3DTotal: I read that you tend to listen to music while you’re painting. How much do the lyrics of a particular song shape what you’re creating? Do you ever find that the music takes you in a different direction than you originally intended? Marek: I’m not actually a big fan of songs, just instrumental music - so lyrics don’t really play a part in my creation process. I do have a really big collection of soundtracks from movies though, and this is what I usually listen to while painting. I try to match the movie’s style to the style of the painting; for example, “Hide and Seek” was done to music from The Fountain and The Ring, so it has the same dark, gloomy feelings that those soundtracks do.
There are a few exceptions though, the most noticeable one being “Apocalypse Please”, which was solely inspired by an amazing Muse song by the same title. But in general, there are very few individual songs powerful enough to ignite my imagination.
3DTotal: Okay, so if not from songs, where does your inspiration come from? Marek: I guess movies are my thing. I’m a rather visual person, so even if a movie’s scenario is dumber than a horse’s ass, I still might like it if it’s well shot and has some dynamic action or a montage. I usually do the “one step further” thing when I see some action and think, “Wow, that’s nice! But it would be even better if...” and that’s the moment when I add some crazy complication or an epic environment to the scene, creating seeds for future images.
Now your gallery makes for particularly interesting viewing, as there’s a clear transition between your earlier manga work and the fantastic digital art that you’ve been producing recently. Was it a conscious decision to move away from the manga style, or was it just the natural evolution of your art?
It was a conscious decision. I loved manga and thought that I didn’t need anything else in order to be happy with my drawing, but when it came to actually doing it for living it became obvious that the market for manga was too small, especially in Poland. And since it was my childhood dream to work in the games industry, there was nothing else I could but switch to a more realistic style. And it was so worth it. I leaned that there is just so much more in paintings. I still do some manga sketches every now and then but it’s usually just for me now.
3DTotal: It sounds like you don’t regret the fact that circumstances forced you to change your artistic style, despite your love of manga. So what I’m wondering is: if you got the chance to switch back again now, would you? Or have you fallen too much in love with realistic, digital art? Marek: The best part of drawing realistically is that once you’ve mastered the technique, you don’t really have to switch back. You can treat manga, or comic drawing, as a part of of your casual drawing routine, just with slightly different principles.
Composition, color, volumes, tones - all those things have to be mastered in order to paint well, no matter what style you prefer. And while I think it’s easy to switch from realistic to manga, the other way around is not a piece of cake, as you not only draw what you see but you also have to interpret it in a cool, cohesive way that is pleasing to the eye.
As for my personal preferences … a realistic style has much more to offer me, and there is still so much more for me to learn, so I doubt I’ll leave it any time soon.
3DTotal: You mentioned that your childhood dream was to work in the games industry – do you feel that you’ve fulfilled this dream yet, or is this something that you’re still working towards? And when you have achieved this goal, where do you see your life going? Marek: Actually I'm pretty happy where I am right now career-wise. I’ve a pleasure of working with some of
of the most recognizable brands and companies in the industry, like Crytek, Sega, Games Workshop and Lucas Arts and the work I did for them was really challenging. I learnt a lot, but of course there is still more to learn. I simply love the games industry; I’ve been playing games since forever and I’m really passionate about some of the titles out there. And hopefully one day I’ll get the chance to work on my own game, although I know there’s a long road ahead of me.
3DTotal: Well good luck with that dream Marek, and thanks for taking the time out to chat to us!
Gosh they are some outstanding illustrations! I cannot fault a single on of them, they have beautiful colourings, tone, lighting and attention to detailing. Marek you are a superb artist, thanks for sharing :)
Interesting interview :). I like the fact that he is quite storydriven, and I think the part about the music as well as films (inspiration overall) was a particularly good section :). Feel quite similar about the stories and such, guessing that was why I enjoyed it.Great paintings as well.Btw you guys missed one thing "Now your gallery makes for particularly interesting viewing, as there’s a clear transition between your earlier manga work and the fantastic digital art that you’ve been producing recently. Was it a conscious decision to move away from the manga style, or was it just the natural evolution of your art?" is supposed to be white since it is a question, it isn't right now..Edit: a shame that you couldn't see the pic I guess is "Hide and seek" in the same size as the others...edit2: Just checked out his site and some of his manga/anime background really shows in his design work in the vid there. Style very similar to Animatrix actually :D