Welcome to Issue 33!
Welcome to the “Abstract Characters” issue of your free Digital Art Live magazine.
Fly me to the Moon! Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will do just that, perhaps with you. Maezawa has been named as the first man who will take a trip on Elon Musk’s commercial SpaceX space flights, which are expected to be operational from 2023. Maezawa intends to take along eight creative artists on a trip to the Moon. What a great opportunity! Although, as for myself, these days I’m probably too stuffed with ginger beer and oatcakes to survive the journey. But many of our readers may have a better chance. I have no idea how the eight fit young creatives astronauts (arto-nauts?) are to be picked, but I guess there may be a chance to put your own name forward — check this inspiring project’s website for more details: https://dearmoon.earth/
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We trek deep into Norway, to talk about Blender, Creative Commons, and how to infuse emotion into surrealist pictures.
BLENDER | KRITA
“I did my own ‘everydays’ — a render a day — for 365 days straight. Some days I didn’t like the result, other days I loved it. But the most important thing I took from it was that the result (good or bad) didn’t matter. What mattered was doing the work and getting it done.”
Eugene was trained as a lawyer, but he switched to stylish 3D character art — and has recently done matte work for movies!
CINEMA 4D | ZBRUSH
“Don’t be linear and predictable in your approach. Combine different tools with each other. And ‘experiment-experiment-experiment’. Mix everything with everything. Happy accidents make your work look unique and interesting to observe.”
Claudio is an accomplished rock music artist, and recently made the cover for the new album by Judas Priest.
ROCK MUSIC ARTIST
“I used to get really stressed every time I got a new project, I was constantly trying to ‘top’ my previous work […] it was really exhausting […] so I stopped trying to achieve ‘my best work ever’. Nowadays, I just try to entertain myself and have fun…”
Also in Digital Art Live….
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Part Interview text with ULRIK JENSEN
DAL: Ulrik, many thanks for this in-depth interview with Digital Art Live. We’ve shown examples of your work in the gallery in several issues now, so it’s really good to get you in for a long interview and discover more about your art.
UVJ: Thanks for having me, I’m glad you enjoy my work.
DAL: Now, to begin… there’s a definite ‘80s retro vibe in your art. Did you grow up that era, or did you come to appreciate the ‘console aesthetic’ later?
UVJ: I was born in 1987, so I am a 1990s kid. But I was living in northern Norway, and that’s where everything lags behind the rest of the world. So the 1990s there kinda felt like the 80s. And I have many fond memories of movies, games, over-the-top fashion styles and suchlike.
DAL: To make that sort of art, many people use Cinema 4D, but you use Blender? Am I right? What led you to choose Blender as your art production software?
UVJ: Yes, Blender. Blender was on a free CD that came with a computer magazine which my dad was subscribing to. It was the first 3D software I ever tried, or that I even knew of. It was really clunky… and I didn’t have the patience to learn, but I kept an eye on it as it matured and since it was the only free full 3D production suite that I knew of.
I have always liked free open software and the community it attracts, and Blender’s community has grown massively over the intervening years.
The rapid development, and the open communication about what’s coming and when, is also really great. I have tried a lot of 3D software since, but I always keep coming back to it. Other software I have used are usually either missing a feature that I need, or the interface and functions are now much easier to use then Blender. So much so that I often don’t think the price tag for paid software is worth it.
DAL: I take you point. Although… even while Blender is free and well supported…
UVJ: For newcomers I’d recommend Blender because of the massive amount of free tutorials. And I think it’s a great free way to test out ‘if 3D is for you’ and if you are going to stick with it. Not having to invest money upfront or deal with timed or crippled demo software is also nice. And having tried most of the industry standard 3D suites, I don’t think Blender is any more or less complicated or capable than the others.
DAL: I see. And do you also use Photoshop? What part does Photoshop play in your workflow. Or GIMP, if you use open source software?
UVJ: I have used GIMP and Photoshop in the past… but currently I’m using Serif’s Affinity Photo. It’s very similar to Photoshop and with almost all the same features, but with a cleaner and more modern interface in my opinion.
DAL: Right, many will have missed that software. It first appeared for Mac in 2015, I think? And wasn’t stable and bug-fixed and on Windows until late 2016. So it’s only really been around for a couple of years.
UVJ: I consider myself more of a graphic artist than a 3D artist and as such I love the post-processing process the most. That means that having a good image processing software is really important. Sadly there hasn’t really been any proper alternative to Photoshop until recently, and Affinity Photo is definitely a great alternative, at a much more affordable price.
DAL: Yes, £49 as an outright purchase, and no subscription lock-in is definitely going to tempt many budget-conscious people.
Have you also looked at painting, perhaps with the natural-media software, such as Krita? It’s free and open source paint software in the same mould as Sketchbook Pro or Artrage, but with more of a Photoshop interface. It’s maturing very nicely now, in version 4.1 on the desktop, has an interface that will feel very friendly to Photoshop users, and comes fully loaded with a superb set of brushes made by David Revoy (Sintel) and others.
UVJ: Yes, Krita is fantastic. I have used it in many of my works, particularly the G’MIC filters. It’s definitely up there with the best free software for any artist.