1: Hello Alice, thanks for taking time away to chat with us. Can you briefly give us a little insight into your background as an artist, and how it all started for you?
Hi there! Uh, the beginning was a long time ago, when I was 9 years old, and started drawing Sailor Moon FanArt. Though looking at those errr…drawings…now I can hardly call them “art” but hey! they were something great for me back then hahaha.
For a few years I drew mostly anime and manga, but then one day I saw “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” on TV and that was it for me: I knew I will have to move on from anime to semi-realism and CG one day.
After an year or so I bought a computer capable of 3D rendering and for the next year or so I worked with Bryce and Poser, then a friend introduced me to Photoshop and my tools of trade switched again. After a few tries to paint in Photoshop 7(without a tablet) in early 2007 I gave up on it and started on web design.
Then, in the last days of 2008 I tried my luck again at painting, with better results (I can say the Pen Tool helped a lot, hahahaha). The following March I got my first tablet, a Genius MousePen 6×8 (no i’m not advertising no worry) and from there…it all came naturally I am 23 now and look back to the old beginning days with a smile..
2: Where do all your ideas and inspirations come from? And why do you love creating them?
…all over? It honestly can be anything, from a song to an image to a text or a dream…really! As for why I like it….I think it has something to do with each person’s way to express their inner life. That plus I love the whole …magic..that goes on when you create something, anything! Yes, that is real magic, and I like that
3: We are very interested to know what type of graphic software’s do you use?
Right now I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 most of the time, but occasionally go back to my old loves, Bryce, Poser, Terragen… I also work with Flash when the project requires it.
4: Do you use any special techniques and tools, such as a tablet, or is it mainly the mouse doing all the work?
Well, for digital painting, if you’re not investing in even the smallest tablet on the market you’re insane hahaha. I remember in the first 3 months of 2009 I was working with the mouse and Pen Tool shapes….it took me about two weeks to finish a picture that with the tablet I finish in two days. Really!
As for my pixelwork/web design I got used to using the tablet even if just to click around…dunno, it’s so handy hehehe.
5: What has been your greatest artistic achievement in your life so far?
Oh…that’s a difficult question. To be honest, I consider myself to be “work in progress” at the moment. If I were to list an achievement, I would probably list those first mouse-made drawings from the beginning of 2009, which in my opinion are as much an artistic achievement as well as a moral one.
I can’t even promise I will have a sure answer to this question in a few years from now, because knowing myself I will always go for a step further and not think of my past work as necessarily an “achievement” hahaha….
6: Are you formally trained as an artist or are you self-taught? There’s a well known debate in the design community regarding the role of education in a designer’s work versus no design education, what do you think about this?
Well, my drawing teacher from 5th grade scolded me for drawing “those horrid things” (aka, my anime drawings of that time)….if that counts as formal training/advice? xD
The rest I’ve learned on my own, with the help of books and tutorials.
I think that even though it’s great to do it all by yourself, because it gives you a powerful feeling on strength and confidence in yourself and your skills, I would say that a “formal” training is necessary for a beginner artist, because learning by yourself is (almost) as if the wheel was invented again..and again..and..again…by every generation.
Having a GOOD teacher could spare the beginner artist of maybe years of work on his/her own.
Another reason why I would recommend formal training is one which is usually avoided…but nonetheless: if you select well the school/course/its teachers where you learn your craft, so that it does more good than bad, it’s also a great way of getting yourself some nice shiny diplomas, which later in life will be very useful, trust me.
We all love the Cinderella story, where the poor skilled artist is noticed and taken on board by a major design company…but in reality it takes loads more work and skill for a self-taught artist to be noticed, than for one who has a CV complete with teacher recommendations and all, I’ve seen it happen.
7: Do you think sketching is necessary for an Artist or is there any other way round?
Sketching is the air that you breathe!
For one, it takes all those ideas you have in your head and puts them on paper, so that you can think clearly without a thousand little voices asking “Me first! me first!” hehehe ^__~
Kidding..partially. The point is it gives you ..well….fluency would be a good word, so that when you go to your canvas and start drawing something without a previous plan, your hand&eye will know exactly how to move and what to do.
Imagine not sketching for a month: when you return to the canvas, it will be much more difficult to put on paper/screen certain poses, for example.
8: Of all of your artwork, which piece is your personal favorite and why?
…both finished and unfinished? Hahaha..well, right now my favorite is a piece which I didn’t get a chance to finish yet. However, from my current gallery…..I think this would be it:
Yes, I know it is a year and a half old, but I still love the soft, loving, happy feeling it gives me when I look at it.
9: The Zodiac – Scorpio is my favorite image, can you tell us little more about on how you went to create this image?
I wanted to do a Zodiac series ^^
And..naturally..I being a Scorpio, started with this particular starsign
I tried to put in it a Scorpio’s challenging attitude to him/herself and others, their inner pride, the affection they can share, their energy, as well as the harmless tattoo which out of nowhere comes to life….a bit of Scorpio magic.
10: Where do you plan to take your designing career in the future? And what do you hope to accomplish in the next couple of years?
I can’t say “Oh I want to work with this or that design studio”.
But I can say that I want to become better at what I do, and that is design. Perfect what I know now, learn more styles, more software’s, return to my old CG love alongside with Photoshop this time, and start to study Animation.
I will develop my Fashion Design portfolio and would love to see them become real clothing, worn and enjoyed by real people.
Sometime in the future (though not sure if it will be withing two years), I would love to work alongside other artists in a studio of our own, a place where everyone would give their best while listening to their favorite music in huge headphones, where plush toys would be as often seen as project whiteboards and blueprints, where each would work on their own and yet like one.
This is what I hope.
11: What are your hobbies and please describe your free time, if you have any?
…are you sure? Hahaha…okay umm..let’s see.
To be honest I don’t have that much free time, but when I do I enjoy things like photography, learning foreign languages, astronomy, knitting, origami, small leather or fabric bags (I have a whole collection of those hahaha), making miniature notebooks, repairing various broken things (tires, statuettes, etc), playing/tuning my remote control car, playing the electronic keyboard (lacking space for a piano), sometimes – though rarely now for lack of time- playing Need for Speed, Guild Wars or Resident Evil…oh, and singing while nobody listens heheh (I don’t have very good singing voice) ^_~
I could list some more but those are minor ones or hobbies for which I don’t have much time anymore so….
12: Well its been a great pleasure and thanks for taking the time out to talk with us.
It was awesome meeting you as well, and thank you for taking the time to put together these questions and giving me the opportunity to share my portfolio with your readers.
And for you, who are reading this now, thank you for having read this far
See you later ^__~
For more information check out Alice portfolio at: http://seiorai.deviantart.com