Interview with Francis 'Halfanese' Kmiecik

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Francis Kmiecik best known as Halfanese, is an incredible artist based in West Hollywood, California. I was fascinated with his style and art direction when i first discovered his work few years ago. I had the privilege to interview him and we talked about his illustration and animation work,his love for bicycles,girls with tattoos,creativity and  more. Enjoy!

Can you please tell readers a bit about yourself.

I'm a tall half-asian guy. I have a very large appetite. I love movies. I used to be athletic. I constantly lie to myself about how I am still athletic. I've only recently acknowledged that I won't be an Olympic athlete. I like to make things and travel.

When was your starting point as an artist.

Thinking back, I realize how fascinated I was to see someone do something that I wouldn't have thought of. Even if it was coloring He-Man blue instead of tan in a coloring book. I remember at a really young age trying to copy what my older brother drew. He used to draw these flame rings but the overlapped in perspective and it blew my mind. So of course, I copied and stole it and eventually made it my style. Isn't that what a good artist is supposed to do? 

Artistically how have your grown, how different is it now compared to when you started.

Obviously I've grown technically but at the same time I've lost a great deal of my imagination. I could sit at a desk for hours now and not be able to come up with something as clever as I could when I was 17.  Although, I remember trying to draw hot girls in middle school and being so frustrated that they were off. I wish I could go back in time and laugh at the younger me. I'd make him feel so bad that he'd practice harder so I'd be better now.

What do you think is the most important factor in illustration.

I was lucky enough to be born with some natural talent, but I've also spent countless hours drawing and studying. When I take a long break from drawing I can tell the next time I pick up a pen. So I guess the most important thing is to sit at a desk and get bad posture hunching over a piece of paper?

Most challenging project so far.

I have a short film that I've been kicking around in my head for the last year. It's going to be an extremely stylized costume and set piece. I'm teaching myself how to do some mold making and basic sewing. I think the big challenge for me is having the patience to know that I'll eventually make it. 

You have some impressive animation work, how do you go about with animation compared to illustrations.

The animations are a lot of fun to work on, they're just so time intensive. I think my problem is I try and draw my animation elements as detailed as my illustrations. That's why they're so short. I've never been good at drawing things minimal and keeping them exciting.
I think my specialty is in the details.

Is there going to be any animation projects in the future.

In my mind there are a bunch of animated projects. Unfortunately, I make them so complicated it's hard for me to actualize them without a lot of help. I'm really bad at asking for help too. I know how much I value my time so I'm alway's hesitant to ask for someone else's time.

Most of your personal work are female models, tattoos and bikes. What do you think is the unique connection between them.

I don't know if it's unique? It's definitely a trend that is happening now. I guess it was my way of doing a modern pinup without using the traditional poses? At the time I drew these I was trying out a new style. I was drawing directly with a wacom instead of a pencil. I just wanted something fun and sexy to keep me inspired as I figured out. I was biking a lot at the time and I've alway's loved girls with tattoos!

What is your perfect working mode like.

The best is when I get a random burst of inspiration and have the time to see it through to the end.

In your opinion how will you define creativity.

For me, its when I make myself think outside of my normal conventions.  When a thought or interpretation can be mixed with an emotional reaction in my mind. At the same time it can come from nothing. I'm not really in control of it. I believe in it and hope it's there for me. I guess creativity is my religion.

Top 3 visually inspiring movies.

Borderline impossible question.  To make it fair I'm just gonna list the last 3 movies I've seen that were dope. Prometheus, Moonrise Kingdom…I can't think of anything else recent. 
I'll go with my default Chung King Express

If i am correct you are based in West Hollywood, where is your favorite spot.

Definitely the Arclight theatre. Runyon Canyon on a slow day is nice too. 

What do you like most about what you do.

One of the great things is the freedom. I never book a project longer than a month so I make sure to take a lot of time for personal work or travel. The best thing is the feeling of making something that wasn't there a minute before. 

Find Halfanese Here :