Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Conversation With Vinay Daniel

Vinay Daniel, a digital painter and concept artist from Bangalore, India, creates beautiful surreal worlds and powerful portraits through the use of Photoshop. Vinay's worlds intermingle elements of fantasy, adventure, mythology and science fiction. Vinay spoke with ArtSeen about his artwork and his artistic drive to create.

Can you tell us a little about your artwork and your artistic process? What type of artistic materials do you use?
A vital part of my life growing up has always been Art and its influences. The pencil, crayon and colorful bright coloring pencils amused me. They beckoned me to experiment what I could do. I have constantly been involved and interested in different artworks; be it poster color painting or canvas painting. I watched and learnt from various people I have come across in the walk of my life. I am still learning and exploring all aspects of my creative thoughts and capabilities. The whole feel of painting a work of art comes from the small things, the people who I meet or acquaint to, surroundings I have seen or subconsciously imagined about, all registered somewhere at the back of my mind. Art demands a lot of passion; it is a lot of hard work to be able to speak though art. Instead of putting words to everything I feel or say, I’d rather let my artworks do the talking.

I start with a rough imagination of what I want to see, and try putting it on the screen that stares at me. I close my eyes to remember clear at times, which gives me the calmness and feeling of being a part of something so surreal only I can imagine it. As I begin to draw the strokes I concentrate more on the strokes and lines, the way I want to compose it to look. I imagine it in a world of black & white, then add colors to it and vary it to get what I truly want to see. I also try to put pen to paper when something instantly catches my attention or makes me think in an artistic manner, something that gives me the high I desire to paint.

Much of my art is Digital, so I work on a computer for it and I use the software Photoshop as a medium to display my train of thoughts and colors. The freedom a computer gives is you have options of adding a lot of layers and levels to your artwork, which in real is a bit difficult to get. It sort of gives you a freedom to paint, but denies you the complete feeling of getting your hands dirty, which is also a lot of fun, but I prefer it this way. The crayons and pencils are replaced by the Wacom tablet and pen. It becomes your best friend and more like an extension of your fingers when you venture into Digital painting or Concept Art.

What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

There can never be one particular thing that you can put a finger on. According to me, Art is the way you see it! It’s what your mind can visualize it to be. For an artist such as me, an inspiration draws from people I follow artwork from. People I meet or speak to everyday, images, concepts or things I hear of. When people talk of travel, I try to imagine the place, the way it has been described to me; then I add elements of my own to make it what I want to be able to see to connect to it. This brings forward inspiration and the desire to paint. Being an artist is always about the ability to guide and teach yourself, to recreate something you have imagined or dreamt about. It is quite complex and not an easy task to get that going. It’s like handling an alter ego and making sure he is doing exactly what you want him to. See, that’s like talking crazy! All artists need to be insane enough to stay inspired to be able to do this for a living or even personal works too, no offense! You form and manage to make art flow because you want to see it! You want your eyes to believe what your mind is imagining. Art gives me that spectrum, the space to create a realm of my own. A space which I own and everything in it is exactly the way I want it to be. But then, after every work I make, I just know it. I can do better! And that is what inspires my next.

What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

Things out of the normal fascinate me or catch my attention, but not always necessary I want to put them on a canvas. It needs to have that spark, the feel that it will give me a high when I’m finished! It tends to start as an idea, a concept that shapes up into a story at times. The indirect psychological effect is what is fascinating when I paint, it can psychologically stimulate one’s imagination and direct it to different levels, and that is what gives me a high.
So usually, my paintings have a world of their own, a theme of a world apart of our own. An alternate universe, a bit whimsical yet there is a reality to it. A proportion that has an odd sense of reality to the world we live in yet has a sense of nothing too made up. I try not to limit my works to a certain theme or idea; I give myself the freedom to explore anything and everything my head and hands can make to sketch it out. But, there is always a feeling that the Image isn’t complete, there is something that could add to it, make it better. An emotion which is like, this image isn’t done. It’s a bit difficult to put into a sentence. It takes a lot of passion to be able to speak though art. Instead of putting words to everything I feel or say, I’d rather let my artworks do the talking. So my exploration begins and goes on…

Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?

Yes! All artists inspire you. From music to painters to concept artists; as my clan is fondly referred to. There are several artists I learn from each day with every work they do. There is always a signature style they use in their artworks, which intrigues me. I am yet to figure out my signature, I follow it unknowingly. Guess that is what it is, Artists don’t pay so much of attention to what people are saying or thinking, its more about them and how they want to portray something. I have a lot of respect for any artist I meet or know about. It’s a point of view, not necessarily must agree with you. It’s the way a person perceives it to be. You can never tell a person that their thought process is bad. It’s always different, it begins with a concept, and at times it can change completely. Your hands and mind may conflict and dictate you into a whole new concept, building on the one you started out with. My mentors and great influences in Concept art would be Coro Kauffman, David Levy and Ryan Church; I also admire the works of Frank Frazetta.

For you, what do you think the role of the artist is?

An artist is like the protagonist and the audience to his own work. An Artist has a very broad spectrum to explore and understand. A role of an artist is never defined. It changes, grows and evolves every passing day. For me, it is to be able to connect to many people yet on a personal note, where my image has spoken to them personally; something that only they understand or feel. At times, people try to explain what they have understood; it gives me the sense of satisfaction when I know they have connected it to their life in some strange way. This image has spoken to them in a way which only they can comprehend, just the way it did to me. A real sketch is something which can be looked at over and over again, yet it looks different and new each time. It’s more about visualization.

And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?

Digital painting is fun and interesting, yet very serious business all at the same time. For budding concept artists, this stream of art gives you a high, an elevation with endless freedom of infinite nights of doodling and scribbling. Painting requires the bravery of solitude, it requires disciplined labor. To be a painter is to search the world with a benevolent eye for every subtle beauty that the infinite world offers. So, focus, research, paint as much as you can. An artist, who paints often, is just like a poet; with extremely good hand and eye coordination. In concept art, only one thing counts: What you do next!

For more information about Vinay and his artwork visit his Behance page and Facebook page for more details.

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