Dark_Wanderer - Mania.com

Comics Features - Artist Spotlight

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By Blazej Szpakowicz     August 06, 2006

Welcome to thelatest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight!

Our victim today isDark Wanderer.

Comics2Film (C2F):What is your background in art?

Dark Wanderer (DW):Pencils,clay, pastels and image editing.

C2F:When and how did you get into art in general and manipping in particular?I started by trying to draw my characters in Dungeons & Dragons, and killing time at ball games ( I hated being there but had to for band, so i would doodle to kill the time.) I set that off to the side to tinker with image editing.Recently I took back to trying my hand at drawing and took up trying to workwith pencils in addition to image editing.I started manipping in general when I saw an ad in Toyfare magazine for ComicBabes at Wizard Universe when they still had that going. I saw some of the art and thought, " that is good stuff but I think I could do better." So I set out to try my hand at manipping.

C2F:What software do you use?

DW:I use Paint Shop Pro 9 and am recently trying my hand at poser just to getbetter action poses for images.

C2F:You've done work in a lot of different media, including manips, colouring,digital painting and traditional illustrations (though you haven't submittedmuch of your pencilled work at C2F). What medium do you prefer working in, andwhich do you find most challenging?

DW:I have not submitted much pencil work yet because I don't feel it is (on apersonal level) worth posting at C2F. There is some great pencil work here.I think it is that gut feeling that wants me to try for a front page worthyimage when I post at C2F. And to me, the pecils just don't cut it....yet :)Which do I like working in? For the most part that would be manipulations anddigital coloring (if you make a mistake you can just undo it and go again.)Pencilling is probably the most challenging. The trees cry out when ever I start to draw, because I go through on average about 5-7 sheets of paper per image LOL

C2F:How is your approach to doing a manip different from making a drawing,digital painting, etc.?

DW:When it comes to Digital coloring unless it's comic or anime style I tend to do them the same way as a Manip. For Comic/manga I try for a cel-shaded look.

C2F:What do you see as your greatest strength as an artist?

DW:Definatly the metal work that I create. When I first started it took many hoursto do the "Sehkmet"or Egyptian Iron man. I lost count of the hours of workafter 30+ hours. Since then I have developed some speed and better detail.

C2F:What do you wish you could do in a manip (or in any other medium) that you can't?

DW:As of right now that would be creating a better display of power use. That seems to be the problem child for me at times.

C2F:What's your favourite of your own work?

DW:That is tricky. One that comes to mind as of this would be theAskani piece. For me it turned out right. I think it is the heavy shadows in the existing imagethat helped the image. I am also fond of Sehkmet just because he left animpression on people when I posted him. I am actually creating a 2.0 verion(W.I.P) with more detail than before.

C2F:What image or images do you see as your turning point(s) as an artist?

DW:Compared to my first entries, ofEvolution Rogue andRavenfrom Teen Titans, I think the turning point in which I found my calling was a reversegender manip of the anime "FullMetal Alchemist"

C2F:Who are some of your favourite C2F and HM artists?

DW:Wow there are a lot of talent and catagories, too many to limit it to just ahandful of artists. I think that would have to take a page in itself tocover everyone.

C2F:What are some of your favourite images done by other artists?

DW:I think that goes along with the last question. It is really hard to limit tojust a few single images. A lot of great work has come out of the past HM andC2F team ups. That is something I would like to see more of.

C2F:Who are your influences in the world of comics and/or mainstream art?

DW:A lot of manga artists, Tim Seeley, Garth Ennis, Mark Tedin, Anson Maddocks,and well, I just like the eye candy of Alex Ross. :)

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

DW:Manga, TV, Movies, Comics, a lot of Cartoons, and prototypes in Toyfaremagazine.

C2F:How would you like to see your art develop in the future?

DW:I would like to develop enough to go professional and actually get paid fordoing something I have fun doing anyway.

C2F:Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

DW:Never give up. Find what works for you. Use tutorials to help you, but don't use them as a crutch. Once you find what works for you, use it and improve it. Don't be afraid to try new things. Constructive criticism is never meant to hurt work,but to help you improve if you choose to follow the advice.

C2F:Who are your favourite comic book characters?

DW:Marvel I would have to say Magneto, Onslaught, and most of the marvel Universe, DC it would be the Teen Titans, Batman and his villians

C2F:DC or Marvel? (Or other?)

DW:Right now that would be Manga/anime and Tim Seeley's Hack/Slash series. I'venot read marvel or DC in a while so have no clue as to current storylines.

C2F:Let's talk about metal. You make some of the finest digitallyproduced metal in the photomanipping community. Care to spill some ofyour metallurgical secrets?

DW:Layers, Layers, Layers, Layers and patience....lots of patience. The helmet in mySpiral Piecealone took 84 layers.

For more of DW's art,check out his DCGgallery.

Interviewer:Blazej Szpakowicz


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