Monday, March 17, 2008

Thumbnails: Sparth

Thumbnails: 30 Second Interviews

One of the great things about online communities like CGSociety and is that they have made it possible for people outside of the gaming and movie industries to access the imagery that help build those worlds. I love all the freedom and spontaneity seen in concept work -- giving impressions of scenes without relying ion too much detail. One of my favorites is Sparth. I love the sense of scale and depth he can create using value and by juxtaposing sharp edges against looser, more abstract, elements.

Sparth website.
Sparth Construct.
Pre-order (like I have) his upcoming art book, Structura: The Art of Sparth.

Favorite painting you did in the past year?

I think one of the paintings I prefer, and that represent some sort of a milestone for my own progression, is that cover i did for a French novel called Le Monde Enfin by Jean-Pierre Andrevon. [Top image] I often take a look at this cover whenever I need to comfort myself in my ability to produce a balanced image, where details are present but not to the point of drowning the scene into unnecessary complexity.

Dream assignment?

A space opera movie production maybe? Or anything related to the post apocalyptic genre.

How do you balance family and personal time with work?
I tend to prefer doing regular working hours in a company, that allows me to spend time with my kiddos when I get home. In order to fill the rare gaps in my schedule, I sometimes accept "one shot" assignments like book covers, as it's not only fast, but it also gives a lot of pleasure being able to achieve something in just a few days, compared to lengthier projects like games prods or movies.

Do you have a set image in your mind when you first start sketching or do you start out abstractly and let the process of doodling take over?

It is very difficult to give a simple answer on the matter. I'd say that I probably start doodling with a relatively abstract approach in mind, obtain a fine basic sketch very fast, and then stick to it without changing too much of the initial composition. The more you change the initial compo, the riskier it will get, and I still think that the best images are the ones whose composition do not get altered from start to finish. From the moment your initial sketch is strong, that is. Your first intent is often very present in a piece, as much as the rectifications you will eventually make further on.

Things cannot be easily hidden, at least not in my vision.
The paradox is that abstraction can be of a tremendous help when it comes to imagining images, But when things are in place, the best is to escape from it and stick to detailing. It's not as easy as it seems, we artists like playing with meaningless shapes and colors a bit too much.

Advice to a young illustrator?

Whenever somebody is giving you an enlightening artistic advice, write it down in a text file, or in a folder where you'll gather all these thoughts and comments in order to read them again and again. Something simple, no fancy subfolder labyrinth thing you'll never go back into.

That's what I do: whenever I find a theory worth trying, or an advice given by a friend, or even an idea popping into my mind while creating, I write it down in my "must not forget about this" list. A bit like a general and opened set of rules or guidelines. Of course, rules are there to be broken, especially in the art field, but some things never change, and are worth putting down on a paper.


ces said...

Ver nice!

My favourite is also Le Monde Enfin! I love the sky in the one below Le Monde Enfin & especially the item on top of the rock in the background. The right image below the second one said "Florida" to me immediately.

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