Tell us something about yourself! Who are you?
Hello, my name is Jurgen. I am 19 and I live in Italy. I love to draw, paint and watch a lot of anime to distract myself.
What was your first encounter with art in general?
I’ve been doodling random things such as houses being attacked from aliens since I was 4. But what I could call my “first encounter” with art I think happened when I was 12, when I just discovered videogames, anime, and manga. It may sound a bit cliché, but those were my biggest inspirations and motivations at the time. One of the first and last games I played was Devil May Cry and it has had a huge impact on me. It made want to draw and create my own stories and characters, so I started to practice every day. I always loved games for the art and story, even now I love a lot of games even though I never really play them. My second major source of inspiration was Death Note; I really loved the story and mostly the art style. It’s a great balance between realism and manga, in fact Takeshi Obata is one of my very favourite artists now, alongside Jo Chen.
How much time do you spend practising your craft?
For the past year, I’ve been practising stuff such as anatomy, colours, volume etc. for 12 hours a day! Recently I realised that it’s not fun at all. I sure gained a lot of skill but nothing more. What really makes you grow as an artist and makes you develop your style, is the experience of creating finished illustrations and from drawing stuff you love. So, I am going to invest all my time in to that from now on.
What do you value more, Fan Art or General Art? What does a TV series or similar need to push you into creating Fan Art of it?
They have the same value to me even though Fan Art can give you more chance to get exposure. People may like the character and share it for that reason alone, or they may simply think it’s a great piece of art. Meanwhile with original art it’s just because of the art, but it mostly depends on the quality of the piece, no matter whether it’s Fan Art or not. The only difference is that you’re drawing an existing character instead of an original. You can still put a lot of your own personality and style on the piece. I draw fan art when I just feel like it, not because the show or game makes me.
What or who serves you as inspiration? How do you prevent or overcome a lack of inspiration?
Everything can serve me as inspiration. A song, going out, other artists, games, shows, photos, a story, the rain, a quote, and so much more. I never lack inspiration and I believe nobody ever does. You always have an image in your head that you can bring to the canvas. When I have “art blocks” it’s not because I’m not inspired, but mostly because of my current mood or situation.
What makes good art in your opinion?
In the past, painting a realistic scene was enough to amaze the viewer. Nowadays it’s definitely not. You have to be somehow “unique”. Draw beautiful things, put a story in your painting, get a great style, the more simplified and stylised the better. Those are the elements, in my opinion, that can make your art stand out today.
What is more important when creating Fan Art: sticking to the series, or creating your own aspect of the fandom?
The more important thing when creating Fan Art is to have fun! I personally would interpret the characters in my own way but still make them recognisable.
From your point of view which of your art gets more attention: Fan Art or General Art?
When I really put effort into my original art, they mostly get as much attention as my Fan Art pieces, and I’m really glad because it means a lot to me.
You definitely know how to create high quality art. Do you work as a professional? And if so, can you make a living out of it?
Thank you! I am definitely not a professional artist, if you go to my page it says I’m still a student. I don’t go to school, it means that I’m still learning by myself. I sometimes accept freelance art job offers and take commissions but I don’t make a living off of it yet. I still live with my parents, even though I pay for everything I need myself, and also help them economically.
The people who contact be about my work is increasing with time and this makes me more confident about the idea of making a living by creating art! My next step is to build up a good portfolio, and move forward to start working full-time as an artist.
What do you use to create your art?
I currently use Photoshop CC and a 14x9cm Wacom Bamboo tablet.
What are your plans for the future?
My future goal, as I mentioned before, is to start making a living by creating art. But my dream is to one day be able to work on a personal project such as a web-comic. It would be so great for me as an artist to accomplish something like that in life.
Does being an artist make your life more beautiful?
It can make your life very painful, but much more beautiful. It takes a lot of courage, time, and hard work to make your own choices and follow your dreams, but it’s totally worth it. My bigger difficulties were my family not supporting me with my choice of pursuing art… everyone told me that I would never get a job, have a life or a house since artists are not known for being rich. To me wasting your life with a job you hate is so much worse than ending up poor, starving, and homeless. Making art makes you feel you are accomplishing something in life – you’re actually creating something that touches people and lasts forever.
Do you have any hints or materials to offer to aspiring artists?
Draw a lot! You can read tutorials all day but you only learn by doing. So grab the first pencil you find and go draw! Yes I do plan on making tutorials in the future.