Lets see if we can get behind the mind of this story teller who also creates such liquid fantasy art…
Tek: Hello Liquidd thanks for doing this interview with me your time is appreciated =)
Liquidd: The pleasure is all mine. I'm honored that you thought enough of my art to include me in this.
Tek: I peeked around on your site so I've already spotted a little personal info about you however for the readers would you mind sharing some personal information about yourself right now? (we can skip the boxers or briefs questions and jump on the usual such as age, occupation, social security number etc)
Liquidd: Do you know what you've gotten yourself into? I can get pretty long winded at times. [laughs] Okay, I'm a thirty four year old illustrator part-time graphic designer. My social security number is 406-04-… [laughs] Yeah, I'm sure. In all honesty though, it's scary how many people give out that info online, isn't it? Crazy. Anyway, I'm just a normal guy with normal dreams and insecurities. I enjoy being around others who share a passion for art and the neverending process of learning and evolving in the art field.
Tek: What? a normal guy that likes art? never heard of that before!
Well from what I have read of you and from visiting your web site I know you are working on a novel called Sorche' and that this novel contains the Characters that you create, sketch and colorize and upload at various online skinning and art sites, which is where you caught my eyes, the characters are totally fantasy fantastic, so how do you choose your characters? Do you write your novel first and then draw a character to fit the novel or do you draw the character first and write or base the novel around the character you drew? And this would be a good spot to drop a few screenshots of your work so here are a few I scooped of my favs…
Liquidd: I don't know about other author/artists, but I think I have just about the most unorthodox and unorganized creation process for designing my characters and storyline. I have it all stored in my head. From concept to fruition, every little detail about my characters, plots and twists, dialogue, and settings. It's all stored in my head, but very little has actually been written down or shown in the visual sense.
The reason for this is partly due to my sometimes hectic schedule and partly my procrastinating nature, a bad habit I've been trying to work on for years. But for the most part this works perfectly for me because of the manner in which the story of Sorche' will unfold. Traditionally, a story is told from the author's point of view and describes events of the past, present, or future. Or from a character's viewpoint describing the same things. There are also variations where these viewpoints get interwoven or meshed together to create effect.
Sorche' will include all of these writting techniques, so I find that by having it all in my head and recalling it as I write adds to the believability and spontaniety of the experience. There has to be a small amount of realism in the story or the experience is kind of lost. So instead of sitting down for one long typing session, I daydream. In a weird sense, I visit Sorche' and briefly record the events of that day. At the risk of sounding like a complete headcase, I have to say that Sorche' isn't fantasy to me. To me it really exists. My task is to tell the story compelling enough to make it real for the readers.
Now…What was the question again? [laughs] Seriously, some of the characters have come about as a result of the storyline. But the reverse is also true, I have created characters which sparked a new twist or turn for the storyline as well.
Tek: I dunno what were we talking about? hehe j/k and seeeee procrastination is not such a bad word or thing after all it could even be a good thing! very interesting answer too cuz I always wonder about the creative motive or stimuli that's behind how peoples things evolve into a reality (whether art related, or not) so how do you select these names for your characters? Do you name them prior to drawing them based on the novel or name them after creating them and looking at them?
Liquidd: All of my characters begin with being given names. To me that is the most important part of character creation. A good name can make or break a character. I usually scribble a few words on paper, rearrange letters, add and omit letters, or cram words together to come up with unique or original names. Kasager, for example, came about one night during my middle school years. I had to write a book for the Young Authors competition, which was a nationwide contest held among middle schools. Of course, I knew I wanted to write something fantasy based. So I created a story about a character's quest for revenge. I didn't have a name for the character though and I wanted a name that was unique and inventive. So I came up with a little process to develop such a name.
I jotted down a whole bunch of words, although I can't recall every one of them at this very moment. I do remember that he was originally supposed to be a female character. So ‘Cassie’, my grandmother, was one of the words I wrote down. ‘Jello’ was another because I used to love Jello pudding. The word ‘gerbil’ was on there too. [laughs] Yeah, it sounds weird, but it works. I had a whole page of words scribbled down and after cramming together and rearranging, ‘Kasager’ was born. The name was masculine, so obviously the gender had to be changed to suit it. It worked though, so that's the process I have used to create characters for years. Last names for characters are a bit easier. After I've watched a movie, I always check out the credits.
Tek: Hmm Jello and Grama? who woulda think it and I guessed the wrong answer to that one…
Is your occupation related to these skills you have that we see? or are you working as a shoe salesman dreaming of art all day? hehe
Liquidd: [laughs] Shoes?!! Oh no you didn't just ask that! Sweetheart, I sell exotic lingerie at a premier widely known upscale department store on Fifth Avenue. [snaps fingers three times, stares intensely, then laughs] Actually, yes my occupation is related. I'm a freelance illustrator.
An illustrator is basically just another name for artist. However, the difference between illustrator as opposed to traditional artist is that an illustrator usually tries to depict or tell a story with the artwork they create whereas traditional artists usually create images which create a mood or evoke a feeling.
Of course, there are different degrees of how artists are defined, different titles we give ourselves and many lines crossed as far as careers go. Illustrators usually design covers for various media publications (book covers, book illustrations, movie posters, comics, record albums/cd and cassette covers, etc. ;) But as I said there are other things illustrators do also.
My work is done locally in my hometown. Mainly consisting of portraiture, family events, storefront banners, glass painting, signwork, logo design, tattoo design, and in home mural wall painting. I have a lot of repeat business and word of mouth referrals and I stay quite busy. Of course, you can never have enough money so I also work part-time on an as needed basis at one of the hotels that I used to do signwork for. Smart way to get celebrity contacts because alot of them come for The Kentucky Derby. [winks] My goal is to get a commission with Marvel Comics someday. I would love to do a cover illustration for them.
Tek: So you're kidding about the exotic lingerie? shoot I was going to ask you if I could have a discount =( Well have you taken any art or Literature classes in the past or is this all from the soul itself?
Liquidd: Hmmmm. Well, I can't really credit any art or literature class per se. I was part of a visual arts program in high school which helped stimulate artistic growth and direction and then a year of graphic design in college. But for the most part I gather experience from life. Read, learn, imagine, and create. The way I see it is that there is story in every single person, place, or object that you see in life. All one has to do is find the story and tell it visually and, as you said, from the soul.
Tek: How long have you been doing this? was it early on in life or later? since fantasy is not always childhood related but I see more adults into fantasy type art and things of that nature?
Liquidd: I have always been a huge fantasy fan. For as long as I can remember. I'm the youngest of five children and I picked up things from my older brothers and sister. My second youngest brother drew and painted as a hobby and much like myself did not like to be bothered while he was doing his pieces. Of course, being six years old I wanted to help him because it looked like fun. So to get me out of his way he would give me a comic book, pencil and paper, then have me draw characters. To both of our surprise, I actually showed a small amount of artistic ability. So he encouraged it. He would show me how to do various things, I'd do them or get frustrated, but I kept at it and practiced. Over the years I branched out and tackled realistic pieces, but I always seem to come back to fantasy. So I guess I have always been into fantasy in one way or another.
Tek: What kind of process do you go through to create your art with? Do you have something that triggers your creative juices such as movies you recently went out to see, other artist, music, your love life maybe?
Liquidd: You know what? I think we are all influenced by all of those things. Music, movies, other art, etc;. Whether consciously or subconsciously, everyone draws on life for inspiration. As I said earlier, there is a story to everything one sees in life. A story waiting to be told either visually or through written words. Art literally imitates life, as the saying goes. So I go through the same process that every artist goes through, I guess. However, I do try to apply what are known as the Seven da Vincian Principles developed by Leonardo da Vinci. By applying these principles one not only improves their art, but their way of seeing life as well.
Tek: Where do you begin? by grabbing a pencil and paper or jumping behind your computer with your favorite graphic app?
Liquidd: Most of my pieces are done in the traditional way. A pencil sketch and then hand painted with acrylics and/or sometimes airbrush.
Tek: What graphic tools do you use exactly to make your art with? So many different graphic apps and their prices vary so much always curious what people use to do their art with.
Liquidd: I use Corel software. More specifically, CorelDraw/CorelPhotoPaint 8. Haven't upgraded to version 9 yet. I really want to try out 3D modeling with Poser and Bryce though. I have seen some truly breathtaking pieces come out out of those programs and I would love to render some of my characters in that way. So I'm considering purchasing that. And for Christmas I got a Wacom Graphire Intuos, but I think there is a problem with either it or my pc. Just can't seem to get it to work without getting error pop ups. [sighs heavily]
Tek: Well you need to either make the dreaded call to customer support or do something cuz what you can do behind a tablet I must seeee! =)
Do you remember when and what first brought you online?
Liquidd: I came online about 6 years ago when I purchased my pc. What had initially caused me to get a computer was simple competition. I had lost a few of my regular clients to competitors who used computers to produce their work. So I had to move into the computer age or continue to lose clients who wanted the more modern image. The funny thing is that I don't accept online commissions. I may accept them sometime in the future, but for the moment I only use my pc for my clients who request it. I mainly use my online time for chatting and gaining new friends who share the same passion for art as I do.
Tek: What do you enjoy most about sharing your art and skills online with other people?
Liquidd: The learning. Especially getting feedback from other artists. I feel that the purpose of sharing one's art should be a learning experience. That's the only way I can grow as an artist. When I create a piece I constantly try new techniques to challenge myself. And while I primarily do it for my own self growth and pride, I love to see how others will accept it. I do not even give a second thought to negative comments about what is wrong with the piece, but constructive criticism delights me to no end. Because no matter how great I think I am I will always be a student of art. We all are. Even the most established professionals.
Tek: That's good to hear since most people cannot handle the negative comments on their work very well, but surely you have to expect both good and bad when you deal with sharing your work with others. Do you also share your art offline in Galleries or only online?
Liquidd: Most of my pieces are commissions. So, in a sense, the whole city is my gallery since my work is displayed about town and in private collections. But not in a gallery. I do show my portfolio to prospective clients. And my walls are covered with pieces that I've done also, but that's about it. Never really considered gallery displaying. I'm too leery I suppose since I know I'm not ready for fame, but then again at the same time I know I couldn't withstand the blow to my ego if galleries passed on showing my work. I'm just not ready for that venue of art yet, I suppose.
Tek: What art sites and/or skinning sites do you visit most and most importantly why?
Liquidd: Digart.pl — It's a Polish site and although I don't speak that language I enjoy the great interaction among the members there. And there is also alot of talent as well.
ArtUproar.com — Again, the thing which makes a site enjoyable for me is the interaction. And AU has tremendous interaction among it's members. In fact, there is a wonderful ranking system in place to encourage interaction. Talent there as well.
Deviantart.com — To me this site is like the Playboy magazine of websites. Meaning that it's widely known and recognized and there are some beautiful images there, but I only visit to read the articles. When it comes to staying abreast of the art happenings, DA does a great job.
Tek: Have you ever tried your hand on making a skin at all for skinnable applications? If so may I have a link to one?
Liquidd: Nope. Never tried skinning. I'd like to though. Can someone teach me? [cheesy smile]
Tek: Okay well first you download a skin and tear it apart piece by piece and begin to reverse engineer it, ohhhh noooo you don't we have to wrap up this interview first buddy! hehe
wait actually I think we did cover everything though I could not get your social security number argh!
Anyways, ‘thank you’ Liquidd for letting us interview you, I wish you luck with getting that commission with Marvel Comics and thanks for sharing all your work with us, and here is Liquidd's Web site for those of you wanting to check out Sorche' =)
— Doreen, February 16th 2004