For all the aspiring artists who think their work will be lost amongst millions of online portfolios – you haven’t heard of Patrick Brown.
The Launceston graphic artist started out like many artists do, putting his own art online for others to enjoy.
“I used to do a lot of fan art, based on anything from video games to movies that I’ve liked, and I’d draw a scene and put it up in my gallery,” Brown said.
Then Marvel called.
Now Brown’s artwork is being used in promotional material for Marvel’s movies across the world – including a current Woolworths promotional campaign.
“It was quite a surprise to walk in just casually and then see my work [in Woolworths], I didn’t expect it,” Brown said.
“All the art that I do, they call it the style guide … they’ll put it in a big package and hand it around anyone in Marvel so it’ll go on all different products.
“I can’t really keep track of where my work ends up.”
Brown is so busy working on Marvel’s commissions that he’s dropped all other private work, dedicating his time to creating renditions of Captain America, Spider-man, Guardians of the Galaxy and more – and all from home in Tasmania.
“It’s basically a full-time job now … I’m just trying to keep with the pace that they need, it’s really good,” he said.
It’s the kind of career that would not have been possible twenty years ago; working with an international entertainment juggernaut without having to pack up and relocate to New York.
And while artists in previous decades might have relied on the goodwill and wealth of a patron, now artists like Brown can be supported by any number of fans through websites such as Patreon, which allows people to financially support their favourite creators with a small donation monthly.
With Marvel, Brown works as one of a team of artists and creatives from across the world.
“I was quite surprised that they allow you to work from home … I visited New York recently in the last few months to meet the team,” he said.
“Before that it was just email and … you don’t see anyone face-to-face.”
On tour around the building, Brown asked where the other artists were.
Turned out, they were just like him – working from across the globe, in their own homes and offices, drawing icons of pop-culture for millions of people to enjoy.