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.
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.
Simona Hromadová was born and raised in Veľký Krtíš, a small town in the south of Slovakia. She’d go on to move to London a few years after finishing high school, and she’d live there for thirteen years. Her passion for digital art started there, right after she found out about Adobe’s software lineup. Simona graduated in art and graphic design at the Middlesex University in London. Having finished her studies, she chose to move back to Slovakia, and take up freelancing. Simona searches for a personal style to better herself as an artist, and improves with time. She hopes that when she finds it, she can make a name for herself in the industry.
Darek Zabrocki is a Polish freelance concept artist and illustrator living in Gdańsk, Poland. Over the past few years, he’s worked for a good deal of reputable companies such as Blur Studio, Framestore, and Ubisoft. Zabrocki made the transition from hobbyist to professional in 2007, when he decided to try working in the digital medium. As an artist, he continues to explore different software and processes, and that helps him create a diverse portfolio – allowing him to showcase a wide range of skills and abilities. Time after time, he’s shown us that he’s an artist who’s willing to step into the unknown, even after he’s perfected a personal style.