I was first introduced to the work of Martin Grohs when I joined Shadowness. I have been impressed with his sensibilities, sense of humor and patience with others during the short time that I've known him. His artworks range from the serious to the humorous, always with a unique flair that is easily recognizable as his own. Thank you, Martin for participating in this process with me! Now, let's get down to the art.
What is the greatest inspiration for your work, and why did you choose photo manipulation as your focus?
Actually, there isn't some big inspiration source, for me. It’s rather the everyday things which I experience or see which give me the most inspiration.
What do you say to people who think that photo manipulation is only one-sided?
I tell them that they simply have no idea. It is, I find, the most versatile form of expression within digital art. One can re-invent a topic in photo-manipulation again and again. You can represent a topic thousands of ways, letting your creativity and originality run free!
What is your greatest achievement as an artist and why?
Actually, any picture which people like or that finds recognition and enthusiasm is a great success for me.
Of course, I am particularly proud of my numerous publications in various magazines, like the Advanced Photoshop Magazine, and of the prizes which I have already won with my work, like the "DesignerBattle 2010". It is awesome that I already earn money with my art, I’m very thankful.
Who first encouraged you to create? And who have been your greatest influences?
Actually, no one has encouraged me to do it. I came to digital art by way of photography about 4 years ago.
Then, I simply made the jump from beauty retouching into full manipulation.
Two people played a large role for me in the beginning of my work. They are Calvin Hollywood and Peter Jaworoski; two excellent digital artists who still inspire me very much today. I owe to them that I have learned new techniques again and again and always improved my abilities.
How did you find Shadowness?
I'm not so sure how I came to Shadowness. I think someone has suggested the site to me. But, that really mattered, because I have to say, it is one of the best art platforms that I know of so far! I love the interaction between the artists and especially the high level artists here. Especially the photographers - my deepest respect!
Where did you receive your formal training and who were your best instructors?
My education was in the media-designer field. It has me helped somewhat but not in the area of Photoshop since the main emphasis was, rather, the design of print media. I nevertheless learned many rules there. It is necessary to learn the rules in order to break them, now, in order to be individual and innovative. Because of this, I have taught myself most from Tutorials. I prefer to acquire new techniques by experimenting with my abilities that I’ve already learned, now.
What are your goals as an artist? Do you intend to work freelance, or do you have a ‘dream-job’ in mind?
Yes, I think everybody should aims have because one would only senselessly waste their time without them. It is my aim to be able work for a large, known and recognized agency, primarily in advertising, and be able to work on private and freelance projects. The highest prerequisite is the validation one receives as an artist in the world, and I work for that, daily.
What advice would you give to others starting out in photo-manipulation regarding copyright, stock images and techniques?
All beginning is tedious and difficult. It was that way also for me. One may, just at the beginning, give up at once if something doesn't turn out as one imagines it. Don’t give up!
Exercise and practice makes the master. One should consider that Photoshop is only a tool to manifest your ideas. Without ideas, one shouldn't begin at all.
In terms of copyright and stock images, it is just difficult, at first, because you naturally look at pictures of other artists and try to copy the techniques, perhaps unconsciously, in order to own them.
It is always important to be honest with yourself and admit when an image served as inspiration.
Do you attempt to communicate through your artwork?
Yes, I try to accomplish this, actually, in each of my artworks. I always try to convey a topic, something that is very important to me or something that is from ‘current events’ to give the observer a different outlook, or version of the topic at hand. I love to start people thinking, and forming their own opinions on a given topic, as well as trying to bring a personal touch to the artwork from me to them.
Is there anything that you’d like to say to the members of shadowness, and where can we find your other portfolios?
Be yourselves. Enjoy what you do. Let the shadows grow so that it surrounds the whole world! Muahahahaha!