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Mindzai Creative

Mindzai Projects ft: Artist Russell Van Schaick

Posted by Susannah Leigh Caviness on

A few months ago, we had the pleasure of working with long-time client, Russell Van Schaick on a HUGE bulk order of our popular watercolor prints! Russell launched a Kickstarter, and was able to order almost 5,000 prints of his work. We loved documenting the process and being able to fulfill such a big and unique order. We caught up with Russell to ask a few questions about his artistic process!

First, introduce yourself, where you're located and what you do!
Hello! my name is Russell Van Schaick and I am a tattoo artist out of Orlando Florida :)

It seems like you have definitely honed in on your own style, what was the path like to get where you are today?
Oh man, it still feels like I'm finding it. I've always been a fan of Disney animation. I've consistently been drawn to the organic and raw sketches of characters... those little moments where creative decisions are made and a character really comes to life. That's what I'm trying to achieve in my work, a sense of organic art, a passion for the creative process.

Who or what, outside of any artists, have influenced you (ie: a book, place, or particular experience)
The world of Pixar and Disney have influenced me a lot, especially with it being right down the street really helps as well! I follow mostly concept artists and comic book artists via social media. I feel they really just blow us all out of the water with creativity and color theory execution, it's mind boggling; the idea that someone can create a character or a scene and change lives with it. It's the most inspirational thing i can think of.

We recently printed several items for your Kickstarter -- how did that idea come about? Would you recommend Kickstarter to other artists?
The Kickstarter campaign was insane. It was a lot of fun and since it was my first one, I learned a lot! Like, a lot a lot. There were a ton of speed bumps along the way, but mostly everyone has been patient with me. Honestly, Mindzai wasn't even something I had to research. I've had such a positive experience with you all, I didn't even bother shopping around for prices or anything. I confidently had you print my (however many prints it was haha, like 8 zillion?). I think Kickstarter is a great tool to get your artwork out there and into the hands of other people. a successful Kickstarter campaign can really change an artist's career.

What is the value to an artist of having prints made of your work?
By selling prints, you're creating more opportunities to expose yourself to the world. Nowadays, the art community is so driven by word of mouth and social media, so it's important to be able to have a few different price points to sell at... from a $10 print all the way to the original art. Having a range of prints and art available I feel is super important to getting your name out there.

Do you have a favorite subject matter or theme you like to stick with in your art? Is there anything new you'd like to try in 2018?
I really enjoy anything with a heartbeat or some kind of female form. I really enjoy doing things in the nerdy world as well. These are the worlds I enjoy to create in the most.

What advice would you give to artists who want to make the plunge into doing their work full time? Is there any advice you wish you would have received starting out?
Marketing. Marketing classes.... youtube classes... seminars. Some of the best artists in the world will never be seen because they don't know how to get out there. You really have to know how to push a product before you create it. At least thats what i think.

Outside of art, what are some of your favorite hobbies and activities?
I really enjoy watching movies, heading to Disney to people watch and eat Dole Whips on the Haunted Mansion ride, and scuba diving :)

Who, alive or dead, would you want to grab a beer or dinner with?
Oh man, that's a tough one! I'm thinking Robin Williams, Abraham Lincoln or Benjamin Franklin

Lastly, do you have a daily mantra or words that you live by?
I have a few mantras actually that I live by. The most important one for me is "let it out, then let it go"... it comes from "Avatar the Last Airbender".

You can follow Russell's work on Instagram!

  • Disney
  • Pixar
  • Comic Art
  • Mindzai Creatve
  • Russell Van Shaick
  • Orlando
  • Florida