Today we have an interview with the amazing Grypwolf
, a twenty-three-year-old digital artist from Finland!
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
Tell us a bit about your art and yourself as an artist. How long have you been doing art? What kind of art do you do?
Hi! My name is Jonna and I am a 23 years old digital artist from northern Finland. My mom says that I was born with the urge to draw and create stuff with my hands. As soon as I first time grabbed the pen in my hand, she had to cover our house with old newspapers - every single day, before I learned how to stay on paper and not to draw on everything I saw. But I indeed loved drawing and I still do. Of course when I still was a young, there was no computers and "digital art", so I started with traditional. My favorite medium had to be just a regular pencil or cheap markers. Oh that joy when every single Christmas someone bought me some paper and new markers to ruin because they just had no other gift ideas. and so I have been drawing all my life, without any breaks. When we got our first proper computer in the year 1999 - and of course access to internet - I got myself inspired to start with Digital art. Mouse and MS Paint it was back then.
But so, nowadays I do mostly digital art - as a poor student I hardly have money for expensive paper and traditional equipment.
You state on your profile that you are self-taught. How do you think that affected your growth as an artist? Do you think it made learning more difficult, or is official schooling not as important as many artists believe?
Yes I am self-taught digital artist. And why do I claim to be like that? I don't think it is more difficult to learn things by yourself - not really. In this day and age at least when everything can be found in books and internet.
You CAN also learn to draw by taking lessons in schools. The thing is that you can't learn to draw there if you don't have the will and heart for learning within someone else's guidelines. Well, frankly you can't learn anything if you're not curious enough. Now don't get me wrong! I don't say schools aren't important for artists. Basics are important to learn and some may need schools to get introduced with them. It is just that, in my own experience all the art lessons for me have been some what - limited. You can't really express yourself there. In schools we are also educated to fear failure. There is no right or wrong in art and that is the thing that bushed me to learn some things all by myself - without limits and without someone telling me that the way I hold my brush is "wrong".
When I studied in Kainuu vocational college to be media-assistant, I already knew how to use Photoshop - for example, but of course I learned some new things there too. Obviously self taught people still have to learn from someone and online tutorials are written by someone but the idea is you are learning of your own free will through a non educational line. It consumes time. Some are not cut out for that.
You also state that you use Photoshop CS3, Photoshop Elements 8, and Paint Tool SAI for your digital works. What do you use each one for?
I use mainly Paint Tool SAI for drawing. And I mean I create mostly everything in that program. Sketch, line art, colors, background, stuff like that. Then when I need to do finishing touches, I open Photoshop, which is excellent editing program also as it is great for painting. I don't use it for drawing anymore though.
Do you use any special techniques in your work? (Using many layers, brush packs, overlays, etc.)
It depends on the way I want to finish my art. For example, if I want to create highly detailed art with cartoon cel shading, I may end up using over 200 layers. And it includes own layers for each one, sketch, line art, coloring. multiply layer for shadings, overlay and luminosity layers for Light work, BG, etc.
I think the most crazy thing is when I start to add finishing touches in Photoshop or paint tool SAI. I usually end up merging all the layers together. This is a habit that usually will raise some eyebrows, since I may add more shadows or detail in BG with only one layer remaining. If I remember, I may save up a version with all the working layers but usually I don't do that.
This habit formed when I still had so slow computer that it didn't cope with the big file sizes of my works.
What inspires you? Where do you get the concepts and ideas for your artworks?
Dreams, cup of coffee, Nature, Animations, movies, books, Deviantart and it's great collection of fellow artists and finally there is Tumblr. When I want to get ideas for drawings, or just raise my will to draw, I end up browsing trough DA or tumblr. All I usually need is shape of a body, single brush stroke or color combinations, or the pure feeling of the image to get an idea and inspiration.
I also have many artistic inspirations. All of them deserves to be featured some way or another but maybe I don't start listing names here.
What are some tips for beginners looking to get started in digital art? Another way to look at this is: what were some of the struggles that you faced, and how did you overcome them?
Ah. Now lets see. As a kid I was so scared of the thought that someone will have their own (maybe negative) opinion on my art that I ended up bad mouthing my own art and myself before anyone could say anything about it. Now that is not the way to get people to like you and your art.
Just be proud of your work, even if someone tells you that you have done wrong - be proud of it still. What about it if one or two people did not like it? there will always be someone who will.
Also, if you are stricken by this so called "art block", don't fret. Human brain needs time to internalize learned things. They need rest. Actually the time when you are having art block, maybe the time when you are secretly improving and refreshing yourself. Just give yourself some time. Draw only things that make you feel good, don't push yourself. I know it may feel bad, but it is not the end.
Then again there is my favorite tip for everyone; There is no easy way around to get better at art. You need to work for it, Draw, Draw and draw and don't be afraid of failures! You will get there!
Do you have any tutorials/walk-throughs of your own, or any recommendations you'd like to share? I saw your gallery of tutorials, so are there particular ones in there that you think would be the most helpful for beginners?
Hmm. I don't have the most recent tutorial for shading in DA, but I think the one I have there, is not really out dated. I would like to make more tutorials on art but they are so time consuming that I hardly have time for them. I need to try harder!
Even so I have coloring / Paint tool Sai / shading tutorial in making where I will show fast and (hopefully) good methods for coloring and shading and I am sure it will be of help for beginner digital artists.
In Tumblr I also have some kind of tutorial for painting fur and for cel shading. I can link them here:grypwolf.tumblr.com/post/71972…grypwolf.tumblr.com/post/71973…
Any additional comments you'd like to make?
Eee. Well. All in all this was a nice interview and I hope I can be helpful for fellow beginner artists in future. I am only human so I can do only so much for them, but if any of your group members have something they need help with, they are free to come and ask for help. I will see if I can do anything about it.