year of birth: 1990
Q1: When did you start making art?
I’ve been drawing and sketching for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I used to copy the comics and cartoons that arrived in the Sunday newspaper. But by the time I got to high school I started taking my artwork more seriously. And by 2008 that helped influence my decision to attend art college.
Q2: What does inspire you?
I pull inspiration from a variety of sources. A hike out in the mountains where I live, a drive into the city, a song lyric from a piece of music I’m listening to, looking at the people around me while I’m waiting for my flight at the airport, a scene from a movie I just watched; all of these moments have the potential to draw ideas and influence for future stories and projects. Sometimes it’s technical, like observing how soft or hard the edge is between light and shadow on a surface. Sometimes it’s more aesthetic, like seeing how a person stands and carries themselves while waiting at a bus stop. There’s always something to be learned from from just looking at the world around you and asking yourself “how does this person, place, or thing work the way it does?”
Q3: What are your techniques?
I’m primarily a digital artist, so I try to use whatever tools I have at my disposal in digital media. Certain techniques differ slightly from one subject matter to the next, but nearly all my personal and professional work starts with a value sketch. I’ll pick a basic brush (recently I’ve been using a rectangular hard-edged, chalky brush) to block in the large forms of whatever it is I’m working on. If it’s a character, creature, weapon, prop, etc then I try to establish the silhouette first before sketching out the interior details. If it’s an environment then I try to treat the objects within that scene as basic geometric shapes and work with the values to establish depth through atmospheric perspective and overlapping. For environments specifically a lot of times what I’ll do next is use SketchUp to model a simplified three-dimensional version of my value sketch, and use that 3D render as a base to then paint and photo-bash on top of for the final image. For characters, and illustrations specifically, I might shoot my own photo reference to understand the pose I’m trying to achieve. Or I might spend an hour or 2 collecting photo references online to see If I can find something close that can help me understand the gesture of that figure before going into the final painting. While these are by no means the only techniques I use for image-creation, they are a general idea of how I begin the process.
Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
For client work, the idea and feeling is all outlined in the project brief. That could be anything from a team of operatives protecting a chaotic city (duty, focused, tactical), to a mythological musician who’s just lost the love of his life (sorrow, despair, helplessness). As far as my personal work is concerned, it depends on the piece, but I tend to lean on emotional tropes that occasionally reflect my own state of mind: melancholy, curiosity, hope, fear. These are a few reoccurring themes that I’ve learned to embrace.
Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
I suppose if I’m to take this question literally, then the main color of my work is quite muted. I like working with colors that are fairly desaturated and somewhat earthy. I will occasionally choose to include a more chromatic hue to maybe emphasize a focal point or area of interest in a piece. But on the whole I like to dampen the color spectrum and work primarily in the soft warm/cool neutrals.
Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
To be honest, probably my color, haha. I’ve heard from a few people that they’d like to see me use more saturated pallets from time to time. But i’d also like to focus on the cinematic aspect of my work, and learn how to construct my scenes as though they were still images pulled straight from a film or AAA game cinematic. Both mediums are extremely exciting to watch and I’d love to be able to put my name on project(s) of that caliber sometime in the near future.
Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
In the evenings after my client work is complete I’m plugging away at a personal project of mine called “The Precipice.” This HERE is a story I’ve been developing in my free time about a new take on exorcism. I initially started the project as a way to build my portfolio while I was back at school. But over time it developed into a way for me to understand some of the fears I had as a kid growing up, and gave me a platform to project those findings into a visual solution. My hope is once the project is complete it will give me some personal closure on the past, and maybe offer some advise or inspiration to someone else who wants to build their own universe to escape to.
Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of DylanPierpont.
Curious. Droll. Melancholic.
Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
This was one of the first digital paintings I ever created when I started using Photoshop back in 2007. Environments have always been a major interest of mine, primarily because I didn’t know how to draw people from my imagination at the time. I wanted to try and capture a feeling of some lost urban city that was doused in fog, with an eerie green glow. After hazing in the background with soft round brushes, I remember using a default hard round brush that I flattened and held Shift so I could create the straight, vertical shapes of all the building structures. I made sure to use atmospheric perspective to make the buildings in the background look like they were receding into the fog. After sketching in a lot of little windows on the skyscrapers, I made a copy of the whole image onto a new layer, flipped it upside down, and erased out the areas i didn’t need to create the building reflections in the water. Then I used a small smudge brush to create all the little ripples and striations on the surface. I finally went back to the soft round brush and picked a blue color to add to the light on the bridge connecting the two landmasses. I repeated the same technique for the blue lights reflecting in the water below.
Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
That image HERE was a completed piece for me back in 2007. It represented everything I knew how to do at the time and it took me days to complete. Today though, I would consider that a preliminary sketch and I would finish it in 15-20 minutes. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about composition, color, lighting, mood, atmosphere, repetition, anatomy, gesture, expression, form, etc. So although I have access to the same tools to create a piece like this, because of my training, I use them much more efficiently then I did in the past.
Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
I think art is definitely an escape. For me I wouldn’t consider it the essence to life because at the end of the day I’m just making pictures for other people to look at. And in those few moments you spend staring at an image maybe you’ll find a sense of wonder and escapism. But I feel those moments are fleeting. It’s fun while it lasts and you hold onto it from one moment to the next. But it’s important to be aware of the world around you and the people that make life worth living.