Greg Rutkowski has been our friend for five years now, but he’s been a friend to the online art community for much longer. This is why we’ve decided to invite him back for a catch-up interview on Vox Groovy this month. After all, many things have changed. He’s now a father to two daughters, he has a completely new outlook on art and life, and I’m assuming that we can all agree on the fact that the quality of his work has skyrocketed since our last proper sit-down with him. In light of this, we’re really excited to tell you about Greg’s shift towards a more traditional, oil-on-canvas-like style, and we think he may have voiced a popular sentiment when he spoke about how an artist can get tired of the artificial look that digital art often carries with it…
It’s not every day that I get to meet an artist who has worked for a developer for more than a decade, but as it turns out, Matt Rhodes was already working as an intern for BioWare in the latter half of the 2000s, toiling away to bring Jade Empire to your Xbox. The then intern was given the opportunity to work on the first installment in the Mass Effect trilogy, paving the way for him to continue on and ship six AAA productions with the Canadian developer. Matt is now an Art Director, so it’s clear that his years’ worth of experience paid off, in the interview, he writes, “My role is to support and defend the art team, cultivate and promote the visual direction of the project, and to foster a culture of critique.” Adding that at the time of this writing, he’s just starting with his Art Director role, but that this explanation encapsulates the methodology of other art directors who he hopes to approximate. And I sincerely believe in his ability to do just that.
Irakli Nadar is a Georgian digital artist whose main focus is creating hyper-realistic portraits of beautiful models and pop culture icons. As I see it, all of Nadar’s portraits have been successful because all of them have gone viral and brought him thousands of awestruck followers on social media. This artist’s portfolio is a combination of hyper-realism, wonderful lighting, and a set of unique renditions of popular characters like Overwatch’s Mercy and Princess Mononoke.
Andreas Rocha is a Portuguese environment artist who specializes in fantasy and Sci-Fi. He started out with a degree in architecture, but now he’s working as a freelance concept artist whilst creating exclusive content for his sixty-seven patrons. In the past, Rocha’s painterly style earned him the opportunity to work for world-renowned clients like Fantasy Flight Games, The Mill and Wizards of the Coast. Now, you can often find him posting amazing fantastical paintings on his ArtStation page. Our personal favorite is “High Places,” which is a piece he created for one of his Patreon illustration packs (inspired by Paro Taktsang monastery in Bhutan). In this exclusive interview, we will discuss how Rocha feels about Patreon and the benefits that it can bring.
The new Battle Chasers: Night War (2017) is a unique RPG game that needs its artists to work in a very specific art style—an art style like Grace Liu’s. It’s no surprise that hand-painted low-poly 3D will always feel at home in a stylized game, and that’s why the vast majority of you might have seen Liu’s work in games like Diablo III (2012) and League of Legends (2009). With nine years’ worth of experience and the opportunity to work at Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games and Airship Syndicate, I’m sure that she has a lot to teach us all.
Some of you may remember our 2016 interview with Even Mehl Amundsen, and we hope that you’re as excited to catch up with him as we are! For those of you who don’t know, Even is a Norwegian concept artist who specializes in fantasy art. In the past, he has lived in Canada, Czech republic, Norway and the UK, and he has had the opportunity to work for companies like Blizzard Entertainment and VOLTA as he made his way around the world. Now you can find him back Norway, or more specifically, Oslo, where he is working on TEGN. This is Even’s art-book series, a project he started when he challenged himself to draw three hundred and sixty-six unique, story-laced illustrations over the course of one year.
I love painting portraits more than anything else, mainly because of their ability to tell you more about a person. One of the things I like to include is photo-references, and I have a tendency to use these a lot. Popular opinion — or the loudest one anyway — holds that using photographs in a painting is cheating. Moreover, copying is another things that this community frowns upon, but you actually learn a great deal from copying. To tell you the truth, it may well be the fastest way to improve as an artist. My recommendation is to study old master paintings. You will need to be very observant in order to learn how they did it, but you can apply everything you learn here in the future. On a side note, the 10,000 hour rule is not going to apply if you are practicing wrong.
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.
Since he was a teenager, Timothy Rodriguez knew he wanted to do digital art. The artist grew up in La Rochelle, France and later moved to Paris where he attended École de communication visuelle – a private design school – before dropping out after one year and starting freelance in the city. He is now an artist with years’ of experience who has worked for several renowned companies like Applibot, Bethesda Softworks and Warner Bros. Rodriguez also had the opportunity to work on popular franchises like The Elder Scrolls among others. Of course, he also works on some great personal art and he will share with us today why this is important for any artist who hopes to be successful.
Even Mehl Amundsen is a far–traveled fantasy artist from Stabekk, Norway. Currently, he is living in Denmark. He has worked for Blizzard Entertainment, Games Workshop and other reputable companies in the past. This artist’s career started in Quebec, Canada, where he worked for VOLTA, a studio that is well known in the entertainment industry. This is where Even spent three years learning the ropes of his new job with the help of a great many artists who he looked up to at the time. Working in-house at a studio is a big step-up for any artist and it definitely helped Even kick-start his career as an artist and propelled him to where he is today.