|We are excited to present a new series of interviews featuring members of the Renderosity Cartoonist Team. Each week these outstanding artists put the "giggles" in our funny bones, and the "thrills and chills" in our adventurous spirits. |
The first of our interviews is with Tony Sellars, better known on Renderosity as Bigt. Tony's Boys [the mischievous dragon trio] have been causing havoc on the Renderosity site for years: running amuck among the Renderosity Gallery Images; playing within the pages of the Renderosity Magazine; and now you can enjoy the newest family of Tony’s imagination, The Mudds, each week on The Renderosity Front Page News - by clicking on Renderosity's Front Page and scrolling down to the 'Rosity Comics Strip!
It is a pure pleasure for me to introduce you to the amazingly talented man behind the laughter — Tony Sellars — the gentle soul with a big heart ...
As the founding member of Renderosity’s cartoonist team: as the official cartoonist for the Renderosity [printed] Magazine, then, heading up Bigt’s Sunday Funnies on The RIM, and now as the lead cartoonist for the Renderosity Front Page News’ Comics Strip, where do you get the inspiration for your weekly strips?
My inspiration mainly comes from life around me, and my own experiences with others … that and a rather overactive sense of humor!.
Please give our readers a history of your Dragons series [or The Boys as they are more affectionately known], and your more recent strip The Mudds.
Well it all really started with one particular image, which is still posted in my Renderosity Art Gallery [The Great Escape], that image received a great community response. Encouraged by that, I followed up with a second, then a third, and so on. Before long, the trio had taken on a "life" of their own, getting into all sorts of mischief.
The Great Escape © Tony Sellars [Bigt]
The Mudds I created with just the comic strip in mind. My vision of these characters, was to get them into all sorts of comical scrapes and situations, similar to “The Boys,” but I wanted a change from dragons. The characters I chose were well adapted and very animated for this type of work.
The Mudds © Tony Sellars [Bigt]
How difficult is it to come up fresh ideas? On average, how much time goes into creating a single strip? What is the process of creating a strip, do you come up with a concept first, or do the characters take you on their own journey?
Well sometimes I simply sit in front of the monitor and wait for ideas to “gel.” Sometimes I may see a particular prop, or perhaps I may have seen something funny during the day that gives me an idea. Most of the time though, ideas and situations simply pop into my head. Once the idea takes hold I then work from it to produce a finished, and hopefully funny strip.
As for how long, well, most of the time once the idea is in there, the actual time spent producing the strip can be very little, perhaps an hour, maybe two.
What version of Poser are you currently using, and do you use additional 3D or computer paint programs to enhance your creations?
I started with Poser version 4, then moved onto version 5 which I loved. I continued to learn as much as I could then moved onto Poser 6 when it was released, this is now my version of choice, I find it very easy to use and the work flow is very productive.
I also use Vue 4 and Carrera 4, both of which have their own brand of qualities, but for speed I always go back to Poser.
Once the images are rendered I use Photoshop to add certain postwork effects, or additions as required by the image. Postwork is the part I actually love doing.
Tony, you have been an active member of the Renderosity community for over five years, so long, in fact that you have become a site icon! What has kept you so involved with the Renderosity community for all these years?
I stumbled across the site quite by accident just after getting Poser 4, I was a “newbie” then of course, it was like finding an Aladdin’s cave of goodies: things to buy, lots for free!
As my interest grew and my style began to develop, I started posting to the galleries, as you all know, you getted Hooked!
I found that the members and staff of the Renderosity site were friendly and extremely helpful and generous, I felt “comfortable” amongst friends with a similar interest as myself. Also, I learned an incredible amount from the site and its members, so much so, that I feel a very strong sense of loyalty towards them. I will continue to be an active part as much as I can.
Although you have “touched” upon your health issues in the past, I know that our readers would like to know how you are feeling these days, and how you are able to balance your health issues with your artwork. How do you use art to cope?
When I first started posting to the site I was recovering from a rather nasty heart attack, therefore I had quite a bit of free time to use. Ideas came thick and fast, and my style and knowledge of the software quickly developed. I was creating image after image as I tried to get the ideas onto screen.
As my ability to use the software grew so did my need to create better and better quality images, if you look at my early images compared to my later ones you will see what I mean.
Then I developed MS [Multiple Sclerosis], this was a real blow. I lost the use of my left hand, both my legs are numb, so is the left side of my head, and I have trouble with vision and balance.
The images quickly slowed to a crawl, I now produce very few, but I work harder on them somehow, working with Poser and Photoshop and communicating with the Renderosity community in general, help me tremendously to cope with long term illness, and of course my family who continue to support and help me … a very sincere Thank You to all.
On a personal note, I have been after you, for a long time, to publish a children’s illustrated book featuring those crazy dragons, have you done anything toward making my dream a reality?
No nothing I am afraid, but having said that, your question to me has now made me think positive, I will start to create a book using the three dragons as the main characters, thanks for the nudge Dee-Marie, I WILL do it !
Besides posting to the Renderosity Front Page News and your Renderosity gallery, what other art projects have you been working on?
I have been approached by Paul of Pama-Art, who is now producing very high quality prints of selected images from my gallery, these are on sale to the general public at various sites in the UK, he is currently working on a website to promote sales worldwide too — and of course I now have a book to produce!
The Boys on the Cover of The Renderosity Magazine - Issue 8
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to share with Renderosity artists on finding and developing their own style?
Words of Wisdom? ME? HAH! .Well, ok.
Only to go with how you feel
Let your own style develop, sure, ask for help around the community, they are a good bunch, but let your style be your own
I personally put a LOT of effort into posing characters well, into giving them weight and a natural ‘feel’, so much so that is now easy for me and I now do it as second nature.
Whatever you choose to do or use, THE main thing is ENJOY Yourself doing it.
Thanks Dee-Marie for your support and encouragement now and in the past. Also, a special thank you to all the members of the community, who take time to comment on my images and who model the fantastic meshes and textures that I use.
Bye for now and I will see you in the Funnies!
We invite you to visit the following sites:
Bigt's Renderosity Home Page
Bigt's Renderosity Gallery
Bigt's Renderosity MarketPlace Store
2003 Renderosity Artist Of the Month Interview
The "Rosity Comics Strip
"Lets Talk" with Dee-Marie
is a monthly featured column
Senior Staff Writer, and
Managing Editor of
Renderosity's Front Page News
Aug 8, 2005