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Become a concept artist

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Date Added: 11th June 2015
concept, artist, alex negrea, 2dartist,  

Do you have any favorite software, techniques or processes that you apply to your artwork, that you would consider your signature style?

I like to use Photoshop. It's efficient resource-wise, it doesn't crash that often, and it's an industry standard. But from time to time I jump around and play with other software such as ZBrush, SketchUp, 3ds Max or CLIP STUDIO PAINT.

My goal for next year is to implement 3D into my 2D workflow so I can cut some corners when it comes to client work. For personal work I really like to stick to 2D only, all drawn/painted by hand. It feels like I've achieved something when I can do it all from my head.

Illustration done for the TCG from Applibot called Legend of the Cryptids – Copyright Applibot

Illustration done for the TCG from Applibot called Legend of the Cryptids – Copyright Applibot

Illustration done for the TCG from Applibot called Legend of the Cryptids – Copyright Applibot

When you aren't creating digital art, how do you spend your free time away from the demands and deadlines of the creative industry?

Before drawing I was playing the guitar as a hobby. These days I have picked it up again and I was surprised how many principles of drawing I can actually use when making music. Composition, contrast, patterns, rhythm and so on are all present in music too.

It's the same art, but with sounds this time. In the beginning drawing was a hobby, but these days it feels more like a job and sometimes I really need to stay away from it. Too much of something is not too good for me.

What would be your perfect project to work on?

If I could be paid just to improve my art skills that would be my dream job. Since I started I've wanted to become a top artist. My only goal was and still is improvement. If I don't learn something new for a long period of time I tend to lose motivation. Project-wise I don't have any games or movies that I would love to work on at the moment. Everything can be fun or not.

What has been your favorite project to work on/greatest artistic achievement?

My greatest achievement I think is starting to teach at workshops. I really like to connect to real- life people and to share my current knowledge with them. Being a freelance artist is super lonely sometimes and just talking on the internet just doesn't do it anymore. Also at these kind of workshops you get to meet all kinds of people from beginner's to top professional artists, or people that help organizing these workshops to hotel receptionists. They all have a story to share that will inspire you somehow. Living life is an art form itself.

Illustration done for the TCG from Applibot called Legend of the Cryptids – Copyright Applibot

Illustration done for the TCG from Applibot called Legend of the Cryptids – Copyright Applibot

Illustration done for the TCG from Applibot called Legend of the Cryptids – Copyright Applibot

If you could give future digital artists one piece of advice on working in the industry, what would it be?

For me working harder than I was expected to work did the trick. So I would gladly recommend this. Be open and help everyone that asks for your help. This industry will evolve only if you are open to sharing everything that you know. Doing this will create tougher and harder competition, and that will make you a better artist. We need people to push the limits forward and to inspire the future generations to do the same!

Finally, what can we expect to see from you in the future?

Honestly, I don't know. I like to shake things up once they become routine. But to answer the question, I would probably learn some more ZBrush. Its super fun and intuitive and since I have a decent foundation of drawing its feels super easy to wrap my head around sculpting digitally.

Pro Tips

Repetition is the key

Every time you do something more than a couple of times it will open up to you and reveal some new insights about it. For example: doing gestures can help you to better understand the movement of the body and that's the initial read that everyone is getting. But if you spend some more time on the same pose you start to notice secondary details such as hairstyle, eye color, and clothing patterns and so on.

Surroundings make your subject what it actually is

When you are painting something pay attention to the surroundings too. It can alter the way you are seeing the main subject. Colors especially tend to be affected by this. A color can be judged correctly only when you put it next to another color.

Write about and document your studies

When I am writing about the subject that I am studying it helps me better understand and remember what I am doing. My brain switches into analytical mode and it pays more attention than usual. Also when I look over my studies later it's easier to remember what I learned.

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