There are, without a doubt, many BUas students with various talents. That’s why in this article we are going to get to know more about one of them. Meet Anna, an artist in CMGT (also called IGAD).
First of all, introduce yourself.
My name is Anna and I study IGAD, Art department. I chose this course because I get to experiment with different sets of skills and it made me realize that I really like concept art the most. Basically, I visualize ideas for games and entertainment mainly focusing on character design because hell yeah!
What is the main thing you’re doing at the moment?
At the moment I just come up with concepts for games, I might have a different role depending on the team I am working with, but as main profession I am aiming for character concept, which is actually my biggest passion.
What inspires you as an artist?
I really like when something makes me angry or sad or it evokes a strong emotion in me. Usually, I like to put it into an art form and a lot of times it's a character. To express an emotion through a picture, it's most fun for me to do it by drawing humans, using illustration techniques of storytelling. At the moment I'm actually working on a comic book and I’m also writing the script for my own comic book. I know it's going to take at least 3 years, taking into account how busy I am at the moment, but I really hope to make it happen one day.
What are the forms of art you enjoy the most?
I think that for me it's not about the form it's about aesthetics. You can find enjoyment in any form of art as long as it answers your aesthetic and as long as it answers what you stand for in this world. So, for example, I like comic art because it tells you a story and it teaches you something.
I also like illustration because I enjoy noticing all those different ways to execute color, composition, proportions, lighting, etc wrapped all up in one piece, that is going to say something, isn't that cool? You can also like a game as an art form because a lot of games are extremely beautiful and entertaining. Have you ever thought how many talented artists it involves to create one? It's great!
To me, form doesn't matter that much but aesthetics and what you like learn from the experience are what matter the most. When it comes to movies, for example, I really like the aesthetics of Spider-verse because of the animation style. It was something that was never done before, I even went to the cinema to watch it twice.
What is your most important artist tool that you can’t make art without?
I just do Photoshop all the time. I’ve also been practicing a lot of traditional drawing and recently I’ve been doing a lot of acrylic paintings. I feel like acrylic paintings really forces you to learn how color works; it’s raw, you can't cheat, you can't edit, you only can use your eyes and mix colors in real life. For example, when you have a naked person in front of you, you have to take into account their proportions, skin tone, hair color and their pose.
I also do photo bashing, which is basically when you take a lot of different photos and you make a photo bash out of them. Then you edit those layers of the photos and you erase some stuff and you add more. You edit a bit like it's a Frankenstein type of thing.
Also, I've been doing 3D characters, last year, and that was fun. A lot of anatomy studies… You learn so much of anatomy when you do digital sculpting, because you can think that you know something but then when you actually try to sculpt it from nothing you’re just like “f**k me, this looks so awkward”. But it’s really cool… really frustrating sometimes, but cool.
So how and why did you start making art?
I think I was watching Naruto and I just started to draw on a piece of paper. So, I started with that but when I dropped watching anime for a bit, surprisingly, I still continued drawing and getting more into raw art basics and into movies, animation and storytelling. That really became my passion.
Are you self-taught or you've been to art schools?
I started as a self-taught and then, as I was getting really into it, I was like “mom, I want private lessons, please”. So, an old lady would teach me the basics, but it was valuable because she would tell me everything I was doing wrong and follow me in the process. I was practicing a lot by myself. I was already drawing for three years before IGAD, I started taking it very seriously, drawing every day for three hours at least, sometimes even more. I had some family issues at that time. So, I was just very drawn into paintings and drawings. I had times when I was drawing like 20 hours and I was forgetting to eat and sleep because I was just too into the process. You’ve got to be obsessed with art to do it professionally, you have to have a certain level of obsession. After that, I just entered IGAD.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I'm in a concept outsource group. We have five games, then we have a technical art outsource group and a concept art outsource group, which basically means that we are given a task from the game team and we just make an outsourcing for them. It's a lot of collaboration and a lot of communication. Sometimes people are very difficult to work with, because they don't give you enough information and you have to squeeze it out of them. You can make like ten iterations and then all of them will get scrapped because they just didn't portray what they wanted. They tell you “you can have creative freedom” and then turns out that you don't, and you just messed up the task. Apart from that, it's fun, honestly.
What would you recommend to people that want to get into art and drawing?
If you want to get professionally into art, you need to ask yourself twice if you are really that devoted to it. Art takes a lot of time, a lot of passion and a lot of devotion to have good results, and you will have to kill your darlings all the time. You have to be prepared, you could put so much effort into your work, thinking “Oh, this is like such a good art piece”. But then you have to get feedback, which is fundamental to improve, and that feedback can be like “No, that’s actually s**t. Fix this, fix that.” and you just get extra frustrated, because sometimes it feels like it's never good enough. You have to get used to that.
It's like a balance between being rational and grounded, and child-like excited and creative. You need to be cold-hearted when it comes to receiving feedback, not take it personally to improve your skills, yes. But never ever forget about your inner child that just wants to f**k around with colors and draw emo art or whatever you're into. So yeah, it's a balance.
If you are curious to see Anna’s work, check her out on Instagram @annapsesh