Each month the Renderosity community votes on the Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... June's AOM is vapo!
Who is 'vapo' and how did you come to use this name?
I'm a 46 year old czech swede. Born in Moravia in Czech Republic, but living happily in Sweden since 1995. Feeling myself much more swedish than swedes themselves! And what does "vapo" mean? Oh, sometimes I can regret that I haven't chosen a more clever and crispy username: "va" are the first 2 letters of my forename, and "po" are the first 2 letters of my surname... Brilliant, isn't it? Now I'm established with this label and it's too late to adjust this juvenile sin!
How long have you been working in digital art?
Since I got my very first computer, an ancient Macintosh, back in 1996. I remember how I asked the salesman if it was possible to do the "3D stuff" with that machine. "Of course" was his slightly irritated reply. Now, I can't even imagine how I could work with that slow computer, with tiny screen and very low memory. But, it worked to my full satisfaction then, until I got a more powerful computer. And one more. Now, I'm working on my 4th computer, which performance is light years away from that very first one. I'm still a faithful Mac user.
What are you currently working on?
Just usual renders with the stuff I like. I really don't have any big plans or prolonged projects going on. I usually just open a scene with a human figure, V4 or M4, and then my imagination starts living its own life on the screen. Pretty often, I do surprise myself by the result. Maybe it's time to humbly thank my imagination for doing the job!
As you post in the Mixed Medium Gallery, what all is in your digital toolset?
I always start with Daz|Studio, where I do all the posing work, and where all the expressions, props, clothes or other stuff are added. Then, I export my figures to Bryce, where the real creative part of the work starts, with countless efforts when it comes to lighting, texturing, etc. When I'm happy with the result, I open the finished render in Photoshop CS5 and do the post work. No drastic interventions made here, just covering imperfections with Smudge and Stamp tools, making some color adjustments, adding my logo and so. I used to upload my renders in the Bryce gallery before, but since several softwares are included in the creative process, it felt more accurate to start uploading my work in the Mixed Medium gallery instead.
Are there any tips or tricks you would be willing to share with others using any of the software you use?
The most important tip would be to point out that Bryce is far away from being a landscape software only. In my eyes, it's a very handy rendering software. If anyone is interested by any particular detail in my work, just ask me. I'm always willing to share and reveal my creative secrets!
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
Oh, that's impossible to pick out a single render - until now, I've done more than 600 of them! But, if you force me to chose one, it would be "Together we belong," because of its composition with such complicated poses. I used to be scared to do any advanced posing work with more figures than one, and this particular scene proved that it's possible to do it, even for little frightened me. I'm very proud to have made these poses, plus the particular interaction between the figures.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
Nope. In 3D, I'm totally self-taught. Learning from mistakes, from all the happy accidents, and holding my eyes and senses open for any inspiration, wherever it may come from.
Who, or what, inspires you?
My inspiration has so many sources. Boris Vallejo's imagery blew me away when I first saw this artist's work. Gustav Klimt's harmony and cool elegance. Alphons Mucha's endless beauty and lovely curves. The whole golden age of classical pin-ups and its aesthetics. Cubism, that strongly influenced the way I do my backgrounds. I could just continue in eternity and make this list go on and on, so let us stop here.
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
Every time I go to watch the galleries here, I find lots of amazing and inspiring works from other fellow artists. And I'm glad as a child when I do discover some new "Wow" artist - and there are surely tons of these yet to be discovered! And last but not least, I have found some very good, supportive and loyal friends here I can't even imagine being without. Renderosity is my artistic base, my digital home.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
Don't be afraid to do your stuff, to make your art the way YOU like it. Don't compromise with what you think your viewers want to see from you. I was close to quitting and doing my renders the way it wouldn't be me anymore, after I got some critical comments about so much nudity in my work. Some friends here have convinced me not to compromise, to keep my own imagery going on and simply do my thing as I used to before. These supportive words have helped me tremendously.
My second bit of advice and desire would be to be friendly and supportive to the newcomers. It, without a doubt, means so much to them to feel they're welcomed, appreciated, and seen. I was Mr. Nobody in so many years, believe it or not. Although I was an active member for nearly 10 years, I got my "breakthrough" here on Renderosity quite recently, so I know how it feels to be invisible for the majority.
And finally, try to see outside your own perspective - you might reject all fractals or faeries, pin-ups or whatever - but guess what, you might find a pearl just where you never would've expected it!
Good luck and lots of inspiration to all you fellow artists! And many, many thanks to all of you who have given me your vote in this nomination. I appreciate this enormously!
We invite you to have a further look at vapo's Renderosity Gallery!
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Artist of the Month is highlighting a talented Renderosity artist that has been nominated by mods and admins, and voted by the community. Recognition is given to this member for their collection of works for that year.
Since we only select one AOM per month, it is not about their works for that particular month. Instead, it is about highlighting a talented artist's works for that year, and they are recognized during that month.
To learn more about Renderosity's Artist Of The Month [AOM] award, and to view our past AOM's, please visit the AOM page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.