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Decoding Daily Deviations: Walls

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 7:26 AM

Decoding Daily Deviations is the series that aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"

FEATURED ART: Walls by sstarkm
DD DATE: 2017-01-18
TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Photoshop, 3DCoat, Keyshot, DAZ3d 

Walls by sstarkm

Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?  

The idea for this piece came pretty much the day of November 9th or 10th and I just felt really angry at the world at that time. I wanted a painting to express that those in power are as weak and fragile as the ones they hurt, directly or indirectly. I didn't want to make it a political piece though, I'm not smart enough for that, but I thought making it a sort of broad, class-warfare, poor vs rich would be good enough to communicate a little of how I was feeling."

“Walls” communicates a powerful narrative with striking imagery and details. Please, take us through your creative process on the painting and the techniques you employed. 

I usually doodle different compositions first, usually as thumbnails. Sometimes though, I have the right image in my mind, as was the case for this one, and I went right for it. I sketched the overall comp, then refined it a bit. I then did a small color study to get an idea of what it might look like in the end, though unlike the old masters I'm pretty bad with sticking with it. I then start masking out each object by coloring in between the lines, with many different layers.

Before I start painting, I import some DAZ 3D human models into Keyshot and light the scene so I can get a somewhat good idea of how they'll all be lit. I used to do that stuff without 3D long ago, but this is faster.

Lastly, I made the golden knight armor in 3DCoat and rendered it in Keyshot. I then painted all the gems and jewels on it, as modeling each one would've been annoying."

Did you encounter any creative challenges when working on the piece? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could? 

Hmm, that's a tough question. I think with every painting I make I look back on them with some amount of regret on what could've been, what I could've done better, etc. For this one in particular, I'd probably do something to better indicate that while the main girl scorched the knight, she exhausted herself in the process which is why the other knights aren't running away from taking her in. I'd also probably add more ash around the knight armor because a lot of people haven't realized that he's been turned to ash. I think overall though I'm more satisfied with this piece than I've been with most of my others. Maybe that's because it's been my most “successful” piece in a while, but I came away from it pretty happy and content."

What’s one piece of advice that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future? 

I'd like to think most of them know to just keep practicing and stuff, but I bet they're sick of them hearing it. I'd say that while practicing every day will make you a better artist for sure, you run the risk of becoming a very boring artist. As much as you should be drawing, painting, or modeling, you should also be going outside, reading books, watching movies, play some video games, etc. Experience culture and said culture will flow through you into your works and people will like your stuff more.  As technology develops, artists that rely purely on skill and technique alone will probably become less valuable when a machine can produce similar results. In this sense, it'll be better to be a more creative artist than a skilled one. That's kind of always been the case, but it will become more apparent in the next one hundred years or so.

Also, in the words of Brad Rigney (paraphrased): “Put down the bong, put down the video games.” Though really I don't follow his advice as well as I should."

What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next? 

I'm pretty proud of it; the only other DD I got was for a painting I did while really high and I kinda hate it, lmfao. As for what people can expect? Well, I'm currently learning a lot of 3D stuff right now because I think it's super fascinating, and I'd like to be able to incorporate it into my work a lot more. I'm hoping to get into Wizards of the Coast by the end of the year so that'd be nice, haha, but other than that I'll just keep on doin' what I'm doin' now. Also would like to thank everyone that follows me, your support means a lot, and keeps me going through thick and thin."

Bonus question: Can you cite a memorable reaction to this piece in the comments at DA? 

Well, there's this one comment that sort of took me off guard in how silly it was, but it's probably not the most appropriate comment to feature.

Hmm, a lot of comments are super sweet and hard to choose from, but I got a laugh out of some guy's comment on the first page that said 'Should've paid for magic resistance instead.' From :iconbalduranne:"

Thanks to sstarkm for kindly consenting to the interview!

Visit his gallery for more wonderful paintings: 

Dreamchaser - Parabnormal by sstarkm Dreamchaser by sstarkm

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February 28
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