There's a lot of digital art out there on the web. Too much you might say – as an artist it's very easy to feel swamped by competition or depressed when you realise everybody who is better than you is also younger! However, although I absolutely love looking through other artists' online portfolios – always a source of good inspiration – when it comes to science fiction and fantasy art, so much of it is very samey.
Some of the recurring themes you find in science fiction and fantasy art are countless occurrences of scantily-clad women with large, bulging breasts, enigmatic, shadowy heroes boasting huge chunky blasters or all manner of winged beasts, fairies or angels. It is with this in mind that I have often avoided creating similar pieces – do we really need more of it? The irony is, that back in my days of self-produced graphic novels, the emphasis was always on the characters and character designs – and these are the elements which trigger the emotions and draw you in – the human factor. I suspect some folk simply aren't drawn in my a conceptual piece that doesn't have a character in it.
Maybe this is why – though possibly limiting my options in the process – I find it much more interesting to put the viewer in the heart of the scene, or to include the character in such a way that while they remain crucial to the image, they're not always the focal point. I've come to realise that this may well be what I can confidently call my 'style'.
It's funny how when I think back to my college years, the simple prospect of painting a landscape bored the hell out of me. Nowadays it is quite the opposite – the idea of creating a portal to other worlds; a window overlooking an alien terrain or dreamy landscape in which to escape, is the driving force behind so many pieces.