Artist of the Month for March is Lumo
I'm happy to announce that the Renderosity Artist of the Month for March, 2016 is Lumo who received the highest amount of votes from Renderosity members. Lumo hails from Rauma, Finland, and has been a Renderosity member since 2002. Lumo works primarily in 2D with an intuos tablet and photoshop. His work is dark and mysterious with an undercurrent of violence.
Lumo took some time to answer questions about his work and history as a digital artist.
Renderosity: You work primarily in 2D with Intuos tablet and photoshop; why have you chosen these tools as your primarily way of creating art?
Lumo: Photoshop has always been my tool to create. I use it at work (I'm an Art Director at marketing company) and as an hobbyist artist. I've always loved drawing with pens from a child, sketching and doing line-art. Intuos tablet isn't so far from pen and paper. Fastest way for me to create is wacom pen.
Your work is dark and often surreal, are there artists who have influenced you with this mood? And do you think your style/color choices have anything to do with your surroundings in Finland?
Lumo: Zdzisław Beksiński's paintings have an huge impact on me. They are so morbid but at the same time insanely powerful with rich colors and imaginery. David Lynch is my favorite director, his movies have several possible meanings and interpretations which I think is important for surreal art.
Finnish people are dark and gloomy by nature, it's in our blood. But seriously, my style has been influenced by cinematography, paintings, sculptings and literature by talented artists all around the world. Scandinavian esthetic in design is often inspired by nature, simple and functionality. I can see that in my work. I guess it's mix of all that.
How did you become involved in digital art? Do you have a formal education or did you learn on your own?
Lumo: I grew up reading comics and I was in a comic club that created and published hand-to-hand comic collections. Short stories, strips etc. Back then I fell in love with Dave Mckean's illustrations and comic novels. Technically they were cutting-edge art books. Nothing like I had seen before, his visuals combining line-art and photos into beautiful colorful images pushed me to scan my pen sketches and try digital coloring over them. Since then I've been painting digitally.
I studied graphic design in Kuopio Academy of Design and got my degree from there. School introduced Photoshop image editing and illustration courses but I've learned and developed my techniques mostly by myself.
Can you give us a little background on yourself and what you do for a living?
Lumo: I was born 1978 In Mikkeli. I live in the west-coast of Finland with my beautiful 9-year-old daughter Venla (she's quite talented with intuos tablet as well). I mentioned already that I'm an AD in a marketing company. I create visual indentities and commercial illustrations for local business. After a long day with clients it's a relief to relax with good music, wine and painting. It's pretty obvious that I'm a big art enthusiast!
You have such great work in your gallery. It's hard to choose one, but if I did it would be Drift (original version) that is most impressive to me. How did this image come to be created?
Lumo: Drift was actually really fast to do, almost a speed-paint some people can do. Usually it takes about 10-15 hours to finish one image (several sessions). This took 5 hours to paint. Before this I had a longer break from painting and decided to try something really simple with limited color palette. The concept came to life when I was painting. Sleeping character, dreaming and the moment of going where the stream leads. Technically I wanted to add an element to water that had depth. I found this nice bokeh effect texture that gave the image another layer. I thought I added rain drops, but some of friends saw that the character was merging into asphalt! It's always nice to hear how my image works on another level for others. Backstory: My little sister almost drowned when she was 4, I pulled her to safety. I was seven at that time. Very often when you don't think too much what you're painting your subconscious takes over and completes your vision.
How has Renderosity made a difference in your life as an artist?
Lumo: Renderosity community has had a great impact on me as an artist. As a starting artist it's crucial to see how people respond to your artwork. And get the confidence to try different styles and techiques. Comments and critiques have helped me to go forward technically. It's really interesting to see how other members have found their way to express themselves. It's been a great experience all the way.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to learn 2D art creation?
Lumo: Find a style that you feel comfortable with. Keep your eyes open and take notes from artists that you like. You can learn a lot from just viewing someone's technique. Choose a color palette that works with your concept. Think about what kind of emotional impact you want to portray, what are your tools for that. Simple concepts work usually best, but you have to give your viewer some space to think. Have fun with drawing, it's an awesome high when discover something new and your process with an image takes leaps.
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