Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Ladies and Gentledudes!
I've had the amazing opportunity to speak with Bobby Clarke, the artist behind @redeaglestudio. If you remember, this artist was credited as being a source of inspiration for @the_raptors_claw. Since I absolutely love the work from Lee Murphy, I decided to see who inspired the inspirational! When I checked out Red Eagle Studio, I understood immediately why he was mentioned! I came in on the tail-end of his "Temple of Correction" commission. I saw some of the most beautiful work ever poured into a miniature project. His work captured the glory of the Ultramarines in their entirety, putting on display their innate aura of nobility. Then....I saw the display. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! The detail and intricacies of the room made me feel as if I were there, standing in the presence of the Primarch himself.
As a true Space Wolf fan-boy, I normally greet the Ultramarines with a bit of an annoyed grunt. However, after seeing them the way Bobby portrayed them.....I can understand why GW loves them so much! Here's an idea....have Red Eagle Studio paint for GW and I think more people would start to appreciate the boys in blue a bit more!
Anyway, here he is, Bobby Clarke of Red Eagle Studio!
1. How long have you been involved in the hobby in general?
"25 years in total. I spent 11 years in my youth playing amazing games at my parents garage with friends, then 10 memorable years working for Games Workshop earning the rank of Veteran Sergeant. For the last 4 years I’ve been running Red Eagle Studio as a full time commission artist".
2. How long have you been actively promoting your content on social media?
"Ive been sharing my painting commission work, tutorials and work in progress photos for 4
years now, predominantly on Instagram but also on Facebook".
3. What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm?
"It was the next logical step after several years of playing and painting plastic toy soldiers as
a child, I bought the rogue trader era Space Marine box and got hooked. The artwork
depicting Crimson Fists battling to defend their Chapter banner was and still is so iconic, it
really brought out my creative side".
4. What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game
is your favorite and why?
"I love so many, but my heart lies within the Warhammer 40,000 universe. I lived and
breathed the lore for so long and was always eager to play and really got stuck into my
White Dwarf magazines. For a while I really enjoyed Black Templars, I’m a massive
medieval geek and loved studying History at college. I’m now hooked on the Adepta
Sororitas though, the sculpts are just on another level and it will be great to paint some
heraldry on them".
5. What is more enjoyable for you personally: painting or playing the game?
"For the first 20 years in the hobby it was always gaming, I relished my victories and really
enjoyed nail bitingly close games, especially with staff and friends during my time at Games
Workshop. For the last 5 years it has definitely been the painting side of the hobby, I really
enjoy the more relaxed and creative side of painting and have a great deal of passion for it".
6. If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would
you make to further your hobby enjoyment?
"I would love to have a dedicated photography booth, I really big one! I specialize in painting large armies, easily over 5000 points and it brings me so much joy seeing them finished.
Photographing such large forces is very difficult with my current set up, id love a grim dark
board with plenty of scenery and a dioramic back drop to really do the armies justice for the
final army photos".
7. Where do you get the inspiration for your particular army theme or style?
"Other than the 'Eavy metal team from Games Workshop I mostly scour Instagram, the
community is great there and I often see jaw dropping painting with really creative
@vincentventurella my favourite artist of them all, his style is very different to mine but his
techniques and results are inspiring. He does great, free painting videos on youtube too
@mike_mutiny he’s my favourite painter when it comes to caramel-smooth 'Eavy metal style.
@standfast_studios has a similar style to me and is great for bouncing ideas off.
@kevinbackhouse often does vary original conversions and has a great variety of projects
on the go.
@g.horus his oil wash and camo game is on point, his bolt action models blow my mind
And a special mention to @botlite1, he's a great supporter of my work and I've only recently
got to know him. He does some superb painting and its always eye catching.
Sorry for those I forgot to mention, I love you all".
8. What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby?
"Don’t let others dictate your hobby, doing things that bring you joy is more important. Its
nearly always more fun sharing the hobby, so try painting and playing with a group of like-
minded people. Ask questions if you’re unsure about things, this could lead to saving money
by avoiding bad purchases and also increase your understanding of the hobby".
9. What was the moment you realized commission painting was something you wanted to
pursue as more than a hobby?
"5 years ago I was diagnosed with a severe lung disease, I couldn’t hold down my normal job and times were very tough. With the help of a mentor and my girlfriend, we came up with a
business plan to try and earn money doing the one thing I know I loved and could do well,
painting. With my business hat on and a new passion to smash some goals, I ventured into
the realm of commission painting".
10. What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome on your path to becoming a full-
"Promoting myself and getting my name out there was hard, I was a little fish in a very big
hobby ocean. Perseverance and staying true to myself were key, it led to me forming
friendships and bonds with my clients that continue even to this day".
11. What was the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a painter?
"In September 2019 I painted a 2000 point Salamander Space Marine army in my spare time, many clients and friends donated parts to help really customize it. We auctioned it off as
part of the ’40 Hours of 40k’ event (happening again on 12th /13th September 2020)
https://www.facebook.com/40hours40k/, all the money raised went towards the C.A.L.M
charity. It made a massive difference to help men really suffering from mental health
problems. It was so memorable and emotional, so many people took part and helped make
the event a success, it touched my soul deeply to be part of something positive and life
12. If you could do anything to expand your company/studio/hobby footprint, what would it be?
"Long term I would really like to branch out more with picture and video tutorials and some
detailed army showcases. Im seriously wanting to provide content that will really help
hobbyists wanting to nail a specific technique and further their painting skills".
13. What product line do you endorse and what about their products do you feel sets them
above their competitors?
"Best products sometimes depend on the project I'm doing, but I do have some that I swear
by Rosemary & Co brushes are great value and really good quality. Im too ham-fisted to use
a more expensive brush. I really like the Army Painter washes, they cover well and get the
job done. The Vallejo metal color range is my go to for metallics, they rarely separate even
when diluted and have great coverage even through the airbrush. Big fan of the Proacryl
range, they are very pigment heavy so have great coverage and last a long time, their
transparent colours are great for glazing".
14. If you could earn a sponsorship or endorsement from your dream company, who would it be
"Im fueled by coffee, so Kenco would be the ideal sponsor! Seriously though, I'm very happy
how things are currently. Im sponsored already by a hobby retailer called Goblin Gaming
and they thankfully actively support my decision making. They also support all my charity
work which I'm very thankful for".
15. What advice would you give to someone interested in taking the plunge to becoming a
"Come up with a business plan. The market is not saturated, so it can be successful with
hard work. Contact other commission artists directly for advice, it'll help you avoid the same
mistakes. Develop your own painting style rather than copying others. If the plunge is too
daunting on your own, contact an existing studio that is looking for artists and work for them
while you learn the ropes".
16. Are there any projects your especially fond of?
"Im really proud of the recent Ultramarine commission, several thousand points of them and
also their display board. I painted some really nice marble effects for the bases, which I cast
and sell myself. The board has a draw you pull out to expand the footprint and it’s a replica
of the Ultramarine fortress shrine, the ‘Temple of Correction’. I learnt many new techniques,
had free reign creatively and I was totally immersed in all the artwork we researched for the
Bobby, thank you so much for your time and interest in spreading the hobby love! I especially appreciate the fact that you were willing to converse with me about some professional questions I had. I think this blog project has shown me the very open and embracing community within this hobby-sphere. I am a definite fan of your work and I look forward to your next project!