB: What did you like about working for DC and Marvel? Also, who is your favorite superhero from each comic book world?
Cebollero: There is a thrill that comes with being able to say that you work for DC and/or Marvel Comics. It’s a kind of a childhood fantasy for a lot of people to work in such an industry, I’d say. So to walk into those buildings is like going to fantasyland to work and of course, there is the honor of contributing to the legacy of superheroes that have become American pop culture icons. Who is my favorite superhero from each company? The folks in the accounting department that issue my checks!
LIB: What’s your favorite medium to work in?
Cebollero: I have a tendency to bounce around from medium to medium. However, I suppose that I’d say pencil was my favorite because it’s the easiest to work with and yields the fastest results.
LIB: Any advice for up-and-coming artists who are looking to break into the industry?
Cebollero: Practice your craft and work hard. Remember to explore art and all its incarnations. This is how you develop your own unique style and grow as an artist. Also remember that you never stop learning and that’s what keeps your artwork interesting.
LIB: Is there any artist(s) whose work has greatly influenced you?
Cebollero: Like many artists, I have a long list of influential visionaries I’ve studied throughout my life–artists like Robert Crumb, Mort Drucker, Alphonse Mucha, Richard Corben, Moebius, Norman Rockwell, etc.
LIB: Lastly, are there any artists that you’d love to work with in the future?
Cebollero: Tim Burton would be a cool artist to collaborate with. That’s a tall order but like my friend Frank says, “If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly…..”
LIB: You never know –it’s always great to hold high aspirations for yourself! Thanks for talking with us today. We wish you all the best!
Note: The cover image for this story is credited to John Cebollero