Shadowness - Interviews Interviews about the artists on Shadowness. en Interview with Digital Painter of the Month Victorior Vic, also known as <a target="_blank" href="">/Victorior</a> is one young and talented digital painter and illustrator. I am most certain he develops a chain of fans wherever he goes. His artwork are not only inspiring but cheerful, fun and whimsical. It is a joy to observe every new piece that he creates as they each hold their own stories with rich characters, symbolism and unique elements. Vic tells us a little about himself, and his work, read on to find out more about this gifted artist.<br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Tell us a little about you and the history behind your alias.</h2>Hey! I’m Vic. I live in Thailand and I’m 25 years old. I am a 2D and concept artist. My services include concepts for animation, game, illustration and character design. I graduated in 2008 in Fine Art (traditional painting, oil color). In 2009 up until now, I started to learn CG (Computer Graphics) by myself which is digital painting.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Some of us artists do not even know how gifted we are because we have never seen ourselves as artists, when did you first realise this is the approach you wanted to take and how did it come about?</h2>The first time when I noticed that I love art was when I watched “Toy Story”, a film about animation in 1995. It opened my eyes to the world of fantasy and imagination. Since then I always said to myself that I want to be a part of film animation and making the characters come alive.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Who and what are your inspirations?</h2>The big inspiration is surely “John Lasseter” and “Hayao Miyazaki”. When I started digital painting “Bobby Chiu” became my inspiration for my illustrative style. From animations, I got a lot of inspiration such as the way I imagine things and the story telling. Another artist that has become my biggest inspiration is “Felideus”, he is a very great artist and very kind, I have learnt so much from him about CG.<br /> <center><br /> <a href=""><img height= "350"src="" /></a> <a href=""><img height="350" src="" /></a></center><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Has there been anyone that has greatly influenced your work?</h2>I love Pixar and Ghibli so much. Then I tried to find the space in the middle between both western and asian cultures. Pixar gave me the bright and very wonderful influence of color , and character design and Ghibli gave me the fantasy and dreamy influence. I then found my own unique style and have I been developing my style until now.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Your artworks are quite dreamlike and personally when I view them I feel like a kid high on candy and always manage to smile. Can you tell us a little about your style?</h2>As I mentioned earlier, my style was greatly influenced from Pixar and Ghibli and I have combined my personal aesthetic to create something unique, such as my childhood dreams. I love designing to make simple forms, which creates a child like style. What I try to make unique about my work is my imagination. I love illustrating to make my art fun and enjoyable this is why some of my illustrations are mixed quite a bit with a sense of humour.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your favourite tools to work with and why?</h2>My favourite tool is Photoshop and Wacom Intuos4 because they are convenient and easy to manipulate to make my imagination come alive. It can be done by just using a PC or MAC.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Can you give us a little insight as to what goes on in your mind when you create your pieces? Where do your ideas stem from?</h2>I think what is special in my work is when I create it. I don’t make sketches or think so much about the composition or elements, my imagination and ideas just flow while I am painting but I always have a main point or theme when I start to paint. For the main point and theme, it comes from anywhere and from anything, it is dependent on if I can feel it or not. And it is probably true that I paint everything I love.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Which of your pieces are you most fond of and can you tell us a little about them?</h2>I think I can get so many things out of my personal works. My skills improve by learning in each piece of work but the most special and personal one to me is, “To The Waterfall”, while I was painting “To The Waterfall” I was really happy and enjoyed painting it. I learned a lot about the composition and perspective. The composition and perspective were consistent and it was supported by my concepts and ideas.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your greatest achievements?</h2>I think the greatest achievement is that I can do what I love everyday.<br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>I have seen some of your very detailed commissioned works, what has it been like to be commissioned and how did it start?</h2>The commissioned works that I did were done for an aquarium location in Bangkok Thailand, it is called “Siam Ocean World” I design them for print ads. I got the connection from the studio, they gave me a chance to sketch ideas and they were approved, then it took me nearly two months for the completion of two designs.<br /> <center><br /> <a href=""><img height ="350" src="" /></a> <a href=""><img height="350" src="" /></a></center><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your goals as a digital artists and what plans do you have for the future?</h2>I want to make animation in the future :smile<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How did you find Shadowness, and what you made you join?</h2>I was invited by my artist friend to join and share work together. I love to share my imagination and my dreams so I suddenly decided to join this very warm and nice place!<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>You are young artists and quite an inspiration to many young artists too. What advice can you offer to those who wish to be as successful as you who wish to delve deeper into digital art?</h2>The first thing is that I am just a beginner in this industry and I have been developing my style for two years and doing it as sacrifice. I just found what I love and do it to the best of my ability, so I will suggest to everyone to do the the same that I did. “Find the main subject that you love and express it with your best”<br /> <br /> <br /> You can also find Vic on twitter at: <a href="" >@VictoriorCG</a><br /> And on Facebook: <a href="">Imagination of Victorior</a> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 20:20:17 -0500 Interview with Vector Artist of the Month Ryannzha “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”. ~Herman Melville<br /> <br /> /Ryannzha , AKA Rian Saputra, is one of those rare, vivacious young artists who found a distinct flavor to his work early in his career. His unique palate led him to be voted as the first recipient of the Vector of the Month award. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you decide to start your own business and go freelance?</h2> When I was 21, YO-- the time I decided to drop out from the college. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you first become aware that you wanted to create art for a career?</h2> When I sold my sketch, when I was 8, YO. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you first notice your own style emerging?</h2> 3 years ago.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Who was your best teacher as it applies to art?</h2> Forums are. Art communities such as: Shadowness, DeviantArt, and DesignerCouch, etc... helped me, tremendously. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your greatest inspirations?</h2> Women, emotions, solitary things.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your greatest obstacles?</h2> Time.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What part does other artist’s work play in your learning process?</h2> It plays a huge part, as their works often captivated me and opened my eyes towards a new approach of objects, colors and composition-- parts that can be used for making my future works better. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What advice would you give to artists who want to work in the industry as a freelancer?</h2> Originality is what clients seek. Being open-minded will allow the artist to be able to take what the client wants and transform it into art.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Do you have any other hobbies and interests are priorities in your life?</h2> Reading, playing puzzle games and any other stuff that challenges me. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What software/hardware/medium do you use?</h2> Traditional: some proper papers and pencils. Digital: proper PC/MAC, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, Wacom Tablet. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What ‘techniques’ have you learned that opened your style up the most?</h2> Colors and composition. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What would you suggest for the beginning digital artist to use software/hardware?</h2> Photoshop for pixel and Illustrator for vector, but don't limit yourself. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What technology (software/hardware/medium) has had the biggest impact on your Art?</h2> Pencil tablet, because that's one of the missing link between the traditional and digital art. It preserves the manual skill with also having limitations in this digital-age. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Do you ever feel restrained by your medium?</h2> No, there's supposed to be no restraining medium. As a creative person, we should be able to creatively use any kind of medium with it's limitations while having an unlimited probability of results. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What do you feel is the most important technical element of your artwork?</h2> Colors. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What is your opinion of the way that politics/government influences art?</h2> Art is often used as the medium of communication between the artist to the audience. Several artworks are expressions of the artist's political views, or who they idolize by their own perspective-- a token of appreciation and support. An astute audience should be able to distinguish between the beauty and what it's trying to communicate. We have to be able to see through this beauty and challenge it's meaning with our own perspective. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2> What is your opinion of the way in which online communities influence art?</h2> Massive-- positively and negatively. Online communities deliver unlimited and almost instant progress in having new inspiration via ease of access. They can also can be bad for those who don't use it wisely, which can diminish one's originality until it's gone. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2> What is your opinion of the way in which the ‘digital age’ has influenced art?</h2> Digital is just another medium that artist should use because it is greatly used by people, ease of access and mobility, and lack of time/space limitation. It's the time portal. The digital age is just one of those ages that teach us to survive. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>In your opinion, does society play a role in what people create?</h2> Yes, society is the unspecified target audience. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>In your opinion, should traditional art forms be resurrected in digital forms?</h2> That'll be lovely. Many of top notch traditional artists do that without abandoning their traditional arts. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your thoughts on originality?</h2> Crucial, but, in a non-divine sense. What I'm trying to say is, originality forces the artist to be creative but in a sense that we don't have the ability to be purely "original". We visualize what we saw and what we captured. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What do you try to communicate through your art?</h2> Emotional approach. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Do you feel that form, function and purpose are important in today’s artwork?</h2> Of course they are and will always be. Artists have their own view which they liked to be shared. Thus the function/purpose always exists on good art through the form/elements inside the artwork itself. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Who are some of your favorite current and historical artists?</h2> Well if you're asking about my current favorite artists.. it'll be quite a long list, so let's just break it down; all the artists in art forum/online community artists who is in my friendlist/followed by me are my favorite artists as well as a few illustrators and graphic designers. As for the historical artists I have few of them : Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, Johannes Vermeer, and Robert Doisneau.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> Wed, 03 Aug 2011 02:12:48 -0400 Interview with Shadowness Founder Meng To Shadowness is an enigma of an art community. By name, it is a shadow-- something elusive and dark. And yet, the founding concept by which it thrives is light. It is a community which brings notoriety to artists through tools like Facebook Connect. The people who are usually "behind curtains" at other websites (the founder, the administrators, and the moderators) are on the forefront. And in today's interview, instead of feeding you with mythological histories, we aim to provide more light and insight into the site by interviewing its founder, <a target="_blank" href="">/7Shadows</a> , Meng To, himself. Perhaps, after this process, we will better understand what makes Shadowness such a paradox. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Tell us about yourself.</h2> I'm a 29 year old self-taught graphic designer and photography-lover from Montreal. I've been designing user interfaces and coding Websites for over 12 years. I'm a very passionate guy, so everything that can lead to serious addiction has probably hit me in the past-- *Hints WoW*. That's one reason why Shadowness has had so many versions in the past, and why I never really got it as successful as I could have. My past self never had the discipline necessary to outweigh my addictions. Addiction in itself is not a negative thing, but without moderation, it can rapidly destabilize you, and before you know it, your sleeping patterns are off, you don't take the time to eat well and you feel completely dissatisfied about yourself. 2011 has been a real eye opener. This year, I really started to take control of my passion and stopped letting it run me. In a generation where a large population work at home, you got to deal with the distractions and embark on a healthy schedule where you sleep 8 hours, never nap and always let your motivations run high.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How did you come up with the name Shadowness?</h2> About 15 years ago, during my Diablo and Starcraft days, I was known as "Shadow". My first email was "shadow_of_light at hotmail". The name stuck. I'm pretty embarrassed about it because it's not that elegant and my friends still make fun of me for it. But it just shows much I was into this concept of duality; light and darkness. Meng in Chinese means "moonlight". When I had to think of a domain name, I added "-ness" to "Shadow" to add a contrast to my former name and that was the start of Shadowness!<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>If you could have one super power, what would you choose, and why?</h2> I would love to be able to fly or teleport. I mean, I hate any form of transportation: cars are nerve-wrecking and there are just too many of them, buses are annoying and slow, and airplanes are too complicated because of the connections, the need of extra transportation, the excruciating wait, and now the controversy over the human scanners. Technology should be here to make things more enjoyable and cheaper. Computers are a thousand times cheaper than that were 30 years ago, and Hell, a lot more enjoyable to use. Cars and planes are not-- they're getting worse.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Tell us a little about your life philosophies.</h2> In this age of new technologies and ever changing lifestyles, there are a million choices in front of us, so one must adapt quickly. At this point and time in my life, it comes down to being healthy and being able to cope well with stress. I try to eat well and sleep well because it allows me to be at least 50% ready against all sorts of situations. Good mood leads to less stress. Discipline leads to more productivity. When you're in a good mood, you produce better and you feel more accomplished. I live each day to the fullest and I give my complete focus for every single activity during that day. That means when I wake up, I don't go straight to the computer, I go wash my face, do the dishes, prepare my cappuccino and enjoy the morning sunlight. No rush. When I'm done and completely awake, I'm ready to deal<br /> with the hundred tasks I have when I get on my computer: Email, Shadowness, Facebook, etc... It's very important to be consistent and to take time off to enjoy the little things in life. I try to never let the weight build to a point of no return. It's been 8 months since I've launched Shadowness and I've been doing pretty much the same things every morning, lunch and diner. It sounds very boring, but it's absolutely not. Every day has been so different and interesting that I needed that thin layer of routines to keep myself coming back.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Has any movie/ book affected your life? How?</h2> I love to learn. I watch documentaries on a regular basis about all sorts of topics: aliens, cooking, meditation, dreams, history, war, etc... I'm not a book person, but my friend <a href="">/a</a> introduced me to Transcend, and boy, did it open my eyes. I've never been a theory type of person, and this book is all about applying the knowledge and turning you into a machine, literally. It's telling us that in 30 years, there will be computers so small that they will run in our bloodstream, doing the same functions as your cells of cleaning your body from cancers and diseases, but a thousand times better. I know it sounds crazy, but I've seen how computers have exponentially gotten smaller and cheaper in the past 30 years and they will continue to do so. Already, we are experimenting with a computer so small that it binds to your retina and it allows blind people to see patterns of light. How insane is that! Sure, it costs US $100,000 now, but in 20-30 years, that technology will be perfected and it will be accessible to everyone. This book gives you a wealth of information about how you should eat, sleep, meditate, exercise and check yourself. Ultimately, if you live long enough, technology will allow you to live forever! I've been reading about 2 pages a day for 6 months and I'm almost done!<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What is your preferred art style?</h2> I've learned so much about the different art styles on Shadowness within the past few months thanks to the excellent artists on the site who were more than keen to explain their thought process. This knowledge really allowed me to be more appreciative of the nuances behind every art style. I've especially learned a lot about Vector, Traditional Art and Street Photography. It was also refreshing to see how Graphic Design has evolved since I first started doing it a decade ago. It is my preferred art style since I am more comfortable at judging it and finding the subtleties that make or break a piece of that genre.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What is your vision for Shadowness?</h2> I want to create a place that encompasses both artistic excellence and individual growth. I want artists to feel completely comfortable within that tight-knit environment and inspire each other to create and excel. There is nothing more encouraging to an artist who has poured his or her heart and soul into a piece than to receive that genuine extra care and recognition from others they know about and respect. I want to give that and more. It's far too easy to just say "good work" and far too complicated to write a 2 pages critique to all the 50 or more deserving artists that post daily on the site, I came to a balance of writing about 50 comments daily that includes about 2 lines of simple, honest remarks about specific likes and dislikes. Sometimes, there will be questions and extra thoughts that really make the comment more unique and personalized. It's like a love letter to the artist. Shadowness is very personal and that's why we allow customizations on the site and we extend the artists' network to Facebook. A lot of artists use Facebook to promote their work and to connect with friends and coworkers, and we love to be able to expand their network.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How has Shadowness evolved over the years?</h2> At the end of last year, I've started to recode the site from scratch. We've had 8 versions prior to this one, the last one being almost deserted. On a lucky day, there were about 30 comments made on the site. Since the beginning of the open beta launched in January, Shadowness has grown exponentially and the long-time users all came to witness the complete redesign. The responses were mind-blowing. It has never been this positive in the past. Users absolutely loved that I revived the EXP feature and the customizations to the dark translucent user interface. Even better, they loved the focus on quality Art and how personal it felt because each and everyone was greeted by the staff and myself. There weren't a ton of people during the beta, so I could handle the welcoming. :)<br /> <br /> Today, we host nearly 10,000 comments and welcome 60 new artists each day, 20 of which join through Facebook. About 70,000 pages are viewed compared to 2,000 views before the beta. We haven't just grown by the quantity but also by the quality. If you look at the stream of artworks on the site, you will not only notice quality artworks but a large variety of art styles being showcased and awarded. We don't just stop on-site, we also promote our artists on Facebook, Abduzeedo, Tumblr, VisualizeUs, DeviantArt and soon PSDTuts+. That network is expanding.<br /> <br /> As soon as you join Shadowness, you are personally greeted by our Staff, Mods and sometimes even myself. We're so quick with the comments that sometimes people think that it's all automated. But no, there's a human behind every comment, critique, selection and promotion. And we do that because we genuinely want to make sure that all our artists enjoy the same experience that we first had. We do what we can within our capacity. As we grow, we will need extra pair of hands. ;)<br /> <br /> Shadowness is very young. Therefore it is very flexible, welcoming and receptive to new ideas and criticism. We're not young in our history, but as we learn to meet the enormous expectations of tomorrow. We want to grow with our artists. Only recently, we started to organize contests with real cash prizes pulled from our own pockets to give back to the community. We've just started to put together a team of art experts and supportive moderators to help strengthen the foundation that we started and be able to make everyone feel right at home. Shadowness is a home for artists by artists.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> _________________________________________________<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice<br /> <br /> Shadowness's objective is simple: to provide clarity and light to one of the most obscure fields-- art. The art field is one of extreme risk, because there is no definite guidelines for what makes art successful. It depends on creativity, which, by its very nature, cannot be clearly defined by a set of rules. Creativity is, after all, the invention of something new. Creating guidelines for something new and artistic is like predicting a natural catastrophe. The art and the artists are the Shadow, and Meng and Shadowness is, paradoxically, the light through which order is brought to the chaos of art. Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:31:47 -0400 Interview with Vector Artist Rechel Bacasno Welcome to the world of Vector! This is what Shadowness Shouted in my face when I first came aboard. To be honest, I had only seen a few vectors in my life at that point and I had no idea what a vector or vexel entailed. I spent several weeks studying, researching techniques and digging through tutorials. I came back to SN with a different perspective. Ms. Bacasno's work is a great example of what can be done with vector. It requires a vast attention to detail and good reverse planning skills. You have to KNOW what you want to see in your final product and work layer upon layer to get there. Though she still considers herself a beginner, I think you'll find some lessons in her work, just as I have. <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How did you begin vectoring? Did you learn at school or was it a process from learning to draw, paint or other art mediums?</h2>I started vectoring when i was in my 3rd year of college. Though I am an advertising student, (we were not taught this kind of art) we’re more on product layouts, tvc storybord, etc. What triggered my interest in this field of art was that everytime I see my pictures or my classmates’ images, they are cartoon-like through vectoring.<br /> The first ever person who introduced vectoring to me was Chiyo. We we’re classmates in college and she's a very good friend of mine. She makes vectors using Corel Draw. I started doing my personal study about vectoring since 2009.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Who have been your greatest artistic teachers and influences?</h2>I think probably my father. During my childhood days, I would often see my father doing some painting chores. He keeps some drawing tools, painting materials, silkscreens and lettering paraphernalia around.<br /> He is also a photographer. I can definitely say that I got my love of art from him. I would also like to give credit to some like KDLIG(my favorite artist), Stuntkid, ChewedKandi, Reiq(he’s a manga artist but his coloring skill is exceptional), Warren Louw (also a manga artist), Hysterical Minds, Daniela Uhlig and Aseo who inspired me all the more.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When it comes to vector work, what do you think is most important?</h2>Just because one can trace an image using pentool doesn’t mean you’re a Vector Artist. Vectoring should have no limits! It should be creativity over skill. Do something different, don’t just copy or else you’ll only create a 2nd rate version of your reference. Never posterize, let your creativity be your guide!<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your long term artistic goals? Do you have a dream-job that you would like, or would you rather work freelance as an artist, or not work at all?</h2>I am currently working as an illustrator, I design applications/games for Samsung phones.<br /> I could say that I’m already living my dream, but I always want to better my best. As they say, “Contentment is the end of learning”, but for me learning is a never-ending process. I will never settle for what I am at present for I know I still have lots to offer.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What is your greatest achievement? What helped you to get there?</h2>Honestly, at present, despite my accomplishments, I still consider myself as a beginner. It is really only now that I am exploring and enjoying what I may possibly produce with my skills in Adobe. I like my work to bear my identity,so that everytime people would look at it they would see me the artist beyond my signature. I find fulfillment, satisfaction and very much elation every time my work is being featured in any magazines or websites like Abduzeedo, Shadowness, Vectips and DA.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How did you find out about Shadowness? What helped you decide to stay?</h2>My VxV PH family, most of them have an SN account, which stirred up my curiosity. I checked the site and I found it very cool, so I joined.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Do you have anything you’d like to say to the members of Shadowness?</h2>Indeed, Shadowness helps me a lot. Unlike the other art community, they lead artists to become closer and enable them to converse. Everytime you post an artwork there is a reciprocated comment or feedback. In addition to this, the website team is very approachable and down to earth.<br /> To all members of Shadowness, I can say that this site has a long way to go so let’s just continue to support it.<br /> <br /> <br /> You can find my work here:<br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> Wed, 15 Jun 2011 14:42:25 -0400 Interview with Traditional Artist Bernard Dumaine When I first stumbled across Mr. Dumaine’s work 5 years ago, I thought I must have lost my mind. Here was a person creating abstract, surreal, political and very socially conscious work, and creating it by the dozens, by the hundreds. I sat for several hours perusing his online gallery, and I walked away with many new ideas and inspirations floating in my head. If you haven’t already stopped by and marveled at his work, please do so. You’ll find new worlds awaiting you, new concepts and values that you may not have encountered before. Come inside a world where the chess pieces move by themselves, and transform at will.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your greatest inspirations? </h2>I like to explore various mediums; Oils, pencils, inks, digital - each of them owns its particularity and can provide a singular inspiration source. Now, my favourite styles are Photorealism and Surrealism with sometimes a mix of both; I usually work in series, such as my "Humble "or "Clay” drawings.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What part does other artists works play in your learning process? </h2>At an early age, I was only trying to get "good drawings"; I mean still-life with correct proportions between the objects, good shading, and volume.<br /> Other artists' influences came later, mostly when I was preparing for my sculpture diploma. At this time, I was really touched by French artist Gérard Titus-Carmel whose method consisted of creating his own models in order to draw them. Another artist I like a lot is Yves Tanguy and I would like to mention Gérome Bosch and Chuck Close as well.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Do you feel restrained by your medium? </h2>I sometimes do, about painting or video clips...<br /> About painting, I don't have the "sense of colour". The most part of my work is Black and white - I can be successful when I paint from a model, though- I did many paintings copied from digital sketches or collages in paper.<br /> Now, after a very long practice of drawing, I don't have particular problems to use this technique, just a matter of time.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Where did you receive your formal art education? </h2>I began having painting and drawing lessons, one afternoon a week, at the age of 11 until age 15 at the Fine arts school of Angoulême. Some years later, I prepared for a diploma in Sculpture in the same art school for 5 years and I received my diploma with a mention for drawing in 1977.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you first notice your own style emerging? </h2>I don't think I have a real style - I mean style in the sense of Miro, Vasarely or Mondrian, for instance - All I can say is I never had been an abstract painter.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2> What other elements of your background have come together to aid you as an artist? </h2>My passion for drawing was given to me by my father. He never gave me lessons or such, but I still can recall how I was amazed by some drawings in ink he did at an early age. Maybe comic books had some influence on me when I was a kid; some of them were drawn by skilled drafts-men and I have copied some of their drawings.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>In your opinion, does society plays a role in what people create? </h2>Of course it does!<br /> I can quote specifically Goya's engravings "Disasters of war" related to the Napoleonian war towards Spain and more recently, Dadaism's intention which was clearly related against war, after the horrors of World War 1.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What does Surrealism mean to you? </h2>It might sound strange, but I do not revendicate the Surrealist label. I prefer to say I am an artist who sometimes works in the Surrealist field.<br /> Now, what I like about Surrealism was their condemnation of colonial oppression, (war of Algeria, 1960) condemnation of priests they considered to be obscurantist and also the Nazis. They were firmly opposed to fascism and all religions.<br /> The same way Dada did, they considered women as artists in their own; they found new ways of inspiration - automatic writing or drawing, collaborations, (Art was primarily supposed to be a single artist's creation) and game as art. (Such as Exquisite Corpses)<br /> At least I like a lot Andre Breton saying Surrealism was the union of reality and imagination.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are you trying to communicate through your art? </h2>It is difficult to say, as I work very instinctively. Chance, accidents, changes are having a large position when I am drawing; I "discover" my work in the end, when finished.<br /> A thing that could emerge in my realistic work is that, I mostly give attention to ordinary people in portraits; the same goes for landscapes or still-life.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What would you like to say to members of Shadowness? </h2>I would like to say I was born in 1953 and I am French; so, pardon me for some misspellings or grammatical errors in this interview!<br /> <br /> I would also like to share some links where more of my works can be seen:<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> You may also purchase a publication of his work here: <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Until next time, Shadows.<br /> <a target="_blank" href="">/HellOnAStick</a> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:41:11 -0400 Interview with Graphic Designer Ludovic Cordelières One day, while I was sniffing through the annals of Shadowness, I ran across a few images that caught my eye. "What is this, some sort of techno-shamanism?", I wondered. It turned out to be the work of passionate designer <a target="_blank" href="">/Rusalkadesign</a> . As I looked further, I found whole worlds coming to life, mythological characters re-invented and futuristic scapes made reality. Come take a trip through the work of <a target="_blank" href="">/Rusalkadesign</a> !<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Where did your facination with Mythology begin, and how does it influence what you create?</h2>I’ve always been fascinated by worldwide Mythologies and I cannot explain how this passion began. When I was a child, I was fascinated by creatures and demons... the Art teachers were afraid of me because of that. (Please don’t laugh at me, this is the truth) Some of them wanted me to see a psychologist. (Open minded teachers weren't they?)<br /> To answer the question, I think it comes by reading Mythologic tales, comics, watching movies, manga or playing videogames not inevitably dealing with this theme, but ones which had an epic dimension or approach, like Conan the Barbarian, Spartacus, Saint Seya, 300, Gladiator… the God of War series to give you some examples.<br /> I am really focused on Greek, Russian, Nordic, Japanese and Egyptian Mythologies because they gave me an endless inspiring influence. There are so many characters, creatures, races, scenes or tales to illustrate that you cannot lack inspiration!<br /> Sometimes I may choose a tale or a character/creature and mix up with another one to make a new thing, this is the same for the tales. Most of time I try to be as respectful as possible toward the original version, but sometimes it is cool to create something new just by mixing the best.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Where did you receive your art education?</h2>This is fairly complicated, in fact, my will was and still is to become a Character Designer for videogames or cinema and a Comic Strip artist. <br /> I received my education in an art school that specialized in comic strip art but this was a failure me because, at that time, I did not want to use computers and Photoshop was my worst enemy. The only art which had any importance, to my eyes, was drawing with hands… I thought I would be able to draw night and day without using computers but when the school direction choose to destroy their education by focusing exclusively on packaging, flash website, Xpress, computer works etc, I felt lost. I also realized that comic strip art will not permit me to earn enough money to live unless you are a really talented person. So I learned Graphic Design and Illustration being self-taught at home and since then, Photoshop is my best friend and I can’t get over it.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you decide that you wanted to become a freelance artist and how did you accomplish your goal?</h2>I’ve been an employee for 6 years now, and I always wanted to become freelance. (I like to be alone, in a quiet piece without being with people always looking at what you do at work.) However, in France, approaches are very difficult for me. You always have to justify your position, doing administrative papers and so many annoying and tedious things just in order to have a status!!!<br /> I took my time doing it. I’ve been freelance since January (If I want to be legal and to be paid I am obliged to be freelance ). To resume my situation, I’m a Graphic Designer specialized in play illustration like ludic, isometric illustration, serious games like the Sim’s you know? At night, I get to do what I like: Illustration. (I have a Dual personality, I need a psychologist! I’m an evil person! Please don’t be afraid. :) )<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Do most of your works involve several mediums, such as photo-manipulation and typography, or digital painting?</h2>Not really, my work is focused on photo-manipulation and a little bit of drawing. I’ve tried to do more typographic works but you can see that they are more illustrative than 100% typographics (typographic portraits).<br /> Concerning digital painting, I’m working on teaching myself and I hope I’ll be able to show you some good stuff very soon in traditional art. Not only drawing but also speed and digital painting.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How did you find Shadowness and why did you begin sharing your work here?</h2>I was looking at the hot stuff on Abduzeedo, when one specific artwork grabbed my attention. I cannot tell you the artist's name, but he or she is on Shadowness. This piece was a girl playing cello on a rock near the sea, very good composition and strong image. That was how I discovered the community.<br /> The global theme, the Dark inspiration of most artists motivated me to share art with them. This is the good place for me, I feel good here with all of you, sincerely. There are great artists on Shadowness and that is really cool and inspiring.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Who and what are your greatest inspirations?</h2>Metal Music and Worldwide Mythologic Tales (Russian, Japanese, Greek and Egyptian) are my greatest inspirations along with calm and silence.<br /> I’ll tell you the artists who inspire me the most, i’m influenced by Arnold Böcklin, Salvador Dali, le Douanier Rousseau, Frank Frazetta , Luis Royo, the works of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell on human anatomy… Angel Medina, Daarken, Jim Lee, and Serpieri. French artists for example: Olivier Ledroit, and Aleksi Briclot. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What do you do to keep your creativity fresh, and your ideas constantly evolving?</h2>By listening to Metal Music and learning Mythologic tales. (Always having my cat near to me, as well.) Otherwise, the Graphic scene is always evolving, technique,, I keep an eye on the web looking for artistic tendencies to stay “modern” while keeping my own style.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What was your first art-related job and what did you learn from it?</h2>My first began last year and just finished last week. (It was a long project, maybe too much.) The work consisted of creating artwork for the French Basketball competition. (You may see my personal version on my website, I’m not really happy with the official one, it is called “Monolith”)<br /> What I’ve learned from it, is that even if you’re the Lead Designer (Art Direction and Realization) your work may be affected by last minute changes!<br /> To be clear, I took time to build a clean and realistic image, as professional as possible. (Most of time French advertising is not as audacious and nervy as in others countries, so it is difficult to make people evolve or try a new, fresh artistic direction.)<br /> Both the Communication Agency and Customer were satisfied with the work, it sounded like it was going to be great! But, when the final product was printed on magazines and flyers some elements were changed, and I was really frustrated because the person who did it made drastic errors. They forgot to activate some layers or replacing elements at the good places…not serious, not professional.<br /> It is still a good work but… even if these details are not striking, I see them! Other people who are meticulous will be able to see them too.<br /> I learned that you do not have entire freedom in what you create and I think this is why an artist's personal works are often better than professional ones. To my mind, professional projects are not a pure reflection of what you are or what you really know how to do.<br /> I have to accept that team working is not always easy, but the work has to be professional nevertheless!<br /> It was my first real professional work, and I hope the next ones will be better in all ways! <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What would you like to say to the members of shadowness?</h2>First of all, many thanks to Shadowness team for interviewing me. Thanks again for your support, for the Daily Inspirations, for everything!<br /> I try to answer everybody here, so if I forget some of you… I’m taking advantage of this interview to say: thanks to all for your comments and for following my work!<br /> Stay Dark ;)<br /> If you are interested, you may follow me on my website, Behance, Twitter, FlickR or Deviant art, here are the links:<br /> <br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a><br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 19:37:13 -0400 Interview with Illustrator Henning Ludvigsen <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>We're excited to share this interview with Henning Ludvigsen. He's a senior member of Shadowness and has always amazed the viewers with realistic illustrations that seem to know no bounds.</h2>My name is Henning Ludvigsen and I'm a Norwegian digital illustrator. I've been living in Athens, Greece since 2002 working as Art Director and partner of Aventurine S.A., a computer game development company which is developing the MMORPG, “Darkfall Online” ( <a target="_blank" href=""></a> ). During my spare time, I'm working for several clients such as, Fantasy Flight Games, working on their card and board games. (“Call of Cthulhu”, “A Game of Thrones”, “Civilization”, “Warhammer 40K”, and lots more.) I've done work for Eidos, and Burton Snowboards as well. I've also started small company called BadgerPunch Games with a friend, making small games just for fun. ( <a target="_blank" href=""></a> ). <br /> <br /> I enjoy making computer games, even though I don't play much. I like pen & paper role-playing games, and grabbing some beers out with friends where I can show my true Viking colours. <br /> <br /> Here is where you can view my Private portfolio: http:// <a target="_blank" href=""></a> <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>When did you first become aware of your interest in art? Were there specific events that lead you to it or did it feel like a natural decision?</h2>For as long as I can remember I was always interested in drawing and painting. During elementary school I was always the kid dealing with illustrating team projects and so on. Well, I also drew gigantic sharks eating masses of people, leaving the teacher with no other choice than talking to my parents to put a stop to it. I remember wanting to become a commercial advertisement illustrator, which I guess is a pretty weird choice for a 9-year old. (laughs) So when it was time to choose my path for further education and the future, things went pretty much seamlessly. <br /> <br /> I went directly to traditional art school where I had 2 great years learning the basics of traditional art and art history. Live nude drawing, too, which could be a scary ordeal depending on the model we had at the moment. After art school I went directly to the advertisement agency industry where I had to learn the basics of working digitally. This even though I've been playing around with computer graphics on the Commodore-64 from of back in the 80's, (Amiga-platform, too) it was still quite the leap from that into the commercial industry.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>What does Shadowness mean to you and how has it affected your vision of online art communities?</h2>I've always enjoyed Shadowness, and I was a member back in the early days as well when it started out. I'm really enjoying the current version, which brought me back from not being very active in any community at all, really. I like that it has a slightly different approach to the usual communities and forums out there. Also it's a very friendly community which I really enjoy.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>I understand that you started a traditional art education at the age of 16. Looking back, how large of an impact did it have on your growth of knowledge within the arts? Would you recommend beginners to enroll in a school?</h2>Having a traditional art background has helped me a lot even when working digitally. I'm using the same theories and even similar techniques sometimes, depending on what I'm trying to achieve. I very much recommend education, even though at the end of the day it all boils down to proving yourself, working hard, and having experience to make it in the industry. Education will help the process very much indeed, as you have a better understanding of what lies beneath the creation of creative work, I think.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Your portfolio contains vibrant and realistic paintings, the style and technique must have taken a very long time to achieve. How long have you been creating digital paintings and what type of software do you use to achieve the realism?</h2>Well, I started playing around with digital illustration on the Commodore 64 back in the 80's; so, that means well over 20 years of fiddling around with digital graphics. Back in the 80's we had 16 terrible colours to play with and were limited by all kinds of things. Creating pixel art with a joystick on a 14-inch television doesn't really give your creativity anything at all.<br /> Later, when the Amiga computers arrived, we suddenly had A LOT more colours and better software. <br /> <br /> I was creating quite a few illustrations using a program called DeluxePaint that turned out ok, all things considered. It still had limitations, though, and when I finally started working in the advertisement industry (years later) I discovered Photoshop and Illustrator.<br /> This was during the youth of these programs, so they looked and acted much differently than they do today. Still, I didn't have to worry about limitations like pixel size and amount of colours, which is a tremendous artistic block if you have to take this into consideration when creating something.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Which of your creations are you most pleased with and why?</h2>I'm rarely happy with my final work, but if I had to pick a couple, then I would mention a couple of pieces I've done for the “Call of Cthulhu” card and board games. Like «Field researcher», «Priest of two faiths», and «Zoe the Innsmouth cook». Besides this, «Wall» is probably the only painting I've done that I consider art-work. It actually has a deeper meaning which inspired me. It was made just after my Swiss girlfriend got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which was a tough time. <br /> <br /> Everything else I do is pretty much illustration-work. I'm an illustrator, and not much of an artist. I'm also very happy with the work I've done on “Call of Cthulhu, Mansions of Madness” board game that released recently. It’s a massive project with tons of details and effort put into it, but then again, who doesn't enjoy a good old-fashioned session of dungeon crawling? :-D.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Would you tell us about your history of employment within the art & design industry, from where you began to where you currently reside?</h2>I started out in the advertisement agency industry back home in Norway. It was a rat-race, often with several deadlines each day, and if you missed one, you knew that the remaining ones would get messed up as well. It was very stressful. I worked with advertisement for almost 10 years, including being self-employed for a couple of years. I climbed the corporate ladders and found myself in a good position as the Creative Director at a medium sized ad agency in Norway, but I was burned out and not very happy. At this time, I was working on the side with a computer game project with some old friends of mine; we wanted to make the BEST mmorpg ever made. (this was towards the very end of the 90's) We managed to get a Norwegian investor that didn't really work out, but soon after, a new opportunity arose where we were given an offer to move to Athens, Greece to work full time on our beloved computer game project. <br /> <br /> Long story short; I sold everything and left, which I guess is quite a bold thing to do considering that I didn't really have much experience with computer art, besides being very interested and trying out things with my friends. We released the game in 2008, and our company, Aventurine S.A., is growing, and I'm currently still here in Athens, 8,5 years after I got here. I'm planning on moving back to Norway in near future.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>For many artists, working in the entertainment industry as either a concept artist, digital painter, etc. is a dream job, but, without a doubt, it's one of the most intense fields out there and definitely an occupation that requires a '24/7' attitude. What do you love and dislike about it?</h2>It can be frustrating from time to time, especially if you're working as a freelance artist. People might try to trick you, sell your art for their own gain and so on. I'm spending a lot of time trying to remove my work from sites selling prints of things I've done for clients that not even I am allowed to sell prints of. <br /> <br /> My full time job in the computer games industry is pretty great. It's very hard work being responsible for a team and the overall visual quality of a living mmorpg, but it's definitely worth it when you can see people enjoying themselves, playing the game, and participating in a world we've created for them by hand. It does take a 24/7 attitude indeed. When I'm home from work in the evening, my freelance projects take over, and I tend to work until 3-4 am every night, even during weekends, so I guess you need to be up for that to enter this industry.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>For artists who wish to seek a career within the entertainment industry, do you have any general tips on how to approach it? What one should focus on, etc?</h2>In my opinion, you naturally need the right attitude and expectations. It DOES take A LOT of effort, and there are no short cuts. You need to be seen to get noticed, so it's very important to be visible within the art community and also do well there. Get featured by earning it, have a nice looking and easily navigable online portfolio that you constantly keep updating, and be helpful to fellow artists. Don't be a dick. When approaching the industry directly, make sure to present yourself from your best side. Don't throw everything you've ever made into your portfolio, but show your diversity and only your best work. Three GREAT pieces will count more than thirty mediocre ones. Be humble, structured and always deliver on time with more than you've been asked for, if possible.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>What mistakes have taught you the most when it comes to developing your knowledge within the drawings/paintings area?</h2>I've had a couple of bad experiences with private commissioners, unfortunately. Clients not paying, or even disappearing in the middle of an unfinished project! I only work with clients I know, now, and not private people. Should a new company show up, then I make sure to go through contracts and the proper legal stuff before doing any work, to protect both parties, really. I've also learned that it is important to take breaks if you're overwhelmed with work. I'm not really holding true to that experience right now, as I'm currently more than booked, but still; it’s an important thing that one should put in the front seat. When talking about gaining knowledge on painting specifically, I've learned a lot from different art communities. People are usually very helpful with giving feedback. (at least on some sites) By watching others share their knowledge I've integrated their thoughts in my ever updating work-flow.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Do you have any specific sought after dream in the future that you aspire for? (It can be anything from working with a unique project to landing a job at "that very amazing place"!)</h2>I honestly don't have big aspirations to work at a super big and famous place. I enjoy smaller scale businesses and also being a part of shaping it. The company here in Greece started out with just a few friends having fun, and now we're 30-something people working full-time in house. I guess that, for the future, I would like to continue what I'm doing, but to be more condensed and focus more on my own projects rather than having to be creative for someone else most of the time.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Which favorite artists do you admire & why?</h2>I love the work of many artists, and to me it's more about their work, or specific pieces, rather than specific artists. If I have to mention some, then I will mention Boris Vallejo simply because he's awesome and he was the first artist that really stood out to me. I will also mention Michael Komarck, as he is able to create some amazingly dynamic and traditional-looking art-work digitally.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Do you have anything you wish to say to the members on Shadowness?</h2>Thanks for taking your time to read my random blathering, and I hope that the Shadowness community stays as friendly and easy going as it grows!<br /> <br /> <h2>On behalf of the team Shadowness, I'd like to thank you for participating in this interview!</h2>Be sure to have a look at <a target="_blank" href="">/henning</a> for more amazing pieces! Sat, 02 Apr 2011 14:38:33 -0400 Interview with Photographer of the Month Leonheart There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. ~Ansel Adams<br /> <br /> This quote is especially visible when looking at the photographic works of Gregorius Suhartoyo, AKA <a target="_blank" href="">/Leonheart</a> here on Shadowness. His pieces possess a grace and strength more powerful than technique alone could render. <br /> <br /> He is our first recepient of the Photographer of the Month award, and has taken the time to share with us insight into his work in an interview.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Tell me about yourself.</h2> Hello, I'm Gregorius Suhartoyo, an open-minded person who likes to learn new things to improve what skills I already have. I'm a freelance photographer and a freelance motion graphic artist.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you first notice your own style emerging?</h2> Everyone has to experience some steps in the process, including me. Around March 2009 I started taking pictures with very standard & simple results. Through time, I learned to use good lighting & simple composition with some processing to boost the result. I'm still looking for improvements with trial and error method :)<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Who or what are your inspirations?</h2> Actually nature magazines really inspire me a lot, before I owned my camera and started my photography adventures. I often look at the nature photos around the world and dreaming about having the adventure & visiting them. And Ansel Adams really inspires me a lot. His photos & simple composition really captured my heart.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What do you feel is the most important technical ability for photographers to master?</h2> I think we should really know about good lighting & angle. With good lighting, usually the result will be good. And some interesting angle can really boost the result & make it different from other photo.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What advice do you have for the beginning photographers?</h2> Practice is what makes us become better. Try different angles, compositions, and lighting. About lighting, try to avoid harsh lighting condition. For example, if you're taking scenery pictures, it's better to not take pictures between 7 am and 5 pm. And try to make notes of what you're mistakes are that need to be fixed for your next photo session so you will improve every time you take pictures. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Thank you, <a target="_blank" href="">/Leonheart</a> !<br /> <br /> And here are a few words about <a target="_blank" href="">/Leonheart</a> from the community members.<br /> <br /> Greg's photos are so recognisable, especially the ones showcasing his homeland of Indonesia. They always evoke incredible warmth, and his landscapes communicate like paintings. It's always exciting when he shares his vision. <a target="_blank" href="">/Snowmask</a> <br /> <br /> Greg's photography is that rarest of combinations: the ability to capture that elusive "perfect instant", and the communication of a universal human experience that transcends borders. It's a warmth difficult to describe, but one that has people from all walks of life nodding "yes", with a smile. <a target="_blank" href="">/Kolaboy</a> <br /> <br /> He takes his pictures with a heart full of appreciation for the world around him, and with the skill which brings that world into vivid focus. <a target="_blank" href="">/Wroth</a> <br /> <br /> Greg's works of art are of utmost quality -- exuberant in both technicalities and in passion. His photos, whether they are portraits that are beautiful and professional, detailed macro shots of nature or heart-felt landscapes of his homeland, fall nothing short of exemplary -- and he has a big heart to match. <a target="_blank" href="">/Shebid</a> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 14:25:45 -0400 Interview with Concept Artist Gabriel Perez <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> Gabriel Perez is a senior member of Shadowness who both inspires and amazes the crowd. We are thrilled to share this interview with you guys and be sure to check out his complete gallery at <a target="_blank" href="">/Gabriel</a> <br /> <br /> <h2>What was it that triggered your interest for art?</h2>Batman and Ninja Turtles! I use to draw them so much that I’d get in trouble in school. I then moved on to drawing Spider-man, wolverine, aliens and sharks! I was so fascinated by comic books that I soon got addicted to them to the point where I wanted to make my own comic book. Ever since, I’ve been drawing throughout my life and it has been an awesome skill to improve. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>How long have you been a Shadowness member and how did you first hear about the community?</h2>I’ve been a Shadowness member since the good old days of Eevo V3! My talent back then needed a great deal of serious work but I remember how inspirational Shadowness was to me. I can’t recall as to how I stumbled upon Shadowness but I am thankful I did. It changed the artist in me in a variety of ways. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Are you completely self taught or have you taken upon formal art education?</h2>I am completely self-taught. I always had a passion for art and it all came to me digitally when I found out about Craig Mullin’s work. This was back in 2005 when I came across artworks for Halo 2 that just blew my mind! Right then and there, I wanted to know the artist and how he created such beautiful artworks. From there on, I’ve been painting from time to time, and brushing up my skills to where I am now. <br /> <br /> I have been considering attending an art college for Entertainment Design to prolong my studies and to build a better portfolio. However, I feel that the studies I’ve been doing on my own for the past few months have tremendously impacted my knowledge to create art in a professional way. I am confident that this year will be my year to build my portfolio into something amazing.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>While your drawings/paintings contain different types of concepts, the majority seems to be influenced by military/combat, is there a specific reason for this choice of art?</h2>Yes! I have been in the U.S Army for almost 6 years. I lead, supervised and served as a member of an infantry unit, employing individual weapons, machine guns, and anti-armor weapons in offensive and defensive ground combat.<br /> What I have learned and experienced in the Army, I apply to the majority of my artworks. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Which of your creations are you most pleased with and why?</h2>The piece named ‘Elite Soldier’. It’s my first “finished-quality” work I put time into back in 2008. It’s based off of experience. It wasn’t speedy like I normally paint. This was the first piece I literally put hours into. I was stoked by the fact that I was able to render a piece and make it look real. Which is why I am still pleased with it because of how excited and confident I was when I finished it. Runners up, I’d go with the ODST fan art I did for Bungie’s Halo 3: ODST videogame. The rest of my works are pretty much speed paints that don’t have the same quality of work compared to “Elite Soldier” and “ODST”.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>What mistakes have taught you the most when it comes to developing your knowledge within drawings/paintings area?</h2>Always be positive and confident! Learn and know what you want to do and execute it. One of my biggest mistakes was not being positive and confident because I didn’t know how to execute what I had in mind. It took me a while to finally realize that studying and practicing my weaknesses made me a much more positive and confident artist. Study, study, study. Practice, practice, practice! I can’t emphasize that enough. <br /> <br /> I was so ignorant to even think that I didn’t need to study and practice; that it would all just come to me and click together. That is not the case. I started studying last year in September and I have seen an increasing amount of improvement over my work. I am still studying and practicing, so hop on the journey with me and tag along! Kind of corny, I know, but if you want to become a better artist, tackle your weakness and overcome it. It’s as simple as that.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Do you currently work in the field of art or do you aspire to in the near future?</h2>I am currently working as a freelance illustrator/concept artist. After being released from the army late last year, I decided to take my art seriously and hopefully work as a concept artist/illustrator full-time in the near future.<br /> <br /> <h2>What do you love most about it?</h2>I love the diversity for each project because I am more accustomed creating sci-fi and military concepts than I am used to creating children’s illustration. Each and every client I have worked for have been different and it has helped me delve into other areas of imagination.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Creating art can mean a variety of things for artists, it can be a place of serenity, a way to simply express your thoughts and imagination etc, what does it mean to you?</h2>It’s amazing how different artists perceive art the way they do. I personally see art as a way of expressing one’s imaginative world. I create art in the intent to bring the viewers into my world and see what I’m trying to convey. I try to tell the story of my experiences, love and hate, greed or how I’m feeling in the moment. Sometimes, I create random artworks as a fun way of being productive. Art can be really mysterious.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Learning to create digital paintings/drawings can be a challenge for most and certainly not something you can learn in a short time period. Do you have any tips for people who are or wishes to improve their creations with a similarity to your style? Being inspirational, practical or technical, anything that may aid a fellow artist?</h2>Study and practice your weaknesses in the field, as I mentioned in question 6. If you’re lacking in composition… study composition. If you’re lacking in anatomy… practice figure drawing! <br /> <br /> If you are planning to paint an environment with mountains, rivers, trees, foliage; before hand, always search for photo references. This will help you not only make your paintings more believable, but also teach you to the point you won’t need a reference at all.<br /> <br /> Also, using photo stills in the form of movies, landscapes, or personal photos can help your brush work and sense of lighting. I have been studying and practicing movie stills to find new ways to use my brush and also gain more knowledge of lighting and color. The goal is to paint the image you are looking at as fast as you can. Give yourself a time. 30-60 minutes recommended. The painting doesn’t have to be perfect; these are just merely studies and practices. Its fun when you’re bored and it applies to the concepts of “study” and “practice”. <br /> <br /> Oh, and invest in a proper drawing tablet! It is a crucial step to becoming better. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <h2>Do you have anything you wish to say to visitors & members of Shadowness?</h2>Have fun and happy painting! ^__^<br /> <br /> <h2>On behalf of the team of Shadowness i'd like to thank you for participating in this interview!</h2>Thank you for interviewing me! Thu, 17 Mar 2011 04:59:03 -0400 Interview with Digital Artist Karim Fakhoury Karim Fakhoury is an 18 year-old student from Montreal, Canada. He has been passionate about visual arts and informatics since his youth and today, he is combining both styles into his unique creations. He believes in the Shadowness theory of constantly improving your skills and trying to surpass your last effort. His current goal is to learn digital painting and 3D to hopefully become a professional matte painter.<br /> Please welcome <a target="_blank" href="">/karimfakhoury</a> to the Shadowness Community!<br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Where are you receiving your formal art education?</h2>For now I am still a student at Collège d'enseignement général ET professionnel. (Cegep in Quebec) I'm nearing graduation in Tradional Arts, and after that, I’m planning to go to university, to specialize in digital matte painting.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What hardware/medium do you use the most?</h2>Being a big fan of Apple products, all my works are created on a 27-inch iMac. In addition, I use a graphic tablet, Wacom Bamboo Fun Pen & Touch for a greater agility and flexibility.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What software do you use the most?</h2>Right now, I only use Photoshop CS5 which responds very well to my needs. However, knowing that I will soon go into 3D, I intend to get the software Cinema 4D and 3ds Max.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>Tell us a bit about your first experiences in digital art.</h2>Like many other beginners in digital art, I started by creating signatures/avatars for members on online forums. I greatly enjoyed the pleasure it gave me and I decided to develop myself to the best of my ability. My interest in graphic design quickly evolved into a passion that continues to grow.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What are your current projects?</h2>The vast majority of my works are personal, for my own pleasure. I publish them on my online portfolio - <a target="_blank" href=""></a> - and websites such as Shadowness and Behance Network. <br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>When did you first get interested in graphic arts, and why?</h2>As a young boy, I showed great interest for the graphics in video games and movies. The technological advancement allows us to work and create "art" from a new perspective and it is this artistic progression that attracted me to the graphic arts.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>What is your greatest source of inspiration?</h2>Honestly, I get my inspiration from everything around me. The source of influence for each of my creations varies widely and can come from a movie, a picture, a book, a song, a dream, etc. I feel like I am never without inspiration!<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> <h2>How would you define your "style "?</h2>Currently, I do not think that I have a specific style or that I can define it, since I'm still looking for the one that would best represent my work and my artistic side. However, I can say that when it comes to start a new work, my ultimate goal is to convey a poetic and sentimental visual through the characters I create, often in surreal or fantastic landscapes that surround them.<br /> <br /> <a href=""><img src="" /></a><br /> <br /> <br /> Here is where you can find Karim’s on-line portfolios!<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> <br /> <a target="_blank" href=""></a> <br /> <br /> Until next time, Shadow-People<br /> Never stop Learning, Never stop Creating!<br /> <br /> /HellOnAStick Wed, 13 Apr 2011 14:08:41 -0400