Artist of the Month for February is liquidminduk
It is my pleasure to announce that the Renderosity Artist of the Month for February, 2016 is the artist liquidminduk. liquidminduk received just over 80% of Renderosity members votes for the remarkable work in his personal gallery. He is primarily a Maya artist and has experience in game design. Here is a short quote from his bio:
Hey guys n gals, well heres some of my images, hope you like them, I used to work for Electronic Arts a while back, and a short time with Climax, hope you like, thanks for visiting...
liquidminduk is also quite an accomplished musician. His collection of compositions Titans of Old (he also did the illustrations for the music) is available for listening at his bandcamp page.
We were able to speak to liquidminduk this week and ask him some questions about his wonderful art works and his music.
liquidminduk: Hello all! Wow, it's an honor to be voted Artist of the Month after my many years on Renderosity. After looking back at my gallery its actually really interesting to see some of my older works (2003 haha) and see my own progression over time. Well, a little about me. My real name is Daniel Arnold-Mist, I'm originally from the UK but I've been located in China for almost 16 years now! wow... time flies. I'm currently the art director for Re-Roll Entertainment (www.re-roll.com) , an awesome game studio in Beijing, working on quite a few projects including a hardcore RPG "Karnage" which will be released very soon.
I've been in the industry for quite a few years now, starting my career in EA way back in 2001, there have been a lot of ups and downs, but I hope to answer your questions as honestly as I can below!
Renderosity: You have such skill with Maya. How did you get started modeling and why did you choose Maya as your tool of choice.
I started modeling at the age of 13 (now 35) at my high school on an old Mac program called Mini Cad, from an early age I knew I wanted to get in to either film or games ever since seeing the movie Labyrinth (Rest in peace Bowie). So, originally I actually wanted to get in to animatronics (yeh, I wanted to make robots for a living! haha) with an aspiration to work with the Jim Henson studio. After a few years the industry started to shift more towards the digital with the release of movies like the original Jurrassic Park. So I decided to pursue that area more! Eventually I got my hands on Maya, and I never looked back. I can use other 3D software, but I prefer the raw modeling power of Maya combined with it's excellent rigging capabilities.
Titans of Old album cover
Titans of Old images are so great. And you've made an album of music to go with the imagery. Can you tell me how Titans of Old came about?
The Titans of Old album was actually spawned from one quick song I made "The Titans of Old", the story of Jason. After completing the song, I wanted to complete the story, so I decided to make a mini concept album all based around the concept of the journey of Jason. The image was inspired from the song The castle in the sky on the album, as well as an all time favorite Ghibli movie of mine Laputa.
The music is just so great; have you been studying music for a long time?
I started playing music at around the age of 16, my father taught me my first few songs and I progressed by myself over time. I was accepted in to the Academy of Contemporary Music in London, but I chose art over music at that time. It's a decision I don't regret, but I always wonder where my life would of ended up if I had chosen a different path.
How does it fit in with your interest in digital art?
I believe that art and music are one and the same, the imagery that music can create in your mind can inspire endless creations, and I believe art is the same. Look at an image, and listen...
Tell us a little about how you work on a new digital art piece: do you have a particular workflow?
Working in the industry and working on personal works are two completely different beasts. For industry work, obviously there are multiple people and processes involved. But for personal work, I usually start sketch modeling in Maya (just blasting out ideas from my head) If I like the direction I'm going, I will start again from scratch, thinking more about a clean and precise model. If the model requires it, I will then jump in to Zbrush to get all of the nice details in there. I use Photoshop for texture work and eventually jump back in to Maya for renders with Mental ray.
Who are some of the artists that have influenced you both in digital art and in music?
I have some very obvious inspirations with my personal art work, Meats Meier being one of my main inspirations, his use of negative space always impressed me. Another current artist of note is Pascal Blanche, the true master of color theory! With music, I listen to everything. But some inspirations come from David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Michael Hedges (The guitarist from another planet)
How has Renderosity made a difference in your growth as an artist?
Renderosity was literally the first place I ever posted my work on-line all those years ago. I believe constructive criticism is the key to becoming a great artist and the community here helped me a lot in my early discovery of 3D. These days I get very little time to create personal works, but I always direct new artists to the site for inspiration and help from the community.
And, lastly, do you have any advice for someone just starting our in digital art creation?
The best way to learn is to do. When I started out in digital art, there were very few schools that taught it. So experimentation was a big part of my learning experience. Try new things, click that button even though you don't know what it does, you might be surprised. Don't be afraid to start over, if you can do something once, you can do it again better, and sometimes, a blank canvass is the most difficult place to start.. so add a color, a line, or a scribble. It may turn in to something great!
Thank you again to Renderosity and the community. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask away!
Visit Daniel's (liquidminduk's) Gallery at Renderosity and listen to his music at his Titans of Old bandcamp page. I just love this music!
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