It’s not our usual thing to do two Honorable Mentions in one month but we’ve been spotting some great talent out there. Our Most recent interview we had was with the illustrator who created the viral set of Medieval Avengers. It’s really a great style he incorporated in his work and we love the whole bad ass feeling that goes with it.  It was posted on Wednesday the 4th by his housemate and since then it has 3,548,346 views, 875 Tweets, 12,000 Facebook shares, 79 G+, 1K+ Pinterest shares, 1105 comments and 51411 9GAG likes to date. We just had to grab an interview with The DURRRRIAN (Daniel Kamarudin) and listen to what he had to say (Really a nice and friendly guy).

Medieval Avengers_Pixelsmithstudios

1. Tell us about yourself and how your passion started?

My real name is Daniel Kamarudin, I was born and raised in a humble little country called Brunei, but right now I am currently staying in Malaysia where I am studying Digital Animation at The One Academy.

I was pretty good at most subjects in highschool; science, history, IT, but i didnt really have much drive for anything else except art. My passion started when I was in art class looking through books filled with paintings and sketches and wondered to myself: how did they do this? So i picked up a pencil and started drawing. The result was terrible, but that didn’t stop me. Long story short I eventually got one of my paintings put up in their main office and that’s when I realized I wanted to do this for a living. Soon after graduating I applied to The One Academy Malaysia to study art seriously which brings this story  to today.
As I progressed through my study, so too did my art skills. I was getting better so I thought i’d post more of my work online, which is where all sorts of good things happened for me. I started off getting small features of my work in various places (deviantart mostly) and with the help of some good friends and one very helpful housemate I eventually worked my way to getting my work featured on larger sites, which made me realise that I was going in the right direction.

2. What kind of software and equipment do you use for your Illustrations?

I work on Adobe Photoshop and use a Wacom Intuos4 tablet to do my work. However, most of the time i’m in class so I tend to revert to a pencil while drafting out ideas or doodling to avoid dosing off. When I work, I find that a blank canvas on Photoshop can be quite intimidating, especially when you have no idea what you are doing so I keep my sketchbook nearby in the case I have to jump-start my train of thought. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, its nice to have a solution nearby.

I was told that the tools don’t matter. If your basics are down and you can draw/ paint well with one medium, odds are you will be good with the others. This applies to digital painting. i’ve seen many people paint as well, if not better, with a tablet as they do with a traditional medium.

 

 

3. Does gaming and fantasy have a lot of influence in your designs?

Definitely. As a child (and even to this day) video games have been a huge part of my life and like to creep into my designs. I remember going days without sleep hyped up on a caffeine induced rage while going around slaying demons and monstern in World of Warcraft. When I got a new set of armour or a new weapon, I have this habit of making the character stand in one spot so I could stare at it and study its design. I guess my love for fantasy has to do with favouring swords and armour over guns and lasers as well as investing many hours into games like World of Warcraft, Witcher, The Elder Scrolls, etc. Im not much of a reader but I find that a lot of my darker ideas come from one of my favourite works of writing: Dante’s divine comedy. On top of that I have a lot of ‘The Art Of’ books which are predominantly fantasy based.

I have a very laid back approach to working on drawings, paintings and projects which involves a lot of movies, games and TV shows. These are the things that influence the design the most because when I start of continue a painting, I either watch something in the background of have just finished playing something. A good example of this is when I was painting the Hawkeye piece for my Avengers series. I had just finished playing The Witcher 2 and the elves in that game used a bow whos design is very similar to that of my Hawkeye. I also tend to do a lot of browsing on the internet for works and artists that could inspire me. One artist in particular has had a huge impact on me: Kekai Kotaki, the lead concept artist for Guild Wars 2. His works have push me to become a better artist and I hope to one day reach his level of mastery.

4. Your favourite design thus far?

I dont usually pick favourites, but if i did it would probably be my redesigned Iron Man. There was the pressure of ‘saving the best for last’ lingering over my head so I really had to squeeze out something good for my – and probably most other avenger fans- favourite character. My lecturer said that an idea is ‘a new combination of old ideas’ so I decided to look through some of my old paintings and get an idea of what I wanted to do. Unlike many of my previous pieces, this took some planning and at some point I called in my housemate to act as ‘quality control’. It helps to have another set of eyes to see if your work is presentable.  I put quite a bit of love into this piece and I feel that it has returned the favor.

5. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hard to say really, the vision is still quite blurry, I’m still quite young and haven’t really given ‘me in 10 years’ any thought. Well since haven’t really travelled much I guess I would be working somewhere overseas, living out my dream of being part of the video game/ entertainment industry as a concept artist. I wouldn’t mind a little wealth too, but who doesn’t? I hope to have made some sort of impact in the entertainment industry as well as have my work go international; to be featured in books like expose, structura, imagineFX, etc. But most of all to have worked on something big so I can say to my friends and family, “have you seen that?” “did you play that?” “yeah, I worked on designing that”. I promised my best friend that if I helped design a game or get featured in a book he’d be the first one to get a copy.

 

6. Any advice for the start up illustrators?

Im still a student so I don’t think im in any real position to give any proper advise. However, I would say build up your portfolio with a good amount of works then start to promote yourself. That way people will have a better understanding of what you have to offer. Another thing would be to branch out your ability to draw so you are versatile. This makes you able to take on a wider range of commission requests. Keep drawing and work with your client so you won’t feel like its work. One final thing that i will say was passed on from my lecturer to his students. This is to always be humble no matter how famous or skilled you become. A little cheesy but its helped me keep my head on straight.

 

7. Your favorite breakfast?

Haha well I guess it would be a dish called ‘Kuey Teow Goreng’. The only places I know that have this available at almost every restaurant is Brunei and Malaysia so I don’t think its well known throughout the rest of the world. It’s basically fried flat noodles in some sort of dark sauce and tastes amazing!

 

8. Anything else you’d like to add?

A TV show told me to ‘pick work that feels like play so you won’t have to work a day in your life’ or something along those lines, but the message is clear. Have fun when you draw, or do anything for that matter; a creative mind works best when its free and playing around. You’ll be surprised with the kind of ideas you will get when your mind is at ease. Keep yourself happy, do what you love and you will go places. It’s been doing me well so far!

Medieval Avengers__Hawkeye_Pixelsmithstudios

 

Follow his work on Deviantart:

The DURRRRIAN deviantart

Thank you for the interview Daniel, we really enjoyed it!

 

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Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators and VFX artists.