Howie Green Gallery Pop Art Gallery
Album Covers
Pop Art Murals


Click here


© Howie Green

  Howie Green Interviews

Interviewed by: Allen Klingelhoets
Jazma Field Marshall

Allen: Please tell me a little about yourself Howie Green.
(Howie was originally interviewed by Allen in 2007.)

Howie Green: I have been an artist, illustrator, designer, author and toy collector for most of my life. I started drawing obsessively at age 11 and have never stopped. After working for several companies as art director I set up my own studio in the 80s and had great run of almost 20 years before a series of events made me change my direction and shut down including the stock market crash of 2000 after the so-called Internet "bubble" burst, and the 9/11 attacks a year later. Not just me but the whole graphic design world went face down. Since then I have been independent doing freelance design and illustration work but mostly focused on painting and murals.

Allen: How long have you been professional artist?

Howie Green:I started working professionally while I was an art student at Rochester Institute of Technology in the late 60s. I was lucky enough to land a job working for the school in their exhibit and display service where we created and maintained a series of promotional displays for the school around Rochester as well as convention and trade show booths. I has access to full workshop and silkscreen printing set up which I used constantly. A great resource and a great opportunity for a young art student. I still can't believe how lucky I was.

Allen: What are some things that spark your creativity?

Howie Green: I can't say anything specifically that does but a lot of things set off the creative sparks. Food, movies, lighting, a great face, a joke... it could be anything really.

Allen: Have you ever considered working in the comic book industry as cover artist? Or maybe artist for series.

Howie Green: I would love to do some covers but I'm not sure my style fits.... but ya never know.

Allen: What are some of your proudest accomplishments as artist. What is your favorite genre to work in?

Howie Green: My proudest achievement as an artist is my book "Jazz Fish Zen: Adventures in Mamboland" which is a fun book I wrote and illustrated that was published by Charles Tuttle Co. in the 90s. I made some money from it but more importantly it changed how my clients and world in general saw me. Being a published author changed everything. I'm also proud of the fact that several of my paintings have been approved as official Beatles merchandise art... although they have yet to appear on any products.

Allen: What is your favorite genre to work in?

Howie Green: My favorite genre is the sort of retro Yellow Submarine Pop Art style. Even after all these years it still turns me on.

Allen: Do you ever do much comic book character art?

Howie Green: I paint comic book characters all the time for fun.... like a LOT! I have done lots of commissioned comic work including a couple running comic strips for newspapers and magazines, but it's very hard to break into the comic book Marvel/DC world as an artist. There are so many amazing artists and so many more waiting in line for a chance. I am working on a comic of my own now based on a psychedelic book project I did in the early 70s.

Allen: What is one of biggest projects ever took on as artist?

Howie Green: I have done a lot of murals in the last decade and those are, by definition, huge. I did a 72 foot long one at the Dimock Center in Boston which is the longest one I have done. The biggest overall project was all the art I did was for the Mellow Mushroom in Delray Beach, FL which included over 50 paintings and two murals one of which is 15 feet tall and 40 some feet wide. I also painted a holiday mural on the front entrance to Boston City Hall a few years back (with my brother's help).

Allen: Who are some of your Mentors in art industry?

Howie Green: I've never really had any mentors per se. I had a lot of support and encouragement by a few folks including Boston design legend Bill Gunn when I was young and a great guy named Ray Bell. Hard to think how my career would have panned out without the early help and encouragement from my school mate Ed Coyle. Thanks Ed!

Allen: Is any of your art in museums? Have you won awards for your art?

Howie Green: I have a piece in the design museum in Dusseldorf, Germany but that's about it. It's pretty hard to get your work in museums without a major gallery backing you. And yes, I have quite a few rewards for my work including the Absolute Vodka Boston 25th Anniversary Award.

Allen: Do you come from family with lots of history working in art field?

Howie Green: Nope not a single person. Supposedly an aunt I never knew, due to a divorce before I was born, was an animation cell painter at Disney in the 30s but I have never been able to confirm that.

Allen: Has any of your works been on television shows?

Howie Green: Yes I am told that some of my paintings have appeared in a few TV shows but I keep asking for screen shots to prove it but no luck. A friend of mine is friends with a person who does "art placement" for shows and movies and has supposedly used my work.

Allen: What are some of your favorite album cover paintings that you have created?

Howie Green: My favorite is a painting I did for a cover by Lena Lovich, a "new wave" 80s singer I loved. No one has ever mentioned that particular painting but its my favorite. As is often the case the work that we artists think is our best goes unnoticed.

Allen: Do you create art for movies in theaters? Or maybe poster art for movies?

Howie Green: I was on a list of "go-to" movie artists for a few years and I did a dozen or so movie poster paintings and such but none were ever actually used. This is very typical of the movie business and I have talked to a lot of artist who had the same experience. I got paid but the work never saw the light of day.

Allen: Was there some one that encouraged you to be artist in your youth?

Howie Green: Well it certainly wasn't my family! My dad was indifferent and mother discouraged me constantly and actually punished me when she found me drawing... which just made me more determined than ever to be an artist. I had one uncle who love my work and he encouraged me... my lifeline! Thanks Uncle Neil.

Allen: What are some of your favorite art tools?

Howie Green: Oh anything really. I love etching a lot but having access to an etching printing press is rare treat.

Allen: Did you read many comic books as child? Do you read many at present time? What sort did you or presently read?

Howie Green: I devoured anything comic I could get my hands on as a kid. I read and reread them. Since we were all poor, my friends and cousins and I would buy one or two and then share them. I was a big Superman and Batman fan. I read a lot now mostly because I love the artists. Anything by Francesco Francavilla - he's my favorite.. and dear Neal Adams - such a great guy and amazing artist. I love Deadman and Moon Knight and Deadpool but also pick up anything that catches my eye. I read them then pass them along.

Allen: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Howie Green: I draw... I go to lots of museums, I read, and get sucked into the black hole that is my scroll on Instagram!

Allen: What kind of art would be your dream project?

Howie Green: I've always wanted to design a miniature golf course.

Allen: What is the best way to read about or virtually see your projects?

Howie Green: Visit my website - I post almost daily in Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest

Allen: What kinds of things would you like to say to someone getting start as artist? Where did you get your professional training? Where is your presently located as home art studio?

Howie Green: My studio in now in my house. After having various studio spaces in Boston's Back Bay for a couple decades I decide to move it all home and save money. Now every room in my house is a mess and filled art projects in various stages of completion.

After getting a B.F.A. from R.I.T. I have continued to take courses in various pursuits including animation, etching, etc etc.

My advice to anyone getting started as an artist is draw!! Draw everything you see and draw every day. It's foundation for everything. Without that skill you will be lost.

Allen: What are some of most interesting ways you have brought art to speculative buyers? For example, maybe puzzles or other examples.

Howie Green: I work with a licensing company who has gotten my work printed on tons of products from watches and jigsaw puzzles to canvas prints, garden flags and needlepoint kits. But my favorite items are my Trail of the Painted Ponies and Cow Parade collectible figures. I love them!

Allen: Thank you Howie Green for new Jazma interview. I appreciate this very much for your hard work on answering questions. Would you like to leave our readers with some closing comments?

Howie Green: If you want to be an artist get a handful of pens and pencils and a sketchbook and draw every day until its filled. Then get another sketchbook and fill it up. Continue doing that for the rest of your life.

Return to Interviews Main Page