Featured Artist Interview: *Kaeltyk

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Good evening, everyone!  JennDixonPhotography and bcre80v with our first fractal artist interview.  

Apophysis is a fractal program in a class of it's own, and we are proud to interview a very unique fractal artist here on deviantARt, Kaeltyk.  Hailing from France, this deviant has a style that is truly his own.  One look through his gallery will tell you that.  Here's a sample of just some of the amazing pieces in his gallery.:

Metalem II by Kaeltyk   Third Eye by Kaeltyk   Chaos XIII by Kaeltyk Access Denied by Kaeltyk   Inner by Kaeltyk

Here are his interview questions in the raw with only minor edits.  

How long have you been doing fractal art and how did you get into it?
I've been into computer graphics for... around 22 years now. I started at 14 coding some mathematical 'carpets' (16 colors, 40*40 resolution that was stretched in a 2:1 ratio if I remember well) and games on my father's Apple ][, when we switched to the Atari 520st at 16 I was able to code the mandelbrot formulas and get some low-res images with a bit more colors !. Then there was Julia sets, then Fractint just made a o art anymore, and had a quite defined style. (he also have a DeviantArt account, EtienneSaintAmant)  He use UltraFractal, and I may soon get into it, but until now I used Apophysis as it was a good starter, now I know it's really more than a 'starter' !
My main influences are... my feeling. I must say that I'm not someone that can be
impressed enough by other's works to try to reproduce it. I do fractals for fun and the
personnal pleasure of exploration, and you can see that I like to explore a lot of
styles, colors, shapes... As I can't stick to one style I'll also name zzzzra and rougeux for really nice fractal arts that are part of my very favorites.
Lately I also discovered :devLuxcarley: and 1ALPHA1 that do not work on fractals, but may have influence on me later because I like their style and this may be a great source of inspiration for a fractal art piece feeling.

What are your favorite transform variations?
Rings2, Fan2, Julian, Rectangle... and all the other ones that would not allow these to
be used efficiently alone :). Archs are also something that I like to play with, even if clear lines are a lot less easy to master in Apophysis, and just kill the deepness feeling you usually have with flame fractals.
If I had to stick to one style only, that would be the Rings2/Julian style, but I hope I'll never have to restrict to this !

How would you describe your individual style?
An explorer style ? There is beauty to be found in chaos and maths at every corner, but
we have to look for it to discover it. I just follow my feelings as I create, and as long as a piece do bring some emotions to me then I keep it. Whatever the style is. So it may be hard for me to describe my style, and looking at my own gallery does not help. I may stick with 'Explorer' style, I like this.  Most of my piece do use my favorite colors, Tan/Brown/Blue, this may be part of my style, even if I also love some pieces that are more colorfull or different, according to the shapes, again my feeling lead me in choosing colors for a fractal piece.

Where did you get your dA name from?
The full name is Kaeltyk Tryskellyon Tindelorm.
It has been a nickname for so long, since I was a RPGs and Celtic Art addict, around 16.
I used it for my main character's name in games, my personnal site, my forum accounts... It was so logical to use it as my DeviantArt name, and I was happy it was not already used! Should it had been used, I would have turned on Tryskellyon, this I'm pretty sure no one ever used ! (a quick search on internet show me... one of my very old game account, and that's all :))

How did you find deviantART?
A long time ago. It did not looked like this at all, it went down, then was up again with
a changed look and different features...twice ? In fact I can't remember when I
discovered it, 6 or 7 years ago ?. I rediscovered it in it's current form with
:devDivineError's: art ('Technical Imperfection' www.deviantart.com/deviation/1…) has been my desktop wallpaper for
soooo long). Only when my fractals turned nice and I felt like sharing and showing them that I decided so create a 'true' on-line gallery back in January, and it was pure logic that I did choose DeviantArt for this as I was roaming it from time to time. The clean/pure design of the site also helped a lot as I like this.

What is your personal favorite piece out of your gallery?
Without any doubt, 'Shine'!
Shine by Kaeltyk
It's a really recent piece, and it did not took me too long to finalize - a bit more than
one hour after taking an existing flame and reseting all the transforms - but I Love it.
The balance, shapes, colors, abstraction, textures and feeling looking at it, everything
make me fond if this. I was also looking for a printable piece at the same time, and the
fact that my wife also like it was welcome (she is not fond of spirals, and fractals are
almost always based upon spirals ! :))

Who is your worst critic?
If I do understand the question well (which I'm not sure of), I don't think of any.

What feature do you think should be added to Apophysis?
Layering ! Or, at least, using a background image. This I do using Gimp, but it's harder
to render flames at locations or transparencies that may not be nice when layered, So you have to render them again at a more suitable place still without any preview of the
result. Layering flames could be so great!  Of course I don't use layering a lot and only started recently, but I think I may use it more and more to achieve more complex works.

Have you ever used any other software besides Apophysis to create fractals? If so,
which ones?

I did used Fractint, home made softwares and Povray a lot when I was young. All the
renders were lost, so you'll never see them, and I never found enough energy and time to get back in writing my recursive scripts for Povray.
Recently I tried myself at Mind-Boggling Fractals, ChaosScope and MutatorKammer to see some different fractals, thanks to some Deviant Artists that made some interesting pieces with them. What I think is that Apophysis is way more friendly user than the other ones, but I still like to watch what's happenning on the fractal-software scene.
Finally I'll go into UF and Xenodream soon, the later for my birthday as this will be on my list (a list that is usually empty, this will be a surprise for those who'll ask me of
my wishes :D).

How many hours, on average, do you spend on creating a fractal flame (not including the render time)?
A lot of time if you consider the submitted flames versus all the unrealeased work. I
usually start from a previously done flame (I often save flames for being 'seeds' ), and
tweak it until I find something nice (or not, I'd not want to count the time I spent on
unreleased flames...). If you add time for the first flame and the tweak, It may already
take at least 20 minutes and go up to a few hours if I feel there's something nice and
I'm trying to 'catch' it. That is speaking if the base flame was not an already worked
one. Then there is color tweaking, which take a long time, even if my favorite gradients
are known, as I work all parameters (gamma, brightness, background, colors parameters for each transform, gradient tweaks...). A single color work can take up to an hour too, if it involve testing and twitsting and tweaking.
A single flame is time consuming, but as there is often some offsprings in the same style
several art pieces may come out in a few minutes after, then I choose a few or just the
best to be displayed.

Why do you do it? If no one but you saw your work, would you still want to continue
creating fractals?
(submitted by Lovely-Demented)
I was creating fractals before showing them, and I'll keep on creating if I was not able
to show then anymore. It's a personnal pleasure before all to achieve a beautifull image.
Of course, sharing is better, I do really appreciate a lot of the works submitted to
DeviantArt and bringing my touch to show what is possible with a simple fractal software.  Lately I did searched more and more for art pieces to be printed for my home, home-made of course, and that is a great motivation source !

Do you have something in mind when you start your work? Or do you play with the
software until you find something you like?
(submitted by Annushkka)
Sometimes I do, but most often I open Apophysis while waiting for something else to end and play with it. At first I did play a lot with the software, I think I spent the first
6 months on Apophysis just random-batching fractals 10 by 10, watching their mutations... and when they were interesting, mutating them and saving them. Then I started to look at the editor and how it worked, and looked at the transforms. Then I played with the triangles, looking at their effects. I can say that today I know some of the transforms well, but not all of them, and when creating a piece I sometime know that I'm going to use some transform or another.
For small sessions, I often take one of my old flame and just change something at random, reset all the transforms and move the triangles to find something new. My best flames came of this kind of manipulations. Of course, I still use my feeling for each transform, now I can almost anticipate what will be the result by moving it and watching the preview. Unfortunately, this is not something a beginner can do, I think this experience can't be shared and must be self-taught, and need a long training.
Fractals are a nice art, but predicting a result may not be easy, creating a fractal with
a clear idea of the result may be the hardest task you can find with Apophysis !

Do your emotions sometimes affect your fractals? (submitted by FractalEuphoria)
Almost Always ! I would never submit a piece that bring me no emotions, except for the
technical interest of it. And even in this case, I may not submit it but wait to find
some inspiration to tweak it in a more artistic way. I may be a chaotic but very calm
person, and I think this can be felt in my art. Every piece is very different, go in
every direction, but is still constructed around something 'solid' and a feeling I get
when looking at it, whatever it is (sometime I can't even analyze what I feel, but as
long as a piece attracts me...). No pure chaos, I could no appreciate it.

Are you a purist? How do you feel about non-fractal software postwork on fractals? (submitted by esintu )
I'm not at all a purist, post-working may bring life to an emotionless fractal, even if
I'm really poorly skilled in this domain. Considering I spent one year mastering some
parts of Apophysis and flame fractals, I don't want to think about how much time I would
have to spend to master some post-processing tool like Photoshop, that may be a reason why I stick to some 'raw' result from Apophysis, or some simply layered flames.
But I'm really open to any nice piece of art made using mixed media and post-processing. I did even saved some Apophysis parameters to work on some vectorials composition using fractals backgrounds, but that will come when I'll have some free time ! I also used to do some traditionnal celtic art and calligraphy, and I can't stop thinking about how I could use fractals backgrounds for some nice works...

Kaeltyk was an excellent interview subject and we want to thank him for his great answers!  We hope you enjoyed this feature interview with an amazing artist.


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