Phillip R. Williams Jr. has pursued art since the age of 5 when he found a stack of comic books in his father’s closet.
“I just saw some really graphic stuff and said, ‘Wow ... I think this is where I need to be,’” said Williams.
Super heroes were something Williams could relate to and, for him, art became an escape.
“At a young age ... whenever things are kind of tough ... that’s where I go. That’s my escape,” said Williams.
At age 43, Williams is still pursuing his dreams.
“I don’t want to fail. I want to be successful at something … I’ve been through a lot so far and ... I’ve got to do something with this talent,” said Williams.
The pursuit of a profession
With some of his recent work, Williams felt written word could enhance his work, so he reached out to gain the guidance of those individuals he admires in the comic and graphic novel industry. That is when he contacted Cullen Bunn, the writer for Deadpool at Marvel Comics. Bunn connected Williams with a friend named Jimmy. Together they are creating a graphic novel, “Outsyde the Dimension Man.”
According to a character description, “Outsyde the Dimension Man” is about a character named Paul Waters – a scientist who has a laboratory hidden in a “dimensional” pocket in his suit. The portal allows him to travel “the vast, dimensional universe” to help beings in other worlds.
“A lot of research for the project digs into the many uses dimensional traveling. Knowing the dimensions is the first step. Stepping outside of reality is like a vacation from the norms of life – intertwining my reality and fantasy in art and music allows portals to open for me. So it makes it easy to work with this idea, it’s limitless,” said Williams.
After two and a half years, “Metro,” a graphic novel by creators Bunn (co-writer), Brian Quinn (co-writer) and Walt Flanagan (artist) will be released. On this project, Williams worked with Flanagan on drawings for the 122-page “dark, urban, fantasy” graphic novel that explores what it means to be a “normal” human, starting with the idea that there is no such thing as normal.
Art imitates life
Williams said life itself is what inspires him to create his art.
“I see things and sometimes I’ll just get inspired and then I’ll just draw. A lot of it is just self-taught,” said Williams.
Williams said music starts the process of creating.
“When I would hear certain sounds, me being a drummer, I would play certain rhythms, they would give me visions. With these visions I would just draw,” said Williams.
Williams starts his drawings with blue pencil on bristol board. The drawings begin as scribbles and he doesn’t know exactly what they will become at that point. However, as the days pass, Williams revisits the drawings, adding to them each day. As the drawings begin to take shape, it’s at that point when he thinks to himself, “Wow! I’ve really got something here.” Once Williams feels his sketch is complete, he adds ink to the drawings for permanence.
For Williams, he spends as little as one day creating a page, while others take a week to create. To achieve the amount of detail in his work, Williams spends up to 16 hours each day working on his art, which is produced locally.
Williams’s art can be found online at deviantart.com (@phillwilliams), patreon.com (PhillWillCausePhillCan), Instagram (@phillwill037) and Twitter (@phillwilliams).