Interview No. 86
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is an artist of the Art Portal and his works range from creative, to weird, to beautiful. His works include Back to School, Earthquake, and Cityscape. He is none other than @Vonschlippe.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: I've known Newgrounds for a while, and I used to lurk around once in a while, mostly to play games and watch some flash animations. One day I noticed there was an art portal. Having already showcased some pieces on deviantart.com, I decided I could give Newgrounds a try as well. I regret nothing!
Q: When did you start drawing?
A: As long as I can remember, I was scribbling away on scraps of paper. I remember being four or five years old and drawing sailboats all the time. It was pretty much pencil and paper until my third year of high school, at which point I still cannot say that I was a good artist. Most of my pieces were very messy and full of mistakes. However, my sister taught me the use of the software Gimp, which is a freebie photo editing software. I started using it to color my pencil drawings on the computer. I got terrible results with a mouse. In order to paint within the lines, I made massive use of the polygon selection tool to create shapes, something which is still present in my drawings to this day. Since then, I've upgraded to Photoshop and I bought myself a Wacom Intuos4 tablet!
Q: Is art a hobby for you or is it more of a hobby? If it's more of a hobby when did it become more of a hobby?
A: I am not looking at art as a potential career. I'm studying in mechanical engineering, and between exams I barely have any time for painting. This is the precise moment where I'll start a project: when I'm already flooded with other things and I am in a productive mood. When I'm on vacation and I have lots of time, I don't paint. I have better things to do; I guess that's why I'll rarely make more than a few images per year. I don't see painting as an expression of my inner creativity or any artsy fartsy definition: it's a technical exercise, not a stress relief.
Q: Your first submission to the Art Portal would be entitled Starcraft Terran Medic and it would spawn the thread Starcraft Terran Medic, the sequel!. What can you tell me about this project? Also as your first piece here on Newgrounds, why a video game character?
A: Well, I painted that piece nearly a year before joining Newgrounds. It was a fun exercise, and I originally intended it to be used solely as a birthday gift to a friend. It was the first time I realised how fan-art for a popular game can get a lot more attention than a more complex piece about an unknown subject. That piece got me scouted for the art portal within 2 hours of joining Newgrounds, was frontpaged within 6 and still is a high-scoring picture on the art portal. Holy crap, the page views! That's the reaction I tried to re-create when I made a sequel to it, named Starcraft Terran Ghost, and I shared the making-of with the art forum bunch in the sequel thread. I had never received so many reviews and page views so fast, ever. That, in my opinion, is something truly unique to Newgrounds and that you won't find anywhere else. Thanks guys!
Q: Your piece Earthquake is quite interesting. You say it was never finished and that it took 6 hours, with half of that time working on the face. When it comes to facial features do you have trouble with this or are you just a perfectionist?
A: I love drawing faces the most! Over time I've developed quite a few tricks to render skin and flesh tones in the most accurate way possible... However, with the Earthquake piece, I was not satisfied with the result. So I botched the shirt and arms, filter raped a quick background and called it a day. I'm not sure I should have posted it, but I still like the face, although everything around it is kinda messed up.
Q: ROBOTS! would give us a taste of your comic book style. Where was the inspiration for this sort of style? Will we ever see a flash animation comic book from you?
A: The looks of my comics is intended to be drawn fast and to be very expressive. The leading inspiration for the style would be Ian McConville, from the defunct webcomic MacHall. He is a master at this style, and I strive to achieve similar results when it comes to comics. In the meantime, my style has turned out to be much quicker to produce and a lot less elaborate, since I have to produce them weekly for the University newspaper. While I am still considering making an animated flash, I am certain that it would be in this style if that ever happens.
Q: One of my favorite comics by you has to be Back to School. An interesting look in the creator vs. creation style that has been done in the past. What is the story behind this piece? Also would the creator in this be yourself?
A: This was the first piece showcased in the school's newspaper, appropriately themed "back to school", which was the case at the time of publication. That's me in the pictures, talking to my drawn self, referring to my tendency to stop drawing completely during the summer vacations.
Q: Out of your works, my favorite by you has to be Cityscape. The detail and design of this just has me staring at it on end. Seeing the sketch work and the painting I am just amazed at with it. What was the full process you took into bringing this to life? From the inspiration, idea, creation, and then final product?
A: This was the first painting for which I filmed the process, something I have not done a lot since. It was a Christmas gift for my girlfriend (depicted in a cartoonish way in some of my comics...) that ended up very close to the deadline. Actually, the worst thing to happen to this painting was Christmas, since I had to finish it very quickly. That explains the lower level of detail in some parts of the painting. The idea comes from a daydream I had in class, but the finished piece ended up a lot less dynamic than I would have wanted. The sketches shown in the early video were all done in the same class!
Q: When we spoke with Toast-Tony and Fifty-50 they both told us about their personal art threads and recommend that artists have said threads. Besides your Starcraft thread you don't seem to have your own personal art thread. Why is this?
A: I did do a short lived thread with a few speedpaintings, but it's true that I don't have a real art thread. There are several reasons to this, the main one being that I am a very, very slow painter. With only a few pieces per year, the thread would barely stay alive! There is also the fact that the art portal is not thriving with artists giving meaningful input and feedback, although I like many of the regulars and I occasionally reply there myself. I just don't feel like showcasing my other (flawed) paintings on the internet!
Q: When it comes to the Art Forum, have you come across other artists that you have befriended or tend to dislike? If so then who?
A: The art forum is mostly full of well meaning people which I have come to like. I greatly admire artists such as Morthagg and Ne7ers, and I also love watching the evolution of people like Rhunyc in their own personnal art thread. I don't really dislike any particular artist...
Q: When it comes to drawing and painting, what advice would you have for those who want to expand their creative side of doodling?
A: Creativity is good, but it's all useless without technique. Children are very creative in general, they are all full of ideas, but you will rarely see one blow your mind with a painting. The technical side of painting is the area where most people hit a wall. In order to brush up your anatomy, know your tools and learn perspective, I mostly recommend copying your favorite artist's work. Of course, keep it to yourself and don't publish it! Copying stuff is a great way to become good fast, and after several hundred hours you will be capable of painting your own ideas to a satisfying level of quality. Only then will it be important to be creative.
Q: Have you ever thought about taking a shot at animation or team up with animator?
A: Yes. The only major obstacle so far seems to be actionscript, but I am definitely considering making a flash movie. I've done some minor animations for websites before, but never anything with characters and storyline!
Q: What can we expect from Vonschlippe in the future?
A: Currently working on a Diablo III piece, which will be released shortly before the game itself. There are two sneak-peaks on my news feed, and I'll try to pump some hours into it soon. I'm side-tracked at the moment with paying graphic design jobs and school, so it'll have to wait for some spare time!
Vonschlippe like many artists here on Newgrounds is quite the creative individual. However his works are as I stated not only creative, but at the same time very beautiful. I find that an animator out there looking for an artist could do quite well with him. All in all, he is truly one of the best artists on Newgrounds.