The SPA Studios is planning to bring traditional 2D animation back with Klaus, an animated feature film by Sergio Pablos. It’s important to note that Pixar and DreamWorks Animation have been dominating the animation industry with computer animation as opposed to hand-drawing the frames like Klaus, so this is an interesting development for this industry. Szymon Biernacki is one of two art directors—working alongside Marcin Jakubowski to develop the art style for the feature—and he is the one we are talking to today.
The Malaysian art scene often goes unnoticed in the art community. After all, there’s only a handful of names that we all know and love. Incidentally, we have interviewed Puppeteer Lee in the past, but we didn’t get a chance to ask him what it’s like to be an artist in his home country. This is why we interviewed Kael Ngu, a Concept Artist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “I feel that there will be many more young aspiring artists coming out of Malaysia in due time, and the culture will get stronger as time goes by.” said Kael. The artists all know each other, and they collaborate on various art-books, two of which have already been published. Of course, their day-to-day tasks at work keep them busy, but you can look forward to more collaborative projects by Kael and the others in the near future.
I found a stray copy of The Gods Lie when I was browsing in one of the local bookshops last week. The lovely pastel-coloured cover art caught my eye instantly, which is why I ended up buying it on a whim. This is actually one of the few manga I purchased without having to stay up all night reading various reviews and watching monthly manga haul videos on YouTube. The copy I have was first published in the UK by Vertical Comics in September 2016. This particular edition has a good Japanese to English translation, and you can clearly see the effort the mangaka put into both the paneling and the artwork. This is great for a one-shot manga like this because the cleanness of the panels makes it really easy to finish it in an hour—or maybe an hour and a half if you’re going to be admiring the drawings. In overview, everything came together nicely with the story and art complementing each other throughout.
Christopher Schiefer is a young Concept Artist, currently living in Chemnitz, Germany. Surprisingly, Christopher first discovered digital whilst he was working his old job way back in 2012. “I was working as a Graphics Programmer and a Technical Artist before I knew about Digital painting.” He told us. After that, he would go on to spend the next four years creating over a thousand paintings. Christopher was working tirelessly to improve through continued practice, art courses and a mentorship with none other than Wojtek Fus. If you take a look at the things he produced in 2012 – comparing it to the work he’s doing now – you’ll see that hard work really does pay off. His new artworks – the ones like Crescendo and Grand Staircase – are absolutely stunning and we asked him to walk us through how he made them.
Simon Kopp is a twenty-nine year old Concept Artist and Illustrator from Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Germany. He is one of the up and coming artists in the games industry, getting his first time in the spotlight back when Airborne Studios first released the concept art for the critically acclaimed Ori and the Blind Forest, and not letting go of it ever since. Kopp has since worked with world–renowned game developers like Insomniac Games, as well as having been published in several books by 3dtotal. His most recent project was an animated feature film – Maya the Bee – The Honey Games.
Stella Chen Yui is an illustrator from Taiwan, currently living in Taichung and using the pen name of Stellarism. She is completely self-taught and is majoring in Japanese language this year. Of course, you may have already seen Stella’s artworks around if you are a fan of anime and manga since she’s one of the more popular artists in that Internet community. However, she also does her best to try her hand at different projects. We asked her about the work she did for Marco Kalantari’s short film toward the second half of the interview, and she told us a little bit about how different it was to working for Taiwanese clients. Of course, we also talked about her journey so far and her plans for the future.
Jakub Rozalski is a Concept Artist and Illustrator from Krakow, Poland. He has a deep interest in history, and a lot of his personal projects are based around important historical events that occurred in the twentieth century. You can see that 1920+ is the most popular project by far. This is because of the amazing world-building that Rozalski worked on for many years now. The project was so successful that Scythe (a board game based off of the 1920+ world) was successfully funded on Kickstarter, with thousands of people pledging over $1,800,000 in order to make the product a reality.
Becoming a successful concept artist in this day and age is tough. You have to spend countless hours creating portfolio artwork whilst growing your social media presence in order to build your professional network. And like most of our dreams, it will seem impossible at first. This is why we interviewed James Combridge, an Australian Concept Artist from Newcastle. James loves creating worlds, telling stories and constantly improving his artwork. We asked him a few questions we thought a beginner artist might want answers to.
Henrik Evensen is a twenty-six year old Digital Artist from Norway. He is currently working at Storyline Studios, a small post-production company that does work on local live-action films, TV series and commercials. Evensen is given lots of different tasks over at Storyline and he’s become a very versatile artist because of it. He says: “I’m a generalist, doing anything from concept-art and matte painting to modeling, rendering, you name it!” During the interview, he told us that he worked there for two years now, and did six months of freelance work prior to that.
Florian Aupetit is an Art Director and 3-D Generalist from Paris, France. Currently, he works at a small design and production studio named Monsieur K where he hopes to learn more about CGI to help him realize his dream of creating an animated short. In the interview, he tells us that Father & Son is a personal project he has been developing in his spare time for two years now, and that this is the project he wants to make the short film for. Of course, making this a reality is really tough considering that he has a full-time job and is still learning digital painting. But it is no longer just a pipe dream as him and his friend have finalized a script and most of the scenarios have actually been drawn up and made into illustrations. We hope, in short, that an animated film will be released in the near future.