Tuesday, March 29, 2016

STUDIO SPACE: Anthony “Tank” Mansfield

Location: Kenwood (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Social Media: Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram: anthonytankmansfield Twitter: tankofalltrades
On the Drawing Table: Currently it has been a lot of Mr. Redlegs drawings because I am excited for the season to start, even though I realize it’s going to be pretty painful.
Coming out soon: My friend Jaimie Filer and I are going to be doing a series of live art events this spring and summer. 

How did you get your start as a professional artist? 

I remember one time, shortly after graduating from art school, someone asked me, “So are you working here because the fine arts painting factory isn’t hiring?” While I learned a number of things in college, how to market my work and be a businessman definitely wasn’t part of the curriculum. Over the past 15 years, I’ve acquired those skills from a lot of hard work, learning from my mistakes, and my biggest strength/weakness of being too hard-headed to quit doing art. During that time, I have taken part in over 100 art shows across the United States including Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. Last year, I took part in my first international show in Germany.

Describe your work.  
In short, I would call it Lowbrow/Pop Surrealism because that is the style of artwork I’ve always identified with. My current work has a lot of stoner-metal qualities to it as I’ve been influenced by Heavy Metal magazine, Brian Bolland’s work on Judge Dredd/2000 AD, Jack Kirby, and album covers and T-shirts whose subject matter includes monsters, space, battle axes, etc. I’ve been working on putting more straight lines into my work to create textures and shadows. 


Tell about your workspace.
I work from my couch. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom condo that is part home office, part library, and part art storage. I work from a large IKEA coffee table and art boards. I also do a lot of work in my sketchbook to lay things out. I also store things in plastic drawers and pint glasses. 


What are your favorite materials digital and traditional?
I enjoy working with 2D media such as graphite, acrylic paint, or color markers. Currently I am working with inks because it fits the size of my workspace and I really enjoy what I am doing with them. They give me an opportunity to move what I do in new directions.  

What’s your typical workday/work session like?
Sit down. Put something on TV to listen to or watch or listen to a podcast. I rarely listen to music unless I am doing live art or I am on a time crunch. I’ve started to work in warm-up sketches before working on my current project. 

What do you do to keep yourself motivated as you work?
I can’t stop drawing. It’s a habit at this point and I am constantly sketching things. I see people like Mike Maydak, Big Meas, Skinner, Aziritt, and more just putting out incredible stuff and it makes me want to create things.

What is your dream job? 

To create a fictional world that others are emotionally invested in.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, I think it is one of the most important things an artist can have. I need a place to work out ideas and write reminders down for things I need to do. 




What do you listen to while you work?  
Either I am listening to something that is on TV or I have a podcast on. My go-to podcasts are the Joe Rogan Experience, Fighter and the Kid, Knife Edge Chop, the Watching Dead, Game of Thrones the Podcast, Straight Shoot, and the MLW Network.

What are you reading/listening to on Audible? 
I’ve started to get back into comic books lately actually. Currently I am reading The Walking Dead and The Humans. I am planning on picking up Southern Bastards next.

Who are your artistic influences? 
Derek Hess, Robert Williams, Brian Bolland, Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta, Tom Neely, Skinner, Aziritt, and more. Locally I am surrounded by so talented friends and peers who push and encourage me whether they know it or not: Jaimie Filer, Mike Maydak, Christina Wald, Justin Stewart, Pam Kravetz, Carol Tyler, Jason Snell, and James Billiter.

What do you do that is not art related that inspires you? 

I’ve always found playing video games to be inspiring and it’s definitely my go to stress reliever (along with lifting weights). The modern era of video games are beautiful and I love exploring the worlds in Bioshock, the Fallout universe, and Gears of War. I am always going to be a sucker for a dystopian future. 

What was the best advice you got in your career so far? 

One of my former professors who I never saw eye-to-eye with said, “Great painters don’t paint when they want to paint; they paint when they don’t want to paint.” That really hit home for me because I’ve seen a lot of people who play artist and work when it’s convenient, but I’ve learned that if you want to get better, you must constantly be producing work and trying new things even when you don’t want to.

What is your favorite color?  

Black. It defines things and creates contrast. 


  1. Totally dig Tank's work. We have a couple pieces including one of the above.

  2. Dude is awesome! I love his work, and he is a super cool dude.