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Interview and Showcase with the Great Illustrator Phil Dunne

Phil Dunne is an illustrator from Dublin, Ireland, which spent the last 29 years drawing, painting, doodling and having amazingly creative thoughts. From 1999 to 2003 Phil was studying at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin to get his degree in Visual Communications. After graduating he started to built his portfolio with several different projects and clients. Since then, Phil has already produced great pieces that you probably already seen around the web or at depthCORE. Here I will show some of his amazing work and also an interview that I had the opportunity to do with him. Unfortunately the interview was settled via e-mail, even tough I would love to go to Dublin for this, but even through e-mails Phil was very kind and gave us a lot of attention, which by the way, I would like to thank him for. When browsing around his great portfolio Love the Robot and also at his Behance page, I had a hard time picking the images to show here since he has several eye catching pieces, so I really recommend that you check out his work!! So, enjoy the images and the interview! :) When you first got interested about art and design? For as long as I can remember, I have always been drawing and thinking about art. I grew up on comic books, cartoons and doodling in my school books. I always wanted to do art in school, I never ever had any interest in other school work or anything else except drawing. When I was in school I read a lot about artists like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and a lot of The Renaissance painters. Their work really inspired me to draw and paint and most of express myself. I also watched endless amounts of music videos and loved the work of Michel Gondry, Hype Williams, Chris Cunningham and Mark Romanek. I wanted to go to art college to be either a painter or a designer. I was happy to find out I could be almost both, as an illustrator! My inspiration and desire to be an illustrator just kept growing as I progressed in college. How did you discovered your talent for producing art? When I was in school, my teachers would pay me with chocolate bars and small amounts of money to draw all these pictures so the rest of the class could color them, like big huge coloring books. I used to get called out of my classes sometimes to draw for other teachers and their students. I went to an all boys Irish Christian Brothers school and there was a lot of emphasis on religion and we would incorporate religion into our art. I drew a lot of pictures of Jesus, God and the Devil. I also used to draw things like Superman and Batman, I'd hide them away but my friends would also show the teachers how good I was. But school was tough because when it came to doing other things like mathematics, science and sports I was completely lost. How did you start working with design and illustration? I left college in 2003, I worked as an illustrator on a series of roughs for a children's book. It was very traditionally based, all paint and pencils, absolutely no Photoshop. I got a job as a display assistant and designer in a huge department store here in Dublin. I got to design leaflets, signage and create illustrations for retail areas, fashion shows and press ads. But I also discovered my love of fashion, styling and retail so I was very lucky to gain such experience. During my free time working there I began to develop my own style of illustration. I looked at artists like Deanne Cheuk, Justin Maller, Pete Harrison, Derek Lea and was just amazed and inspired by their level of skill and professional work ethic. Their work was crazy beautiful but it was very successful in a commercial manner. I just did a heap of research on my favorite illustrators to see how their creative processes would work. I knew I wanted to be an illustrator so I kept working to discover a balance between my love of traditional illustration and digitally manipulated art. I focused on becoming an established illustrator and trying to better myself and giving people something to enjoy. How did you improve your work and technique? I've always been described as a hard worker and a very efficient person. I'm always looking at ways to improve on my workflow. I upgrade a lot of my hardware and software regularly just to make things run more smoothly for me. I get stressed when I'm working a big piece in Photoshop, I haven't pressed 'Save' and then it just freezes up!!! I make a lot of my own brushes in Photoshop. I scan in bits of dirt and paint or old pictures to give all my work a very unique and personalized look. It's fun to build your own library of brushes and textures. I try spent at least a week a month collecting bits of rubbish that could work as a really cool texture in Photoshop. I also do my best to draw as much as I can. You can spend all day sitting at Photoshop and turn into a zombie. I read about some artists who just fire up Photoshop and start working. I couldn't do this, I think any artist needs a sketchbook to rough out ideas, compositions and brainstorm techniques to get the best out of their work. I carry a sketchbook around with me so I can scribble out any impulsive images that pop into my head. I'm trying my best now to avoid using stock imagery. I hate seeing a digital art piece that you know has been based around a random stock image, and then you see the same image being used somewhere else in a completely different context. If I do need to use stock images, I use shots that are rarely used and have something different looking about them. If you can collaborate with a professional photographer that have their own recognized name and style then do that too. Or just shoot your own photography! What, in your opinion, is the best way to evolve in this field? Learn about the current trends in art/design/illustration/fashion and avoid them!!! The best way to stay fresh is to do your own thing and not imitate what has been done already. Yes, I can admit I've done some Andy Warhol style pieces (!) but I look at this as an homage and a kind of reinterpretation, much like Picasso when he started doing famous paintings, but in his own style. But I was having fun with it and reinterpreting his iconography to suit my ideas and my style. I thought, 'everybody knows his work so they will understand me taking the piece.' Every artist has their own style and potential it's just a matter of finding it and making people see it. I think illustrators should be more confident about their own ideas and conceptual work rather than just feeling like they should fit into the crowd or go with what they think will get them work. A great line that a friend gave to me years back was 'Remember Phil, the rest are all sheep...you are a wolf!' What do you like most on your job? And what would you say you don't like about it? I love that I am able to do art everyday, I waited so long in school to be able to draw and create on a full time basis. I'm addicted to my work...I've never done drugs so art is really my habit I can't kick. Seriously it's not even funny sometimes how obsessed I get with my work. I'm always trying to better my style and try new things so right now the journey is better than the destination. I love drawing, it's the best way to express yourself. I hate not getting paid on time or when a potential job doesn't go ahead. It knocks your confidence into the stratosphere. I grew a thick skin very quickly when I started out. Also I hate people asking me to work for free. It really pisses me off now, it's incredibly insulting to be asked by a company that is obviously generating a lot of money to work for nothing. I am cool with charity based projects however, I feel a lot better when it's going to a good cause. Which software and hardware do you use to produce your art? I own a 24' Intel based iMac with 4GB of RAM and a big hard drive. It is superb for adding fine detail to my work as the screen resolution is so sharp and the colors are so vibrant. I use Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended. My work isn't very layered, the best pieces are around five layers with different layer blending modes. I find the best way to add depth and complexity to my work is in the drawings I do. My drawings are done to a large scale, scanned in at around 600dpi, so everything is very sharp and vibrant. I back up everything with an external drive and keep a separate copy on a DVD or a USB stick on my keys, incase somebody might need anything emailed to them. I just bought a little netbook to use while I'm out and about. I don't get much sun here in ireland, it is very important for Vitamin D and my mood. The last thing I want to be is in a room on a computer when the sun is out. So my netbook is my right arm on sunny days. What kind of "software upgrade" you would say it would make your work much easier? If somebody could invent an application that could take what I see in my mind and put it up on my iMac screen then I would be delighted. And a teleportation device, like in Star Trek. I get panicky when I'm running late or when I'm tired so to be somewhere in an instant would be very useful. Seriously though a better lasso/magic wand tool on Photoshop would be nice. And better customization on Photoshop would be cool too, like having the ability to completely reconfigure the filter galleries and tools to suit your needs. What is your main inspiration source? It changes all the time! I can never really say specifically at what inspires me. I think life is very inspirational. The ability to create and to experience it's reaction gives me a great buzz. Life is so random, you just never know what will happen next. I like strange coincidences and weird events. And people doing something that's not considered everyday, I like asking them a lot of questions. Which are your goals and future plans for your career? I want to get over my fear (and hatred :0 ) of photography and start shooting models and incorporate them into illustrations. I want spend a bit more money on personal projects so they fit in seamlessly with my commercial work. I'm thinking now, particularly during this super famous global recession, 'If people won't commission me...I'll commission myself.' I want to avoid using women in my illustrations. I'm getting sick of seeing a hot girl with a lot doodles around her. When I completed my work on the recent Depthcore pack called 'Her' I was like...I've done this to death, a hot girl with swirls. Let's get some guys, monsters, scary creatures or superheroes and start doing pieces with them. I now like to see a cool illustration that features a guy as the model/basis. I need to move on and look at different areas to explore. I think architecture would be cool interpret in illustration, because Dublin just has such unique architecture and it's always inspiring to me. Plus more work with the Depthcore collective...mad respect to all my fellow members, to have joined them and to be involved with all the artists there has been an absolute blessing. I have been very lucky to have had the opportunities and experiences in my career so far, I'm still very young and have a lot to learn and there is so much more to share with everyone. Do you have any advises to the upcoming artists? Never give up. If you get knocked back by anyone or anything, dust it off and start again. You have to consider the progressive nature of the design industry and realize that one commission won't make you an overnight success. The best digital artists and designers out there are the dedicated ones because they are trying something new, being confident about what they do. If you stay confident and focused this will show in your work, people will see it and they will want to hire you. Branch out and contact other artists...like me! ;D, ask to collaborate with them and stay fresh. Keep up with the latest trends in digital art, design, art and fashion and just avoid them. Create your own trends, I know that sounds easy to say, but if you work at it and think about it enough, you'll do it. Artists who are successful are the ones who come from the left of centre because they were doing their own thing. I've only started using Facebook, Twitter and soon Youtube...the potential for these are limitless so explore things like these. Thanks again Phil... and the final words are with you... Thank you so much. And to finalize I have three simple words...Love The Robot.

Garrick Middleton - Interview & Work

Garrick Middleton, aka Krak Fox, has 29 years old, lives in Stoke-on-trent, UK and is a graphic designer. Garrick is a full-time creative designer for Grisdale Lesniak Swann and with his work for the agency last year he got two awards: the Cream Award and a Fresh Award for the Best Outdoor Poster, something he shared with his Art Director Mark Lesniak. Krak Fox (KF) is local boy who studied and worked at his city, and that is also a massive fan of the Stoke City FC. "I'm Garrick Middleton, an ordinary Graphic Designer by day. BUT BY NIGHT, I AM: KRAK FOX!" Besides that KF is very kind, humorous and talented. Here I will show some pieces of his work and also an interview so you can get further info about KF, his work and inspiration. I also would like to thank him for his time and sympathy on conceding us this interview. Enjoy! You can find KF online at: deviantART Behance When did you discover your artistic vein? When I got too lazy to be a forensic scientist. Honestly. Dropped my biology course and took up design after 1 year into a 2 year course - making up for lost time by studying after school. How did you start working with design and photo-manipulation? Well, at college, I was struggling to get excited about drawing either old bits of wood in charcoal or fat naked old hags in pencil. You see, I worked in a video rental shop and was obsessed with movie posters - from the classic Star Wars poster to Saul Bass' The Man with the Golden Arm'. Soooo, I took an interest in photography and image manipulation with an aim to be a movie-poster-o-matic-designer. That was back in the Photoshop v5 days. Finding out about Photoshop changed my life – I owe my living to it. How did you improve your work and technique? I'd like to think I'm naturally gifted but, the truth is, every piece I do takes a great deal of effort. So I browse the relevant magazines (Advanced Photoshop, Creative Arts etc) and reverse engineer the work of my peers. I pick up new ideas and shake ‘em around in my head for a while and the result is an amalgamation of all the visual influence I've seen to date. But I ALWAYS aim to make each piece better than the last - and I won't publish it until it's at least AS good as my last pikatur. (Note: we know that ‘picture’ was wrongly spelled here, but this is because KF asked us to spell it this way because he likes it, lol). What is your regular work flow when starting a new piece? I have to start with the main stock-image. It's absolutely 100% worth taking the time and money to find THE image you're after as a starting point. If you start with quality you'll end with quality. I then add effects and textures - even song lyrics too. I make sure I add TOO many elements. Then - and here's my secret - I turn off all layers except the background and main subject. I then switch on each effect layer and reposition or delete anything I think isn't working. The final piece evolves out of this chaos. Never be afraid of going too far – you can always delete things – that’s better than never pushing things far enough. What do you like most about your job? And what would you say you don't like about it? I love the freedom of doing my own work (remember, I did these images in my spare time). But I don't like that I don't have more time to do them!! What programs do you use to produce your art? What would you like to have in the perfect photo-manipulation software? Mainly Photoshop CS4 and Illustrator. But I use InDesign all-day-everyday in my main job too. What would I like to see in future programs? Good question. CS4 has sooo many cool tricks but a much more sympathetic method of selecting hair would be top of my list. What is your main inspiration source? Got to be deviantART. Since joining up in Jan 09 I've gone from 'just-some-guy-who-knows-photoshop' to a bona-fide artist.…at least, I think I have. What are your goals and future plans for your career? Snowball. Simple as that. Build on what I've done and go on to bigger and better things. Do you have any advice to the upcoming artists? TUTORIALIZE!!! Like your life depends on it!! I’m always picking up and adapting new techniques in tutorials - and that's with 10 years experience behind me. Once again I would like to thank you for this interview! The final words are with you... UP THE POTTERS!!! lol sorry - I told you I was a Stoke City fan! On a serious note: Never be daunted by the path ahead. The fact that you choose to proceed is a victory in itself. Krak Fox

Interview with illustrator Archan Nair

Archan Nair is a very talented self-taught illustrator with clients like Pepsi, Boss and Canon. He is a 26 years old artist and designer based in New Delhi, India who creates very inspiring pieces. Here he will tell us about his beginning and his resources for inspiration. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what made you become a designer and how did you start your career? My name is Archan Nair, aka archanN in the digital and virtual web. I’m a 26 year old Artist, Designer and Illustrator based in New Delhi, India. My vision and passion has been to create highly intricate work inspired by various phases or moments of life. Well, I come from an entirely different industry, which is Fashion. As a family business I was running an apparel manufacturing and export industry since I was 18 years. I always had the creative stint in my since childhood days, but I guess I never discovered it properly. In 2006 I started with digital art, by remixing a friends wallpaper, and since that day each moment has been really a new step for me in exploring and creating. My Clients are, Pepsi, Boss, Tiger Beer, Canon, Microsoft, GQ etc. Where do you find inspiration to create such great pieces? Anything or everything can inspire me. Whether it is the surroundings, or maybe noticing something while driving, or maybe while doing this wonderful interview. But mostly I´m inspired by emotions and feelings, or moments in my life or someone close I have seen which leaves an impact for me to think about. Music has been a motivating influence, my culture, and the desire to contribute and share with the world. Can you describe your creative process? My process is quite different in each of my works, but..I start with the conceptualization of a theme, idea or maybe inspiration which hit my head. I then sketch and draw the entire idea on a sketchbook and get my concept laid down clear. Then I visualize the final feel and effect which I need to give to that particular artwork, and accordingly go about using the various tools in photoshop. I use illustrator sometimes for vector shapes, and illustrations fuse them with Photoshop. But the entire creation is done completely in Photoshop. Which tools do you use the most? I use Photoshop and Illustrator. but my compositions etc are done mainly in Photoshop. How long do you often take making one piece? Depends on the complexity of that particular artwork. I normally would take anything from around 30-60 hours. Sometimes even less, but really depends. Thank you for the interview. And one last question, what are your plans for the future of your career? I normally don’t plan much, as I think the twists and turns of the road can lead us anywhere. But yes, looking forward to more exciting projects, more creativity and fun! Archan Nair on the web Website-www.archann.net Blog-blog.archann.net Deviantart-archann.deviantart.com Behance-www.behance.net/archanN More works from Archan Nair

Interview with Young Artist Richard Roberts

Richard is one of my favorite artists on depthcore, with such a unique and mind blowing style, his work is great inspiration for all of us. On this exclusive interview the 18 year old rising artist tell us all about his works and his plans for the future, check it out! Let’s start with the usual, tell us a little about yourself? Well my name is Richard Roberts and I am 18 years old. I was born in the UK and moved to the US when I was about 5 years old. I have lived in 4 different states. I currently am living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have been designing for about 4 years but recently have been taking it very serious and putting huge amounts of hours in everyday. A few months ago I opened my freelance portfolio website www.theotherstream.com and that at the moment is going very well. My goal is to open my own studio one day and design for the rest of my life. How did you start your interest for design? When I was young around the age of 12 or 13 I used to play online video games. And one day I came across some designs at a game forum and was so intrigued by them. That led to me installing a copy of adobe Photoshop 4.0 on my computer. After a few months of playing around on it, I came to realize I was using an outdated version of Photoshop and that I was restricted. So I eventually purchased a copy of adobe Photoshop cs2 and spent the next few years getting familiar with the program. About two years ago I realized people made a living doing design work and I aspired to be like them. So I set out goals for myself and did everything possible to reach them. I am fascinated with all art forms and always have been. I think I have a drive to design in my blood as it's my number one passion in life. How did you get so good in Photoshop? I think perseverance, knowledge, aspirations, patience, effort and practice are all words that would describe how I got to where I am now. Everything I know is self taught and I spent years practicing learning how to do different things in Photoshop. The amount of time and care I put it my artworks is not just a day of work. It's over a weeks worth if not a month. Good artwork comes from obviously has good knowledge but also a lot of time and care. I do think however not everyone can be a designer or artist. I think you need a certain frame of mind in which you know what looks right and wrong. I think people are born with this ability. For example perspective shadows colors contrasts, are all different factors that I think people neutrally are good at doing. I would say I am one of those people. I have always had huge aspirations to be a successful freelancer and I am now getting to that point. So I would say me getting good is some neutral ability but also the time and effort and perseverance I have as an artist. How long do you usually take working on one piece? It depends from project to project usually. Personal work I like to spend a week at least but I sometimes take a few weeks. On cliental work I work on the deadlines, for example working on my computer arts commission I spent 4 days because the deadline was so soon. Those 4 days consisted of 8 or 10 hours a day though. So I spend hundreds of hours on pieces usually. Describe to us the usual process you do to create your images. I usually start off by thinking of a concept, after that is established I write down key words on a white board I have above my workspace. After I have a basic idea of what I want to do I begin finding photo's that would fit well etc... I then slave away for hours/days/weeks on the piece. The pieces usually come out a bit different then how I imagined it before hand. I like to experiment and try things when I am designing and I go with what looks good and it ends up being different from my original thought. Cliental work is another process on its own. I find client work easier in a sense as they are feeding you a concept/ideas some of the time. After I get the brief on the project I write down ideas and get to work. Depending on the deadline the time can vary. Sometimes I will go 12 hours straight working on a project per day if the deadline is soon. If the deadline is far away I like to do a little every day. One factor I make sure of is to be consistent through out all my designs, which ends in good finished results. Do you use any other tools besides Photoshop? The only thing I use besides Photoshop is a wacom intuos3 6x11 but currently my tool of trade is adobe Photoshop solely. I am hoping to branch off and use adobe illustrator a bit more. Other then using pen and paper to write down concepts and ideas Photoshop is the only program I use to design my artwork What inspires you to create such good pieces? I would say the desire to be a successful well known designer is a huge factor when it comes to me designing my pieces. I push myself each piece to produce a wonderful piece of art. There is nothing better then the satisfaction of knowing you yourself inspire others and people get enjoyment out of something you have created. I have huge goals and I design good pieces to get to those goals. Can you tell us about some of your goals and you projects for the future? Currently I am getting more and more established as a freelance artist by the day. An aspiration I have is for it to keep developing until eventually I have enough cliental that I can make a living off it. My highest goal is in a couple of years to open my own design studio and hopefully have some other designers working for me. I am currently working on a new piece inspired by Salvador Dali, I can't say when that will be released but I am sure people will enjoy it. I am also working on some side projects such as an album cover and some other works for depthcore. I will be also setting up a section on my website www.theotherstream.com where you can request prints of some of my designs. So there will be some new cool stuff coming your way, and I will be to sure to keep you guys posted. Great, was a pleasure to interview you, thank you for sharing everything with us, and I'll leave the last words for you. The pleasure was all mine, thanks to all the readers and fans that enjoy my work. Remember never let anything get in the way of your goals, if you put the time and effort into something great results will appear. Thanks again and have great day!

Interview with Illustrator Shadow Chen

Shadow Chen, a true talented master in illustration, works as a freelancer in Ningbo, China. In this interviews she will tell us how her dream, becoming an illustrator, changed her view to the outer world. Make sure you get a t-shirt of her designs. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with thisinterview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I have industrial design background, and art & design postgrade.I was into product design especially furniture design. I used to be a huge Mark Newson fan. But my passion was always art and painting, so after graduating I started to get jobs on graphic design and illustration, because I felt easier and happier than designing products, and also fell in love with digital art since it's another cool way of express passion as on traditional painting. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Thanks for saying so. My inspiration comes from my inner world, and how I see the outside world from my heart, also from all my talented friends, and people I ever met, and of course from different forms of artworks, like traditional paintings, street art, fashion, also music is the main inspiration. I always play very cool music either strong in rhythm or ambience, to help me adding emotions and atmosphere to my work. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? When it comes to illustration with more specific styles with characters I always spend lot of time on the sketching. Usually I will draw more than one sketch, maybe 3 or 4, and then digitalize it on PC. Figuring out of the way of putting lineart and coloring is the hardest and most important part of the whole process. When it comes to abstract freestyle or mixed media works mostly I prepare a very rough sketch and then draw it on the PC. It's more enjoyable for me because it's free and expressional process, just like painting on canvas, only with photoshop. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? Hardware: a very normal and kinda slow computer, windows XP, beautiful 15' Sharp falt screen, Software: Photoshop, Corel Draw, and when comes to web design Flash. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? Pros are being a more creative person and have more freedom at work, especially as a freelancer you have the control of your schedule, I always go out with friends for a nice lunch and sometimes afternoon coffee. Also being a designer or artist you never would feel boring or lonely because you can create art anytime, and have a rich inner world. Cons are less socialising, more time be alone with computer, less healthy lifestyle maybe. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? I feel more fullfilled mentally, less vanity...I love to observe things and details around me, more critical, cynical for sure, but I feel more sensitive to trends, and artisitc potentials, and getting into creative area gives me different point of views to life. 7. What are your coming projects? Starting a brand with my friend, so far as still a secret. 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? deviantArt, that for me is where the digital art begins, and it's the most developed online community in the world, and the best online art community, I've made most of my designer and artist friends from there, dA has definitely helped enhancing my career a lot, it's my top fave. Design By Humans, I love watching trendy tshirt artworks on DBH, plus it has a very creative and innovative team. Threadless, they are the most creative and lovely designing company! And I enjoy the community spirit on Threadless, no to mention watching the most creative and interesting tshirt designs very week. DepthCore, the very essential of world digital arts, plus lots of my top favorite designers and illustrators are in DepthCore. ProcessRecess, blog of my favorite illustrator James Jean, he's posting very precious sketches and working process and news of him on the blog, I never miss the updates from him. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Keep search in yourself, and be grateful to the life. Where to find Shadow Chen on the web Website - SaltyShadow.com Behance - Behance.net/saltyshadow DeviantArt - SaltyShadow.DeviantArt.com/ More work of Shadow Chen

Interview with Digital Artist Parker Gibson

Parker Gibson is an upcoming artist trying to make on the big world of digital art and design, he talks about his work, the struggles of being a digital artist, and he also gives us all access to his new projects and future plans, check it out! For more visit behance.net/pgizzle618 So let's start with the usual, tell us a little bit about you. My name is Parker Gibson, I'm 23 years old and I currently reside in Edwardsville, IL USA. I started doing digital work in the fall of 2007, and am currently in school transferring for my BA in fine arts. How did you get into doing digital work? It started when I was surfing my friends MySpace page (www.myspace.com/bobkenndycmg) and looking over his and other artists mix tape covers and everyone uses this particular artist. I saw the heavy detail and work involved and I was like really taken in by it so it motivated me to try to imitate or figure out the techniques used in doing what this artist had done. Everybody used this guy’s work he’s got really amazing stuff too. (www.skrilla.co.uk) but he really was most of the inspiration I had found in getting started in Photoshop. How was it for you to learn to use Photoshop? At first it was hobby. I really enjoyed just seeing the mixture of things you can do in it. My original set up was on an old gateway laptop, with cs2 and no mouse though so I would have to hand cut a lot of things. It also came complete with the blue screen of death and on several occasions I'd lose whatever I'd be doing if I hadn't saved it lol. But anyways, I had no real idea of layers, or any filters at all. But my dad, brother and other friends who had used it kept telling me "it's all bout layers & filters". So over the course of a few months I would randomly search for good Photoshop tutorials online where I found the link for (www.good-tutorials.com) where they have tut's on css, and photography and other stuff. As I was looking I found a link for "bad-ass bling effect" tut, which was a video tutorial from www.gomedia.us , which was how I found about Go Media, and Vectors and all these amazing things I never knew about. So over time I went from no knowledge and real skill, to being able to understand what the hell I was doing and supposed to be using layers and filters for haha. What you been doing now that you have good skills in Photoshop? Still trying to progress and learn as much as I possibly can. I've really started to promote my work a little more and try to get small odd jobs to get a name for myself. I stay working on different personal stuff, and building relationships with whomever I can, and just look to learn. I try to develop more ideas and mix different tastes to establish my ideas and see what comes out. I wouldn't really say I've got good skills I'd just say they got better over time, I've definitely developed a little more confidence in the stuff I do, which adds drive to my work and keeps me focused What are the biggest struggles for an upcoming digital artist? I think that differs with everyone. Ones I've faced for me vary and I know more will come as I continue doing what I want to do. One big one is if my works are good enough, if I'm getting my point across, if I’m inspired enough or innovated new idea. Getting opportunities or jobs or if the jobs will even pay good enough because of the state the economy is in all over the world I think figuring out how to promote yourself in this field is the key, so that’s constantly a struggle for me because I'm still learning that. Balancing your time, I face this a lot I've got a regular paycheck working for a bank, and I've also got classes which range from day and night and to top it off I’ve got a girlfriend and it's always a problem scheduling time to be able to work on my stuff. Do you have any projects going on or coming up? Yeah, I'm forever starting a few personal works at once going into them knowing they won't get finished so I can come back to them over time and adjust them or add or take out things. Aside from that I'm working on a collaboration with a good friend Qwerty. I'm working on my website as well, and I've been displaying some stuff locally at a wine bar in Edwardsville, and planning on showing at a student art show where I go to school currently. And planning on displaying locally at a few other art venues around eville and the area. If you had a chance to work with some artists you admire who would they be? Working with other artists allows me to learn and mature not only with my work but with myself. If I'm able to take something from other artists that's something money can't buy. If I could work with someone I’d say Cris Vector because his work is fresh. He's a worker bee too, I've been able to speak to him on a couple occasions and he's a gentleman. Jeff Huang, personally I feel I could relate personally I feel I relate to him through his work. Graffiti was the first style of art I encountered and why I ever picked up a pencil. Hip hop has always influenced me and I'll never leave it. And probably Perttu Murto, I've seen a wide range of works he's produced. He's all over the place and I like that. With his work I mean. He's in a lot of different styles, and he gets a lot of recognition for it. I commend all artists though, so really I'm always open to talking and working with just about anyone. Alright Parker, thank you very much for the interview and as I always like to do I'll leave the last words for you. Thank you for the interview as well! I'd like to thank everyone that takes the time to view my work, as well as the artists I speak to day to day, you ALL help me. I try to invest as much time as I can into what I do and I enjoy every minute. I'd like to throw a personal shout at the end to my family and friends for the help and support, and to my friend Delorean for being a huge influence on my work and bringing me up with my art. That’s all.

Interview with the Master of Photoshop Justin Maller

Justin Maller is one of the best Illustrator of these days, and on this special interview for abduzeedo he gives us all access on his career and tell us exactly how he reached the top by telling us his history from the beginning, sit back and enjoy. For more visit justinmaller.com or superlover.com.au First I wanted to thank you for the opportunity of the interview and let's start with the usual, tell us a about yourself Thanks Paulo. My name is Justin, I am a freelance Illustrator and art director from Melbourne, Australia. When I'm not working, I spend most of my time playing basketball, collecting sneakers and trying to keep my girlfriend entertained. Frankly, the latter pastime is not strictly speaking confined to out of work hours; it's a full time job in and of itself. Being that I work by myself in my home studio, I listen to a lot of music, watch a lot of movies and am slowly developing a mild OCD about kitchen cleanliness. How did you first get involved with digital art and design? I got my first copy of Photoshop when I was 14 as a gift from a friend. Prior to that I had been messing around with free demos of Paint Shop Pro and other miscellaneous programs; the power of Photoshop was at first both exhilarating and intimidating. I spent a few years getting to know the program - there were no magazines or sites devoted to the study back then, so I was left to teach myself. I made awful photo manipulations with scanned photos and created terrible websites to show them on. In around 2001 I stumbled across deviantART quite by accident and signed up; this was the true beginning of my love for digital art. I found myself quickly addicted and started making work on a daily basis. Timing wise, it was awful for me, as I was in my final year of high school, and I found myself staying up to the wee hours of the morning trying to indulge my growing obsession as well as complete the large amounts of study required of me. During the first year of University, I came up with the idea of running my own art collective, and so founded depthCORE with Kevin Stacey in 2002. That was really the nail in the coffin for me; since that day I have been completely devoted to the game. How did you come up with the idea for DepthCore? Actually, it came about because I was rejected from another group! I really liked the idea of a collective; a private place where talented people could come together and produce artwork, united ideologically by a simple common goal and aesthetically by a broad style. I applied for one, and was knocked back - to be fair, looking at what I was producing at the time, that decision was more than justifiable on their end. I was driven though, and wasn't going to be stopped so easily. I came up with the idea chatting to a mate on the phone one night in March 2002, and we decided to set about making it happen. I recruited artists and started building the first pack; we did it ghetto style back then, just huge group emails with bulk replies. My mate flaked on building the site however, and we were in a bit of a pickle. Fortunately (and I really can't stress just how fortunate this is for all concerned), my dear friend Kevin Stacey stepped up and ripped out a really funky html based site in two or three days. It took me really by surprise; I had no idea Kevin was a web developer, and had brought him onboard to contribute to the collective as an artist. As it turns out, not only was he a nifty artist (for the time he was a coding genius. Had it not been for him, and the incredible luck I had in inviting him to participate initially, dC would not have ever come to exist. We released our first pack of work, and had a massive response from the digital community. There had never been a collective focused on abstract artwork up till that time, as everyone was whoring out dark photo grunge stuff. Every man and his dog wanted in, and our membership more than tripled from the initial 15 to over 50 by the time our second release came out. Kevin had also built a beautiful php and flash site, including the first version of the member panel (the single most vital component of our collectives enduring success). Version 2 was by far the most advanced and well designed site ever produced by a collective to that point, and it did a great job of facilitating our future growth. How did the group influenced on your own work? I think it's impossible to overstate the influence being a part of this collective has had on my work over the course of the last seven years. Our aesthetic has shifted over time from the 3D trend whore sort of stuff to a much more polished and diverse style that offers a multitude of different looks, but still comes together into one identifiable overall visual identity. I feel that my own work has mirrored this evolution: I believe I have gone from being a fairly one dimensional artist to being an illustrator with several different styles at my disposal that are still recognizable as being distinctly my own. Aside from stylistic shifts though, the biggest impact being in dC has had upon me is the same effect it has on most people who are active in it; being constantly surrounded by immensely talented people forces you to step your own game up to produce work that compares favorably with what else is on display. It's a natural human thing. When you play basketball with people a lot better than you, you will automatically play a lot better than when you are mucking around with mates in a park. This cycle of improvement is never ending though; each artist improves and pushes that bar slightly higher for the next guy, who will in turn do the same. It's part of the reason why so many people join our collective and then improve so exponentially. Exposure to a group of people with such high personal standards will naturally force your own higher and expedite your own improvement and growth, and I am not exception to this phenomenon. How did you get into the commercial world of design? The first big job I can recall was one I got at the beginning of 2006 for a company that produced vinyls for case modification. I used the first half of the money to buy myself a new computer, which was a milestone in my career, as the additional technology really freed me to experiment more easily. That was my last year of university, and I started to get my first influx of work, which came initially in two mains forms. Firstly was the pitch work I did through the KDU, which I started getting involved with at around this time. It was a really exciting time for me, doing my first pieces of work for real world brands and seeing my work printed in various magazines. Although no actual jobs came from these gigs, they were my first exposure to the process of working with a client through an art director, and probably made my future experiences with this situation a little easier and more comfortable (not to mention giving me some good work to stock my folio with!). The second avenue was working for various magazines. The first to give me regular commissions were the lovely people at Computer Arts. Chuck Anderson actually put me in touch with his contact at CA (I might actually take this opportunity to publicly thank Chuck - his advice and support in the early parts of my career were invaluable, and I can't overstate how much I appreciate his help.) and that was the beginning of a long and productive relationship. My first year of freelancing consisted almost exclusively of this pitch work and writing tutorials for CA and other magazines that started to trickle in. It was not the most glamorous set up, but it enabled me to pay the bills and see out my final year of university. The next year was more of them same, but I started writing regular features for a few other magazines, and start supplementing this work with actual design jobs - still nothing especially groundbreaking, but I was able to get by with just doing this work and not having to hold a job in the real world. At the end of this first year out of university, I was offered my first job in a design studio as an Art Director, and decided to take the opportunity; honestly, my main motivation was the security of a regular paycheck (not to mention exposure to bigger clients and a chance to be a part of the traditional design process. The experience was wonderful, but I found myself missing life as a freelancer and left the company after a time. My time at the studio had seen me improve quite a lot, and I was starting to get some much larger client commission jobs. I started scaling the magazine work back, and as soon as I started doing these bigger and better jobs started to flow in. The last year or so has seen me consolidate working relationships with the various studios who have hired me over the last few years. I like to think I have a good work ethic, in that I stick with jobs until they are completed to satisfaction, even if we have gone over time or budget, and it has seen me forge some great partnerships with some really lovely people that have resulted in ongoing work. I also signed on to be represented by The Jacky Winter Group, and since then have started to receive some wonderful jobs and pitches from some really big studios from around the world; I really cannot overstate the value of having representation that sends out innovative and creative promotional work on your behalf to top agencies - social networking and public communities are great, but in the commercial realm nothing compares to having your work presented in the right way to the right people in the right places. Now that you are stable on this world what is your typical work day and how long do you work on a job? Stable is a misnomer when it comes to freelancing. I am stable in that I nearly always have work on, but the amount I have is never regular. Two weeks ago I was working twelve hours plus a day every single day. Last week, I had more free time than I knew what to do with. The next two weeks I will not have a day off, but then I get to enjoy having some time on holiday. That said, when the flow does stabilize, I am a big fan of routine I wake up in the morning, and first thing I normally do is check on my 'feed' - emails, depthCORE, communities, twitter, ESPN etc. I indulge in this for about an hour, then fix myself breakfast, and enjoy an episode of something whilst I eat. I'm normally at my desk, ready to start working at about 10a.m. I'll work through till about 2pm; at this point, I'll either have lunch of go for a run, depending on whether I have a basketball game that night. I exercise every day, and eat pretty much exclusively organic food - I know it sounds like a wank, but I take my health and fitness pretty seriously. I'm normally back at my desk from 3pm, and will work from there till about 7 or 8pm. Usually I will cease work here for the day, and either go out and do something, play basketball or just hang out with my girlfriend or housemate. The routine changes here when I am swamped, as I will continue working till 12 or 1am, which my bed time is typically. In terms of how long I work on a job that depends on many factors; the complexity of the job, the budget and timeline, and (from these two factors) the amount of rounds of change the job goes through. In an ideal world, I would spend three working days per image, so between 25 - 30 hours. Typically, I will either spend a lot less (8-10 because of time constraints) or a lot more (50+ because of extra feedback rounds). The two to three days mark is perfect for me, because it means I have come up with the rough idea, had a day to make revisions and changes, then one more day to add fine details and tweak the piece. The more time in between working on a piece the better - fresh eyes are a godsend. What are the tools you use during this 3 day process? It depends on the job. I always use Photoshop for every job I do, that goes without saying. Many jobs will require me to create some 3D abstract work. I model these up in Cinema4D, then texture them in Bryce 3D. I keep it pretty simple in this regard. Alright Justin, it's been a pleasure thank you for this great interview and I will leave the final words for you. I've enjoyed it too, thanks very much for the opportunity, and thanks to everyone out there for your kind words and support: I really appreciate it. These days, I get a lot of questions from students and kids asking for advice, so I'd like to offer a thought to anyone reading aspiring to become a professional artist in whatever capacity; success springs from sacrifice and sincerity. Doing this for a living takes a lot of work, and a lot of commitment; you will need support from the people you meet, and the best way to get that is by simply being genuine in your interactions. Keep these two things in mind as you go about your business, and I'm sure you will do well.

Interview with Photo Manipulation Master Erik Johansson

Photo Manipulations are always very interesting to watch because - and that's what is important - they give a realistic view of an unreal picture. Erik Johansson, a 23-year-old computer engineering student, from sweden has a sense for good ideas for manipulations. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I am studying computer engineering and right now I am studying my masters program in Interaction Design. It is about how to interact with the user and make computers more user friendly. It does not have much to do with me photographing, that is something I discovered later. I got my first digital camera when I turned 15, I did some changes to the photos and thought it was fun. But I really started in 2007 when I bought my first SLR camera. That is when I started to do some serious photo manipulations. 2. Your manipulations are pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? How do you come up with the ideas? That is a hard question because I can't really tell. The inspiration is everywhere in the daily life, but I also look a lot at photos and drawings on the web. I think the most important thing is to make a note of every idea, otherwise it will might be gone in a few seconds. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? I always have a sketch of the final idea. But it always end up different, in a good way mostly. When I have come up with an idea I try to find good spots to use for the photos and then it's time for the photoshopping. The time it takes differ, but somewhere between 10 - 20 hours for each photo. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? My camera is a Canon eos 40d mostly used with the Canon 17-40/4L. The computer I use has a Intel i7 processor, 6 gb ram and a Asus Radion 4850, the monitor I use is a Eizo 22". For the software part I use Vista 64-bit and Photoshop cs4, no 3d-software. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? It's hard to always be creative, but it is a creative job. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Yes, sometimes I get stuck in thinking about what kind of ideas I could do with the things I see around me. But I have learned to relax more now. 7. What are your coming projects? The future will tell, but I might need a fish in one of the projects. I also have an idea about streetlights that I probably will realize soon. 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Tricky question. Fotosidan.se - a swedish photo community Moderskeppet.se - a swedish photoshop website Deviantart.com - good for inspiration Worth1000.com - good for inspiration smhi.se - the swedish weather service, important to see if it's photo or photoshop weather (-: 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Trying is a good way of learning, that is how I have learned most of the things I know. Thank you too. Where to find Erik Johansson on the web www.alltelleringet.com/ - Personal website http://www.fotosidan.se/..../98073 - His profile in a swedish community More work of this artist

Interview with the Master of Custom Shoes "SoleJunkie"

I introduce you guys to the master of custom shoes, SoleJunkie is one of the best artists out there. With a great portfolio under his belt full of shoes with sick graphics and crazy designs. On special interview he tell us all from the beginning, check it out. for more visit http://www.solejunkie.com/blog For those who not know you yet, who is behind Sole Junkie? My real name is: Steven Cedre Jr. I am orig from the East Coast...I claim NY as home. I now live in Calif. I have a degree in Fine Arts (painting and drawing) I am Puerto Rican. A father and a husband... How did you start painting shoes? Started painting shoes about 4 yrs ago when my son fell on my head and almost paralyzed me.I couldn't lift my head off my chest and so i couldn't work. Lost my job, apartment, couldn't pay bills or doctors. What did it take you from being home injured to actually start to make money and being recognized as a shoe design artist? I did my first pair and my brothers who gave me the idea said: "put it on myspace!" It took a few weeks to a month, but I had to learn to promote myself. I'm not a marketing major! lol So that's another thing you have to learn. Made like a $100 bucks on my first pair How do you see the market and how do you see painting shoes today compared to when you started painting? The market is always a challenge. It kinda sucks lol People aren't ready to spend a lot on shoes, so it is very hard as an artist to sustain an income off commissions, most artists have side jobs that they do. Back before this recession I did fairly well. Now I see that investing on fashion has not been a priority. Even so-called celebs are reluctant. I actually appreciate my non celebrity clientele. The people who don't make a millions bucks a day! lol How was it for you to do work for celebs? Its always fun to do work for them. The only thing is that you don't get as much exposure as you would like. They don't exactly advertise for you. And if you where to meet them at a show or something the last question on someones mind is where did you get those shoes! lol So its bitter sweet. Yes you get to put them on your "RESUME" but us artists need a bit more. Everyone starts at the bottom! Can you mention which celebs did u work with? Collectors/ Commisions of Footwear: Ms. Yancey, mother of Jay Dilla aka Jay Dee Bobbito Garcia Tony Touch Bizarre of D12 Con Artist of D12 Julio Voltio MC Serch Juggaknots Skillz of Play n Skillz Talib Kweli DJ Tito of Wu Latino La Bruja Love Bug Starski Todd Bertuzzi (Anaheim Ducks) Stephon Hayer #74 Wash Redskins Gil Green (Video Producer) Tell us about your project sole junk the book? Its a compilation of my work and a bit on my background and influences. How I got started and what led me to paint. Its mostly a picture book. I feel my art should speak for itself. Great photography and lighting. Its on my website: http://www.solejunkie.com/store http://www.Amazon.com and we will be getting it into stores soon! What you have to say to artitst who want to start painting shoes? Start painting! Take your time, master your craft and learn the business side of customs. Its competitive like everything else. Quality will bring you customers Style will set you apart. But I welcome everyone to it. Just remember if it looks super easy...chances are its not! lol

Interview with Digital Artist Keith Garrison

Keith Garrison doesn't like to call himself a graphic artist because he doesn't do logo's and package design. He prefers the expression digital artist. And that's what he is. Very young, very talented and very interesting. In his artworks he mixes Cinema 4D objects with a lot of use of Photoshop 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Thanks For the Opportunity. I've always had a heavy interest in Art and Design. When I was a Child I use to only hang with other children that could draw and make little comic books in my free time. My father was a Computer Technician, so I guess that's where I got my love of computers from. Being that at the time I was really into video games, I eventually found a site called Gamerenders.com . Gamerenders really was my first major exposure to Digital Art, which at the time, was something I never heard/dreamed of. After a while at Gamerenders, I stopped with the tutorials and moved to experimenting on my own. The fact that it never got boring, that there is always some new idea or concept to develop or that I'm only limited my will and imagination is what really made me keep with it to this day. Later this year I will be attending The College For Creative Studies as a freshmen to major in Advertising Design. original edited 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Ha! Where doesn't it come from? The thing about inspiration is that it's not limited. It can come from anywhere or anything. I have had times when simple things said to me have sparked endless ideas and concepts. For me, my main source of inspiration derives from movies. Doesn't matter, old or new, movies always seem to spark the idea for something. For me it always seems to trigger a new thought or emotion. Movies can be really expressive so it only makes sense that they go hand and hand with art. Whenever I'm starting a new project it always helps for me to watch a new movie. It's become so bad I can't really start working until I have done so. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? After a movie or two, I crank up some tunes and open up Photoshop, Firefox, and my pictures. I know some designers prefer that you sketch your ideas first then open up photoshop but this doesn't always work for me. Instead I 'Sketch' in photoshop. Finding pictures, mixing and matching until I get a general idea of what I'm going for. Then I show it to a couple of friends for opinions. I rework it a bit then go over over the things I like and dislike about it, writing everything down.Then I tend to just leave it alone for a while. After a couple of days [Sometimes, after a couple of hours] I come back to the 'Sketch' and work on it [ While going over my notes] until I produce a near final version. When I'm finaly satisfied with it, it turns int a mater of proper color adjustments and it becomes 'finished'. ready for feedback and critique by others. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? I'm a PC guy. =) I really only use Photoshop CS4 and Cinema 4D. 400GBs HD space. AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Processor with 3G DDR2 Ram 19" Widescreen Hi-Def Monitor Nothing too amazing but it gets the Job done. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? For me the Pros of being a designer, is that you are given a major role in creating the world around you. Art influences other Artist and that Artist influence new kinds of art so the cycle never ends. And to just be apart of that whole cycle is a wonder in itself. A major con of being a designer is the lack of sleep. It's very easy to fall into the trap of sleeping only three hours a day which can have some serious negative effects on other things for you. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? I most defiantly feel as if I see things differently. I tend to pay more attention to details than others and look at things from the background to the foreground rather than the opposite. I have also had plenty of times where I have stared at a billboard or poster and thought to myself how it could be replicated in Photoshop, entering a 'trance' of sorts. 7. What are your coming projects? I try to always keep myself with something to do. I'm currently looking to explore new forms of design. I'm working with a musician and good Friend of mines Zebra Stripes for the packaging of his upcoming EP. Package design is fun and exciting for me because it gives me more of a chance to be hands on and involved with the freedom I'm given. I have also have been working more and more with 3D elements and I'm looking to take my passion for movies a step further by producing a short animated series by the end of the year. I have also gathered about 18-20 artists from Behance for a collaboration of sorts. We are currently still in the early stages of this 'experiment' so there isn't much more I can say about it other than I'm working with some very talented artist and we're all really excited about it. 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Google.com - One of the most powerful tools in my Arsenal . Digg.com - It's always great to know what's going on in the world and to just take a break every now and then. Behance.net- I believe Behance is the best site out there for Creatives. Flickr.com/understandme - A great photographer and friend of mine. I frequently look at his work for inspiration. Noupe.com - Pretty cool blog with plenty of inspiration and tutorials floating around. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Thanks for having me. As for advice, keep yourself busy. Don't have a project to work on ? Make one up. Give yourself challenges and goals. I've set a goal to do the minimum of 4 projects a month. Then after two months I shall double it, then double it again. Keeping yourself busy not only keeps you reaching a Creative Block but it also keeps you artistically in shape. It keeps the ideas flowing. I'm not saying you have to produce a magnum opus each time but there have been plenty times when I have came across random unfinished projects that have elements or achieve a look that I need for a current project. You will not only be surprised at how quickly you grow as an artist but also at how fast you develop works for your portfolio. Also don't limit yourself. If you're a traditional artist don't be afraid to try 3D modeling or if you're a 3D modeler give illustrator a shot. This will keep you flexible, help you discover new looks and may help you develop a certain kind of style. It will also keep your portfolio very diverse. Where to find Keith Garrison on the web He doesn't have a personal homepage but a nice portfolio on the Behance Network Behance.net/NoirMaybe

Interview with Graffiti Street Artist ABOVE + Print GiveAway

Above is an extremely talented artist whose work can be seen all over the world. I had long discussions with him about his awesome Graffiti Tour to South America and the Sign Language Tour where he visited 26 countries. Every each of his masterpieces has a special message. Enjoy the many projects this young artist has done. Information about the print give away at the bottom of the page Ljubljana, Slovenia 2006 I CAME BACK THE NEXT DAY TO TAKE SOME PHOTOS OF THIS PIECE. I WAS SURPRISED WHEN I SAW A MODEL ALREADY POSING FOR A FASHION SHOOT IN FRONT OF IT! THE MODEL LOVED THE ATTENTION AND I WAS ABLE TO TAKE A FEW PHOTOS OF MY OWN. Copenhagen, Denmark 2005 Athens, Greece 2006 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Thank you as well for having an interest in the artworks! My "artist" background basically started with my family. Both my Parents are artists and growing up as a young kid there was always art supplies to play with and experiment. I consider my family upbringing very fortunate and responsible for why I started and am curious in art. When I was about 15 I was already skateboarding and many if not all of my skateboard friends were tagging and painting trains. Because of my upbringing with art and an interest already established in creating It was just a matter of time before I too got into tagging and painting trains in California. I did the traditional letters but became bored with this coded language or style. In 2001 when I was 19 I moved to Paris, France to focus on making a new style in the streets. At that time there were just a handful of artists making "street art" that was not about letters but instead an icon/character/symbol that would represent their name or idea. For me I changed from writing the letters "A-B-O-V-E" to a symbol of an Arrow pointing "ABOVE." Years later back in the United States I started to make a physical wooden arrow complete with glued on fabrics and a word on each side of the arrow. The process of making these wooden arrows is about the extent of my "Design." I like to make things with my hands so designing on the computer just is not what I am interested in at the point in my life. This Word/Play was painted on the outside of a 4th grade classroom. While the young students were inside learning how to put 2 and 2 together, I was outside trying my best to do the same! 2. You recently completed your 6-month word tour. Please speak about this project. The South Central Tour was an intense 6-month long tour starting in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and ending in Mexico City, Mexico. I was fortunate to have many contacts in most of the major cities thru south and central America that helped out with a floor to sleep on and who knew the city. The South Central tour was a progression from the SIGN LANGUAGE TOUR (2006) as during the South Central tour I was still doing Word/Play's but instead I was painting them on the wall much much larger. The South Central tour allowed me to make longer, and more elaborate sentences, questions, and puns painted on the walls. SOUTH CENTRAL TOUR 2007-08 (Full Length) from ABOVE on Vimeo. 3. I love the idea of your Sign Language Tour in 2006. How did you came up with the concept and how did you implement the idea. The Sign Language tour was a progression from the 2004 U.S.A. tour. In 2004 I designed the idea of how to hang and install the wooden arrows high above the city streets. Since each arrow has 2 sides and is constantly spinning around that it would be unique to paint 1 word on each side of the spinning arrow. In 2006 for the Sign Language tour I was able to do just that. Each arrow had 1-word on each side so the concept was that when the wind would spin the hanging arrow that a silent "Sign Language" dialog would be seen from the viewer below. The most challenging part was since I painted the Word/Play on each arrow before the tour I would walk around any given city along the tour at night looking for the perfect match of location and the word/play. For instance hanging an arrow in a busy intersection that read "HONK/HORN" or in Amsterdam that said "RED/LITE" (for the red light prostitution district) or even in sunny Barcelona that read " HACE/SOL" (It's sunny in Spanish). My goal with making each arrow as relative and specific to the location/atmosphere was that the viewer could easily make the connection and relate to this silent message. SIGN LANGUAGE TOUR (2006) from ABOVE on Vimeo. 4. What are your tools of the trade? Explain for example how you created the "Playground Valentines Day Special"? The PLAYGROUND LOVE piece was created out of cut out stencils I made. My tools for the trade really depends on what surface I am working on as well as what type of message I want to get across. For instance I felt like making this piece with a stencil because there was a lot of small and fine detail that if I were to paint that piece with spray paint the detail would get lost. As an artists I want to try and take on new mediums and applications so i can learn and work on my weaknesses. PLAYGROUND LOVE from ABOVE on Vimeo. 5. How do people react on your work? Have you every got any trouble because of your graffitis? It seems like they either love or hate it. Trouble because of graffiti, Yeah. I've been arrested more than I would like to talk about. 6. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being an artist? PRO'S: Being able to travel, meet new people, experience life at it's fullest and being challenged to try new things. CON'S: Little/no Money, and going to jail about 2 times a year. 7. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Traveling has had such an important impact on the way I look at things. When I am in a new country or city everything is new and there are no "filters" for what I am able to absorb visually. When I was hanging the wooden Arrow Mobiles from overhead telephone lines my perception and eyes were constantly looking "above" to see what type (if any) overhead lines were available to hang an arrow on. I remember being in Prague with some friends and I was extremely excited to see that in the center of the city there were a lot of overhead wires. My friends were confused as to why I was so happy and I explained to them it was because of these overhead telephone wires. They all looked up and said that they never noticed them being there, even thought they live just 2 streets away. So yeah perhaps I do see things differently? 8. Can you give us example of your upcoming projects? I am currently living in California, and I hope to go back to Europe for the summer, then return to Buenos Aires around the end of the year. I love it in Argentina! SouthCentral Tour (PART 1 OF 4) from ABOVE on Vimeo. SouthCentral Tour (Part 2 of 4) from ABOVE on Vimeo. SouthCentral Tour (Part 3 of 4) from ABOVE on Vimeo. SouthCentral: Part 4 (The Final Chapter!) from ABOVE on Vimeo. 9. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? hmmm, let me think. Vimeo.com NotCot.org WoosterCollective.com Wikipedia.com Abduzeedo because all of them have new content regularly. 10. Once again, thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Not really, I think I have said too much already. Where to find Above in the web GoAbove.com - Portfolio Vimeo.com/Above - Videos Free Print Give Away ABOVE is kind enought to give away one version of his limited edition "Put 2 and 2 2gether"-Print for the Abduzeedo Reader. Just leave a comment about what you like most in ABOVE's work. He will pick the winner in the end of the week. You can get this Print for just 44 $ - and other great Prints - in his shop More work of this artist. SKOOL OF HARD KNOCKS from ABOVE on Vimeo.

Interview with Awesome Illustrator Draco + Free T-shirt Templates

Get to know more about Draco, a fantastic illustrator and one of the best t-shirt design artists out there with designs being printed by the most famous online t-shirt websites Draco brings a Brazilian flavor into people's closet. Besides all that he has a great project that releases free t-shirt templates for you to put your designs on. For more work from Draco visit www.dracoimagem.com Who hides behind the name Draco? Well, My name is Edno Pereira Jr, I'm from Nova Iguaçu - RJ - Brazil, I'm self taught, and I always Ilustrated since a little kid, but being an illustrator or designer weren't exactly my dream as a child, but, I couldn't run from my destiny and today I work on Hiperativa www.hiperativa.com.br, a web agency that has big clients Brazil such as americanas, shoptime, ig and more. When and how did you first start getting into design and illustrations? Drawing was always a good way to pass the time, and the transition between fun and work happened naturally. I don't know exactly when I started my interest, but since a little kid I liked to see drawing cartoons and paintings. I think it was one of the first things that messed with my curiosity. How was this transition from drawing cartoons to start illustrating on a computer? It was when I first bought a PC, about 10 years ago, since I was already drawing, I started to produce some digital material, started with photoshop, not knowing anything. By then I didn't have internet so no tutorials at all. It took a while but I learned my way around the program, and after some time I started doing vectors, which is what I like the most, today 80% of the work I do are vectors illustrations. How was the transition of being an illustrator to becoming a t-shirt designer? It kinda started for no reason, one day I was surfing the web when I found www.camiseteria.com.br (It's kinda like threadless from Brazil) I was very interested and started to post my illustrations in form of t-shirt designs, I started to like doing that when my designs began to get approved and was getting a good money out of it so I looked for other sites that had the same system of work and never stopped. How long did it take to start getting noticed and actually selling your artwork to big companies? If I'm not wrong, it took about 6 month. At first the biggest challenge was to try to understand what kind of designs they liked the most, but after some time I realized that I had to do what I liked and not work on what other people would like, from tha point my work started getting bigger and better and my designs started getting acepted in a lot of places. Tell us about other projects you have. As a right now I work in a design agency and that's taking most of my time, and we all know that whoever works on an agency never has time for any personal projects, but slowly I'm getting back to an old project I always had that is to create a studio to work on drawing cartoons like the ones we see on the newspaper. It's a complicated project but very soon you guys will hear about it. Besides that another project that I have going right now is www.imaginatee.com which is a site where I put up free t-shirt templates to help the people who send works to any t-shirt contest website. This project was born by the difficulty I had on finding photos of people wearing t-shirts where I could place my work in before it actually got printed, I believe everybody on this area needs those templates and I decided to create a place where we all can find what we need and help everyone. For more free templates visit www.imaginatee.com What would you like to say to the young artists who are just starting to work on this area? For everyone that is just beginning their journey I have to say: The first step is to keep an eye on good designers on the area, look up for designs to learn what is good and what is not, and bet on your on design feelings. It's important to understand the criticism that is always going to be there, and learn to separate things. I don't agree with that because before it's called a design I think it's an art and there is no such thing as something wrong when it comes to art, it depends on the taste of who is looking at it, you either like it or not but nothing is wrong, but always listen to suggestions, and the ones that hate on your work you can always ignore :)

Interview: Alex Haigh from Thinkdust

Thinkdust is an indepented design studio founded by Alex Haigh who worked for great companies like Nike, Sony and made the website for Volkswagen UK. In this interview we'll talk about the coming projects of Alex. visit Alex on behance and on Thinkdust.com 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Since the age of 8 I used to design different type of trainers on sheets of A4 paper. It became a bit of an obsession with over 430 single A4's containing 6 trainer designs at one point. From then I kind of fell into design through education 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Inspiration is a strange tool. It's something that's not physical and you may find in the most unexpected places. I think my inspiration comes from past experiences, and with that every new piece of work I am producing is focused towards developing and becoming stronger. Music has recently started to influence a lot of my work which is currently not live, just concentrating on getting the right message for the brand and using that concentration to produce something unique for them. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? Well, my workflow is quite varied. Sometimes it's quite difficult to completely focus 100% on a project during the day, due to emails, phone calls, and other communication which is a small distraction in my level of concentration. Usually If I think a piece of work has more to give I will start at 11pm and work through the night, completely undisturbed, focused and inspired. It's not the most practical way of doing things but I am finding the results are far more creative when I go through this pattern 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? Sketchbook, photoshop, freehand and around a dozen sheets of A4's stuck on the wall. These usually have scribbles on, where I'll not any ideas I have thought about throughout a project and then start the process of refining everything. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? For me personally it's all positives. I could mention the fact that sometimes it's not easy working a straight week 20 hours a day and sometimes not getting any sleep at all. However I love what I do, I'm obsessively passionate, focused and determined to develop, become stronger, more creative, and produce better results. For me it's a craft, and with craft comes practice, which is the only way to develop. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? 100% influenced. If I am out and about it's constant analysis of typography, colour, product placement, balance, grids, layout, impact. Sounds pretty lame I suppose, but it's just the way my brain works now. I'm sure most designers find this to be true. 7. What are your coming projects? I've got some incredible projects on at the moment, with a endless to do list. One of the projects at the moment is a new online digital type foundry, HypeForType. This is a foundry with a difference. I am currently teaming up with some of the most respected designers out there to create a series of extremely unique creations. At the moment everything is currently being set up, however you can go over to the website to sign up for the official launch this year at www.hypefortype.com HypeForType will comprise of an individual catalogue of typefaces, alongside our special designer volumes released every 3 months. Volume one which is confirmed so far will have creations from the likes of Si Scott, Alex Trochut, Jon Burgerman, HelloHikimori, and Luke Lukas. I'm incredibly excited about this project, and it's extremely hard work so I would really appreciate it if any of you guys could help support us and sign up for the official launch over at the website, Hypefortype.com. Other projects are a bit more secret at the moment. However I will be launching a brand new Thinkdust later this year with over a years worth of brand new work. 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Couldn't possibly list them, I have so many. At the moment I am in love with twitter, and the way in which you can find out so much information and connections so easily. This is a revolution to social networking in my opinion. I also check out the FWA regularly which has superb work as always 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? My advice would be stay hungry, never give up and work on your craft as much as possible. DesignDrivenByBelief™

Interview with Stephane Munnier aka Goanna

Check out this interview with the Flash Masters Stephane Munnier aka Goanna, the French designer who lives in Brazil and does work for all parts of the globe. Plus, he gives us all access to his recent project vouDo! Design. Who is Goanna? Stephane Munnier aka Goana, 35 year old born in France, now lives in Rio de Janeiro Brazil Flash Designer/ Web Art Director. Work as a freelancer since 2004. www.goanna-webdesign.com Goana is a Flash masters making his designs very unique and definitely very interesting as you can see: For more visit www.goanna-webdesign.com Tell us about your project "vouDo! Design". The project besides anything is a experimentation, I can be defined as a virtual studio, A collective of 5 designers, all freelancers. And the formation goes like this: Stéphane Munnier - Founder and Flash Designer (Rio de Janeiro) Sébastien Larreur - Motion Designer (New York) Jean Christophe Quillez - Sound Designer (Paris) Sylvain Briand -Action script 3 Programmer and 3D Flash (Lyon) Florent Jean -Action Script 3 Programmer (Lyon) The Idea was to be united so we could present ourselves to our clients with more competence, and complement any needs in different areas, like mobile and other types of multimedia productions, but the biggest challenge was to have everybody working together being so far away from each other. For more visit www.voudodesign.com How long you guys been together now and is the distance still a challenge for the team? The team was created in April 2008, when I started looking for someone to work with me in some projects and I ended up hiring Sebastien, our motion designer, after he presented to me a video about stop motion on the web that got him a place on the team ... After that we Sylvain got on the team, me and him worked before back in 2007 on a web project www.restez-motard-a-moto.com where I did the animation and he did the programming. Then we started getting proposals of a lot of different designers that would like to be part of the team, Florent got in when he helped me to make the vouDo! Design website, after that It became more official. And Jean-Christophe came in to complete the team. Now days we don't have a lot of problems communicating anymore, we use skype and emails, sometimes I even forget that telephones exist. The only problem is the time difference between some of us but we try to get around that. And with the clients is the same process. Sometimes the clients feel a need of meeting with someone and when that happens I have to explain the way we work and showing our references they end up understanding and trusting us to go futher with the project our ways. Now show us some work that you guys done together. So far we haven't done a lot of projects together but we use the team to gather up our portfolios and get more jobs for ourselves, here are the latest web work we've done, if you check on the website there is a some motion design, sound design, animation and more, we cover all design areas you can imagine. I hope everyone like my stuff, check out my websites for more work and more inspirations, if anything needed you know where to find me, Thank you.

Interview: Perttu Murto

Perttu Murto is an amazing digital artist from Finland. In this interview we talk about his background and his very first beginning with photoshop. He worked for big companies such as Dolce & Gabbana and has been featured several design magazines. Great success for a 23-year-old student. PerttuMurto.com for more information I am a 23-year-old graphic designer from Finland. I have been involved in graphics for almost 7 years and was also recently selected as the Young Advertisement Designer of the Year for 2007 in Northern Finland. My work has also been featured in several prestigious design websites and magazines. At the moment I am entering my second year in Oulu University of Applied Sciences Business and Information Management, majoring in Digital Media. I am also currently working in a Finnish advertising agency Työmaa. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? It all begun when I bought my first digital camera, I think I was 16 or 17 years old. That's how I got my first touch with Photoshop and boy I was sold when I saw what kind of stuff you can do with it. Anyway I kept photographing and playing with Photoshop. There was a time when I played with Photoshop everyday. When I learned more about it, I started to really get into graphic design and art directing. I studied things about typography, layouts, logos, branding and everything which had something to do with graphic design. I really wanted to know it all, haha. Years went by and I started to notice that this is definitely what I want to do in my life. It had become more like a lifestyle than a profession. At the moment I study in Oulu University of Applied Sciences Business and Information Management, majoring in Digital Media. I am also working in an advertising agency called Työmaa but I'm always up to interesting freelancer projects as well. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? It really comes from everywhere, but mostly from music, movies, other designers, cd-cover art etc you name it! Sometimes I don't even know where it comes from, I just feel like creating something what I think might be cool. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? It depends on the task and especially whether it is a client job or a "own" piece of art. If it is a client job, the process begins already in the client brief. After the brief you do different kinds of raw layouts which correspond with the client's brandbook and the target group of the campaign. The raw layouts are presented to the client and the client chooses the best one and he gives some comments about it. Then you'll start finishing the layouts in accordance with the client's comments. A personal piece of art differs completely from a client job. When creating a personal artwork you don't have to think about any target groups or take care of the customer's brand. The idea for a personal artwork can come from anything and it can stay in your mind or sketchbook for months and develop at the same time. Then, when an inspiration hits, you can make it real. Nowadays I haven't really had time to do personal pieces of art because the client jobs are taking so much time. Personal pieces are really important so you can experiment and develop your skills. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? HARDWARE: Sketchbook, pen, wacom, mac book pro, Canon 30D SOFTWARE: Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe flash, Dreamweaver, Indesign 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? Pros: I can do what I want for living. I can be part of different projects around the world. I can give a face for a brand new company. I can see my works in everyday life, street ads, magazines, CD stores etc... Cons: It keeps me very very busy sometimes. The deadline might be so short that it's impossible to put as much input to the work as I want to. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? I like it. I see some things really differently than some of my non-designer friends. For example when we are in some coffeeplace I can check out a nice typography in a sign or magazine and be like "damn that's so cool", my friends are usually like "I dont get that... it's just text", heh. But I like it, I like how I notice all the details we got everywhere around us. 7. What are your coming projects? There are few personal projects I am working on, nothing really to say yet... And of course there are plenty of projects we are working on in our agency. Plus the school stuff.. It's gonna be a busy year! 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Pingstate.nu / A great Finnish design community! Depthcore.com / The best artgroup around there, I love to spend time in the memberpanel. FFFFound.com / A lot of inspiration! ReformRevolution / When I want to know what's new in the design field. Behance.net / A nice network for creative people. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Be patient, work hard, work harder, chill.

Interview: Elena Savitskaya

I haven't posted an interview in a while. For this one, I'd like to introduce you to a very good Russian female designer from London. Since the interview with Rik Oostenbroek and JamesTu you know that we love to feature young and talented artists (especially when they are female). Elena Savitskaya is a 22 year-old designer from London. She studied marketing management and graphic design, and became a graphic designer for an oil company prior to working for an online marketing agency. She just quit her job to concentrate 100 percent on freelancing. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I want to thank you for asking me to do an interview. I come from marketing management background, but designing and drawing has always been a hobby of mine. And at some point in my life, i had to pick a profession at a very though time for my family, and i was facing a choice of becoming a waitress (well, who would want a 17 year old marketing manager?) or developing my hobby into something much more than a hobby. And then it became my obsession. I had to push myself very hard to develop my skills to a professional level. And i consider that to be the biggest achievement in my life so far. My marketing background comes in very handy in my profession, i don't really see design as just creating a "pretty" picture, as most of us do. Im approaching my work based what sort of financial benefits it could bring to my clients. Basically, i design to help my clients sell their services. In a return, i get a lot of positive feedback from clients and they keep coming back, which keeps me happy and gives me sense of achievement. Im also trying my best to be unique and develop my own techniques and styles, when it comes to projects. Im still in a way of developing my own style i think, but i will certainly get there. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Im a very easily excited person. Anything brings inspiration to my life, biggest one is probably my partner, my family, everything around me, big cities, new places, travel, nature, and adventure. Even tiny things i find on antiques markets get me fascinated. Best designers in the industry also have a huge influence on me. I always try to push myself to try to become one of the "best out there". Reference books and magazines also inspire me a lot. I read a lot, i probably spend 50% of my day reading. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? Well i always start by asking my client a lot of questions. Things like their target audience, their idea behind the project, what they'd like to see and typical "brainstorming" process. I try to gather as much marketing information as possible, when needed i would do a competitor research too. If it's web-design project i would also offer them a marketing analysis of existing website so that i can suggest if it's better to improve their old website or start from a scratch, and give them a bit of better understanding of web. Then it's down to sketches. Once im done sketching and structuring a project out, i scan it in and start developing it. I would also take few breaks now and then to enjoy my odd cup of coffee and reconsider what i've done so far. It's a good way of noticing your own mistakes and evaluating the project. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? Well i use Adobe Suite CS2, i've never really wanted an upgrade so far, since im very comfortable with this edition, i might be a bit of a comfort freak, i also have to work in Corel Draw sometimes, as some clients have certain software requirements. Hardware wise i've got the following set-up. And yes, it's a PC. :) Intel Core2 Quad 2.40 GHz and 4 Gig RAM. My video card: XFX nVIDIA® GeForce 9800GTX+ 512MB DDR3 Over Clocked Edition 1 TB hard drive + 700Gig External Hard drive for back ups. 22' Samsung Screen does a great job so far. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? The biggest "pro" of my personality that help a lot in my work is that I'm a perfectionist. I'd push myself to the limit just to get things perfect. It gives me a huge boost while working. So i guess i can call myself a very self-motivated person because of it. Im also very dedicated to my job, i would even spend most of my time off reading design/marketing related magazines or articles. My biggest problem is the love for my sofa. It just constantly appears in front of my eyes and i cant help myself but get a tiny break on it every now and then. :) 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Now this is one of the weirdest things about me. I would stop on my way to somewhere even thou i'd be late just to stare at some video advert on the public transport or a beautifully designed poster. Im also totally immune to any marketing moves out there and, surprise-surprise, for this reason i don't have a TV. I just prefer not to watch it, since all the marketing moves out there on air are all same old tricks. And when something new happens, it would end up on YouTube anyway, if it's really something remarkable. 7. What are your coming projects? Well, right now i've just came back to being freelance and I'm in a process of starting from a scratch again and seeing if i can pull it off. Im currently working for a Concert Factory, they are planning some amazing concerts in the UK and I'm hoping i will get to work on the advertising side of it. Im also continuously working on creating flyers for various clubs in London, as well as few strictly corporate brochures. 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? First one has to be Google. Nothing can beat it. You have a question - they've got an answer. Simple as that. Second place would probably go to Wikipedia. Since I'm a very curious person, if i'd want to know about something, I'd probably go to wiki and read a whole article about the thing. I love having a bit of a deeper insight on things. Third one would probably be facebook, to whom im grateful for being able to find all my long lost friends and keep in touch with them. Fourth one has to be BBC news website, for giving me a tiny bit of connection with civilization every time i need it :) And the fifth place goes to Smashingmagazine, for being probably one of the most insightful resources out there and having a very wide view on design industry. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? The biggest lesson in life that i learned so far being a graphic designer is probably the one i'd like to share: Push yourself to the limit, be driven by what you do, love your job, never be satisfied with level of your skills and always feed your brain with new ideas and inspiration. Thank you very much once again for asking me to do the interview and keeping up the standard of your great resource. All the best, Elena For more visit her website or her DeviantAccount

Interview: Photomanipulation by Joan Charmant

This time, we have a very special interview. Joan Charmant is a software engineer who started doing photo manipulation very good. In this interview he explains us how he works on these and we show you the images he used in her files. Enjoy 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Thanks to you for the interview. Sorry it took such a long time for me to deliver. I have no academic background in art. My dayjob is software engineer. I started photo montage in 2004, when I stumbled upon UFO pictures and wanted to see how hard it would have been to fake. While looking for tutorials I found the website Worth1000.com and I started to spend days and nights entering contests there. It took a lot of trial and error and a fair ammount of constructive criticism from other members, until I could be happy with some of my images. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Thanks :-) I'm fascinated by a lot of things, nature, technology, science, cultures differences... I'll compulsively look for reference books everytime I stumble upon a area unknown to me. The consequence is that when I design an image, I will often make connections between remote concepts and come up with (hopefully) something fresh or bizarre. I will try to mix constrasting ideas and feelings. I like to apply a domain-specific logic to think about something completely unrelated. Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a photo manipulation? First I get some sort of insight. An interesting concept, a funny thought, anything... Then I try to push and stretch the concept in various directions, removing everything not conveying the core idea along the way. (This is my favorite step :D) At one point, I'll have a bare bone idea that should be interesting in itself. Then starts the image hunt for the main subject. (several -boring- hours) I will collect various set of images to account for perspective coherence. (you can fake everything but not perspective) I may do low res tryouts to assess pictures matches. Once I'm confident with the images I have, I will start the blending. Smaller parts can be added afterwards with lesser quality images. Blending the main part will generally give me some time to think about the concept a bit more. I write down whatever potential nice additions comes to my mind during that process. When the image structure is almost finished and I'm adding small bits, I need to take a step back and have a fresh look.. When I'm done with structure and local color adjustments, I'll generally apply overall adjustment and enhancing. At that point I consider the final image as a photography and try to simply make it look pleasant to the eye. It ties things together and make the image pops. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? I have a fairly standard setup : - PC under Windows, Photoshop CS2. - Optical mouse, no wacom, one 19" screen. - 2GB of RAM but I only use them when the picture involve faery powder :-) I almost never shoot sources myself. 5. What, for you personnaly are the pros of designing in contrary to your dayjob in software engineering ? The most gratifying thing is when you know you provoked warm or strange feelings to your audience. In software we design complex systems from the ground up to build something new... Creating a graphic scene is essentially the same process for me, except that the end result is not aimed at your pragmatic skills, but directly at your imagination. Telling a story with a bunch of pixels is really an efficient way to communicate. Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture 6. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? - Worth1000 (www.worth1000.com) : Where I learnt everything. - Charles Krebs Gallery (http://www.krebsmicro.com/) : Probably the best microscopy photographer on the internet... - Atmospheric Optics (http://www.atoptics.co.uk) : Nature can be such a beauty. - Astronomy Pic of the Day (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/) : Daily dose of wonders. - Chris Gilbert Gallery (http://www.christophegilbert.com/) : Some fantastically disturbing montages from a pro. Love it. 7. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? - Fix reality in your sources whenever you have to. Don't say "It was already weird in the original". - If in doubt, it's better to mask too much than not enough. - Try to avoid foreground objects coming straight from an edge. - If you can provoke the same emotion with less elements, it will have more impact. Thank you ! for more manipulations watch his website JoanCharmant.com Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture