Interview with STelariHave you ever studied Art or are you self taught?
I'd start with the part that there is no such thing as pure self taught. What it actually is, it's learning by observing what the others know. People who brag the most about being self-taught and what not also love to demean taking any lessons, or - good heavens! - even taking a look at a tutorial. All while having no idea what a difference it makes when you learn the basics, the proper, raw basics, that you can later use and develop whatever way you want. A naive way of thinking, though I suppose that everyone has that phase at some point. From personal experience, I can tell you that it's one big waste of time.
I graduated from a faculty of graphic design of technology and computer science uni last Spring, top grade with a honorary distinction. While it mostly didn't have much to do with what you can see in my dA gallery, it gave me quite an insight into those basics I mentioned, plus I gathered knowledge about other useful things to make an extension to my abilities, like designing a book, or a magazine, for example – I don’t mean the cover or illustrations, but the construction of all the contents.
And in the end, if you decide to pursue a career in art, no one is going to ask you if you are a self taught. Employers and contractors will be interested in your portfolio and
what courses and schools you've been through. So quite the contrary. If you have opportunities to learn and study, don't sit back and wave them off just for the sake of keeping a "I'm a self-taught, praise me" tag.Why become an artist?
Why not? Like Jim Carrey said, you can fail when doing what you like, and you can fail when doing what you don't like, so why shouldn't I try the thing I like first?I noticed you use mainly traditional media. Why work with watercolour, pen and pencil?
I like the media I use, and I spent a lot of effort on learning how to control them. A pencil, like it is in most artists' cases, was the first thing that I utilized when my interest in drawing started taking shape. Pen was easy enough to pick up afterwards. Then I got bored with drawing along, so I picked up painting. That's all. We'll see what comes next. While I do experiment a lot, I don't see why should I completely switch to something else all of a sudden. If I do, it'll progress slowly and gradually. I'm quite curious to see what I'll be doing later. What is your inspiration for your artworks?
Anything. I go out shopping and I see a pattern on a skirt, or a weird crack on some wall, or an interesting person, or I smell something nice (or not nice), or I overhear a bit of some conversation... I have a really screwed up memory that keeps every detail and there's plenty to choose from. Of course, that includes art and fashion and other things that I stumble upon on the internet as well, but I admit that it's a very small percentage of what I actually am inspired by.What is the process you go through when painting a piece of work till it's final state?
I always start with a sketch. I have currently... five, I think, sketchbooks in use. Each one is for a different kind of stuff, one is for fan art, one for my own original things, one for commissions, one for simple training, and so on. I don't like mixing subjects. But going back to the question, after I finish some sketches (usually I make a couple for one idea, to choose the best composition and else), I redraw the best one on watercolour paper. From there, I add some general details, clean unnecessary lines, correct any errors. Currently I use ink for final linearts, so after I'm done with pencil base, I seal it with ink and I go into the tiniest details. After that it comes watercolour, and optionally white gel pen for highlights. What would you consider the most important points to think about when drawing or painting?
The basics. Learn proper anatomy, perspective, colour theory and things like that first. If you know them through and you can use them, you can start thinking about bending and breaking the rules. Not the other way around.You have such an eye for detail. How long does one piece of artwork take to complete?
Depends how much I'm invested in the work and whether I get bored with in in the middle. Usually it's around 3-5 days for the biggest ones, up to 3 days for smaller. That's concerning my personal projects. As for commissions, I try to keep up with deadlines. I'm wondering if does Japanese illustrations / prints influence you at all? I'm a lover of Japanese illustrations and such and I see some similarities?
Hatsushika Hokusai. Hayao Miyazaki. Junji Ito. And a dozen of others. Yeah, among my inspirations, there is plenty of Japanese artists, and a lot of Chinese ones, but there's plenty of others as well.Is there any advice you could give to learning artists?
Whining won't get you anywhere. Comparing your art and your progress to other people's won't get you anywhere either. Focus on yourself and your own improvement, train and draw as much as possible. Get a sketchbook and sketch all the time, especially things around you. I find life studies boring as hell, but they actually are the best when it comes to learning. So bite through it and train. You can do it.
You can find STelari