“Hey, You’re Not Going to be an Artist”

It wasn’t right into the comic art world for John Tyler Christopher. When he graduated high school, he enrolled into Purdue University and studied theoretical math, and philosophy. “I remember being that scared early twenty-year-old. I was like growing up in a small town in Indiana no one could tell me how to do what I wanted to do.”

John Tyler Christopher

JTC would be told by friends and family, “Hey you’re probably not going to be an artist.” He was also told that his family had friends that went to art school that were much more well to do then he was and they were not able to do it.

The Break John Tyler Christopher Was Waiting For

So, after hearing that it was going to be to hard to make it as an artist, JTC got the break he was looking for. “So, I started dating my wife and she had a friend out in Seattle that went to the art institute out there. He came to Lafayette one day and looked at my portfolio. He was like ‘you got what it takes man you need to start pursuing this.’”

John Tyler Christopher

He was one of the first people that Christopher met that gave him not only encouragement but also told him how to do it. “So, I went to the Art Institute of Seattle and studied 3D amination and absolutely hated it. There I became kind of the concept artist for my class. I would do the 2D art and some other people would build the 3D models for it.”  As good as he was, however, breaking into the business wasn’t easy.

“When I graduated the avenue of getting into comics wasn’t to clear so I started to get into graphic and design. There I learned about the business side of art and is something that benefited me tremendously.”

This led to Christopher to a job at the corporate office at Home Depot creating and designing flyers. While there he met Tarek Hassanan, an artist who did work in comics and roleplaying games Hassanan encouraged Christopher to hang out and meet Hassanan’s colleagues. “Little did I know it was a sales pitch. They needed another studio mate to help split the rent with them.”