Winterfest Interview with Sandy Tew

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Winterfest Interview with Sandy Tew
Interviewer: Winterfest
Interviewee: Sandy Tew
Date(s): 2009
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Beauty and the Beast
External Links: interview is here; reference link
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Contents

In 2009, Sandy Tew was interviewed for Winterfest.

For similar interviews, see List of Beauty and the Beast Fan Interviews.

Some Excerpts

I was drawn (no pun intended ; ) to the idea of the show even before it premiered. I’ve always loved fantasy/sci fi type books and TV etc. When I read the premise I just knew I had to watch it. And of course after the pilot I was hooked. I love the romance and the whole thought of a safe place for people to be who they are and also the thought of helping others less fortunate. Plus, I was enthralled with Vincent and the amazing job both Rick Baker, Ron Koslow and Ron Perlman did to make him “really live”.
My favorite media will always be pencil. They’re always available, immediately ready, easy to take out and put away and their ability to give a picture a 3D quality with shading isn’t too hard to do.... But my other favorite media are art quality colored pencils. They can take a lot of time though so I don’t use them as often as I’d like to. I use a technique called grisaille where I do the first drawing in regular pencil so all the grays and forms are already established and then I print them out lightly with my printer and use the color pencils over this. Sometimes I use a colored piece of paper which can speed up the process. There are several benefits to this method. I can get the likeness first with the pencil drawing. It’s almost impossible to erase the color pencil so I can work out every thing before I add the color. The best part is that if I mess up I just print out another copy and can begin again. And, I can always go back sometime in the future and finish any pencil piece I’ve done before in color.
Hate to burst anyone’s bubble but almost all artists, professional or not, work from reference photos. Refs can be found from the actual promo photos and screen captures of course but it’s a lot of fun (and help) to use refs from magazines, romance novel covers, and things found on the internet. There could be a copyright issue there but changing several things in a ref makes it more ‘original’ and I really don’t think anyone is paying much attention to our little universe here but us. ; )

I’ve looked for good possible B&B refs for 20+ years now and don’t even have to think about it anymore. I see a great couple pose or something that would make a great Vincent and automatically save them for my files. I’ve been known to “take, not steal” pages out of magazines in the doctors office etc.

Also, even though I use to I don’t usually freehand the basic lines in a ref anymore. I can do it but it takes a lot more time and I wouldn’t get much done in a year. I usually scan a ref and enlarge it to the size I need and then use graphite paper (sort of like carbon paper) and put down a few preliminary lines on the paper. I don’t need a lot of lines but it gives me a jumping off point so I can at least quickly, get all the proportions right. Photos usually have some distortion though so I almost always have to change some lines. Of course I change lines when I do C & V faces and also I usually have to “beef up” the Vincent’s body or make him taller etc. I have to keep my drawing board upright pretty much when doing this since a flat picture will be shorter when you raise it up vertical. Very disturbing when you think you’ve got it just right and find it doesn’t look so good when held up.
Doing illos [for zines] was interesting and sometimes frustrating. They were a bit tougher to do but there are some I really loved doing. If I was working with a good editor it was mostly a pleasure and I got to read stories before they actually went into a zine. A lot of the time though ,I worked on art that never got used or the originals returned. Some zines never actually made it into publication. I had fun doing the illos for the BBTV Cyberdreams Zines and also loved doing anything for Ann Brown. I miss hearing from her! A lot of my early illos and others art from way back are cringe worthy but that’s one of the great things about fandom. It’s a safe place to try your wings out and eventually, hopefully fly.
I don’t remember ever throwing anything I’ve finished. I have several which I’ve never used for anything or really haven’t shown anyone except maybe to Cathy Moran . They are pieces I’m not happy with for some reason or another. I plan on redoing them someday since I do like the poses etc. I have gotten rid of several tries that didn’t work but usually went on to finish the pic on another piece of paper. You can only erase so much until the paper is ruined.

I no longer own the originals from quite a few pieces that have been sold in the con art shows. I always make sure I scan anything I do now so I have a file of them if they find new home. I have several pieces from when I first had some art in zines that I haven’t scanned and even though they are not my best I really need to scan.

Oh, my, a total is almost impossible but I know it runs in the hundreds. I checked my file that I keep all my B&B art in and it says there are 270 files at the moment. But like I mentioned before there are many older pics I’ve never actually scanned plus I have older art out there that a few editors never returned and I didn’t have a computer back then. In the early days I felt kind of guilty that I spent so much time drawing B&B stuff but now I realize it’s helped me hone all my drawing skills and I know I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for B&B.
In the B&B fandom there are many [artists whose work I enjoy]. I know I’ll forget someone but here’s the short list.

Early in fandom I was always blown away by Beth Blighton, Barb Gipson , Renate Haller, Rosemary Hauer, and Dragon. I have an original of Beth’s that was a favorite from the very first zine I ever bought. Someone resold it at a con a few years back and I snatched it up for a song.

Now my favs are Chan (of course). I love her loose, sketchy and free pencil pieces. She gets Catherine’s likeness spot on for at least 99.9% of the time. Am I jealous!? Hell, yeah! I have a Catherine she did years ago on the wall in my bedroom. Okay, she actually gave it to my husband who still reminds me that it’s his. ; ) Also, of course Kevin Barnes’ art is simply amazing. I still also love Pam Tuck’s pen and ink work. It takes my breath away every time!

I also want to mention that the digital manipulations done by Lynn and some others are so much fun and inspiring. ; ) I also enjoy Lynn’s sketches. Especially the more, uh, stimulating ones. ; )

There are just too many to mention but I do think we just don’t have enough active B&B artist’s anymore.
I do B&B art for myself of course but I also do it for the fans. The show and fandom are all about sharing with each other the talents and abilities we have no matter what they are. At first submitting art to zine editors was a way for me to be able to afford zines but now new hard copy zines are almost nonexistent. The internet has changed the face of this and pretty much every fandom out there. After a piece of my art is used the first time for something like a conzine or calendar or tee-shirt I don’t mind at all having it on the internet for others to enjoy. Having something to share with others is a privilege.
I’ve never been a part of organized fandom of anything else but I have done some art, years ago, for a few other fandom zines, like Lois and Clark, X-Files and have done a few never published pics for Quantum Leap and Highlander. I really can’t imagine being involved with anything else like I am with B&B. But… I do love Sci Fi/Fantasy shows like Star Trek, Stargate -SG-1 and at the moment I love Lost.