Interview with IndironHave you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?
Yes, basically I have a degree in graphic design and illustration.
I can say that sure it helped me in some aspects, but at the end of the day I found myself sitting in front of my computer for more then 8 hours drawing and painting. I consider myself more self taught because Uni did not teach me a lot when it comes to some important foundations, it all came down to constant work and self improvement. Uni programs are always lacking somewhere. My advice to fellow deviants who are concerned about giving preciously earned money for art school tuition is don't do it; you wont get your money worth unless you are enrolling to the best of the best art schools. If you feel like you really lack discipline to make yourself do practice then you might have to do it. What appealed to you the most about being an artist? What is your inspiration?
My parents are artists. That is one of the many reasons how I got into doing art. However, it also made me somewhat tired from fine art. I enjoyed playing games, reading comics, and fantasy books, I was a pretty nerdy kid xD. I discovered digital painting pretty early but didn't develop much of an interest for it until I grew older. I played a lot of World of Warcraft and Warcraft3 when I was in high school, and the blizzard artstyle is what got me to eventually to pick up a pen and draw every day; I loved the blizzard way or illustration and game art. Ironically, you can't find much blizzard fanart in my gallery xD. Hopefully I'll get to change that soon :>What genres and styles you use? How did your style of art developed over time?
Depends mostly on what I'm working on; If its some medieval fantasy related painting; It'll probably be just classical realism with very minimal stylization. Of course you always want to make your painting somewhat dynamic unless requested otherwise. When it comes to anime and fanart related series; I use heavy stylization and render materials somewhat realistic. I love to do stuff very painterly but many clients request well rendered stuff so there isn't a big window for that.
My style does keep evolving constantly but I can't really categorize it that much; I was influenced by a tons of artists in the industry, although I'd like to mention that top noch game art is always a certain inspiration and Guangjiang Huang is the first on my drool list these days! What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?
There are many ways I approach a painting; it depends how I feel like starting and what will fit the theme the best. If something is anime related I almost always start with some kind of sketch. If I happen to start painting suddenly while sketching I continue by doing black and white values and then convert to color and paint on top of it. If I don't start with a sketch (mostly when doing realism stuff, I directly paint with color. I don't do black and white that much but when I do, Its very good for getting the perfect values. If I feel like a piece is going an interesting way or I feel that It's very important I might even spend weeks on it, I do tend to overdo things sometimes. Details come last, but I do like to spend a fair amount of time on them. What software do you use and why?
I recently upgraded from Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC (new release). Only because of a bugfix and some minor improvements. Nothing special. I chose photoshop as its the industry's standard, the .abr brush format is widely spread in the artist community and it offers almost all tools a digital artist needs in order to create an awesome piece of work. The only downside is that Photoshop is very hardware hungry when working on higher resolution images with many layers. Fortunately I recently upgrades to 32gigs of RAM from 16 and everything's good.
Beside using PS for painting, I paint on a Wacom Cintiq 22HD. What would you consider the most important points to think when drawing or painting art?
Foundations are the most important thing when doing anything art related. You should practice human anatomy and do studies often. Try to understand how values and surfaces work. How light and shadow work. Then go into color theory. If you start from a sketch, draw everything first and don't go into details until everything looks ok. Same goes for painting or anything really. Check your thumbnail (navigator), flip your canvas often to spot mistakes, etc. What are your plans for the future?
I wish to expand my dA audience further, post more personal stuff and do more fanart. Of course improve all the way every single day! Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
I recommend all the old Lumis books for beginners. They are great and explain everything from anatomy to perspective, values, shadows etc. Grab tutorials from great artists if they have any. Research try to find some great free processes and classes like the ones from Feng Zhu. -Read lots of books and watch movies for inspiration
As far as advice goes, the best I can give you is just to practice daily, try to discipline yourself and make a small schedule, print it and hang it on your wall. Put studies, anatomy, color study or whatever area you think you are lacking in.
www.youtube.com/user/FZDSCHOOL - Feng Zhu's design cinema mostly focusing on concept art
www.ctrlpaint.com - Free and paid tutorials and various subjects and most importantly foundation
www.youtube.com/user/levelupsessions - Levelup! Wojtek Fus and Darek Zabrocki's channel cgcookie.com/concept
- Concept cookie has some decent tutorials as well
Additionally you can find some great tutorials on Gumroad and various artists are offering tutorials in forms of monthly pledge on Patreon.
You can also check out my Patreon too, I am offering in depth tutorials and step by steps every two weeks: www.Patreon.com/Indiron
Thank you for the interview!