year of birth: 03/ 08/ 1972
Q1: When did you start making art?
When I was a kid, as early as I can remember – I never really took it very seriously but I spent a lot of time drawing stuff.
I did a lot of art in high school and even spent a year at an art college (I dropped out)
The last 5 years I’ve started seriously studying and learning – Its basically all I do now.
Q2: What does inspire you?
Everything. I love movies, music, books and nature. I collect rocks, bones, sticks or anything and draw it. I also love looking at other artist work, there are so many good artists out there – too many!
I like to go to galleries when I can and look at art, old and new.
Q3: What are your techniques?
I like to start with pencil and paper – then I usually scan this and paint over / adjust the image in Photoshop. I sometimes create 3D reference. This could be a sculpt using Zbrush or some blocking out in Maya. I only take this as far as I need to, the purpose is to generate some information that I can feed back into the artwork (lighting, shadows, composition, materials).
Taking photos can help also.
Q4: What is the main idea or feeling behind your works?
There is no single idea. I’m trying for a believable but painterly look.
I like horror so there’s horror elements when it’s appropriate.
Q5: What is the main color of your art and why?
I like muted natural colors and subtle skin tones – maybe too subtle sometimes. It’s usually dictated by whatever I am painting, I don’t really do much color planning. Maybe I should?
Q6: What would you improve about your work and why?
Everything! I do a lot of anatomy. I study every day, It’s my main focus.
I always spend a couple of hours drawing figures and faces every day.
Then there’s everything else.
I do think traditional art techniques / fundamentals are super helpful.
Lots of digital artists gloss over this – I’m just re-discovering this stuff and It helps me on lots of levels.
Q7: Do you have any project for the future?
I have a few things brewing, a comic book and some paintings I need to finish.
Q8: Describe yourself with 3 words capturing the essence of mattdonnici.
Do your thing.
Q9: Show us (link) your very first work. Describe it from techniques till feelings.
Not my first but its pretty bad HERE.
I’d just discovered reflections and was trying to make this guy shiny.
I also had discovered that I could create my own reference using 3D and then use the info to paint.
This was the beginning for me, I was pretty excited. I had no idea what I was doing but I was enthusiastic and annoying to be around back then 😉
Q10: What did change from your first work till now?
Well I have more control now – I do a bit more planning instead of rushing in and trying to magically tease things out of the mess (which can be fun also). More mileage / experience. My commercial or ‘work for hire’ projects have been pretty random over the last 4 or 5 years which is good. It means you do a lot of stuff that you wouldn’t choose to do If given the choice. This helps you grow and you pick up lots of neat tricks along the way. I can feed this knowledge back into my own work.
Q11: What is art for you? Escaping from reality or the essence of life?
It’s both. Its a way of communicating/ describing the real or the imagined.
It’s a language like music or writing. I’m an artisan as much as an artist.
Craftsmanship is important to me. You can study and practise but you can never quite predict the results – that’s the exciting mystical part for me. Surprising yourself is great fun.