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Hi, Mike! Thanks for taking the time to be our very first Artist Spotlight! Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am a Crow Indian from Montana and moved to the Twin Cities for college over 20 years ago. It took me this long to realize I’m no longer new to the industry so recently I’ve opted to help Nice Moves mentor artists. In my free time I’m either drawing, playing fighting games or playing guitar. I’ve always told myself, if creating art is no longer an option, I’ll be happy playing guitar in a blues band. Outside of work I have a loving, understanding wife (I have lots of hobbies) and 3 kids who happily take up the rest of my time.
Now, let’s talk about your artistic influences and creative process.
I often consider myself a “pop” artist in the sense that I’m most influenced by modern media (film, music, comics) with a firm belief in classical art and foundation. For me it’s about draftsmanship as well as concept. Admittedly, I tend to lean towards technical execution and less so ideas but it’s something I’m aware of and work on.
For my 3D work I work mainly in Zbrush, Maya, C4D and Vray. For 2D illustration my main tools are Manga Studio (Clip Studio) for pencils and Photoshop for colors. When creating my art for 2D and 3D my initial goals are building a solid foundation. I ask myself questions like “Is the form working here?” or “Does the composition work at a basic level?”. One of the important lessons I’ve learned is to not be too committed to a certain way of working. If I can catch that I’m frustrated and a piece isn’t working, I’m not above starting over or trying something different.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ll always have artistic goals as I’m always trying to push my technique or try new technologies. For the long term I would love to focus on my own ideas and creations. I would also like to eventually explore my own native culture through art as I feel I could add a unique spin on the genre.
Any parting thoughts?
Believe in yourself, I know it’s silly but this is fundamentally true and has been the secret to my humble success. Visualize the outcome, ask questions and self evaluate along the way—more importantly finish the project. Ultimately, there is no stopping someone who refuses to give up.
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