Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend out there.
Realizing that I don't even know who's actually visiting or reading...
Who you are, wher're you're from, what you did, as long as you lopfffff nah I'll stop there haha.
Last week, a Russian art site called 240grid published an interview about me and my art.
Link to the interview: Clickety!
It's in Russian though, so I thought that I could share the interview here as well. In English of course :)
Curious? Read on below:
- How did you become an artist? Tell us your full story
That kinda just happened automatically. Just like many other artists, I've always loved drawing and painting, ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Then I guess I became one of those people who decided to turn it into a lifestyle, rather than a hobby.
- Where did you study? Was it useful?
I'm actually self taught when it comes to art, and I taught myself Photoshop when I was 14 years old, back when I could barely speak English...! Lots of improvising, but my stubborness helped me along the way. Sure, we had art classes during school when I was younger, but nothing super advanced so to speak.
I studied 3D graphics for 2 years though, and that was really helpful. Allthough I don't do any 3D work nowadays, I got a nice foundation and knowledge of what's expected from me when I design characters and such for 3D.
- How did you choose your specialization in art?
That's another thing that just fell natural for me, I never had to choose :) Characters are so much fun to paint and design.
- What is your favorite area in art?
I really love the coloring stage! It's so nice and relaxing to just zone in and paint, once the sketches are set and everything's blocked in. Sketching characters and put them in different situations is really fun too.
- What films, games and books have you worked on?
I've worked on a bunch of fun stuff, too many to mention them all. One was a book cover that I painted for HarperCollins back in 2011(Always October written by Bruce Coville). That one was so much fun to work on!
Then there's this board game from Blue Orange games, called Battle Sheep. It's being released this year, and I got to illustrate everything for it. Can't wait to see it irl!
There's more going on, hopefully I'll announce more exciting stuff in the future :)
- What film, book and game would you like to work on if you could choose yourself?
I would love to work on animated feature films. One of my biggest goals is to work on a feature for one of the big time studios(Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, etc). If they ever make a CG animated movie of "Freak the Mighty", then wow. That would be awesome to be a part of too.
There's also another personal dream brewing, I really wanna release my own art book soon!
- Do you fulfill your characters with personality while coming up with idea or drawing?
Well, I try! :) That's something I'm trying to improve all the time. I want to become really good at designing characters, and understand the reasons why they look and act a certain way(easier said than done, ghah). Everything to show off their background and story even more.
- Tell us the story of your favorite character
I have one - Chicken Joe from the movie Surf's Up.
One of my favorite CG movies! He's portraied as this stoned, super laid-back character who would get along with everyone. He's extremely skilled but never talks about it. It's all about having fun. I really like that mindset, and I like the whole sense of that movie. It's kinda cheesy but what the hell, I do relate to the main characters a lot, there I said it ;D
You start out as Cody Maverick, recognize the personal battles Big Z is having with himself, but eventually you wanna be like Chicken Joe.
- Do you use your friends or relatives as a reference? Have somebody ever recognized themselves?
Hmmm, perhaps subconcsously? In my opinion, I haven't really manage to capture a specific person that way yet.
Some people have pointed out that they see me in some of my characters though!
- What was your favorite book in the childhood?
I loved Harry Potter. Especially the first book.
- Your special techniques?
Photoshop CS5! It's the only software I use. I try not to work with too many layers when I paint, I'll just get lost otherwise :D My first rough drafts usually start out as tiny, messy ink doodles on post-it's though, and I draw a lot in my sketchbook that's always kept close.
- How do you develop your style?
The more you practice your craft and study the fundamentals, the more you'll develop a personal style. I guess the trick is not to obsess so much around it. Your style will come through with time. You might not even notice it at first.
- Some useful tips for those who works in Photoshop like you?
Keep the actual subject and light separated. Especially in the beginning. Block everything in with solid colours before diving into details and actual painting. That will make your workflow easier.
- Tell us some funny or interesting story connected with your art
I got one fun story to share.
About that story I mentioned earlier (Freak the Mighty, a book written by Rodman Philbrick). There's even a movie about this story, and I truly loved watching it when I was younger. I still cry my eyes out because it's so pretty and sad at the same time, haha. Anyway, a couple of years ago, I decided to make a tribute.
While painting it, I also had the writer in mind and thought that when the painting's finished, I'll give him a copy of the painting to show my appreciation.
At that time, I could only find any other contact details other than to managers/companies. I couldn't find a way to get in touch with him in person at that time. So I just let it pass.
Then after a year or so, I actually get contacted by the author himself! Telling me that he found my painting online and wondered if he could get a copy.
It's pretty amazing how small the world can get, istn't it? :D
- How do your personal projects differ from commercial ones?
I guess my subjects vary less when it comes to personal art. I get stuck in my comfort zones more easily(hmpf.. horsedoodles) and it's often harder to finish anything.
Commercial work forces me to plan everything properly and actually pushes me in a different way. It's less about me and more about what the client needs.
However, I'm always trying to pick the jobs that fit me and my style the best. If you want to paint characters for a living, then that's what you should aim for. Build a portfolio with characters, and the clients will eventually hire you only for that.
Hope you enjoyed this little interview. If you still got questions, just feel free to ask :)