interview with artist mugenmcfugen
1. Would you tell us about yourself?
Well, my name is Lana and I’m illustrator based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently not employed for real but I’m looking to get involved with valve’s Dota 2 Workshop even more. I’ve studied art for half of my school life (high school and University), so what I do is focused on art and art only. I have hard time imagining myself doing anything else but art however it’s sometimes questionable since art isn’t safe form of netting a payment, especially where I live, that’s why I focus hard on Internet exposure. But I do give my best to be even better than I’m now.
2. What makes your art unique?
Well here’s funny thing, I don’t consider my art to be that unique. I’m having this love-hate relationship with almost everything I create. In a sense, it’s not that I
hate what I do, it’s fact that I always think I can do better. So every time I’m doing something, I’m trying different approaches to my art, whenever it’s layering, brushes or a technique. I’ve did copies before based on old master’s art (such as Hals and Layendecker) and every time I learned something new that I could have applied to my own art. I also imitated a lot of styles when I was younger, so that also played a part in how my style have developed over the years. Can’t dare to even say I have a style since I have this feeling my art is constantly changing.
3. What inspires you to create?
Other people’s art. I see something and think ”oh s**t, that is so good, what am I doing, I should draw” and then I go draw. That was my constant fascination since day 1. When I was younger I was also inspired by my own feelings and how I perceived stuff around but that kind of got lost in between unfortunately. I should go back to doing that more too, I’ve sort of developed a comfort zone with video game characters, gotta break that a little. ;D
4. It’s easy to notice your work is done digitally, have you ever used traditional tools or currently do use any for that matter?
I’ve did quite of acrylics, especially during the Uni. I sometimes play with watercolors or simple pencil on paper. My home is kind of crammed anyways and notion that I always have to take out the paints, do my stuff, then put the paints away since we have little free of space is tiring. But usage of traditional tools really do affect the way you work. I had a sort of phase where I taught myself not to use undo while doing stuff digitally. I treated my virtual canvas as the real one where you don’t have undo button to reverse a mistake. Thats also one of the things I’ve transfered from traditional to digital. Only thing I regret not doing more is oils, but like I said, small space is kind of crippling.
5. Tablets emerged, painting apps developed, stylus designed, are you a fan of digital painting on a tablet or you believe they are still not good enough for your working style?
Tablet became part of my body, man. I became really comfortable with it. There’s always place for improvement and trying something I haven’t tried before. Tablet IMHO is like this universal tool that’s able to reproduce a lot of tools (more or less, I’m still not fan of ”digital” oils) so if you’re about to use tablet it really depends on how you’re gonna utilize it. For me, tablet helped me with traditional work style, and traditional helped me with tablet one, so I can say it was mutual experience on both ways (if I can put it that way )
6. We know that photoshop is the leader and chosen software for digital artists, with Adobe’s recent path towards CC, do you feel it will affect your work if you require some of the newest tools or you don’t feel affected at all?
I’m perfectly fine with working in PS only, tbh. I gave my shot to other various tools such as Paint Tool Sai, Open Canvas, Painter, etc. but PS always remained my main software for digital painting. Only thing that I think Sai is having better than PS is the vector tool and pen tool since lines in Sai are really super smooth and I feel if I’m gonna do lineart of something, I’d do it in Sai. But yeah, I’m mostly bound to PS, I’m really used to it. And to be honest, I’m kind of lost on this question since English is not my mother language and I gave my best to answer it, I hope this answer lies withing your expectations.
7. Concept artist or illustrator, which do you prefer? Which is harder and why?
I love doing both, but I’m hovering on illustration more, specifically because concepting is harder to do. When you’re working on concept, it’s not matter on drawing some idea then polishing it into an illustration, concepting means you’re taking an idea and then you polish that idea reaaaaally hard, in a way where you’re going to sketch something over, and over, and over again until you get something that’s not only desired but function-able within boundaries you’re presented with. For example, if we’re doing something for Dota 2 Workshop, you have this hero. Every single hero has it’s boundaries within style, within color and within 3d model polycount. And then you’re like, ”ok I have this idea, but will it actually work in reality?” so you have to twist, and mold it, in the end even reject some stuff since you realized it won’t work, present another kind of idea and then work in it. It is hard, but also fun to do because it’s making you think in other directions. However I should work a bit on my own way of concepting because I usually work with one more guy in Workshop and he’s always able to critique me and suggest a change, which isn’t bad, it’s just that I have to also be able to solo concepting. Illustration compared to concepting is like a vacation, you do your base drawing and if you’re satisfied polish it nicely. That’s how I perceive it at least.
8. What would be your advice for beginner artists or any artists trying to become better and follow this path?
This is part where I’m gonna be bold a bit: screw the style. Screw all the styles you see in other artists around. Because… here’s the thing, look at the art like food. Food can look however pretty you might like it, but if it tastes awful, it’s failing it’s purpose. Same goes with art. Pinnacle for art, especially visual ones like illustration, classic painting etc is in it’s base. It’s how you execute your idea, it’s the fact how you impend your knowledge into it. No artist that have ever made it into history of art just went and did stuff for the heck of it. Even modern artists (who are despised even amongst other artists) did that. They had the base knowledge on the matter and in the end interpreted their ideas in the way it worked for them. Art CAN be subjective, but even then it has it’s own rules. What I’m trying to say, you can have defined style but you’re gonna fail if you don’t have a base for your structure to hold it. So don’t focus around it much because it’s something that comes around eventually. If you’re looking to get better, read about stuff. Do reference studies, practice anatomy, lightning and perspective. Observe how some matter interacts with another. And most importantly be critical to yourself. You can receive tons of outside critiques, if you don’t tell yourself ”damn I screwed this up, I should fix it” it’s almost like you haven’t received critique at all. I’m saying all of this because this is something I learned the hard way. And honestly, that’s all there is to it. If you’re sincerely looking to get better at what you do and actively seek for knowledge, you’ll find it and eventually achieve it.
Interview I’ve had with ExposeArtists, go ahead and check their blog! :D