An Interview with Renderosity Artist/Vendor: Biscuits
"I have a great love for art and letting loose my creativity. I don't have
one specialty, I kind of like variation. Painting, drawing, photograpy,
2D design, fashion design, makeup, texture development and interior
design are all subjects that I'm interested in."
At SIGGRAPH this past August, I had dinner with Jenifer Carey (the VP of Renderosity) and friends. Over an excellent meal, I asked her if she could recommend an artist in the Renderosity community to spotlight on the front page. The first name she came up with was "Biscuits" and I promised to find out more about this member and do an interview. Well, now I know why Jenifer was so excited about letting more people know about this thoughtful and creative artist. This last week I contacted Biscuits and asked her some questions about herself and her work.
Biscuits is not only a creative artist with a specialty in the female figure, but also a much admired vendor at Renderosity, with over 100 "credits" (other members using her artwork) listed in her gallery. Her "Biscuits Hair Trio" is used in many Renderosity artists' images along with several of her Poser poses and textures/backgrounds. It's no wonder as they are all extremely well-done and imaginative. Her penchant for bright colors that compliment/contrast each other is particularly enjoyable. I also find her "Biscuits 2D Patterns" and "Biscuits Magical Props" to be so interesting and well crafted that I'm already thinking of ways to use them in my own projects. Her work is like that, I think. Simple and inspiring.
Biscuits Magical Props
But it's Biscuits artwork that really shines at Renderosity. Her female characters are all very human and full of feeling. The poses are expressive and the camera angles she chooses are unusual, but just right for the figure she's working on. None of the women characters she creates are derivative or cliched either. When you look at the eyes or the expression on the face of the woman in "Curly Cloe," you get the impression that something is about to happen; the character has been caught in an emotional moment and that the artist has captured it perfectly.
Biscuits has a particular skill with nude female figures, but unfortunately you'll have to check her gallery for those as I can't show them here on the front page. I will say that there is an innocence and naturalness to her nude figures that is refreshing. The skin textures are so very good and the poses (which is not easy to get right) are simple, but appear spontaneous. She's done some really great work in images like "Blown Away," which is a favorite of many who have gone through her gallery here at Renderosity, which I urge you to spend time in.
But, let's hear from the Netherlands-based artist herself. Take it away, Biscuits!
Ricky Grove: You joined Renderosity in 2008; what brought you here? And how has renderosity been for you both as an artist and a vendor?
Biscuits: First of all, I want to say that I'm honored and positively surprised by this interview, thank you Ricky!
My interest in Poser brought me to Renderosity, this is a very good place to learn about Poser and the possibilities of the program. I feel very welcome here, people have been very kind, very helpful in the forums and in the site-mail. I've met lovely artists in the chat, and browsing through the galleries is very enjoyable.
I'm also very happy when other artists find the things I make for a hobby useful.
Ricky Grove: Can you go over some of your working methods? What software do you use generally? What is the process of creating images for you?
Biscuits: The best thing for me to trigger inspiration is when I'm alone with no disturbance, so I can work out a new idea in my mind. Unfortunately, not all ideas will see the actual daylight, but imagining things is already half the fun!
I enjoy working with 2D and 3D packages like Photoshop, Illustrator, CINEMA 4D, ZBrush, and, of course, Poser!
What also works well is brainstorming in chats. There are times the group comes up with hilarious ideas, very good for a laugh, but sometimes you really can help each other and get good feedback. Because of the lack of a specialism and interest in so many facets of 2D and 3D, my workflow is never boring or just routine.
Ricky Grove: Tell me a bit about yourself; do you have any training in digitial arts? Are you selftaught? What interests you in creating images and props?
Biscuits: I'm 33 and live together with my husband and our cat. As long as I can remember, drawing and painting were my favorite hobbies. Later, my interests expanded to photography, texture development, interior design and fashion design. I have a degree in Design and Illustration; on the Academy of Visual Arts. I learned my base of 2D, the 3D part came much later and was self-taught. Unfortunately, I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. Life is a very bumpy road that way, but art and coming up with new ideas is a fantastic distraction.
Rock your world
Ricky Grove: I really like the image "Rock Your World"; can you tell me how that piece came about? What was the inspiration?
Biscuits: I like to do simple setups with one figure. I often try to let the character connect with the viewer through eyes and/or body language.
First, I choose a skin texture. I'm very fond of the textures created by Ceridwen and _Fenrissa_. After that, I do some morphing. I used to work mostly with posepacks, but recently bought a fantastic pose tool from William the Bloody. Now I can make a complicated pose in just one hour. And I love to make my own V4 hair.
Something which is very important I think, is the light and camera setup; I mostly do some mixing, matching and tweaking with the lights till it suits the textures best. Then, to finish it up a bit, enhancements are done in Photoshop.
The pictures I still like are "The Muse" and "Blown Away".
Ricky Grove: You are quite skilled in creating hair. Why is hair so interesting to you?
Biscuits: The hair thing fascinates me. I initially started to learn modeling to make my own clothes for Vicky. How ironic that now that I actually can make my own clothes, I mostly make unclothed characters with custom hair. I don't know what happened! It's probably a phase.
Ricky Grove: who are the artists that inspire you?
Biscuits: I love the super-real, the sci-fi and the surreal in images.
There are so many artist who make fascinating art. To name a few: Edward Hopper, Carel Willink, David Ho, Mark Ryden. My favorite artists here at Renderosity are plenty: Stonemason, blackshep, michael119de, EportsBlade, doarte and many more.
Ricky Grove: Here's my last question - What are your plans for future projects? I notice you tend to focus on female figures (hair, poses, clothing), are you thinking of adding male figures to your work at some point?
Biscuits: At the moment I'm not working on anything because the MS has gotten worse and my husband and I are planning to move to a new home that is more suitable for me. But, I would really love to make a complete V4 character, I love doing makeup and custom morphs in ZBrush. And I also have fun ideas for a new Hair Trio. Designing for male figures I tried...I think it's best if I leave that to others. ;)
Portrait of Mimi
My sincere thanks to Biscuits for taking the time to speak with me about her work. I hope you find her comments and artwork as interesting as I have. Be sure to check out her gallery and items for sale in the Renderosity store.
Best of luck on your moving house, Biscuits.
Be sure to also visit:
Ricky Grove [gToon], Staff Columnist with the Renderosity Front Page News. Ricky Grove is a bookstore clerk at the best bookstore in Los Angeles, the Iliad Bookshop. He's also an actor and machinima filmmaker. He lives with author, Lisa Morton, and three very individual cats. Ricky is into Hong Kong films, FPS shooters, experimental anything and reading, reading, reading. You can catch his blog here.
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