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 /Rusalkadesign . 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 /Rusalkadesign !
Where did your facination with Mythology begin, and how does it influence what you create?
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?)
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.
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!
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.
Where did you receive your art education?
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.
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.
When did you decide that you wanted to become a freelance artist and how did you accomplish your goal?
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!!!
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. :) )
Do most of your works involve several mediums, such as photo-manipulation and typography, or digital painting?
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).
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.
How did you find Shadowness and why did you begin sharing your work here?
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.
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.
Who and what are your greatest inspirations?
Metal Music and Worldwide Mythologic Tales (Russian, Japanese, Greek and Egyptian) are my greatest inspirations along with calm and silence.
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.
What do you do to keep your creativity fresh, and your ideas constantly evolving?
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, style...so, I keep an eye on the web looking for artistic tendencies to stay “modern” while keeping my own style.
What was your first art-related job and what did you learn from it?
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”)
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
I have to accept that team working is not always easy, but the work has to be professional nevertheless!
It was my first real professional work, and I hope the next ones will be better in all ways!
What would you like to say to the members of shadowness?
First of all, many thanks to Shadowness team for interviewing me. Thanks again for your support, for the Daily Inspirations, for everything!
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!
Stay Dark ;)
If you are interested, you may follow me on my website, Behance, Twitter, FlickR or Deviant art, here are the links: