(Click to view the gallery)
Artist: Matthew Attard (View his artwork here)
ISF: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am a freelance artist specializing in digital art, depicting mostly fantasy and science fiction landscapes. My goal is creating “places I and others would like to see”. I have created artworks for novel and CD covers, posters and online games, as well as various personal projects.
ISF: How long have you been doing digital art and when did you start doing it professionally?
My first ever attempts at digital art were as early as the year 2000 or 2001. But I didn’t start taking it seriously until around 2006 when I saw that it had potential and was something a home-grown artist could perform, and not always necessarily the product of a major studio collaboration. That was motivation enough for me to abandon my traditional media and focus more seriously on my digital work.
ISF: What tools do you use? How long does it take for you to create an artwork?
Photoshop is my main software of choice. Vue is also another significant player in my artistic field, that makes it much more enjoyable to experiment with landscapes. It gives me a good render for my 3D models I use for other projects. These models are created in Cinema 4D and imported to Vue where they are textured and rendered.
I often use Photoshop afterwards for enhancements. It’s not unusual for 2 or more of these programs being used in my work. And it’s not unusual for me to spend over 10 hours fine-tuning all the details and possible colour and lighting variations.
ISF: What inspires you? What challenges have you faced?
My inspirations come from nature and astronomy mostly. That’s why I often combine landscape work with space or science fiction elements. I also get some good imaginative material from videogames too, and not always ones of the fantasy or sci-fi genre. My challenges are mostly battles with a PC that refuses to co-operate.
I wish I could say “as a digital artist, your possibilities are endless”. Digital artists can be just as restricted as traditional ones, not by medium, but rather the power and handling capabilities of their computer and software. Big ideas can sometimes be too big for my computer to co-operate, so creatively substituting and sacrificing is a challenge in itself.
ISF: What advice would you give to budding digital artists?
Digital art is a very enjoyable medium to learn…once you get past of the confusion of the program’s interface that is, but much of it is common sense. Tools like the brush or eraser pretty much speak for themselves. Experimenting shouldn’t be considered a scary gamble like it is with traditional art, you can’t “ruin” your work as long as that “undo” button is there. 3D art is more challenging and not as beginner-friendly as digital painting I must admit, but in this age of the internet – valuable tutorials for either are just a Google search away.
Learning digital art is not just for the college student, but by all means, take every opportunity to learn that you can get to help accelerate the process.