Decoding Daily Deviations aims to unlock the secrets of what it took to create these magnificent artworks and motivate others to work towards similar recognition. Each week we will present an interview with one artist who has recently received a DD and have them share the details on that specific piece, relating to their creative process, techniques, and narrative inspirations. If you've ever wanted to know more about a beloved artwork and the talented skills applied to it, this is the series to keep track of!"
FEATURED ART: Windrider by Monanu
DD DATE: 2018-05-08
TIME SPENT: 4-5 days
TOOLS/PROGRAMME: Photoshop, Cintique
Share with readers the details of how this piece came into being. Did you have a clear story idea/inspiration from the beginning?
The artwork was intended as an entry to the monthly CDC challenge held on Facebook. The theme of the month was 'Dragons and dragonriders'. With this in mind, I wanted to create something dynamic and epic, but still keep the artwork clean and tasteful."
Your art features a distinctive style that is shown to beautiful effect in “Windrider”. Please, outline your creative process on the painting.
I started off with creating a moodboard with tons of pictures with the same aesthetic feel I wanted to portray. I was mainly inspired by traditional Japanese art, and I researched various Japanese monsters, masks, kimonos and patterns in order to have something to work with.
The initial sketch is quite rough. It was mostly to get a sense of composition, then as the idea changed I ended up with a cleaner sketch before the finished lineart.
As for the coloring, I began with pastel colors, and worked my way to darker shades. First with a flat base, then selected shadows and highlights. I locked the lineart and colored selected areas in a shade similar to the color it outlined (to give it a softer feel). I also tried to avoid black as much as possible.
During the painting, I flipped, re-sized, and moved objects around to my liking, so in the end my layer progress got quite messy."
Did you encounter any challenges? If so, how did you tackle them? Is there anything you would do differently now if you could?
I usually run into challenges during the making of the composition. Windrider was not too challenging because of the symmetry, but I had to redo and change quite a few things along the way. References always helped me out, as did constructive criticism. My boyfriend is also an illustrator, and has been giving me great advice along the way."
What’s one piece of advice (or more!) that you would share with other artists hoping to reach this standard of work in the future?
You should never give up. For about 2-3 years I rarely felt inspired, so I didn't create much. This year, I wanted things to change. I joined competitions and challenges to push myself. It must have loosened up a knot in my brain, because we're only half way through 2018, and I've already created more than twice as much as 2016 and 2017 combined.
I would highly recommend getting critiques from other artists on whatever you're working on. If you don't know anyone in person, you could always find a forum for it. Also, I found myself working so much better when I had a good moodboard at hand. Pinterest has been my best resource for this so far.
As for challenges, I'd recommend the CDC challenge on Facebook. It's fun, and great if you need to push yourself to make at least one piece each month."
What does this DD feature represent or mean to you at this stage of your artistic development? What can your watchers look forward to next?
In 2014 I received my first DD on "Pippi Longstocking". It was quite a rush back then. This is my second, and I still feel just as honored. It is a boost to my self-esteem, and it inspires me to continue to create even more.
As soon as I have time between commissions and challenges, I have a 'fairy tale' themed series of artworks planned. So basically lots more art!"
Previous Decoding DDs:
A penny for a pound... of gold
The White Witch: Dagger
Britannic at night
Great White Bath
Lillian in Gold
Dream Tales - Bell Tree
Odin The Allfather
High on the Hill
In Sleep of Death What Dreams May Come
Nightmare and why we met there
Path of Ruins
Le Cannibal Hotel
Air Awakens Omnibus
Wizard and a Goose
Bewitched and Betrayed
The Cordyceps King
Monster Eating Vampire
Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
The journey and the big fish
The Tomb King
Forest of Bunnies
FIELD OF THORNS: OFFER
Malavestros: Muse of Madness
The Northern Administration
On The Hunt
I know a bank
Love and war
Chase, The Dreamer
Until the End of the World..
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