Story is the most important thing I care about. Lighting, composition, color, characters, all work for my story."– kiddo428
In launching The Next Big Interview series, a talk with Kiddo428 feels appropriate on many levels, and not without a dash of the fortuitous thrown in for good measure. KD was featured in the inaugural edition of The Next Big Thing, a journal that exists to bring recognition to the extraordinary talents and dedicated professionals DeviantArt houses within its profuse member ranks, but who often go unnoticed or undervalued for months and years in the community. With his inimitable style and undeniable skill, KD perfectly fulfilled the ethos of the feature, as these qualities were combined with a DA profile that in no way matched the kind of exposure and acknowledgement his art merited. Besides being the poster artist for what the NBT represents, KD also proved to be wonderfully open and courteous throughout our initial contact and subsequent conversations, demystifying what is often a natural tendency to see artists of his calibre as somewhat unreachable and unresponsive. In detailing his life in art, KD articulates the spirit of these interviews: to provide an outlet for artists to explore their creative trajectories and achievements, and to allow fans and fellow creators to enjoy and improve from these revelations. In celebrating the practice of art, we are all involved and we all benefit.
Thanks for chatting with me, KD! Let’s explore your artistic background and development: when did you discover your passion for art and how did you arrive where you are today?
Hello, it’s my honor to get your invitation. The story starts when I was young; I loved to draw when I was little, but at that time I only treated drawing as a hobby, I didn’t have a chance to get any professional training and instruction. In 2008, after the release of “Transformers,” I saw a speed-painting video on YouTube, and I began to feel curious about digital art and pay attention to this industry. Later on, I bought a Wacom tablet when I was about to graduate from college, and started to do some digital art. After that, I went to a game company, kept working and learning, over and over, till now."
What are the main themes that you like to examine in your art?
Story is the most important thing I care about. Lighting, composition, color, characters, all work for my story. I focus on the storytelling as I then sketch it out. For different scenes, I use a different way to present my idea, and it makes my work more dramatic."
A defining hallmark of your art is the use of unique perspectives and dynamic compositions that thrill with movement. Can you share with readers details of your technique and how you approach a typical painting assignment?
It’s complicated; drawing the cool pose and action is more about experience and practice. For example, when I see a person running, I will pay attention about which part of his body was moving, and which part was static, so that when I work on a character action shoot it will be easier to understand the anatomy. Another thing is using motion blur for the action shoot, use the motion blur effect blur for the moving part, and keep the static part clean. To talk about perspective, this all depends on practice; there is no shortcut to go, the only way is to work harder and harder."
My favorite painting is “Rise of the Horde Sarnuk bloodsoul.” I did this painting last year. The reason I chose this one is because I challenged myself during this one, I have full control with mood for the entire painting, also the focus point and details work pretty well. I was spending two weeks on this painting, a very limited time, and there’s still some space to make the color look better, but I’m still satisfied with this piece for the design and composition-wise."
What qualities do you find inspirational in your favourite artists or those you admire in the field?
My favorite artist is Ilya Repin, I like how he treats his painting and perfects it to every single detail, and he can control the whole mood. Another one is Anders Zorn, I like his color, lighting, composition and beautiful brush strokes."
This is a painful process; as a creative artist, I always need to face huge amounts of work, and sometimes I run out of ideas. Everyone has a bad time, I can only say “take it easy,” take a time, try to slow down, refresh your eyes, go back to look at your work, and try to break the old idea. This needs a lot of patience and a very positive mentality, to get the inspiration when you have lots of pressures."
What is your dream project?
I want to work with awesome artists, learning and improving from each other, and make some amazing project together!"
What has been the highlight of your DeviantArt experience so far, and how do you see the community as contributing to your growth as an artist?
I like getting references from DA art. Also, as a concept artist, the good thing about DA art is that this website not only has concept art, but there are many different fields where artists post their work. I always get inspiration from these creative people."
What other talent do you possess that others might be surprised to know about?
I love music, I was a guitarist when I was in college. Sometimes, I was trying to illustrate a story by the music. That is a very interesting process to work on, all of the art has a potential to go through with each other, every different music note reflects into a different composition, a different melody transfers to a different color. I always like listening to music when I am creating my artwork."
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can share?
I’m working in the film industry now. My job is doing some blue sky paintings, mood pieces, color key and key frames. Also, I’m a freelancer, I work for a lot of 3D companies worldwide. And I hope I can join some cool project in the future!"