Each month the Renderosity community votes on The Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... January's AOM is BlacKeri. We congratulate BlacKeri for her outstanding work in the 2D Gallery!
Who is 'BlacKeri'?
First of all, please let me express my gratitude, as I have never expected such a great honour to happen to me. Really, I nearly choked to death on a candy I was eating while I heard the news. So, thank you all so, so much, for the great support, for this Award, and for every bit of feedback I have ever gotten. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. :)
Blackeri basically came from merging two words: black, being my favourite colour, and Keri, one of my favourite female names. To be honest, it was first thought up as a roleplaying nickname around 5 years ago...by my mom (Do I also get a Most Cheesy Story Award now?). Anyway, I liked it quite a lot and converted to this name, which then became my official nick, the artistic identity I now go by in the CG industry.
As a person, blackeri is dark, ironic, with a twisted sense of humour. She prefers sad, depressing and angry music, dark colours and mystical themes. However, that's not the full Marta. Of course, blackeri is a huge part of my personality, but I am not as enigmatic as some people assume I am. In real life, I generally am an energetic and happy person... But I just find such things boring to paint. It is the dark, mysterious side of humans that truly inspires me.
Seven Deadly Sins: VANITY
How long have you been rendering/doing computer graphics?
Well, back in 2001, I started using the computer more actively, colouring my manga sketches in Macromedia Flash, leaving realism for pencils on paper. After a while, I discovered Painter and rendered my first realistic digital portraits with a mouse. The real beginning of my adventure with computer graphics, however, I would claim to be summer 2002, when I bought my first tablet. From that moment, I gradually stopped using traditional media. I abandoned the crayons and pencils, nowadays sketching only on special occasions.
What are you currently working on?
This year, just as the previous one, I am devoting to technical improvement. I rarely take commissions and spend most of my time on personal paintings, which allow me to experiment and be flexible. Currently however, I am participating in very interesting commercial projects (workshops, articles and the like), one of which includes painting a concept design of a necromancer, which I will share with you soon. :)
His Only Friend
What software/equipment do you use and why?
As for equipment, I've got: Dual Core Intel 1,8GHz processors, a Geforce6600GT graphics card, 2GB DDR2 of RAM, 3 * 300GB hard drives and a Wacom Intuos 3. Maybe it is not really top notch, but it's exactly what I need to keep Painter and Winamp running smoothly.
As for software, I am currently using Painter (both Procreate and Corel) and Photoshop CS. At the moment, I am also a happy beta tester of the new to-be-released Corel Painter X. As to why, well, both Painter and Photoshop offer different advantages to the user. While Painter is much more intuitive and useful for sketching or basic colour blocking, Photoshop gives unending possibilities of customization, such as creation of user defined brushes, which are crucial for successful texturing.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
Oh, I don't know, really. I tend to be extremely skeptical about my artwork. If I work on a painting for too long, and this practically is always the case, even if I am satisfied during the process, I usually end up feeling unhappy about it once I finish. I cannot really say what would the best of my paintings be, as it all depends on the criterion.
My most popular painting, a breakthrough in my art-life, is the first from my Deadly Sins Series - Vanity, still very dear to me. When it comes to technical-best, I would say my biggest achievement (next to my current yet unreleased project) is my newest Renderosity upload, Pandora. In this piece I have managed to improve the anatomy, skin tones and lighting and I'm still quite proud of it. Other images, such as Love, I feel attached to just because of the symbolism and emotions they embody.
Who/what inspires you?
As to who, well, most of the time I admire certain paintings or artists because of the technique they represent, rather than the subject, as my mind is already bursting with ideas. A technical brilliance I see in an old master's painting or a CG piece I spot on the web makes me want to try harder and harder and constantly seek improvement. When it comes to the content of my works, I gain my inspiration from all of those mundane, everyday things, like commercials, games, emotions, music or colours. Sometimes it is hard for me to even specify what inspired me to paint a particular artwork, since very often the idea just pops right out of nothing in my head.
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work,
relationships, and learning?
The role of Renderosity and its influence on my art-life is simply unquestionable. It is one of the first communities I joined to show my artwork at. The fabulous, warm feedback and constructive criticism I received encouraged me greatly to keep on painting and definitely helped me improve. It was more important to me back then, than ever later in the future, as at the beginning of my so called "career" I felt very awkward and insecure about myself.
The possibility to interact with others and learn from them has proved to be golden. Thanks to this community, I got my very first commissions, had a chance to meet so many kind people, some of whom I still keep in touch with, but also, what is of great value to me, I discovered a great inspiration, Christina Neofotistou (cneofotistos on Renderosity).
Parting Comments / Advice to other Artists?
I am often asked what are the secrets to successful painting: what should one do to achieve a style that is commercially successful. And unfortunately, I only have an unsatisfying answer: there is no golden solution for such a problem! I think many starting artists spend more time worrying over how to paint and how to be famous, rather than painting itself. There is no point in copying a certain, already popular style in hope that it will sell and get you up the ladder.
What everyone, in my opinion, should do, is just keep on striving for originality. A style is a factor combined of certain elements, such as artist's sensitivity, use of colour, symbolism, themes, pure technique and so on... Something this complex can only develop naturally, through constant hard work and it certainly cannot be hurried or forced. So my advice would be: Don't stress, have fun and it will all come in due time!
Please have a further look at BlacKeri's Gallery!
Be sure to visit the Renderosity 2D Gallery, and also pay a visit to the Renderosity 2D Forum!
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copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the artist.
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 2007 page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.