Digital artist Kyle Armstrong tells visual stories through his carefully crafted characters. His recipe is simple. It’s a little bit western, a little bit comic book and a dash of Dungeons & Dragons.
Kyle’s passion is telling stories in a visual medium, while getting away with drawing as many robots and creatures as possible. We knew from this brief bio that he was the perfect fit for Issue 18 Surreal // So Real.
What was your process for creating this series?
The seed for most of this work started as a Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in a wild west. I love world building, so once I nailed down the setting I set to work crafting characters to inhabit it.
So many western stories include elements of tall tales, my character design pieces take those aspects and injects a flair of magic and wonder.
“I have a passion for bringing worlds to life.”
Stories and personas are such essential parts of the creative process for me when I create these characters. Some of them start as silly word play, like The Prickly Pair.
I loved the idea of these bandits who were also living cacti. And once I have figured them out visually they needed names with an extra level of subtle word play. The little guy is Percy Rick (P.Rick) and the big fella is Paul Oke (P.Oke).
Where did your inspiration come from?
I got inspiration for characters on long drives across Texas. There are so many wonderful small town billboards for local businesses and lawyers.
So a combination of those and the David Komie “The Attorney that Rocks” billboards here in Austin, lead to the creation of Moriarty Crusoe, a sleazy wizard turned lawyer.