R_o_c_i_n_a_t_e (Mania.com)

By:Blazej Szpakowicz
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2006

Welcome to the latest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight.

Our interviewee today is R_o_c_i_n_a_t_e.

Comics2Film (C2F):How and why did you get started in photomanips?

R_o_c_i_n_a_t_e (Roc):I was always big into comics and Photoshop so it wasinevitable that my two interests merged. I had donecomputer art for a while. Finally I decided to take astab at manipulating super hero characters. At first Iwas doubtful I could pull it off but I just kept atit.

C2F:What is your background in art and/or graphicdesign?

Roc:I am a trained graphic/web designer. I've beenfreelancing for about 5 years now.

C2F:What software do you use?

Roc:I'd say 90% of what I do happens in Photoshop. I do alittle 3D stuff occasionally in MAX. And I sometimesuse a few miscellaneous programs for effects.

C2F:How do you start out your images?

Roc:I guess there are two approaches. I could have an ideaand then start sourcing photos OR I sometimes happenupon a photo that I think has potential.

C2F:What most annoys you about your manipped images?

Roc:A lot of times at about 95% completion I get aqueousand rush through the final parts. These days, when Iget an image 'finished', I won't immediately post it.I'll leave it on my desktop, occasionally taking alook at it. Usually I'll start to feel guilty about apart I rushed through and redo it. Eventually once I'mhappy with it then I'll post.

C2F:What's your favorite part of doing a manip?

Roc:There is a point in every manipulation when my mindmakes a switch. When I first start working on a piecethere are question in my mind, 'How's this part goingto work?'. But there is a point where you look at anincomplete piece and suddenly realize it is going towork. That's the best part.

C2F:What do you see as your greatest strength as anartist?

Roc:I'd say probably concept. I'm usually very happy withthe casting I choose. The truth of the matter is thatyour casting makes or breaks your image. If you make abad choice no amount of Photoshopping is going to help.

If I had a second I'd say 'lighting'. It's probablythe last thing that photo manipulators learn but isthe most important.

C2F:What, conversely, do you still need to work on?

Roc:'Hair' is usually the answer that most people say. Itsso complicated and situational. But recently I've comeup with a few tricks to get around most tricky hairissues.

C2F:What is your favourite of your own work?

Roc:That is a hard question. I like different pieces fordifferent reasons. The image that really started mewas my first Powergirl issue.For sheer effort the hugeandroid battle is a fav too. Recently for me though,Psylockewas a big milestone.

C2F:Who are some of your favourite artists at C2F andheromorph?

Roc:There are a few guys whose work I dig but I'd have to saythat Androidwas a huge inspiration. Seeing hisThundercats series really opened my eyes to thetrue potential of photomanipulation.

C2F:Who are your influences in comics and inmainstream art?

Roc:In terms of comic artists I think Alex Ross and ShirowMasamune were important to my photo manipulation.There are others outside of comics that had an effecton me. H.R. Giger and Dali are favorites too.

C2F:What inspires you? Where do you get your ideasfrom?

Roc:I'm not really sure. Sometimes I just get in the moodto create.

C2F:On average, how long does it take you to finish amanip?

Roc:It depends on the complexity of the image. They can beas short as a day to as long as a week.

C2F:Any advice for aspiring artists?

Roc:Take your time and have pride in your work. Askyourself 'Is this the best I can do?'. If not, keepingworking on it until you feel that it can't get anybetter.

C2F:Who are your favourite characters in comics?

Roc:I was always a big Power Girl fan. It started back whenBart Sears drew her in JLE. All of my firstmanipulations were of her. I liked her when no oneelse did, but recently she has become very popular atDC, which is kind of weird.

C2F:What are some of your favourite comic books?

Roc:Anything Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Moebius, Jodorowskyor Frank Miller. Although now I read a lot of oldmanga. Especially Osama Tezuka and Reiji Matsumotostuff.

C2F:DC or Marvel?

Roc:DC all the way. They were always much more powerful,realistic and gritty to me.

C2F:Some of your best known work is your excellent"ROCINATE Presents" manips of the girls of DC. What inspired that series?Which individual image do you think came out the best?

Roc:There was no real inspiration for that series. Idecided to do a Supergirlimage (just because I neverdid one before). I thought that it would beinteresting to make her much younger looking then alot of other artists had. Since she looked sodifferent then other interruptions I labeled it'ROCINATE presents' to say this is officially how Ithink she should look.

The piece went over really big so I forged ahead andtried to make my other definitive choices. I alsocontinued to vary the ages of the characters to makethem more distinctive. Of that series I like theWonderWoman issue the best, it had a really nicepainted look.

I took a little flack for finishing the series beforedoing a Batgirl one. But for me she didn't belong insuch a bright looking layout so I left her out. Pluswith the mask I felt I couldn't really cast her aswell as I wanted. That was why I ditched Barda's armortoo. The other controversial point was that I sexedthem up quite a bit but I think I do that with all myimages, its my style.

For more of R_o_c_i_n_a_t_e's art, takea look at his DCGand heromorph galleries.

Interviewer:Blazej Szpakowicz