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Interview with Blaz Porenta

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Date Added: 16th October 2013
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Blaz Porenta chats to us about life as a concept artist, his work on the fantasy card game Legend of the Cryptids and what he has to look forward to in the future.
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Hi Blaz, for those who may not be familiar with your work could you tell us a bit about yourself as an artist?

I am an illustrator, living in my little world of horror and fluffy animals â€" it depends on the day. I love to challenge myself by painting stories, portraying emotions and exploring traditional technique and styles in digital media along the way.

The last time we spoke you were working as Art Director for Actalogic. What have you been up to since then?

I am currently working as a full-time concept artist and painter at Outfit 7, a company most known for their Talking Friends app franchise. Not my typical horror genre, but I found myself really enjoying the variety of work I am getting there. I’m doing everything from creating new characters and environments for a kid audience, to working on video projects in collaboration with Disney. Then in my spare time at home, I balance that with a couple of freelance projects, where I can fulfill my tendencies for some horror and fantasy paintings.

Since the last time you spoke to us, what have been your favorite projects to work on?

I would like to point out a couple of them. One, for sure, was working on a series of well-known children stories for 3DTotal, portraying them in a horror fashion. That was a project I’d been planning to do on my own for a long time; I just needed a push.

The next one is currently ongoing: working on fantasy card game Legend of the Cryptids for a Japanese client, Applibot. I choose a character of my choice, and then create my vision of him without the pressure of tight deadlines. I couldn’t be happier!

And last but not least, a personal project that I am working on with two of my close friends: a mobile app game named Swamp Attack. It is an indie game in its final stage of development, and I hope we’ll be able to find a publisher for it soon, or release it on our own.

Could you tell us about any projects you have coming up that you are really looking forward to?

I am getting quite a few offers for work on different card games lately, but since I am fully-booked with my ongoing aforementioned projects, I have to unfortunately decline them for now. I hope to do some more work for Applibot in the future, as well as maybe one or two more indie games for fun. Oh, and there is also a comic book on the way, but I am

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Do you have any advice for people who want to get into the industry?

Don’t stop at anything. I know many talented people who get easily unmotivated by not getting the job they dream about on their first try. If you love doing it, do it on your own. Build a strong portfolio, work on smaller projects and post regularly on art forums and websites. I know from personal experience that many big companies, as well as smaller clients, are surfing through these forums and contacting artists for their next projects. And keep practicing! You can never be too good.

You’ve mentioned that you like to explore different techniques and styles. Could you tell us a bit about your workflow, process and the software you use?

My workflow varies from project to project. Sometimes I start with quick sketches, followed by line art drawings, a couple of variations (especially when working for clients), then blocking in tone values and finishing it with color. Yet another time I’ll just go with the flow and start with abstract forms, spilling colors all over the place, searching for a story to pop out.

I love the look of traditional media paintings, where you can see the texture of the media and feel the personal touch of an artist. Although I paint mainly digitally, I strive to achieve these qualities and search for ways to imitate them. Although I use Photoshop throughout the whole process, my work usually ends up in ArtRage, where I apply some thick brush strokes and mix colors with a palette knife as a final touch.

You are involved in such a variety of areas, which of these areas do you enjoy the most?

Nowadays I enjoy every project I am working on. I am fortunate to have a variety of offers, so I can

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

That is always the hardest question for me, as I never think about it. I believe shapes and silhouettes are the most inspirational things. Our minds work in mysterious ways, and if you let your brain run free and don’t limit it, you’ll come up with some freaky stuff when looking at a pile of garbage or something as simple as a cloud formation or a tile pattern on a bathroom floor.

I also follow many great artists and photographers, and build upon my reference library. I consider all of them my teachers, and I learn about the light, colors, composition and what works and what doesn’t from a storytelling point of view from the work of others.

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It’s always good to take time out from work and reflect. What do you like to do to relax?

I love to spend my free time with my girlfriend, going to see a great movie or doing some adrenaline sports and martial arts.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!

Always a pleasure!

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