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Interview with Alexey Zaryuta

By Layla Khani

Web: http://a-zaryuta.narod.ru/ (will open in new window)
Email: moc.liamg@atuyraz

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Date Added: 18th December 2012
Hi Alexey, I must admit I really enjoyed looking at your website as you've got such an impressive portfolio. But as there's absolutely nothing about you on there, I'd like to kick things off by asking: how did it all start? How did you become interested in the CG industry?

I cannot say that there was one significant event that changed it all. It was a long journey. When I was a child, I began like all artists of my age. My first drawings were on the walls, done with dirty fingers, food and poop [Laughs]. Then my mom noticed that I wasn't drawing chairs in the same way as other children (like the letter "h") - instead I was drawing them in full perspective, with two vanishing points! She decided to send me to an art school for children, where I passed the exams in about 10-15 minutes and became a promising student. And that's how it all began. I attended that institution for four years and then I got my first PC. And that's how it ended!

Video games soon started to consume my mind; James Cameron and George Lucas messed with it quite a lot too. So I thought I had no choice but to grow up and mess with people's minds myself! I became interested in 3D and began to dream of becoming a modeler. I studied software a lot, but after a few years I thought that being a modeler wasn't a serious job, so I went to college and received a degree in Printing and Publishing. And then I got a job as a graphic designer.

After four years, I realized that I did not want to do it anymore. It was draining me mentally. Every single day I had to be creative and throw ideas out, whether it was a package design for vodka or a logo for a mayonnaise producer. Boring! So I decided to start from scratch. I retired from my job and got a position at Frogwares as a designer/artist. At that time I was 25 years old. It was too late to start learning to draw again and it was a tough decision to make to change my life so much. But I did and now it is painful to look at my early work - a friend told me once that it was like carvings on the wall of a prison cell! Since then I've been doing art for about four years and I love it!

That's quite a story; I love to hear how artists finally get back to their passion after trying different jobs. So that explains why the areas of your expertise are so varied and range from illustration and concept art to branding and graphic/web design... but what is your main focus?

2D art, of course! That stuff you mentioned is baggage I brought with me from my past and which continues to haunt me. I hope that soon I can throw it out and deal with 2D art only.

What attracts you to concept art and what is the hardest challenge you've come across?

I like to create things that do not exist in reality. Here you can let your imagination fly and come up with something new and interesting. The hardest challenge for me is to transfer an idea from my imagination onto the canvas, and not lose anything on the way due to deficiencies in technique. Making it convincing isn't easy!

I see, but when you start a project do you sketch out your characters and compositions on paper first or do you build them up digitally?

I used to sketch with pencil on paper, but quickly moved to a digital-only approach. I do not think that this is a particularly important thing; digital technology is just a tool.

I like the color scheme in your figurative paintings - who are your main influences and how would you describe your painting style?

Thank you, but color was always secondary to me behind form and tone. A classic academic approach attracts me most, maybe because I did not have that kind of education. Thank God we have the internet nowadays! I dig classic methods a lot and try to transfer it into my digital art. I think that my style and approach hasn't fully formed yet. Over time it changes. In each of my works I experiment by trying something new. Now I tend to have a bit of a stylized technique, with realistic lightning.

Without doubt, JC Leyendecker was my first influence. I was once browsing the internet and accidentally came across his work. I was shocked! I had never seen anything so perfect! I couldn't even imagine anything greater. He was a genius. Talking about geniuses, I have also studied Sargent's works; he is exceptional in terms of light and shadow.

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