Thanks to my talent for sketching, I developed advanced skills in CG and cartoon animation. I studied 3D animation and Multimedia Graphics at British Universities and worked on numerous projects and companies. Although I have a style of my own, I like to challenge myself by experimenting on different styles and various concepts. What I enjoy doing most at this point, is making characters and animations for Flash games.
This story is a bit shocking...I learned to draw at a very young age after I saw my dog getting killed by a car in front of my eyes. I spend days drawing the driver's face and car. My sketch helped the police get the guy! Nah just kidding! I just liked to draw ever since I can remember. Yeah, reality is boring! Ok, enough bad jokes for 1 page XD
What do you do for a living?
I'm a cartoon illustrator, animator, director and I also doing some Flash games
Were you professionally trained or self taught?
Self taught mostly. I had some early Fine Art type of lessons when I was 8 to 11 years old but I didn't really learn anything. Instead I was inspired my 80's comics but the Fine Art teachers never approved of my comic style. When I turned 16 I got my first computer and began drawing in various drawing programs and 3Dstudio4. I decided that CGI is what I want to study further. I went to the UK and managed to get a BA in multimedia Graphics and an MA in 3D animation. I learnt Flash and Photoshop from online tutorials
Your projects have a variety of styles. Do you have a style of your own?
I like experimenting with new styles, depending on my mood, project, or what is asked of me. It's refreshing to adapt new styles and techniques because it keeps my work fresh and I don't lose interest of what I do. It's funny how a guy after seeing my work, called me "one man studio"! My personal digital style is a mixture of cel-shaded cartoon and sometimes realism, with clean lines [link]. My personal traditional style is a bit rougher [link].
What is the most fascinating part of being an artist?
Creating new worlds, inhabited by my own characters and telling their stories. When I have to think as these characters, it's like taking a break from myself, I become someone else, and in a way, I live their adventures. Seeing a situation from many perspectives, even from a point of view that you wouldn't normally have. Then, you need to support the character's choice and figure out how the other characters react and what are the consequences after that! Simply mind-blowing!
Which works influenced you the most?
Most of my influence is old school but sometimes I like to remember where I came from: Donald Duck by Carl Barks, Witchblade/Darkness by Top Cow (1996), Starwing, D and Tekken while doing my first 3D (1997), Street FIghter 2, MacGyver, Akira, Batman, Smurfs, Road Avenger from Mega CD, Sonic3, Sandman.
Where do you get inspirations from?
Anything may trigger my imagination. Inspiration is not something that can be controlled, unless I'm looking for something specific. In that case I research for artwork or info, and go from there. I do have a golden rule about this: If the goddess of inspiration hits me on the head, I won't let her go, because then she abandons me for weeks. When I'm inspired to do something, I do it, or I never get it done. Being lazy is the easiest thing to do and self-motivation is the hardest.
What types of project are you attracted the most? Why so?
Right now I'm attracted to cel-shaded Flash animations and Flash games. It's just something about seeing my characters being playable. Its not just an animation you see once. You keep on playing with my characters in a game, which makes it worth it so much more! In 2010 I made my first complete mini-game called Ghastle Hassle and I was quite happy about it.
In which types of illustrations you consider yourself weak?
I like to think that I'm weak in the things that don't interest me much, such as highly realistic characters and backgrounds.
What motivates you, and helps your creativity when you’re in an art slump ?
When I'm angry, or moody and I need to isolate myself and do some soul-searching, that's when my best creations are made. Gore in the Dark was made when I was tired of searching for a job, Waterloop was made when I lost my first job, Ucogi was made when I had a fight with my girlfriend and Twilight New Moon Parody was made when I got sick seeing that hideous movie, and making that parody was the only remedy! Weird as it sounds, good things such as girlfriends or summer distract me from being good at art! A few of my animations are unfinished because I had great time elsewhere! Of course vacations help me recharge my batteries. Sometimes I deliberately cause a slump, only to start again with new strength! Being idle for a while, play games, watch movies for hours, makes me feel bad of myself and when I return to animating characters is when I feel alive again. Creation derives from darkness!
Describe a difficult project situation and how would you overcome it?
"Make 8,000 images in 3 months"! I get serious, I get crazy, I pump up the music, I isolate myself, and I get the job done. I can work fast, and while working I can figure ways of speeding things up some more. If the deadline is impossible, then the product's quality will decrease. I believe in the triangle "quality - quantity - price". You can have any two! :)
What is your life motto?
Be good to others. Be fair. Don't lie (much)!
What drawing tools do you use?
Traditionally Pilot V-ball0.5 and digitally mostly my medium pen tablet and Flash.
In what kind of a work environment do you do your best work?
Silence, without distractions. Listening to my fav music. A person that cooks is welcome if he/she doesnt talk much :P
Which is your favorite piece and why?
That would be "Veinverse"! It's not a single piece but a whole world in my head, where all my creations co-exist. In that world Sleyce goes to the same school as D and Julia, Rei and Pipi are a TV show, Amity is a videogame, and Ucogi tries to save Amazing Amazons and reveal her past!
What is the weirdest/funniest comment you ever received on a piece of art?
In Waterloop, people were telling me that they want to be a water drop and live Walter's adventures! Also what they want to do to my sexy blonde maid, Ucogi! :P
Any other hobbies besides drawing?
I love volleyball and cycling but none of my friends are interested, so I rarely do that myself. I like to follow the news in politics and religion and hopefully mix them in a story at one point. I like studying human lives, behaviour and form and I also enjoy daydreaming and vacations! Also I like playing with animals, especially dogs.
Favorite movies? Games? TV series?
I like action movies when a simple guy goes against conspiracies/governments and thrillers. I avoid vampire, supernatural, horror and drug related movies. I mostly enjoy 2D games. Some of my best games are Thief III, Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania IV , Zelda III, Tekken 2, XIII, Second Sight. Some of the series I enjoy are crime shows: 24, MacGyver, Flashpoint.
You listen to music while you work? If so what's your favorite tunes?
Yes, unless I want silence or work with sounds in an animation. I'm into Symphonic Metal and Ambient chill out. My fav bands: Nightwish, Sirenia, Tristania, Dreamtale, Love Crave, Offspring, GreenDay. Darkseed
What are your plans for the future / long range goals in your life??
Make Flash games (maybe some sexy ones!) Create a name for myself. Give inspiration to other artists. Make money, live with comfort, help people and keep on drawing. Have a statue of me in my hometown for the seagulls to shit on. After seing what Xena and Jack Bauer did in their lives... everything seems so pointless! But I know that I don't want a family or kids anytime soon. I give birth to several characters every month!
Any tips for us to improve our own work?
Here are a few things in general:
1) Plan before you do anything!
3) Be curious. Go out there and learn all you can. Tennis, rafting, swimming, lockpicking. You kneed knowledge of everything if your job is to depict everything! Here's a test: can you draw a bicycle without looking at one? Go on, try it!
Here are a few general rules for the animators:
1) Always center the characters or the object of focus.(TV safety guides and subtitles)
2) Follow Jump cuts and 180 degree camera rules.
3) The camera should zoom or pan in a steady speed. In case the camera needs to stop moving, it has to slow down, just before it stops completely.
(Sometimes when the camera pans or zooms out, it has the habit to speed up and then stop suddenly. It's a mistake that occurs often in Flash animation because Flash doesn't have an actual camera control.)
4) Watch out for unwanted transparencies or layers overlapping
5) A zoom-in or a mirror perspective of the scene, are not really different camera angles. The characters need to be seen from a diff angle
6) Use smart transitions. from sun to guitar, similar shapes etc.
7) Transitions only take place when the place or time changes
8) Don't use images that don't belong to you e.g. for wall posters and paintings)
9) In cell-shaded art, the brighter color should be at the top of an object, because most times the light comes from above.
For 3D modeling I made this step-by-step guide [link]