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New, fresh and unpredictable - an interview with Piotr Jablonski

Michal / Evermotion 2013-05-13 13:09 article  > Interview

Drawing is my hobby, passion and work.

Piotr Jablonski a.k.a nicponim / digital painter, concept artist, illustrator / Poland / graduated in faculty of Architecture - Technical University of Bialystok.

NICPON.jpgDrawing / Painting is my hobby, passion and work. I used to play basketball a lot, actually forgot about the sport and I have to admit that I miss it. I go to gym, from time to time I swim. Activity is very important when you spend most of the day sitting on a chair and staring at the screen...

How did You start painting? When it became digital and why? Do You have any educational background in this matter?

Ever since I can remember, I was always scribbling something - in a notebook or on the wall. As a youngster I was totally interested in graffiti and it was my main motivator to paint more and more. A friend in high school recommended me to use a tablet with a computer program. At first I approached this with reluctance, then it started to feel more and more satisfied with my creations. Today I can't imagine working with any other media.


Speaking of education-I am self-taught. However, I attended a yearly course preparing for my drawing exams on the faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, but I do not think it defined my future. Also, the studies were far from what I do now...


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Image made for EvermotionVFX

How long have You been in the industry?

I make digital paintings for about 7 years, but professionally I do it for about year and a half.

You are a freelancer. Do You like it?

Of course, there are many advantages and disadvantages of this type of work. Personally, I really appreciate calmness and I focus on the project. I am not distracted by people working next to me, so I work more efficiently. On the other hand, I am quite an open person, so sometimes I simply want to talk to someone, laugh and rest from the project – so it is a disadvantage of working alone.

Another plus in being a freelancer is the time management-if I want to sleep a little more, or take a free time, I do not have to ask anyone's permission. But there is a trap - it is easy to lose track of time and get lazy. You have to be very disciplined and hard for yourself.


Another plus is the comfort in selecting projects. I like to work on projects that are fun. If I feel that the job does not suit me, I just give up and choose the one that will be the best for me at the moment. And last but not least – on some projects I can work virtually anywhere, at any time.


What advice would You give to people that want to start freelancing?

Well, certainly I would advise to prepare a place for your work - a comfortable chair, a good display screen, and a desk for tablet and freehand drawings. It is good to set the working hours. I'm trying to work 8-10 hours daily. And the most important advice - while working avoid browsing the internet for stupid stuff! :)


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Image made for EvermotionVFX

Can You tell us about your clients? Who are they?

My clients are from all the places around the world. I've been working for companies from Greece, USA, England, Japan, Sweden, Russia, and of course from Poland.

What types of projects You are interested in?

I like untrite projects. Of course I am aware that in the era of ubiquitous kitsch and stupidity, it's hard for such orders. I have no dream customers which I would like to work for. What counts is the idea a better idea, the idea ... and of course money (haha). Creating my own animation would be a total fulfillment for me but for now it remains only a dream...

Which part of creation is most important in your opinion?

Each stage of the job is important. If I had to choose, however, I would point the initial stage of the image - composition, color and lighting. Those really make the initial phase of production. The rest is in the details, fine-tuning.

What programs do You use? Do You have any special brushes of yours? Favorite tools?

I use Photoshop. I mostly use several brushes from Pelenga's collection possibly, or maybe Jaime's Jones? It is hard to say really ... I also love the program Alchemy - it's brilliant for ideas, sketches.


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Private project - Dragon Hunters. Color, lighting and composition excercise

What do You think about using photos in digital painting?

Once I thought it was some kind of a cheat. However, over time I realized that it does not matter - the result counts. If the tool allows certain techniques, why we shouldn't take the advantage of it? You have to play the game as good as you can. Of course, I admire more hand painted stuff, where you can see, how much work did artist put into the creation process, but I have no hard feelings for any artist who pastes or paints over pictures. Often it is necessary to fit in the short time-frame and in this case you need to use every method allowed by software - I think it is understandable.


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Big planet - scene inspired by life: three drunk friends staring at the night sky


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Another scene for EvermotionVFX

Where do You find inspirations for your works? Do You have your favorite artists?

Many ideas come accidentaly – while I am walking, driving a car, or even partying with friends. Often I look through some photographs of more or less well-known authors. Every day I look through works of other digital painters, each of them inspires me and gives me a powerful kick of motivation.
I like many artists - Craig Mullins, Jaime Jones, Sergey Kolesov, Ashley Wood, Jeremy Geddes, Zdzislaw Beksinski, JC Leyendecker, Schiskin, Stanislaw Acorn, Tom Lovell... There are really many of them and everyone is unique.
I admire them for their workshop and ideas.


What is your goal in digital painting?

I have been asking myself this question for a long time. Definitely I want to overcome certain limits, to break patterns. I would like to create a unique style that would enable people to distinguish my work from others. I believe that everything is a matter of time and hard work, so I am humbly waiting for this moment...


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Private project - vision of a city

Can You give some advice for people who are starting their careers in digital painting?

Work, work and work again. Observe others, do not give up when having a hard time and enjoy the increasing quality of your work . At the same time you should be self-critical about your work, listen to opinions of others, even the people that have little in common with digital painting. Set high standards and humbly aim your goals. Oh, and did I tell you to work, a lot ?


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A scene for EvermotionVFX

What is most difficult for you in CG? What is that You enjoy the most in CG or that You don't like doing?

Combination of crtl + z (haha). There are many advantages working in CG - certainly reduced working hours, better contact with the customer, the ability to quick fixes, multitude of features and tools. Of course, no tool can ever replace traditional painting or freehand drawing. Sometimes I miss working with a pencil or pen and paper.


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Devil pipe

What do You think about nowadays market for CG? Is there a big competition? Are clients needs changing? How? Is it easy to be succesful in CG nowadays?

Currently, there is a lot of people doing really excellent works. Very often I discover another that surprises me with his fresh look and high quality works. There's a lot of training, tutorials, books and magazines so more and more people are attracted to CG.

I believe the style differences are able to distinguish us from the generality . Therefore, I always try to do something in a different way. New, fresh and unpredictable. It is apparently difficult, because customers tend to be focused on pulp for the masses. You do not need an original idea - you need an idea that will sell, which is somehow known and well received by the masses. Therefore in movies or games, fantasy for instance, we see a beautiful warrior in excellent shape rather than worn out, ugly old lady, trying to swing an ax. What matters is the attractiveness, effectiveness. I do not know if it is easy to be happy, fulfilled, well-known in the industry. But if you have a head full of ideas and you hit a chord with the customer, you can count on success.


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A scene for EvermotionVFX

Can You show us some step by step of your work?

Sure! The first stage of the work starts in my head. I have a vision that I would like to move for 'virtual sheet'. In this case, it was a demonic old grandmother running from this old tractor-do not ask me where this idea came from.


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I often wonder what stuff sits in my head :)


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I start from simple splotches and I mark the horizon line. I determine composition and base color; this way I define the mood of my work. Then I trace a quick sketch of the grandmother being in the foreground - I do not focus on this too much – there is no need for a nice line art.


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Then I apply base color, and make a rough shape of face.


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Little more details...


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At this point the first stage in the operation closed: objects are in the scene, so is a base color and lighting. Now it's time for my favorite stage – making the details and final shapes.


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It involves a lot of painting, sometimes flattening the layers,...


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...looking for different color variations...


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...adding details, etc.


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Color correction


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And hunting for grannies is complete!


Thanks for an internview and cheers from all members of Evermotion team!



Author: Michal / Evermotion Editor: dr_After
Tags: interview
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