name: Marthe & Ward
year of birth: 1985
country: We live and work in Japan but are originally from the Netherlands.
Q1: When did you start making art?
We have always drawn for fun since we were little, but didn’t really think about doing it for a living until we were students. At that time we were surrounded by people who also aspired to being artists, so that created an atmosphere of healthy competition and it’s amazing to see that everyone in our group of friends improved a lot during that time.
Q2: What does inspire you?
The world! We love to travel, see things, experience different cultures, cities and nature. The world is the biggest source of inspiration and there is so much to discover.
Q3: What are your techniques?
We draw primarily digital, in photoshop with a wacom intuos 4 tablet. Photoshop is a really versatile tool because it allows artists to quickly create their own brushsets. Also it’s very handy when using textures and custom shapes to quickly setup compositions. We try to use a lot of compositional techniques used by the old master painters and photographers in our paintings as well.
Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
We both love to do concept art, which means that we are concepting new worlds and ideas. Our idea behind our art is to create a world that inspires people, things that people have never seen before. Invite people to lose themselves in the worlds we created.
Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
Usually blues and greys, to bring some realism into the paintings. We love to draw rainy and snowy settings, because they express a certain mysterious mood. In our more illustrational images, we use more vibrant colors, like warm reds and oranges. This gives a more happy and enthusiastic feeling, which works pretty well when you are for instance selling a certain design.
Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
We want to bring more realism in our drawings, without losing the mood and fantastical ideas. But things as lighting and color, when used correctly, can make your drawing look amazingly realistic and moody. That’s something we really want to practice more.
Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
We are currently working full-time as concept artists at a game company in Japan. For the moment, we have to focus on that, but we are planning some personal projects in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye on our deviantart.
Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of DrawingNightmare.
Concepts, Worlds and Moods.
Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
This HERE is one of the first drawings we ever uploaded online. It’s about 9 years old. At that time we were very inspired by artists like Feng Zhu, who used industrial design techniques such as pen and markers. So this piece was made first creating a light tone marker sketchs, inking it with pen and coloring with markers. The idea was to make an asian inspired fantasy city in the sky with flying dragonboats, and heavily influenced by our travels to Hong Kong.
Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
Almost everything! We learned so much about coloring, lighting, composition the past few years. It is amazing to see how simple and flat our early drawings were. But if you have fun drawing, you can improve everyday. We also started to work more seriously on art, whereas in the past it was more of a hobby.
Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
It is both. It really works as an escape, when your are working on a piece and you get completely sucked into the world you are creating. It is like you are actually there and you can do whatever you want. It is an amazing feeling to get “into the flow” and lose yourself in your work. But that is also why it is essential. Without drawing, we would become very unhappy. We just -need- to draw! It is the essence of our lives. I cannot imagine ourselves doing any other job than something to do with drawing.