Instagram Spotlight: Art Director Logan McNeil

Looking for some creative artist accounts to follow on Instagram? Don't worry, we've got you covered!

This month we chatted with Art Director, Logan McNeil, who is based in our Toronto studio. His Instagram account - @artoflmcneil - is packed full of portraits, animations, and fan art.

We scrolled through Logan's artwork and chatted to him about some of our favourites!

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Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in the eighties in Port Colborne Ontario, those 'Stranger things'  kids are my childhood. I am married and have two amazing boys. I play in a bluegrass band and love daydreaming - always have.

How would you best describe your work?

Searching. I am doing a lot of studies, plain and simple, just trying to improve. I really do subscribe to the student for life ethos. May I never graduate.

Your Instagram shows your skill in many different mediums which is very impressive - painting, modeling, and animation - do these skills influence/help each other when you are working?

Thank you, I love too many things, maybe I'm too scattered, but I absolutely believe that one's interests are interconnected, and influence one another.

Sculpture is key in understanding form, so will improve your drawing. 3D modeling and lighting will help you understand how light affects local colour of objects of different materials, and so will help you see and paint this from nature.

What artists/things inspire you and your work?

Far too many to list. We truly are living in a great time for artists in that one can spend an entire day just devouring thousands of amazing works online, from historical masterpieces to up and comer's, there is so much to get inspired by.

The challenge then becomes how do I shut that out, pack it away, and just create, just get to the making!

I'm looking at nature all the time, the physics of how light changes, how the muscles work in a dog passing by… I'm never at a loss for inspiration from life.

Can you explain the two pieces above to us?

These two pieces are really just quick studies. I added a figure to the cave painting because while I was painting it, I was thinking a lot about what it must be like to discover this place, and “wouldn't you just have to go for a dip.”

How do you develop your work and skill set and what motivates you to do so?

The biggest motivator has been looking back at my career in animation spanning back to 1998, and realizing that I had nothing to show for it, no way to show anyone else that I even draw or paint, animate, whatever, and I really have to thank Jake Parker and his Inktober for kicking my butt, and waking me up.

Once I got started just doing art that I wanted to make, which was terrifying, having had no social media existence at that point, the fire was lit, and now I can't stop.

How do you approach a personal project and is this very different than your approach to a professional one?

This is an interesting one because the very reason I am actively teaching myself new skills and creating, even if it's just studies, is that in my professional career, wherein I have worked on some fun projects over the years, some of which I am very proud of, there was nothing at the end of the day that was just me.

I just wanted to have a place to dump whatever I'm working on for myself, and trust in my impulses, and not edit or curate it.

For someone starting out in their career, what is the one piece of information you would give them that you feel could help them most?

It is truly such a privilege to get to make a living in a creative field, I would just say, take every opportunity to enjoy it.

Take the time to appreciate that you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who all just want to create something beautiful, which resonates with others out there. I feel pretty lucky every day.

What tools do you use in your work and what is your favourite?

At work I work on a Wacom Cintiq, and use Photoshop, Kyle Webster brushes, Harmony, Blender, After Effects. My favourite tools at the moment are oil paint and brushes, you can't really improve on that.

Do you have any other creative outlets?

I play the mandolin and sing in a bluegrass band called Houndstooth in Toronto.

I build instruments and play a mandolin I built, and a violin. I will definitely get back to building instruments someday but I don't have space for it right now.

What are your aspirations for the future?

Continue the search for balance between the things I have to do and the things I want to do, and hopefully make meaningful connections with a lot of nice people along the way.

I am always searching for the right story to bring to life, my wife Seika and I have been talking about it for years… so, if one came along, who knows what might happen!

We loved talking with Logan this month and you can check out more of his work on Instagram at @artoflmcneil.


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