Sylwia Bomba introduced us to the basics of sketching earlier this year with her very helpful chapters in Beginner's Guide to Sketching. Here we find out a bit
more about her passion for art…
© Sylwia Bomba
3dtotal: Thanks very much for answering our questions today! Please could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first became interested in art?
Sure I can, with pleasure! If I had to name my first step into art it would be named after my dad. He is my biggest inspiration and motivation in my life. I loved to watch him sketch and create astounding pieces of art. The way he moved his pencil hypnotized me irremediably. My dad saw my determination and decided to support me with all his heart. He became my first drawing teacher – the most precise, rigorous, and patient one.
I made my first sketches before I went to primary school. I remember my dad showed me simple tricks, like how to sketch a realistic flame, a candle, and a simple flower. I felt like I was born to draw. Endless challenging myself and struggling with first sketches gave rise in my heart to my true passion.
When I was eight years old, I started drawing my first portraits from different magazines and family pictures. I knew then that I would never stop drawing. It helped me to hide away from reality and better understand the inner, human world.
A young Sylwia with an impressive early portrait!
My parents didn't have very much, but they did everything in their power to facilitate my first step into art. When I was fifteen years old they made the most courageous decision: they helped me to move from Poland to Italy and sent me to Italian art high school. I didn't even know the Italian language and didn't have any friends there. My only way to communicate at the beginning was by quickly sketching everything I wanted to say. It wasn't easy. This experience had bad and dark sides too, but it never destroyed my true love for art. It strengthened me to make bigger sacrifices.
"Difficulties shape our humility and teach us that some changes may be painful but they are precious nourishment for success”
3dt: Could you also tell us about your career path so far and how you became a drawing instructor?
I started working when I was in middle school. I used to draw and sell my portraits to people. In art high school, after my classes, I worked for a small newspaper where I did several drawings and graphics for them. It wasn't a huge job, but working for them was so exciting and revealing! I learned the value of hard work through dedication and sleepless nights. Nothing comes easy, but we should trust ourselves and believe in the power of our commitment.
"The secret is to find the happiness in the smallest things but to not let the satisfaction kill our biggest ambitions!”
When I finished high school, I started working on collections for Disney
, and Marvel
and other clients like Coca-Cola
. This amazing adventure not only helped me to pay for my academy, it also showed me that my failures were the part of my success. I'm thankful for that.
I've always loved to share my passion with others but the biggest thanks I owe to David Gallagher, the owner of an online academy, AnimSchool
, in Utah. I truly appreciate his exceptional trust and belief in me. He contacted me as soon as I finished studying in my academy and I started teaching the same week. Everything happened so surprisingly quickly!
A pensive child painted from the imagination © Sylwia Bomba
Teaching is a huge responsibility. It's not only talking about the facts, but trying to inspire and bring out the best in all students. Thanks to the AnimSchool students I've learned how to teach from the heart. Their curiosity and questions during my classes taught me more than any book. All this deep inspiration I took from my amazing teacher and unique friend, Mike Wiesmeier. I am eternally grateful to him too!
3dt: Do you have a preference over traditional and digital methods? When you were studying Film Animation 2D/3D in Florence, did you ever find you used both methods for the same project?
Yes, of course. Before we started any digital work, we always used to sketch on paper, scan the drawing, and continue working on a computer. Digital working is way faster, but traditional has a unique value in that it uses all of our senses. When I prepare myself to work on a project, I sketch ideas or thumbnails on a paper and then develop them on my computer. Sometimes I have to use a computer more at work and paint only digitally. After doing that, I just sit, take my oil colors, turpentine, and old brushes and paint traditionally on canvas or different pieces of wood. I think our art methods should always be balanced between digital and traditional.
Portrait on wood © Sylwia Bomba
3dt: In what ways do your traditional methods influence your digital work, and vice versa?
Most of all, traditionally mixing colors helps me to create similar hues in digital art. Seeing how the light reflects differently on different materials expands the horizons of our vision. While digital painting, I try not to use special effects in software such as Color Dodge or Multiply. My workflow is the same as I would paint in traditional way. I just try to recreate the same hues but without computer easy-effect layers. It also helps me to do the same while working in traditional way.
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