"Beyond Art Fundamentals" concept artist Damien Mammoliti discusses his love of fantasy, using traditional techniques for digital and the beautiful Canadian weather...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
I create concept art for video game studios such as SEGA
and CD Projekt Red
, as well as illustrations for books and media like Wizards of the Coast
and Paizo Publishing
, to name a few! I'm located in the sunny Northern continent of Canada, where I work from home and get to enjoy the sensation of being literally snowed-in.
An illustration for Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder universe. Featured in one of their Adventure Path books
3dt: Which artists inspired you to get into creating art? Which artists inspire you today?
Growing up, I was greatly fond of illustrators in books or animated moves. Some of the biggest inspirations were paleo-illustrators (Gregory S. Paul). I was fond of their high level of detail and accuracy! Today, most of my inspiration comes from fellow concept artists, they give me a goal, something to aim towards in my learning process. I love collecting video game art books. Some names to look out for: João Ruas, and Justin Cherry.
A commissioned item featuring a necromantic dragon named Sygius for the Sigantnium RPG book
3dt: There's a lot of variety in your work, in both style and content, is there one particular form you really love to work in? Or one you really hate?
I love working on fantasy, it's a subject I've been familiar with since a child, and being able to illustrate monsters and costumes/armor is something I've grown very fond of. There's a great amount of variety to work with, using historical references alongside some imagination! As for hate...I can't say I hate any one subject particularly, but if I had to choose...modern city landscapes. That's probably the one.
A Hellish Greeting. Commissioned by a private client, featuring Chinese mythological creatures
3dt: What software, plugins and techniques do you use to create your art?
I primarily use Photoshop
for my work, on a Wacom
22HD cintiq. My technique is based off of traditional painting; sketch, filling in shapes and shadows and rendering out details. I've learned this during my schooling, it's become a great way to work digitally, and it's surprising how well the medium has caught up.
A painting of a still life setup created for an online painting course. Usually, still life is a great way to practice, and is an awesome vehicle for education
3dt: Do you have a very strict workflow? Or do you prefer to play around with it and experiment?
I get a lot of varying work, one day I may be painting a dragon, the next I may be painting a cartography map! So my approach is usually to suit the work depending on a few things: deadline and complexity. If I have the time, I'll spend it, but if I don't, I'll employ a very strict workflow to meet deadlines. Sometimes, you just have to know when to say "it's done!”
The world map of the Witcher 3, commissioned by CD Projekt Red for their collector's edition
3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
Keep doing what I'm doing, but bigger and better! Honestly, I feel as if I've found my place in the large universe of art. I've been extremely lucky to find my niche as early as I have, and I hope to continue doing what I do till I'm old and gray. Just with bigger names and with better illustrations!
A tutorial image painted for 3dtotal's Beyond Art Fundamentals book, representing the emotion of "Fear”
3dt: What new skills, software or techniques would you like to learn in the future?
I'd love to pick up some 3D knowledge some point in the future, it helps to set up basic scenes a lot, and I can imagine it would help in a workflow! For now, it feels like such a divergence from what I'm familiar with, but I think in time, I'll be able to grasp some knowledge to implement it into my workflow.
3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
More of the same! Just bigger, badder, and more epic. I love what I do, and every day I work is a day I'm happy. You'll be seeing me around for many years to come.
Take a look at Damien Mammoliti's wedsite
See the "Fear” Tutorial in Beyond Art Fundamentals