Darius and his wife are having wedding anniversaries tomorrow. They have been together for over 20 years. My friend from Germany asked me to do a render for his wife. She likes elves with long black hair, blue eyes are meant to be sensual. I think I have coped with this task 😉
Artienne – Artist of the Month Our artist of the month for the month of July 2021 is the popular and talented artist Artienne. She has been a member of Renderosity since 2015. She lives in Norway where she teaches history and graphic design in a public school. A few years ago she decided to take a […]Artienne — Valgerd Kossmann
Artienne: What made you decide to leave such a beautiful place as Egypt, Cairo and go to America? What did you do before you left your country? Is the Arabic educational system much different from the American model? What kind of influence does religion have on your vision?
Nader: I needed to break free from the closed mentality of Egypt, and the government at the time. Which had suffocated me. It felt at the time that the only thing to do was to do drugs and other counter productive stuff, our society is very sick, and the artist in me needed a way out to express myself. Leaving was not only my only option it saved me. Before I left I studied in a German school then went to an American school. I never fully experienced the Egyptian model as I was in 2 western schools. Unfortunately Religion, like in any country is not a religion, its a way of life and a way for people to oppress others, a controlling tool. I went to America and was granted amazing opportunities met amazing people, and when I felt healthy again, I returned to Egypt to do the best I can to fix it. In my opinion there is only 2 reasons to leave your country, your either a shameless coward or you want your children to grow in a healthy environment. Since I have no family that I need to protect. Coming back to fight the good fight was what I chose.
Artienne: How do you recall this period after completing your studies? You began your career by making sculptures, drawings and exhibitions for various museums. What were your themes related to?
Nader: I went to a college in Minneapolis, Minnesolta, called MCAD. There I was exposed to a lot of art and artists. I later went on to create conceptual sculptures and installation art. My theme had to do with a fascination I had with petroleum. It is a very strange compound which is largely made of dead things. yet humanity has found a way to exhume to and make energy out of it, and wear until now addicted to it, every product that sever sold is somehow related to petroleum, like Gasoline and plastic, completely inescapable…
Artienne: How did your adventure with metal music begin? Have you ever listened to this type of music before you reached America? How did you start your cooperation with Mayhem? Did your cooperation with Mayhem start when you finished studying in New York?
Nader: My brother played me Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses at first i was probably 6-7, I was quite interested , but years later I heard Pantera, Sepultura and Deicide, the rest is history. I met Attila at a party by coincidence, we started talking about making masks, I made him his first mask which he wore at Mayhem and Sunn O))) shows.
Artienne: What was the main reason for creating the Nader Sadek project? I heard that you doesn’t describe yourself as a musician? Can you play any instrument? How did you manage to persuade to cooperate with many talented musicians as : Steve Tucker , Attila Csihar , Destructhor, ?
Nader: Well as an artist, I had a very big idea of what kind of sound I would like to hear, which was an infusion Death and Black metal, I always loved the vocals of death metal, while the melodies of black metal were also very attractive, drumming wise I loved blasts but I also loved groove, and I m also a really big fan of the technical Death Metal style, as well as more symphonic styles of black metal. I don’t know any band really, that does all those things at once, let alone in one song. Not saying this has been completely achieved in the band but it’s gotten close enough to where I’m extremely happy with it. This was the whole point of the project to make an extreme amalgamation of cultured metal sub genres under one banner. No, I cant play any instrument in the traditional sense, nor would I want to, I think that would kill some of the creativity, I see a lot of musicians who can play really but don’t write, I think really anyone can write, in a bigger way, I also see it as a “directing/producing” challenge a kin to movie making, which i also have the pleasure of doing. I really don’t care about the industry “standards
” or ow things are dong “traditionally. I do my own thing my own way. And wrote “Nigredo In Necromance” on my own , with the others adding additional harmonies, the bass line, and the additional beats. I also wrote the majority of the melodies on “Petrophilia”
Artienne: What is the most flustering when it comes to this type of projects?
Nader: Sometimes I bump into a musician who thinks its his project because they were invited to contribute, and starts to want to make decisions about the mix, and other peoples instruments and playing, it says a lot about them and maybe why they were kicked out of the band they originally received their notoriority for. It’s really quite sad. Especially when their personal life bleeds onto you. One guitar sit for example had a problem with his wife, it was a domestic violence case, and she reached out to me for help.It got very dramatic and I became very as a result. Nasty stuff. Another bad scenario is when a musician programs their instrument instead of playing it, and send sit to me as if it was actually played. Another case is people giving themselves credit for things they have not done at all, like a vocalist I worked with who did not come up with anything, told his Facebook friends that he did every thing to do with the vocals, he did not come up with lyrics or phrasing or patterns. Actually he told me he thought it sucked when i originally showed it to him, then when everyone liked it he took credit for it. When things like that happen it’s just further proof that well there is a lot of scum roaming the earth. Those same 2-3 individuals have also accused of giving myself credit for things I have not done, which has never been the case, I have always been highly transparent and have nothing in this regard to be ashamed of.
Artienne: Your videos contains ecological and political message. On ” In the flesh” you used term ” Wounded flesh” as metaphor for oil. On another video titled “Nigredo in Necromance”, petroleum is an element that links two souls, an infected man and his beloved dead. In “Sulffer” we can see a man immersed in this black fluid. Why is petroleum so important in your artistic message? What’s the biggest inspiration for you? Political-economic issues, fantasy literature, horrors, films or sphere related to beliefs and mythology?
Nader: All those things u mentioned are in one way or another influences, but I can’t say it’s Political/ecological, I am only observing. In one of the previous questions, I answer that petroleum simply is an interesting substance, for example if you look at the descriptions of hell in the bible, it speaks of under ground lairs with flames and melting brimstone. Well what does that sound like in reality? It’s petroleum pits, so petroleum is just this fascinating thing that transcends into many topics.
Artienne: How do you approach the historical sources that are in our museums? Are they important to you as reference materials to build your artistic vision? How critical are you about this type of historical and archaeological material? I am asking about this because many artists prefer to read “Necronomicon” than “Epic of Gilgamesh”. lol
Nader: hahahah, The ancients knew far more about the architecture of life than we do now, fictional stories are also very important but they don’t hit me as hard as watching at epic structures which are impossibly built. To me that is far more inspiring.
Artienne: Many journalists compare your project to the music of Morbid Angel (In the Flesh) or Mayhem (riff’s) vide: “Souless”, “Mechanic Idolatry”, “Nigredo in Necromance”. How much influence did you have on the process of creating songs?
Nader: That makes sense, Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel was one of the main songwriters on “In the flesh”, so his influence is undeniable, when it comes to Mayhem that also had to do with the guitarist at the time, the combination of the two sounds created the aesthetic I mentioned before of a mixture of black and death metal. Some songs again like “Nigredo..” and “Petrophila” were written by me, to varying degrees, “Nigredo” I wrote start to finish, but “Petrophilia” I wrote many riffs that I felt went together well, the rest of the guys helped arrange it added a bridge here and there, etc, I also wrote a small section in “Soulless” , for my other EP , I wrote several riffs, like in ” deformation” , The process for “In the flesh” was a bit rushed, however for the other EP’s ( which some have not even come out yet) he process usually was that id write a riff or more and the others would arrange and make a complete song out of it, there are some songs also where I wrote no riffs, but helped arrange it, like ” entropy eternal” , with the post Tucker work, I wrote all the lyrics and the phrasing, I also directed what the vocals would sound like for example, I would want to try to have a part where it was very low growls, jumping into black metal shrieks in the next part, and doubling of the vocals, I created the actual phrasing, so there is an emotion behind that, and it needs to have the right accents to convey the emotion.
Artienne: When making masks do you use silicone or plaster molds? Do you do your own silicone pigments and thickener or you are using more simple stuff like Silplast Gel-00 or G10, or flocking, which has a fast working time? What is better to use in your opinion, flocking or pigment? How many layers do you use?
Nader: it totally depends on the project, for example normally I do use Dragon Skin ( platinum based silicone) , but for the Morbid Angel video for example, I used a 2 compound rubber, simply called ‘rubber’ its one of the limitations of living in Egypt, there aren’t that many materials here like there are in the west.
Artienne: Is there that one live performance you remember the most ? Looking at the scenery on some photos from your concerts I noticed that the branches are attached with black tape. Have you thought about using more natural materials such as linen or tree bark to cover the tape?
Nader: both gigs in Chicago have been stellar, Bristol in the UK was amazing, Portugal also was nice, one of the most amazing shows was playing my home land Cairo Egypt ! that was quite a ride! and New York is usually bad ass as well. I cant forget playing Neurotic Death-fest in 2015, the very first fest I played opening directly for Entombed in front of 2000 people, it was crazy!
No I use black tape because it s part of the piece, tape is plastic and trees are wood, so its a combination of plastic and wood, one Turns eventually in the ground into petroleum, where as the other has been taken out from the ground, extracted from petroleum and created, so its a duality that I m very happy with.
“My intention is to create a visual parallel to the song, a theme which repeats, yet within the loop-lay textures are controlled twists and turns. It was a bonus that I had the opportunity to use Sumerian iconography as well as obscure symbols of the pre-ancient past such as the Merkaba, a galaxy-roaming vessel. “
Artienne: You made a video for Morbid Angel’s song “Garden of Disdain”. Could you tell us more about your vision & concept with petroleum, crystals and the role of Demon and Goddess. What was the greatest inspiration for you? Who are the actors & statisticians who took part in the session? Did any Morbid Angel lyrics or iconographic sources inspire you to do this video? Did Ken Coleman have any influences on editions of this video?
Nader: The interesting thing here is that outside of petroleum and my own projects, Steve and I have very similar thought s about humanity. Let’s just say, we don’t have very nice things to say. So when I was giving the proposal to write what the video will be about, it was not completely decided what song. When I submitted it, Steve immediately stated that it fits perfectly with “gardens of disdain ” . He sent me the lyrics and I was blown away. It’s those moments of mental Sync when you think to yourself ” that could not have been a coincidence” . The theme revolves around a type of deity which experiments with creating humanity, humanity does what it does best : Disappoints , and the deity sees it as a failure and destroys it. Believing that the failure may have been a result of the environment in which the human test was grown, the deity sends parts to be regrown onto a beautiful planet : Earth. Notoriority later, the deity comes to visit its creation, only to find that humanity fails it in the same way. Gives up, destroys it by flames, upon his return he meets his higher Goddess, he feels he’s failed in creation and she soothes and nurtures him. Despite it being my own story it really syncs very well with Tuckers lyrics , in the Gods creation of ” Useless beings”.
Oh yes. So I was some what inspired by the deity on the cover for the demon in my video , Ken modeled the pill , and animated one shot ( the pill heading to earth)
Artienne: Many of your fans compare the new Morbid Angel video to such productions as “Pan’s Labyrinth”, ” Hellraiser” and “Star Wars”. The scene where the children bodies are ripped into pieces is identified with the aesthetics of gore known from the acceptable horrors of the 80’s but most people unfortunately relate a type of chaos & disgust when it this is applied visually through music . “Garden of Disdain” reminds me of the painful rituals from the books of Graham Masterton as well as the imagery of Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster Cycle”. Was this the intended effect, what are your thoughts?
Nader: First, I want to thank you and all the people who viewed the video and felt that they experienced something profound or genuine. “Hellraiser” is of course a huge influence, I wanted to really go back to the early 90s inspirations with this, as far with my influences, the Morbid Angel song is cutting edge and cemented in modernity, but there is definitely a return to their roots vibe. So I remembered the things I watched when I was introduced to Morbid Angel in the mid/late 90s, like Hellraiser, my first MA album was when “Formulas” was released, living in Egypt, You got what was handed down to you you didn’t really get to chose. I was into Sepultura and Deicide way before knowing about Morbid Angel, for example. I wanted to reference a movie like Hellraiser. The violent themes reflect the story within the song, and the natural violence of the rhythm created. It needed to be intense. The Story I wrote for the song, coincidentally ( or not?) follows the lyrics. By that I mean , when MA’s management contacted me for the potential gig, they asked for an early concept, and without having heard the song or read the lyrics ( I was originally assigned a different song) but simply by having some similar ideas to Steve Tucker and having been long time friends and collaborators, I thought our ideas would overlap well, but didn’t think it would be so similar, he was quite surprised and showed me the lyrics to the song , I was actually quite surprised. Matthew Barney was a point of interest for me from the early 2000 until 2005 maybe, very powerful intense work. But I wouldn’t call his work an influence on the current version of me, his work is quite in the peripheral of my current influences. However as far as “Star Wars”, and “Pans Labyrinth”, while again not direct influences like Barney, of course its very flattering. But really there are many influences that are drawn from spirituality, the creation of the universe and life itself, also scientific theories like Francis Cricks. Crick is the scientist who discovered the double helix in DNA and he theorized about how earth came to earth in capsule.
No God will claim this garden
Too sickening to the eyes to see this
Long ignored my words of warning
From the world I built, erased
So it shall know no peace in my time
All gods have left this garden
These gods have left in shame
Dismissed and long forgotten
This world of useless being
This endless festering
Artienne: We should return to the figure of the Goddess and Demon. Who is Goddess and Demon? Perhaps An, the supreme being? Do you identify either with specific gods or demons? On board the Merkaba, it appears a woman has undergone the disfiguring process of deification. What types of meanings does this scene symbolize? I know Sumerian mythology is a bit chaotic because over the centuries the functions of gods have changed. Unfortunately it seems there is a lot of pessimism in your vision… the creation of humanity was a mistake, the gods failed and left the lands. Would this interpretation be correct?
Nader: yes, that is a great interpretation. There are many layers, the demon is my interpretation of The Morbid Angel, at least for me that was what I wanted to create, angels are beautiful loving creatures, but if they are dark and morbid , in my opinion they should be honest and merciless within their wise philosophical compass, the demon created a form of humanity, feeds them of his flesh and blood, and demanded very little, in return they betrayed him but ultimately he gives them another chance at life, to which he only gets disappointment again. I don’t think its pessimistic, you wouldn’t call a lion evil because it hunts a dear, its simply an exercise in trial and error. Humanity simply is not good enough.
Great observation with the disfigurement, the deity was at some point forced to make certain ‘shallow’ sacrifices in order to become a fully fledged goddess, the idea is that even gods suffer and even gods have gods that created them.
Artienne: In your vision you mentioned “Merkaba, a galaxy-roaming vessel”. How do you approach the vision of Ezekiel and early Jewish mysticism? How profound are the roots of your inspiration of this symbolism?
Nader: Zero. I don’t allow Abrahamic religions to influence me philosophically as we all know at this point that most of their stories, advice and methods are burrowed from pre-historic and ancients schools of mysticism. The Merkaba is a diagram of life, a force of the living, the immortal, an energy that is constantly moving and thus does not know death. This is why the living deities reside in it.
Artienne: How do you rate “The Arab spring” and the political changes taking place in your country? Some time ago I read your article about the political situation in Egypt, have things changed since then? I also heard about the case of Julio Regeni, a political scientist from Oxford who wrote about changes in your country. When reading about these types of matters I get the impression that your country is not a safe place, would you feel this to be true?
Nader: Unfortunately , that is a good follow up question to the Morbid angel video, It was a failure and disappointment, despite it being the biggest protest in human history.
Artienne : “Nader is a gentleman, a first class host and a really fun, nice, sincere guy” said Karl Sanders, when visiting for his first time in Egypt. What are your thoughts about the visit of Karl, Derek Roddy, & Mahmud Gecekusu? Even with your tight schedule you’ve managed to make a few songs with them. Do you think your collaboration with Derek has been a success? When can we expect a new album?
Nader: It was amazing, the stuff is basically still being worked on, although the skeleton has already been flushed out in Egypt with incredible results. Mahmud is a great friend, he’s the greatest ( along with his brother Ahmet) guitarist and song writer in the middle east, he’s also part Egyptian, despite living elsewhere. It was great having him around and his contribution was invaluable, I cant wait to continue to work on it with him. Karl’s word are far too kind, I did everything I could to be a decent host, and I am really happy that he had a good time, on the same note, I was also really happy to literally take him to the doorsteps to the pyramid, it was a great honor to be with a man who built a career honoring 2 of the thing is love most Metal and ancient Egypt. This wouldn’t have been complete without Derek’s presence, he really took charge in the studio and we were all blown away with his energy. Despite being around him a lot in the last few years he never ceases to amaze me. There is no direct link to Egypt with Derek, as say being in a band which Egyptian themed or having Egyptian blood, however when I took them all to a non religious spiritual cleansing ritual, as a cultural exploration , to show them the different sides of Egypt. I noticed that he was in tears, he is a real artist and I value his collaborations deeply.
Artienne : It seems music has completely dominated the media and vice versa. Some people see this as a kind of symbiosis, but also something very destructive because the media has the ability to take advantage of music by corruption. Do you think the media has this type of influence on music, & if so have you experienced it first hand?
Nader: Unfortunately any industry is corrupt and the sleazy media takes over, which is why its a real pleasure to work with more underground publications like yours, no click bait, no ads, no incestual nepotism, just pure professionalism.
Artienne: Why did you choose music journalism? What is the most difficult challenge in your work?
Nader: I didn’t. It chose me, Several publications thought I had something to offer and invited me to write for them. I really enjoyed picking some of these talented artists brains and like anything else I move on to other things. In writing and interviewing there really aren’t any challenges, I try my best to bring out the most interesting from the artist, basically I try to approach the artist the way i like being approached. The idea is to get a productive conversation going.
Artienne: Well. Thank you for taking the time to talk to Elestra.
Nader: Thank you for this great interview and everyone reading it, be yourself, find your true calling and your higher self and never give up.
#black-metal, #death-metal, #fb-com-naderflesh, #metal, #nader-sadek
Music has always been a huge part of my soul and I loved being in a band … .. Playing my guitar or keyboard is something I love but making 3D illustration, traditional, digital painting, talking with different kind of Artists and have with them photo-session make me very happy also. A few months ago, together with Katia from Belgium, we decided to do the exhibition of our photos and illustrations. The idea may seem crazy because we live in different countries, but strong people create reality and make their dreams comes true…
Artienne: Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with things you see but everything to do with the way you see them… When did you become interested in photography? Is this is your way of escaping from the grim reality?
Katia: I have always been fascinated by the image … to reflect the moment … beyond everything, I like delivering a message, a symbol … for example, I adore playing on the contrasts as the Parisian bustle seen in a peaceful garden of Montmartre, showing a clear landscape but enabling to perceive the place of shooting. Life is movement, peace, agony, rest … a permanent duality. I like encouraging people to interpret my photos (front and background) … each one will find his own symbolism according to his real-life experience, according to felt sound.
Katia: What is your way of escaping from reality? How do you find inspiration for your illustration? What are the messages you are trying to convey through them?
Artienne: With my own experience I know that escaping from reality is not possible because everywhere you stay, sooner or later your own life will gonna get you. Yes, the escape into the world of fantasy brings temporary relief and sense of security in a new dimension, but never eliminates the hazards of life. It is important to find balance and be active regardless of what you do. You can escape into a world of fantasy, but you can not be passive. The imagery should be used, not escape, but create something new and interesting. My way of activity is the world of music, making tracks, painting, drawing, 3d illustration, embroidery, writing poetry, making viking clothing, learning new things from other people. The main source of inspiration for me is of course Norwegian nature, the voices of her children, and the magic of her sounds. I love walking by the fjord, meditate there, read old legends , folk fairy tales about magical creatures, secretive feminine and male characters.
I would like to show people some kind of spirituality and bring them positive thoughts, magic, joy and uplifting mood. Inside me is also some kind of duality and my soul cannot reject dark themes. Many people are afraid of experiencing this kind of plastic expression. My illustrations bring them a message that you can not completely avoid the darkness and run away from it. We cannot laugh all the time and say that our life is amazing. There is also place for sadness, bad mood and illness. But we have to find a balance between Dark and Light… even if we have to wait long time to reach the right points.
Artienne: The name “Rillifane Rallathil” is elven god of protection of woodlands and the guardian of the harmony of nature. Probably this name come from the Forgotten Realms and I have to say that it fits very well to the topic of your art. On your web page I found lovely photos of nature, plants, animals, rivers, streams , sometimes people etc. What is your goal? Do you treat photography as a hobby or something more serious? Nature is probably the biggest source of inspiration for you?
Katia: I have no precise purpose, I’ve got an excellent job that fascinates me and widely feeds my family and my animals, I am thus free to work as I want in photography. It is of course a hobby that allows me to express my feelings, may they be happy or darker according to moments.
Nature inspires me, obviously as it is a big provider of lessons. It invites you to philosophy about questioning, humility…
It is not rare that when I do not feel good, I go and make a walk inthe woods I let my spirit wander, and often, I get out of it with a solution to my concerns.
Trees bewitch me in particular, I am next to them in my work a lot because I am responsible for the forest asset management of a city … they are my biggest source of inspiration.
Katia: What’s the importance of nature in your art? Fairies and elves occupy a central place in your drawings, where does this fascination for these magical beings come from?
Very important for me is my determination to pursue my passion despite criticism from others who would prefer me take a more safe and lucrative path in life. I like to bright and colorful images, because they provoke positive feelings. But like I said won’t shy away from darker themes because they represent the human spirit as well. But even when if I exploring darker themes, there is always light and a “way out”. And that is because, no matter how hard my life gets, I never give up. This is the reason why I talk about to finding a balance between dark and light.
My fascination of Elves and fairies comes from folk fairy tales, books, music, paintings and illustration various authors.
I think that the roots of my inspiration should be sought during my childhood. I have enjoyed hearing grandma’s stories about magic, elves, and my mum reading from very early on. I learned to read very quickly and when my mother was at work, I quietly read her books. From what I remember, there were books about Greek and Roman mythology, history of Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt and Sumer, Old folk fairy tales etc. With the passing of years, the time has come to read about German, Slavonic, Finnish and Laplandic mythology. While I was studied of History at University I was fascinated by Sumerian mythology and Ancient Egypt, then by the Celtic and the Viking beliefs. I was also looking for inspiration in the world of fantasy literature, computer games, music and painting as well.
Artienne: Many legends are surrounding me and one of them says that I’m feeding Heiðrún with my leaves… Hléraðr Ramblings…. the name is connected to the millenium oak of the islandic deep forests…. Why did you choose the old Icelandic name instead of old French for your web page? Which kind of meanings have to you?
Katia: Iceland is one big source of inspiration for me. This country fascinates me both by its landscapes and culture, I dream to visit it. They apply a politic of very avant-gardist nature conservation. The name of Hléraðr came quite naturally, inspired by the legend of Yggdrasill, Christophe made a very good representation through logo with Heiðrún feeding on this tree this symbol is important for me ; a friend told me a day ” distance yourself from those who don’t nourish you”
By making reference to people who surrounded me but emptied me of my energy instead of bringing something positive to my life. This image of Heiðrún, which feeds on leaves of Hléraðr, comes from this idea … the blog is in fact, the ramblings of this old oak … I can dive in him and rave on what it could imagine in its distant forest.
Katia: I think Nordic culture has also inspired you a lot in your 3d illustration especially the Viking tradition. How does this culture fascinate you?
Artienne: It is true. Nordic culture has had a huge impact on me. I have a nature of a viking traveler who likes to visit, discover different countries. For many years I have been fascinated history, the Viking and the Celtic beliefs. The subject of my Master’s Degrees was Old Uppsala and Heathen Cult in this place. Then I moved to England where I joined to a Viking re-enactment group in Bristol and I learned to design costumes and various apparel . In Otley I met a woman Katrin Newman who helped me enter the world of living history. During this period I was very fascinated by Birka, because of the interesting ornamentation. For many years I learned to draw portraits, embroidery, take pictures and always the subject of my work were Vikings, Scandinavian artists or creatures associated with Nordic culture. I am a big fan of the vikings series and Skyrim game 🙂 I do also listen to Scandinavian folk as well.
Artienne: “My artistic inspiration varies all the time between dark and bright at this moment”.-Katia. Yes I notice some kind of duality of your art. I found this interesting that you submitted on your web page color together with black and White images. Where are the roots of your fascination?
Katia: As Nature and seasons, I have a multifaceted personality. I oscillate between four seasons: Spring: euphoria of changes, the freshness of childhood, frivolity…
Summer: passion, enthusiasm, but also heat storms
Autumn: cleansing of the soul, removing the excesses of the summer, the need to be protected, following the example of the bare trees, we feel fragile, the sensibility is exacerbated.
Winter its coldness, its peace, its darkness …
My mood and inspiration follows these seasons … my photos are very different and so my texts.
This seasonal evolution was the electrical wire(main thread) of our sylvan musing, Christophe’s logos according to its inspiration, becoming completely integrated into this evolution.
Katia: Is your artistic inspiration more linear? Do the natural cycles or another natural phenomenon as the moon influence your work?
Artienne: You know, I was always alive and imaginative person who is not able to limit herself when it is come to the inspiration subject. Although the Nordic culture had a huge impact on my illustrations, however, you can see the diversity in my work. The image of “Eleanor” is a more like a smile of the Renaissance, court culture knows from historical novels Philippa Gregory or Alison Weir… Another series of illustrations I made have Pre-Rafaelite style. Also I really like reading books about Ancient civilizations. My renders Eudaimonia, Greek Oracle or Satyricon is a tribute to Greek mythology.
My own mythology … My wounded whisper..The only thing you hear …
In the one hand, I am talking about the culture of Ancient Summer, in another hand, I have the desire to create my own mythology. The inspiration come from Epic of Gilgamesh, Necronomicon, the music of Morbid Angel and the paintings by Zbigniew Beksinski. Other illustrations are an invitation to the world of computer games like Star Citizen, Conan Exiles, Witcher or Skyrim. I made a few illustrations with starship Antares and Twilek’s because of inspiration from Star Wars Movie. One of my illustration” Autumn Magic” touched the natural cycles topic. For me the magic school is a forest with trees, falling leaves and dry yellow grass. First character represents Autumn Spirit who came to us with her treasures, positive warm colors, the second is human being just looking for connection with nature. Meditation is just the way to help us to find the right path. I am looking for something spiritual in my life.. Winter is the time when the human body and nature have to regenerate. But after the storm, one day we must come out in the sun. Therefore, for me, Winter brings a balance between darkness and light. When it’s cold, the snowflakes are falling down, my soul is happy and full of energy. When it comes to a natural phenomenon or the moon phase, you will surely find more accents in my works in the nearest future. One of my favorite illustrations I made is Dark Elf Who has stolen the moon. For me, a character holding a small moon has a symbolic meaning. The phases of the moon have always been of great importance to me. When I lived in England, I also dealt with herbalism, I had my small garden with various herbs and flowers.
Artienne: Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.What means creativity for you? You organize exhibitions for different kind of Arts – one of them was called Reverie Sylvestre. Can you say some thing more about your exhibition and activity. You made this exhibition with Luca Devinu Blessend illustrations and Christophe Szpajdel-Lord of Logos. How did you find the common theme?How do you remember this exhibition?
Katia: I always need a sheet of paper and a pen with me because everything can be source of inspiration, it’s just necessary to be ready to welcome the message that offers itself to us.
Christophe and I we know each other for more than 25 years, gathered by music at first (we realized and managed together the fanzine and the label of distribution “Burning Corpse” from 93 to 97) … we evolved, a bit as an old couple those who know us will say… because working together is sometimes very tiring, we are both very passionate and often, a new idea can take us in an euphoria state that requires to be supervised.
Both of us are fascinated by trees, birds, birds of prey and of course photography, this exhibition was for us an obvious fact.
Luca joined us by exhibiting drawings that became well integrated into our work reflecting a little bit of the mystic side of nature.
This exhibition has known an unexpected success.
We organized it from Friday opening to Sunday.
We had many visits, not only by people stemming from the field of music, many came for the “Outside World» … from logos, photos, paints, stories told with a lot of talent by Christophe …
All this in the back room of a pub … the public was diversified, and inquisitive, the purpose has been reached.
Katia: We moreover exposed several logos that Chris realized for you … why this collaboration with Christophe? How you are known each other? What means “Artienne” for you? In French, it is an adjective concerning an art school.
Artienne: The main reason for my interest in Chris was his personality, great talent for logos, good heart and creative spirit. Of course, his work , all his logos has made a huge impression on me from beginning. A long time ago I made a zine devoted to metal music. We published the first issue of this zine in the printing house. Once I found an address to Chris and wrote to him or opposite :). I think it was 95-96. We lived in different countries, far from each other, therefore the meeting was not possible. For a long time we have been conducting correspondence, exchanging demos, zines, various things. It was a fantastic time, I asked Chris to make a logo for my music projects, I sent him a demo and he helped me. He was the only man I could trust. He wrote to me a lot about the Belgian and Portuguese scene at the time. I wrote to him about other bands … Later I had a conflict with my co-worker and again asked Chris for help and making a new logo. Then we had a break period. After finishing studies, I moved to England, while Christophe lived in Exeter. After many years I found him on Myspace and again we re-freshed our contact , this time thanks to the new technology and internet we managed to talk on the phone and skype 🙂
Artienne is a French name… ARIENNE: French form of Latin Ariadne, meaning “utterly pure.” , some people claim that Artienne means devoted to the Gods, but in my opinion they are wrong because they are thinking about form Arielle, Abrielle, Ardelle which means the lion of God. Artienne is more connected to the spirit and human beings, who decided to devote all their life to the Art. So it make sense for me that Artienne must be a an adjective connected to Art school. When I pick up the name I didn’t think about the name Artienne which contains “Art”. I was happy with the sound and old french origin. My great-grandma and grandma was born in Charbonnier Les Miles in France and they lived there for many years. My great dad was the miner and musician, who played very well violin and viola. This is what I know from my grandma Anne.
Artienne: Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, to the imagination and life to everything-Plato.What is music for you? I know you love metal music and many years ago you made fan zine with Christophe. You are also manager of Burning Corpse. Can you say something more about your demons and your old fan zine? 🙂 How you see future of metal scene?
Katia: Metal is a magical music… a friend told me a day ” we, the metalheads, are in the extreme, our sensibility are exacebated “… it’s so true!
I adore frequenting little fests where I don’t know many people… after a few hours, we discuss as if we known ourselves for a long time.
Seen from the outside, it’s difficult to understand this mentality but it’s in the world of the music that I made the most beautiful meetings, the most true, richest, strongest…
Burning corpse was a fanzine and a distro -list for small independent groups that contacted us (we interviewed them and we took some demos from them to be distributed), we worked mainly with Riccardo Figiaconi (Miscarriage Records) and Dan Swanö (Unisound ) for the more known groups.
I took back this name for my page Facebook of live reports.
At the beginning of the 90s, when I began with music, internet didn’t exist, it was a great time for tape trading.
We knotted contacts throughout the world by exchanging k7’s with our untraceable musical discoveries at the record dealers.
I remember that was a blessed era…
Exchanges of handwritten letters with one tape and small explanations about the pieces we made discover to our correspondent. It was really magic, we looked forward to the postman.
Many of these friendships continued, we met each other again thanks to Facebook but the magic, the intimate side and the confidence of letters is not there anymore.
The future of the scene metal? I don’t know … I keep following a lot of young groups but in a undefinable way, there’s something that does not exist anymore … the spirit is not the same anymore…
I exchanged a lot with Dan Swanö, we always had in mind discovering new talents without prejudice ; there was this underground spirit, every group had its luck…I don’t know how to explain, but the contacts with groups is not the same anymore.
Katia: What are your musical influences? What impact have they on your work? What is your approach of the scene metal in particular?
Artienne: In my home, my parents listened to different music, but my spirit needed more diversity and an element of mysticism. I love guitar music by Hendrix, Steve Hackett, Eddie van Halen, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Jason Becker, classic (Mozart, Bach, Betthoween), Chopin, Berg, Grieg, Elend, metal and rock with various styles. I have always liked music that is more difficult to receive.When it comes to concerts, I loved going to talk with people but after some time I needed loneliness and time to create music or make illustrations. Unfortunately, my parents were not delighted with my actions and the fact that instead of earning money I am like drunk marine who just spends money for new instruments, softwares etc.. But you can not live according to the wishes of your parents or other people. You have to be yourself :). I kept contact with many musicians but not so often because of my studies. When creating illustrations I listen to different music, for example Sopor Aeternus, Morbid Angel, Blind Guardian, Dead Can Dance, The Gathering, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Arcturus, Wardruna, Chaostar, Garmarna, Devil Doll, Immolation … The magic of sound put me to the right mood. For many years I have not been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The only stubs I can not get rid of is the magic of sound and the cup of coffee.
Artienne: Horses carry the wisdom of healing in their hearts and offer it to any humans who possess the humility to listen. You are living in a farm with plenty of horses and i can see that they are very special to you. Can you say something more about the Spirit and magic around them?
Katia: I don’t live in a farm but I have got a house filled with animals, dog, cat, reptiles, fishes and I breeds Bantams of Beijing.
My horses stay in a private stable within a few kilometers from my home.
My relatives and grandparents always had horses too, the divorce of my parents had risks of everyday life and also a bad fall took me away from this passion for a few years and then, having caught the virus, my daughters brought horses back in my life.
In the evening, I’m going out of the office, I drag my feet at the stable, cursing the cold and then there the breath and the look of my horse, « El’ Boy », erase takes away any trace of discomfort… it puts ts head tenderly against me, I brush her and the magic operates… everything fades around me… the carpet, the saddle, the girth… this small game between us, iEl’Boy nibbling the belt… , I dispute it kindly …I close the last loop and now we’re off to runway…
There, it pays attention to the friends who join us … we walk a little, we discuss, we calm down … and then I ride it calmly… and during one hour, time does not exist anymore, … exercises of softenings, body-building … we end sweaty, a small cover on its back, some carrots, a big cuddle … moment of calm, incomparable sweetness, impression of well done work … a feeling of plenitude.
Katia: Animals are very present in your 3D illustration, drawings also, what are the ones which inspire you most? What is your approach and your relation with them?
Artienne: That’s right. In my illustrations, there are animals such as wolves, squirrels, cats, tigers, horses. But I have special sympathy for the wolves. These animals can follow the gaze of others. In social animals, it is an important skill because it allows one to predict someone’s next move, such as a predator or victim, and to follow important events in the herd. .. The wolf also found its place in the traditional legends of China. According to the Chinese, the sun sometimes eclipses, because a huge wolf swallows them. In ancient Rome, it was believed that one who managed to see the wolf who was associated with Mars was the god of war. So whoever saw him, he could be sure of good luck in the battles. One of his greatest victories over the Gaelic armies, the Romans in their opinion attributed to the wolf. The animal was sent by Mars to the enemy army of the Gauls. One of the most famous Roman myths tells the story of a female-wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The wolf’s qualities made such an impression on people that all the cultures of the lands on which this animal lived had included his character in his religious beliefs, symbols or legends. Very old tribes dressed up in the wolfskins of hunters and sorcerers. This was to provide them with the most valuable features of these exceptional animals. The wolf’s teeth hung around his neck to protect people from evil.
Many people say that I have a wolf spirit. I do not know if it’s true, but I’m a little loner by nature. I love lonely walks and taking pictures in plenary to different animals. I come from a big city, so it’s hard for me to talk about my relationships with animals. At home, my mother did not like animals so I did not have any. When she was pregnant , my father took me to the grandparents, who had horses, dogs, cats, and other animals. In this short period I had a closer contact with animals, but I was a small child, so my behavior towards animals was like any child in the city. I had to understand and observe many things. My parents got divorced when I was eight years old and since then I have not seen my grandparents. Relations between parents were far from ideal, so in my private life I was very careful when it came to setting up a family. I love also dragons, demons and these sweet creatures have also special place in my heart.
Artienne: I know you like this author and also you added this quote to your page. What is special about Jack Kerouac in Big Sur? which kind of literature and poem you like?
“Because a new love affair always gives hope, the irrational mortal loneliness is always crowned, that thing I saw (that horror of a snake emptiness) when I took the deep iodine deathbreath on the Big Sur beach is now justified and hosannah’d and raised up like a sacred urn to Heaven in the mere fact of the taking off of clothes and clashing wits and bodies in the inexpressibly nervously sad delight of love- don’t let no old fogies tell you otherwise, and on top of that nobody in the world even ever dares to write the true story of lovem it’s awful, we’re stuck with a 50% incomplete literature and drama- lying mouth to mouth, kiss to kiss in the pillow dark, loin to loin in unbelievable surrendering sweetness so distant from all our mental fearful abstractions it makes you wonder why men have termed God antisexual somehow- the secret underground truth of mad desire hiding under fenders under buried junkyards throughout the world, never mentioned in newspapers, written about haltingly and like corn by authors and painted tongue in cheek by artists, agh, just listen to Tristan und Isolde by Wagner and think of him in a Bavarian field with his beloved naked beauty under fall leaves.”
Jack Kerouac in Big Sur
Katia: I really like this author as many others … in fact, the choice of the literature excerpts depends on my feelings in front of the picture illustrated … Christophe and I are very fond of quotes, and book excerpts … as soon as we meet a little sentence that challenges us during our readings or our meetings, we talk about it …. Sometimes Chris makes a beautiful calligraphy cfr example.
This quotation from Big Sûr illustrated a photo taken in the Ninglinspo valley in the south of Belgium, the coolness of a forest and its spring statements reminded me of the beginning of a romantic relationship …
My readings are a bit like my artistic inspirations … very changeable according to my mood …
Katia: Your drawings, renders sometimes seem straight out of the pages of a book. Have you ever thought of illustrating books?Are your drawings inspired by literature? who are your favorite authors?
Artienne: A year ago, I made illustrations and covers to both e-books of George Sophie Ramey. I think you can still get these books on Amazon. At that time, I was the person who took the first steps as a graphic illustrator so I didn’t have much experience with Daz Studio. I also made some pictures for an English company that produces furniture.
I love reading historical novels, fantasy books, philosophical essays and poetry. The paintings of various periods and fantasy illustrations have had a huge impact on my imagination.
I like reading book from : Tolkien, Steven Erikson, R.A. Salvatore, Terry Goodkind,Richard Kirk, Umberto Ecco, Lovecraft, Cleve Barker, Stephan King, Sapkowsky, S. Lem, Graham Masteron, Robert E Howard, Bernar Cornwell, William Morris, Andrew Lang, Francisco de Moraes, Johann Ludwig Tieck, John Ruskin, George Mac Donald, L Frank Baum, Robert E Horaed, Ursula L Le Guin. Necronomicon by Simmons, Socrates, Platon, Empadocles, Anaxagoras, Thales, Pitagoras…
Artienne: The heart of the chakra is our potential connection with the highest levels of awareness, innate intelligence, which cannot be taught, intuition and knowing. It is the balance point for the other six(chakras)-the lower three largely relate to this reality and the higher tree largely to expanded levels of awareness and communication. The heart is at the governor sitting of the centre or should be and is potentially ,emphasies on potentiality -our connection to infinitate oneself. What you think about the chakras ?
Katia: I know the main principles of the chakras but I have never really been interested in it. For me, harmony of the body goes through harmony of the spirit. I am convinced that when something is stuck in my life, it will manifest itself as a summarization.
But I admit it’s a philosophy that I don’t know well enough.
Katia: Can you explain to me how this philosophy works? How do you apply it in your everyday life?
Artienne: I was interested in these topics very long ago when I had health problems(allergy, rheumatism and gallstones. In England I met a woman named Maria who was interested in esotericism and told me that I have blocked, blue sacral and red chakra (Roots). I used chakras and crystals for meditation. She told me also to use blue and red candles, wear clothing in this colors, put some decorations , use special kind of herbs, oils and crystals. When it comes to chakras, it is best to talk about when we will meet in Belgium at the exhibition. I can only tell you a little bit about it…
Imagine the spine as the shaft of the elevator, and the chakras as individual floors on which we experience life. When we rise from one floor to the next in consciousness, we broaden our perspective.Suppose that the chakras are seven floors of a building. When we are on the lowest floor and we look out the window, we have a different view in front of us than from the other floors. On each successive floor we gradually see more and more. If the windows on all floors are clean, the views are uninterrupted. However, the window panes are often obscured by our beliefs. We must be ready to verify all beliefs to clean them. Chakras determine how we use energy. They are batteries for various levels of life energy. They collect, store and give shape to energy through communication with the cosmic life force. The free flow of energy between us and the Universe is directly dependent on our overall health and contentment. Chakras determine how we use energy. They are batteries for various levels of life energy. They collect, store and give shape to energy through communication with the cosmic life force. The free flow of energy and contentment. The first step to understanding the chakras is to see their action in our life in the form of energy flow. The same life force flows through us as through plants, animals, clouds, rivers and mountains. It flows through the chakra system in an organized and visible way. You can watch it and feel it, but you have to reach the observer’s perspective. People with sensitivity that allows them to see the chakras define them as vortices of energy, rotating like luminous circles and emanating each with their own color.
The faster they spin, the more energy they can download and transfer.
However, always the lowest energy frequency is shown by the root chakra (emanating in red), and ever higher each one towards the head crown chakra – analogously to the higher notes in the range and the colors of the rainbow from red to violet.
The combination of these circles of light creates our aura, which is the radiation of subtle light energy from the chakras.
Chakras are usually associated with the system of endocrine glands. Their position in the body coincides with the location of many of these glands, and the importance of each chakra is closely related to the function of the corresponding gland.
However, this relationship is not physical, because the chakras, despite their position along the spine, are not physical.
In contrast, the energy of the chakras, although it is subtle by nature, not physical, permeates all aspects of our life. By acquiring awareness of its operation, we direct our attention from the physical manifestations to the energy hidden behind them, that is, where the changes take place really.
Artienne: Do you have any plans for the future?
Katia: A new project on the way with you … our conductive thread is slowly taking form …
Other projects en route in early 2018 with Christophe, the time to meet a few days and develop ideas of a new collaboration …
I also have other projects on standby like the publication of several albums containing my most beautiful photos of forests embellished with quotes but cumulating several professional and artistic activities, I would just like to find the time … to live, to dream, to let the inspiration carry me …
Katia: And you, do you have other projects in mind?
Artienne: At this moment in my head I have an exhibition project with you in Belgium. I hope Chris will join us. I started work for Elite 3D Artists as well. I think about creating covers and illustrations for books and metal albums. When I saw the Artwork of Ken Coleman, I realized I had to do more useful things. I would like to do something more with the music but I am getting older and it is hard to find a person to cooperate with. That’s why i think about making music for games. I do not want to plan too much because for the present time it does not make sense. I will see where art will take me. 🙂 Thank you Katia for brilliant talk.
Adrian von Ziegler is a Swiss composer of various styles, book author and philologist by passion and was born on the 25th December 1989. Adrian had a passion for music since a very young age, experimenting with various instruments and then moving in the world of digitally composed music. He mentioned influences like: Nox Arcana, Hans Zimmer, Koji Kondo, Howard Shore, Bach, Jeremy Soule etc. All these information spread with us Carina-his wife and Soul-mate who is also responsible for visual part of his artwork …
Artienne: Beginnings are the most important…said Plato (the Republic), so I would like to talk to you about the first steps you took in your music career. You were playing drums with a band but left them. Why did you stop playing the drums and pick up the guitar? Were you inspired by guitar music? You also said that you took guitar lessons for a year but decided to quit because of jazz influences, etc. How do you rate your first steps? Many artists appreciate the fact that they started playing the guitar or percussion where jazz influences dominated, because it helped them to create their own style and have a basic base when it comes to rhythm. How about you?
Adrian: When I got my first guitar I was immediately captivated by it because it allowed me to compose real melodies and songs, which wasn’t possible with the drums, so yes, I switched focus very rapidly. I was very much into Grunge and Rock and Metal music at that time as well, so yes, I had a lot of inspiration from different types of guitar music. My first steps were a bit different I guess… I honestly didn’t learn much in my guitar lessons, so I don’t think that Jazz has helped me much to create my own style. I had a pretty personal way of composing music even before my lessons, so my style didn’t actually change or develop because of that. Which is sad, because my teacher was amazing, but I was simply not interested, and I actually feel sorry to say this.
Artienne: Indigo is a beautiful color … but I’m wondering about the genesis of this name. You chose this name for your project. Why? I remember the term “Children of Indigo” which is reserved for people who from early childhood are characterized by having paranormal abilities. The term comes from the publication of Lee Carroll & Jana Tober (1999): The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived, and the color of Indigo is the color of the auras of the people mentioned. So what did the name mean to you? And when, and why, did you start to use your real name, Adrian von Ziegler?
Adrian: I didn’t know about the term “Indigo children” until much later actually. The reason why I chose the name Indigo was purely based on the fact that Indigo blue is my favorite color. But when I found out about “Indigo children” it was a very nice little coincidence for me because my mother actually told me that when I was a kid I seemed to have telepathic abilities and strange dreams, etc. I don’t know what to believe about this, but I thought it’s interesting at least.
I started using my real name when I opened my YouTube channel. I was sitting there and wanted to name my channel Indigo Music, but then I decided against it because I thought that Indigo doesn’t explain my identity better than my real name does already. And I wanted to present the most real image of myself that was possible.
Artienne: Why did you decide to replace the guitar with keyboard and orchestral arrangements? You like to use the software called Magic Music Maker. I agree with you that this program is very simple to use and crashes less than others. And I wonder if you tried to work with Vienna, Music score, Ableton or Pro Tools HD? Did you heard about the new generation of Strezov sample Freya and Wotan? Some people complain about the female chords. Would you like to add these sort of things to your music?
Adrian: Oh absolutely, the examples you showed I would definitely like to use one day! I never tried to work with other programs except Magix and Cubase. Why did I replace guitar with orchestra, a good question. I think it just comes down to a personal evolution. I wanted to move away from Rock and Metal and move more towards Film Music. I went from Grunge to Metal, from Metal to Symphonic Metal, and then from there to pure Symphony. Folk Music is also always there, and many other styles, but ultimately the trend has gone away from Rock and towards orchestra.
Artienne: I found interesting information that you don’t wish to add lyrics to your song unless the singer is Enya, a female composer you respect. Do you think that only her voice can fit your style of music? How about Lisa Gerrard, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Natalie Barbary or Moya Brennan? How about Carina, your lovely and beautiful wife? She said on her web page that she is working very hard to improve her singer skills… Is it hard to find talented vocalists in Switzerland? I am sure that in your country there are definitely music schools and workshops for vocalists. Have you tried looking for singers in these places?
Adrian : No I haven’t tried to search for singers, it’s not a priority for me to be honest. I’m happy with instrumental music, so I’m not very excited to actively search and contact singers. I actually prefer things the way they are right now. But yes, IF I would ever have a singer in my music it has to be someone whose emotions fit my own emotions in terms of the voice and my music. That’s why Enya (which I will obviously never collaborate with) was the only one that came to my mind.
Artienne: I would like to return to the old interview which you made with Dominik Von Ziegler in 2011. I remember that you said you do not know much about music theory. Since that time has passed, six years, did something change regarding this matter? I’m asking because I was listening to a track on YouTube by your wife, Carina, and she wrote that you helped her correct the music score. So, I started to be very curious if something changed in your life. It also reminded me of Christopher from the Swedish band, Therion, who for many years did not know how to read sheet music and learned by using the Sybelius program when he had to create “orchestral passages”. Is knowledge about music theory very important for musicians who create their own music on the pc or not?
Adrian: Knowledge about music theory – except for the very basics – is not important at all for making music. No, not much has changed since then, my knowledge is still very limited and the things I was teaching Carina are basics. So, I pretty much know just as much now as I did back then in that interview.^^ The only difference between then and now is experience. I always learned how to make music from experimenting and trying to feel out harmonies and to feel what sounds right and wrong, so I never actually needed music theory that much.
Artienne: Some time ago, I found some “sheets for your music” by Robert Russell. Did you have any influence on their creation? I mean, did you cooperate with Robert? Would you like to do your own sheets for other tracks in the future?
Adrian: No, he does those all on his own. I can’t even read the sheets actually.^^ And no, I don’t feel any real motivation to learn how to write the sheets myself, he’s doing a fantastic job at it already.
Link to the song:
The artwork was created by this great artist:
Artienne: “I could never compose music together with another person”… your own words from 2011 … For Lukasz Kapuscinsky you made an exception. I know Lukasz has been playing your covers for a few years and after sometime you became friends with him. I’ll tell you honestly that I have not met another musician who has made music with one of his fans. Lukasz’s technique is very similar to the style of my colleague from Norway who is passionate about Celtic, Renaissance and Baroque music. I think it is also a source of inspiration for both of you, isn’t it? Let me know if I am wrong. Can you tell me about your collaboration with Lukasz while recording Dance of the String? Did you do the guitar parts with him, or did he make all the guitar parts alone and send you a file and you did the rest by using Magic Maker?
Adrian: I actually made another exception with The Enigma TNG.^^ So, I worked with two musicians now. Of course things have changed since 2011. I am generally more open to working with others now than I was back then. But it’s still a very delicate thing to decide for me. I can only work with someone who I really, DEEPLY feel comfortable with, a real friend. Celtic, and in general European Folk music, is a huge influence for me, and I assume also for Lukasz, but I can’t speak for him. The collaboration was actually almost all his work. He arranged the guitar cover songs all on his own. He didn’t even have sheet music, so he’s another one of those artists who has all the sounds in his head, without the need for the theory. It really impressed me! The only real collaboration on the album was the last song, “Follow the Hunt”. I composed the song with all the instruments except guitar and then gave him the file and he made all the guitar parts for it. We agreed that I would set up the structure of the song and he would fill in the blanks, but it doesn’t mean that it will always be that way of course.
Artienne: The great visuals, which add a special aura to your music, are created by your wife, Carina, with her amazing pictures, digital paintings, and photo-manipulations. She also made first steps with composing music. I know that both of you have inspired each other, and I have to admit that I haven’t met another couple who openly talk about their feelings. What inspires Aelathen besides your music? She mentioned Apocalyptica and artist Joseph Vargo. Anything else? In your past you also used artwork from other artists like: TESV, Barry Xu, Serel theron, Jonas De Ro. Most of them are “children of Deviant Art” or from the gaming world, like Mount and Blade. So, I’m curious, what kind of visual art inspires Carina?
Carina: Thank you so much for your question!
My main source of inspiration comes from how I am feeling at the time emotionally. I have many unfinished works because that certain feeling went away.
Music of course can sometimes set the mood for photo-manipulating. Besides Adrian’s songs and the artists you have mentioned, I listen a lot to the LotR soundtrack, Tarja`s songs such as Oasis, and other similar music!
Another big source of inspiration is stock photography! You see a beautiful model in a delicate pose and you just want to make something with that if that makes sense !
Artists-wise, I am not looking around at Deviant Art anymore since the website took a bit of a sad turn in the past couple years. But it’s true, the artists you mentioned, among others such as Selenada, inspired and continue to inspire me in the present!
Artienne: In one interview you said “if someone can’t appreciate a person’s soul because he doesn’t view his exterior as pretty he never even truly searched for that person’s soul” In my opinion this is a very beautiful quote, which can be inspiration for many young people who feel uncertain about their appearance and afraid to take the first steps in becoming artists. I do not know if you like Sopor Aeternus, but for me this artist is more interesting than big stars, who improve their appearance with plastic surgery instead of bringing people something spiritual with great music. If you see an unknown artist on the stage who hides their face under a mask, would it be difficult for you to accept?
Adrian: I’m not sure if I understand this question completely… I would have no problem accepting an artist who hides their face. I think exterior appearance is over hyped a lot in today’s culture. We value people very often simply for how they look, instead of who they are and what they DO. Actions and personality matter much more than looks. That’s why I don’t care at all how an artist looks, as long as the art is meaningful and the artist has a beautiful personality.
Art by “NAHOM1”
Artienne: 2 Hours of Celtic Music by Adrian von Ziegler – Part 1 and 2… In my opinion one of the best albums you made. I can find the influence of Celtic and film music. When I listen, I think about the movie Lord of the Ring or Braveheart. Are these the main root of your inspiration? Many times you pointed out that you want to remain an independent musician and that is why you do not send your music to a music producer. It may be about the music industry in general, but how about movies or computer games?
Adrian: Yes, those two movies are very important works for inspiration of this style. But I would say the majority of my inspiration comes from other sources. And not necessarily movies or other music actually, but mostly nature, books and history.
I love being independent, and I certainly want to keep that freedom, yes. So anything that binds me to a contract I generally stay far away from. That includes also games and movies. It’s possible though that an offer comes along that doesn’t interfere with my freedom, so I’m not opposed to working in these settings 100%. It always depends a bit. I’m picky though, that’s true.^^
Artienne: Last video you posted on Facebook it was called the Celtic Music Walking with the Ancestors. And I see the beautiful picture of an old man with a fox and bear. Is it your work? You also said op.cit “the Celtic culture has now been a big part of my life for years and through all the songs that I make I constantly try to come closer to understand it – and ultimately to understand who I am and where I came from.” Can you tell us the old Celtic legend from your country which inspired you or which help you understand who you are? How do you celebrate Samhain?
Adrian: No, that artwork is by Rene Aigner. Hmm, there is no specific tale or historical event that inspired me for that… also the wider question of how I go deeper into understanding who I am and where I come from, the answer to that is far more general. It has more to do with for example walking through the landscapes of my country than reading about actual legends and tales from antiquity. I live where I live because thousands of years of ancestors have lived and died here, and I am just the end result of that (for the moment). That is a fascinating thought to follow, and I do this quite often, especially when I’m in nature. Because the same nature that I see outside, my mountains and forests, were already there 2000 years ago. And there is a link inside of me somewhere that connects me with an ancestor from 2000 years ago. I try to understand how these ancestors thought, felt and lived. Music brings me much closer to that than anything ever could for me, and I am using this in order to try and travel back in time inside my mind.
Oh, we don’t celebrate Samhain.
This is the Front Cover of the 7th Album “Spellbound” which will be released tomorrow.
Made by Carina Grimm, like all the other Album Artworks as well.
Artienne: Your compositions are very varied, when it comes to themes: Celtic music, Nordic, film “pirate Soundtrack”, Slavic, Arabian, Chinese, Japanese, etc What is the reason for this diversity? Besides, you created your own unique style. Many people believe that the keyboard becomes monotonous after some time and therefore it is necessary to extend the instrumentation (add more instruments to the music). What do you think?
Adrian: Yes that is definitely necessary every once in a while, and it gets tricky when you’ve made 300 songs to do something that you’ve never done before, and use instruments you’ve never used before, because you made so much different stuff by that point. So that’s quite difficult.
The reason why I make so many different types of music is because I treat music as an exploration. It’s something that I love for its diversity, so it’s always fascinating to find a new style and to try it out, to see if I can compose something in that style and incorporate it into my own “identity” if that makes sense. I have a few core genres that are the closest to me, Celtic, orchestral music and Nordic music. But aside from those I love experimenting and exploring.
Picture created by Carina Grimm.
Artienne: Last question When can we get a new gift from you? I mean a new video with your music, a new album? And what shall we expect?
Adrian: The Viking album is almost finished, so that will come next I think.^^ Apart from that I don’t plan too much. I will see where my ideas take me and I won’t try to control where they lead. I am currently working on a new Odyssey album and a new relaxing album, so those I will finish for sure, aside from that I really can’t say what to expect.^^
Picture created by Carina Grimm.
My art style is dark. Darkness, from the beginning, contains so much mystery.
Laveen, United States of America, small town, where lives very interesting 3D Artist Eric Fanta, who started two month ago works for Sympatico Studio… Who studied Art in Chicago…
Artienne: Who is Eric Fanta? Is this your real name? You told me about your Cuban and Puerto Rican roots, but I’m interested in what you were doing before you went to college for art? I did not find anything about your earlier activity, so I ask. I wonder what kind of project(s) you were involved in?
Eric Fanta: Well my name is Eric Fantauzzie, but the last name is too long so I shortened it to Fanta. It is nicer and easy to remember lol. Before I went to college, back in Puerto Rico, I spent my time doing air brushing on surf boards. It was big at the time. From there someone gave me a chance to work in his store air brushing shirts and jackets.
Artienne: Why did you choose an art school in Chicago? You come from NYC … Many artists living in this area are more interested in street graffiti. What do you think about this kind of art? Did the architecture of New York, in general, influence your work? I ask about it because I saw some of your renders like: “Miss punishment”, “METAL AND SOUL”, ” K .Medusa”, and “Punisher 3036”. In the case of these images, you use a backdrop with modern buildings.
Eric Fanta: My big sister decided to move to Chicago, so I tagged along, and she was the one who told me to do something with my talent. So that is how I chose the art school in Chicago. Yes NYC is known for the street and subway graffiti. What I think about graffiti, in my opinion, if it is done in the right way, it is awesome. It is another form of expression, just like abstract painting. You’ve got to look for the meaning. Yes, the architecture of NYC has been a big influence in my work. Those streets have more than a million stories lol .
Artienne: You wrote me that op.cit “Art runs in your family. They are more local than international.” What did you mean? Are you from a family of artists, people who like to be creative? Do you have support from them? How do members of your family react to your interests and renders?
Eric Fanta: well my mom and grad mother used to design clothes for carnival every year. In Puerto Rico, my dad was a musician in a band. And my two sister, well, they followed in my mom’s footsteps.
Artienne: How are you working on your pictures? How do you do rendering and post work? Do you render figures with a background, or put it in later? I noticed you have a lot of knowledge about photo-manipulation and you use very interesting techniques.
Eric Fanta: All my renders are made first in Daz Studio. Afterwards I take the image to this magical program called Photoshop, and that’s when I do my magic. All of the light FX and backdrops are done in Photoshop. Photoshop was my first software program, so I spent a lot of time learning it. Then, I take all of these images and start photo-manipulating them for a while. And then one thing leads to another.
Artienne: I read that you have experience with Modo. Tell us about your experience with this program. Is this software comparable to Zbrush?
Eric Fanta: Modo is an awesome software, and yes it is similar to Zbrush but easy. I use Modo for basic modeling.
Artienne: Could you tell me about your private project related to animation and mini-movies. What do you have in mind? What programs do you use when it comes to animations? What do you think about the Cinema 4d program?
Eric Fanta: About my private projects, which I have been working on for the last two years… There are two of them. One is a web comic and the other is a short 3d animation. The goal is to show artists that no matter how difficult it may be, we can still achieve all of your dreams no matter if it takes a lot of time, even years. We will get there. What I think about Cinema 4d is that it’s an awesome and easy software program. That is the one I use to do all of my animations.
Artienne: How would you describe your style to someone who has never seen your work before? Do you have some ways to stimulate your creativity?
Eric Fanta:My art style is dark. Darkness, from the beginning, contains so much mystery. It is good when you can develop an image from dark to light. LIFE itself is my stimulation.
Artienne: How did you start to work with Sympatico Studio? I saw your pictures on their site so I ask. Can you see your future as a promo artist?
Eric Fanta: I was approached by Sympatico Studio about 2 months ago, and they asked me if I wanted to do some work for them. My answer was yes it will be a honor. Whether I see myself in the future as a promo artist is a good question. I guess the simple answer is, let’s see how far the road will take me.
Artienne: What do you think about the works of Luis Royo, Boris Vallejo or Carlos Quevedo? Have you thought about digital painting?
Eric Fanta: What I think about Luis Royo, Boris Vallejo and Carlos Quevedo… My opinion is they are pioneers, they are masters, and they are far out awesome. Every artist should get inspired by their work. I only dream to be one of them lol lol.
Artienne: Have you thought about digital painting? What plans for the future?
Eric Fanta: My plans for the future is to make my mark, so other artists can follow and make theirs…
For the strength of the Pack is the wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack
Today we will visit North Germany where lives fantastic 3D Artist Sonja Fischer, who create lovely renders with animals and fairies…
Artienne: Hello Sonja! I’ve always wondered who Shozai is … Where did your nickname come from and why did you choose that name? Your name reminds me personally of Japanese culture and means in your language “Auftenthaltsort”. But the genesis of your name may be different so please point me in the right direction 🙂
Shozai: I was looking for a cool name for an online character in Everquest II. So I looked on the Internet and found this name. It sounded very nice to me and I choose it 🙂 That’s all 🙂 I didn’t know what it meant in my language until now. My character in Everquest was very great, a Druid elf girl. I always played in a special wolf transformation, so many other players didn’t even know what my character looked like when not running on four paws. 😀
Artienne: What attracted you to the 3d graphics world. What did you do earlier? Did you have experience with Photoshop and graphic design? Why did you choose Poser?
Shozai: I am a big Fan of Pen & Paper, Pathfinder and D&D. There was a time when I wanted to make my own character image. So I started to research how I could do this and found two graphic software programs, Poser Pro and DAZ Studio. I choose Poser mainly because I thought, a program which has to be paid for would be better supported 🙂 Before I found this great hobby, I was reading much more, mostly fantasy novels. I played games like Everquest II, Diablo I & II, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars Online, Elder Scrolls, Anno 1404 and many more. I had nothing to do with graphic design.
Artienne: Some time ago I found your old profile on Deviant Art. There are dozens of pictures showing different figures like a wolf, an angel, a sorceress, vampires and fairies. Was that your first step with Poser? What was your goal at that time? Many Artists sold their work there? Do you also? What is your opinion on Deviant Art? Why can’t we find your latest work there?
Shozai: I searched for a place to put my pictures online and found Deviant Art. I thought it would be a great idea to create an account, but after a while I regretted my decision. Someone blamed me for not replying to his commentary. I wasn’t on the site daily, and my answers were coming too late, I think. I am happy now with my galleries at DAZ3D and Renderosity. The people there are really nice, I love the commentary they give my pictures, and they don’t blame me if I forget to say something, or if I don’t reply on a daily basis 🙂
I wanted to make a figurine-series with my Poser character. It was a great way to learn, and I had something I could look at. I am not selling any of my work. People who are interested in my art can have it. 🙂
Your question about Deviant Art reminds me to delete the account 🙂 Thank you, I completely forgot it.
Artienne: In your work sometimes we can find delicate eroticism. Here I talk about the time you worked with Poser. The first thing that attracts the viewer to your work is good light, interesting composition, ideas and nice colors with good post work. Where did you learn all these things? One of your pictures reminds me of the cover of the Ophtalamia Via Dolorosa. What was your inspiration at this time?
Shozai: You know I had to search what Ophtalamia Via Dolorosa is. 🙂 I must admit that I have other musical interests. 🙂 The Cover of Via Dolorosa I don’t know, but I can see elements I use like the butterflies and a nature girl.
Everything about composition and post work etc. I learned since 2012, as I started to work with Poser. In the beginning I didn’t do any postwork. After a while I wanted to make “eye-catching” images and started with postwork 🙂 I discovered a new world. And after I discovered what people do with “just” Photoshop, I was breathless. I knew I would never reach this perfection, but I knew what I wanted for my pictures now and started to learn.
Artienne: You made some time ago a very interesting render of Ella … Is this your self-portrait? What is her history? I noticed you often use it as a thumbnail on your profiles.
Shozai: My portrait of Ella. It was, for me, one of my first pictures I really said, “oh wow, this looks great”. I loved the dreamy look, and I love her pose and her hair. Okay, I love everything about her 🙂 It is not a self-portrait 😉
Artienne: When did you discover Daz and why did you decided to work mainly with this program. Is this software better than Poser? What are the differences between these programs? Did you think about combining them ? Some artists do that, so I am just curious what you think about it?
Shozai: In 2015 I gave DAZ Studio a try. My one and only reason why was: Alessandro’s animals.
My experiences with Poser gave me an easy start, and I was really, really happy when I made my first picture with an animal by Alessandro with this wonderful fur. I saw, that DAZ Studio has much more options for me than Poser. And when IRAY came out, it felt like I was in heaven. Now I had everything I longed for.
Poser is a good program, DAZ Studio is better suited for me and my artistic focus. It is just like a bicycle against a motorcycle. IRAY made a huge difference. Superfly was a big disappointment for me.
Poser has a very good dynamic clothing option, DAZ Studio has not. I’m just waiting until DAZ Studio might have it too. I know that some artists combine them, especially the dynamic option. It is great that we can do this. More possibilities are always great.
Artienne: I have noticed that since you started working with the Daz program, you are doing a lot of renders with animals, especially designed by Alessandro. Why? In my opinion you have to be a very warm person, who loves animals. I’m sure the big inspiration for you are videos with animals and nature. Do you have any pets? Who is Ciara? I remember your beautiful render with the fantastic blue Twil’ek… but lately I see you prefer to make more fantasy images with sweet dragons, fairies and animals of the forest rather than action sci-fi renders. Why?
Shozai: I was ALWAYS looking at Alessandro’s animals. I wanted to work with them so badly, and as I started with DAZ Studio, his animals wandered one by one into my DAZ Library 🙂 After a while I wrote him, how great his animals are and if he ever needs a person to help him with promotional pictures, I would be there 🙂
He answered me and we started a collaboration, which was a lot of fun and led to a tender friendship. We know something about each other, especially our love for animals. Those and our nature in general, are the jewels of the Earth and we have to save and nurse them. He thinks the same. I love the person he is and I am happy I got to know him.
Ciara is my little Maltese girl. A special dog breed. 🙂 She is my beautiful baby. A baby with small demon horns and angel wings, I can tell you 😀 She has the strongest character I ever experienced in a dog. 🙂 I love my furry girl. And we have a canary named Filou 🙂 A beautiful and smart guy, though a little shy.
I posted a picture of Ciara. You can see it here: Ciara
Until now, I haven’t found a “Shozai-Style” which everyone can easily recognize when looking at my pictures. I have a wide range of things I want to do. Mostly animals and Fantasy, a bit of Horror and Sci-Fi, and sometimes I want to show my girls with her dessous 🙂 And sometimes a current contest will inspire me and influence what type of picture I want to do. Any ideas I have that I do not use immediately, I write down so I don’t forget them 🙂
Artienne: You made a very beautiful picture called Thoughts are Free … and I have a question: is the old German song called “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” inspiration for the title? You know this is an old song about freedom and some German bands like Hecate use the lyrics…
Shozai: I know the song but this was not my inspiration. I usually don’t listen to German music 😉 I prefer music in English. When I was young, a girl of maybe 15 years, I was often listening to two German songs: “Als Conny Kramer Starb”, a sad song which made me cry often, and “Nacht voll Schatten”, a wonderful piece.
Sometimes it is really hard to find a good title for your pictures. This one was easy. The girl, sitting on a rock, looking to the stars, thinking what might be up there. Even though you are chained to the earth, maybe something or someone is hurting you, but your mind can always send your thoughts out, no one can discourage you. You can cover and protect yourself with your fantasy.
Artienne: R.A. Salvatore and Terry Goodkind’s books are an important place in your heart. What attracted you to them? What do you think about the Forgotten Realms and The Demons Wars Saga?
These are two examples for very good writers. Forgotten Realms is pure fantasy. I love the mysteries of this world, the undiscovered wonders, sometimes just a whispered word in the wind that is reaching your ear.
I could tell you so many good books and writers. But I think, people know about them, if they love fantasy. 🙂 Richard Kirk, the saga about Raven, Imagica by Clive Barker and of course “The Sword of Truth” by Terry Goodkind.
Artienne: Nightwish…. I was surprised when I read that you are a fan of this group, because so many people associated with Daz Studio have a completely different taste of music than me. Do you like Old Nightwish with Tarja, Anette Olzon or their current female singer, who was previously singing in After Forever? Are you a fan of gothic metal, rock?
I love the sound of most of the songs from Nightwish. Something must touch my music-soul, otherwise I don’t like it. I don’t like everything from Nightwish too. But most of it 🙂 I love how Tarja sings. I have her single CDs too. The other girls are different. I like some of their songs too, like Amaranth, but I must admit that I don’t have the newest music from them yet..
I have a big selection of what I like. I just can’t say I love only this style of music 🙂 An Example: I really love “Sing to Me” by Alan Walker. I heard it, looked up and said “What is this song? I need it” 🙂 The other songs from him are nothing for me.
Floor Jansen is good, but she’s not as charismatic like Tarja 🙂
Artienne: My last question … How about your plans for the future?
Shozai: I have no plans. I am a daydreamer 🙂 I want my furbaby next to me, a good life for my boyfriend and me with fun together and alone, and I want to stay healthy which is a wish I have for all I like and love, too.
And maybe, sometime, to meet Alessandro 😀
Medusa Gorgona: I am photographer inspired by fairy tales and Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I love create dark whimsical romantic pictures with textured look, dominated by strong colors.
My goal is find a speck of magic in every woman and turn it to bonfire to light a beautiful vessel of human body from within.
“Wind among the Blooms”
Cool and cold day with Gemma, when we shop for dresses to shoot and shoot each other in my garden. I love Gemma retouching style, so pre-raphaelite.
Photographer Gemma Wyrd – model & photographer
Model Medusa Gorgona Model
Studio Medusa’s Garden Studio — with Maria Mirage.
Artienne: What was the first modelling or photography? How long are you interested in photography? What was the first impulse?
Maria: Difficult to separate what was first as I started taking pictures when I was a teenager, and it was all kind of pictures cloud in the sky, feral cats in old houses, macro of flowers, landscapes, friends, really everything. So photography was not a separate form of art for me then but way of capturing memory of my reality. For example I had a long period when I was very interested in body art. It started to making patterns on the papers, back side of copybooks, later on patterns creep in from papers to my palms and arms and or thighs. (What you comfortably can reach with pen). I was doing body art with everything ink-pen, markers, iodine, other antiseptics, eye shadows, lipsticks later on with theater makeup set, and everywhere city, camping trips, sports camp..
So I literally “apply” my vision on me and to other. When I became member of local photo club I model more just because I am female as I was helping my other photographer friends. But I really became interested in modelling when my camera broke and I was in kind of zone when you don’t want to buy the same camera, but don’t have money on much better one. In one year I made more than 20 shoots. It taught me a lot about modelling, photography, people and life, it brought me a lot of joy, excitements and disappointments. I never forget this year when only way I could express myself artistically it actually being a model. I don’t believe you have to always use proper tools, the motivation and desire is more important. I think important things was I wanted to create something which did not exist before.
Artienne: What is your greatest success when it comes to modelling? Do you think the modeling is dangerous for women? Is it hard work for you?
What is your secret to look fresh and beautiful?
Maria: My greatest success as model were find another photographer/model ladies Gemma and Lillian. We had many photo session when in one day we were shooting each other. It show that the vision is everything. You can shoot in the same place, in the same costume, but person who holding camera and moving on front of camera create new reality every time.
Modelling definitely provide dangers to women. Anyone who considering modelling should consider the risks and take all necessary precausions. I myself were lucky and did not have any really bad cases, but even despite taking all precautions I have a few unpleasant encountering. As well models have to grow very thick skin and be confident as you may see very unflattering picture of yourself.
“Taste the Winter” Winter Fairytale series. Cold and Blue calling in winter short days we all want to add some sparkling beautiful magic to our lives.
Artienne: You are fascinated by fairy tales, Pre-Raphaelian paintings, Gothic, Victorian, heathens (Wicca) and nature themes. Why this kind of influences? Are you also inspired by musicians playing this kind of music or poem written by heathen souls?
Maria: I think it all come to root that I always loved imaginary worlds. As kid I read tremendous amount of fairy tales, not just fairy tales your mother would tell you, but go to school and find all possible fairy tales, Africans, Persians, Japanese, Nordic. As soon as I grow up enough to have interest in science fiction I gorge myself in reading that sometime a few books at the time. My parents have huge library of science fictions and classical literature, I could just stretch my arm and chose new reality for a few days. Later on I start reading a lot of mythology and fantasy. I not just liking these genres I like to investigate it, like read myths and fairy tales from different cultures and different periods to see how humanity change and its vision to imaginary things change with it. Morality, geopolitics, believes, aesthetics are all stored in myths and fairy tales as much as in scientific papers and just waiting for us to be explore, to be descripted.
Range of my styles are dictated I love to find beauty and love it to be magical so nature, fairy tale and pre-raphaelite is a core. I do venture in other styles like Victorian and Gothic as I love the looks but as well it is much easy to hold on on right costumes. I am not limited to that if I could have kimono, mermaid or native American costume or Egyptian queen outfit I would create pictures out of it too. I am actually looking for it right now. I guess I have very eclectic taste as well I don’t feel I am binded to some time frame or place in human history. I want to explore it all, but they way too much to explore in one human life time. So I start with the esthetical pleasing to me and more easy to obtain.
Artienne: “My goal is find a speak of magic in every woman and turn it to bonfire to light a beautiful vessel of human body from within. “
Can you find the magic in every human being?
Watching your pictures I noticed that your main models are mostly women? Why?
Maria: I do believe there is magic in every human, it just too many of of us get use to shot it down along with imagination and daring to dreams. Yes, I do mostly photographed woman. Apart of believing the female beauty should be celebrated as it such temporary and fragile things, and I want to empower women by showing them how beautiful they are there is a lot of personal in it. In my life I mostly live and work amongst men. I grow up as tom-boy wearing jeans and snickers, liking chess, shooting and preferring Lego to dolls. I am software engineer, I embrace logic and science as well, however women are quite rare in engineering. So whole day I spend with men, I married and have son as well so I spend my evenings with men too 🙂 I even got female cat to keep some balance in life. As well I wear a lot of skirt to remind me who I am. so photographing women is my way to connecting to female side of life more. May be my time to play dolls finally come to me ? I started collecting pretty dolls for my project couples of years ago.
“Last autumn bloom” from “Autumn fairytales”
Artienne: Can you tell us more about the genesis of name “Medusa Gorgona”? Why did you choose this name? What is special about “Greek Medusa”?
Maria: The name of my page was my nick name in photography for a long time, started as combination of my love to myth with a joke.
Apart just I love myths about Medusa and love symbols of snakes, I have certain compassion to the personage as she was punished for being beautiful and turned to a monster which is quite often scenario happening in Greek myths as it expressed believes of very patriarchal society. Joke related some of my friend commented once I looked at someone who was trying to chat me like I wanted to turn them to stone like Medusa. However I plan to stop using these name, and proceed with Maria Mirage as it more described who I am and what I do. I create beautiful mirages.
Harvest fairy” from “Autumn fairytale” series,
Artienne: Your wardrobe is full of beautiful dresses, crowns, headpieces, nails, dolls etc. How looks like the process of creating such a costume? Are you fashion designer? What props are you taking to your garden for photo session? Where you are buying all these things like: chalices, bowls, cups, artificial leaves and flowers? Did you visit special shops and car-boots?
Maria: I wish I could be fashion designer, but I am not good in drawing so I never proceed to study design or fashion. However I have feel for beautiful things. Most part of my dresses and props were bought by me in all kind of places: car boots, charity shops, e-bay. I love to think I give them new beautiful life. I always adore big headpieces and flower crowns and I though “Oh you needed to be craftsman and an artist to create it” but step by step I overcome my fear, and start just putting things together with wire, glue gun, pins, by stitching. As I am trading in illusions my dresses or headpieces do not have to be fully real. They have to only look real in a moment of shoot. I literally assemble the outfit sometime using different parts, adding fabrics, belts, etc.
Artienne: If Photography is an art of illusion so how to bring dream to reality?
Any tips, advice for photographers or models?
Maria: Dream big, go to your dream step by step, repeat and try again, never give up no matter what people say or how long it take you.
“Unlock autumn dream sadness” from “Autumn
Artienne: How it looks process of your post-work? When I watch some of your photos like: Dark and Goth Vampires,”Raven Mistress” “The melancholy of Arwen” , I noticed that you were using very strong colors.Do you like a strong contrast?
Maria: I think there are three main thing I do in post processing to move it closer to painting.
– Intensify main color and darken/discolored the edges of picture
– Add more light, contrast, sharpen to main object to emphasize it
– Apply textures
Artienne: You cooperate with many artists, models and photographers. What did you learn from others?
Maria: Let go of your ego, do not judge people before you work with them. I met brilliant but an confident people and overconfident people who was just full of themselves and complain about other endlessly.
Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Simone Clare Stocks
Studio & Costume Medusa’s Garden Studio
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs
Artienne: Once you have written about photo-sessions underwater. Did you realize your dream? What would you like to achieve future? What are your dreams?
Maria: Not yet – still working on it. I want it so much it make my heart beat faster right now when I even think of it. I love floating long dresses, long hair, contrast of flesh with fabrics.. For me just being underwater already magical as it change colors, movements, it play with our sense of gravity. There are so many ideas I want to do ! But I needed to be patient.
Tempting beautiful “Raven Mistress” from Halloween inspired series. Magical powers embodied in enticing daughter of the night.
Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Natasha Felix
MUA Anna Fullbrook – Makeup Artist
Behind the scene video Fudge Tiger
Assistance & Video Nataliya Ilieva
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs
Studio & Costumes Medusa’s Garden Studio
First time in my life I was inspired by the lights. Yesterday I just tested new product called ElianeCK HDRI Lights for Iray from Daz Studio. I tested different variation of lights and I found purple one, so add nice background in violet tone and gave my model clothing and hair also in violent and purple color. My first test render looked like that( picture 2) ! I didn’t made any post work with Photoshop or another program when it comes lights and colors. I was very happy with my result and made another render (picture 1) I like do a lots of post-works so I tested Topaz and Photomatix pro to get fresh, more intensive and warm tones.
Today we will visit Spain, lovely country where many of us were there because of holidays, good gigs and fantastic medieval festivals. Emma and Jordi are lovely married couple, who had deal with digital art, modeling in 3d world and photography. They both have amazing experience and very good education which helps them realize their dreams. Jordi is 3d modeler, photographer who made content for Poser and Daz Studio. He is sponsor of 3d Creative magazine and 2d Artist magazine. Emma, his wife is Digital Artist specialized in Fantasy, Sci-fir illustrations. She is also blogger, had many interesting exhibition in Spain and other countries. More information about their activity you can find in this interview 🙂
Digital painting by Emma Alvarez
Artienne: Hei Emma and Jordi! What were your first steps when it comes to modeling and digital art?
Emma and Jordi: We married very young and by that time we had bad paid jobs and dreamed with having a better job some day. As Jordi was very good with computers and he programmed since a child, we thought that a good way of getting what we wanted was doing video games. We did an amateur one, an arcade, and one day, looking for information in the public library we found a book about online virtual reality. For some time we were very immersed in VR trying to make a business of it. We created 32 virtual worlds to chat in 3D and lots of avatars, an artificial intelligence bot that spoke to people online, and a server to share events. But we never got any sponsor or public aids to start our business. When we were thinking in make our mortgage bigger to get the money, Second Life appeared. Many of the small virtual worlds businesses started to close, so we didn’t dare, and we didn’t started ours.
During that time, Emma started to do illustration works and exhibitions, and Jordi started to do technical documentation for virtual worlds software. One day Emma discovered a place called Renderosity where she started to sell Photoshop brushes. Months later Jordi started to model in 3D for his Renderosity store. In that time we had 2 independent accounts as vendors. We started to adapt our skills from virtual worlds to Poser/Daz Studio, and did the same kind of 3D projects we were used too: characters, scenery, poses, clothing, jewelry, hair… And when Emma reached the Top Sellers, to be able to send products to Prime there was the requisite that we had to be both top sellers, so the old products we shared couldn’t be sent to Prime. So we merged our stores with the brand we use today, EmmaAndJordi.
Artienne: You both have an excellent education in the field of graphic design, digital painting and photography. How looks the educational system in Spain. Is the school, can prepare people to the profession or you need to have a look for more additional courses?
Emma and Jordi: For many years we worked and studied at the same time. Emma is graphics designer and Jordi studied photography in one of the most important schools of Barcelona, and also has a Master in virtual reality, and in marketing, although it is Emma who always dealt the marketing in our stores, as Emma’s father was an important business man and always told her notions of marketing, sales, and business strategies. But for what we actually do as 3D content creators there is no official studies. We learned lots of things during all this time, and that gave us very varied skills that now in this job make sense together.
Product “Violin Soul” designed by Emma and Jordi
Personal Transporter by Emma and Jordi
Artienne: What are the basic steps of your work in modeling and digital painting? Where it all begins and how it is transformed in the final result? What makes your work in the greatest difficulty? What are you working the longest? How looks your cooperation? Can you tell us more about product Violin Soul?
EmmaAndJordi’s works have two parts: the artistic part and the technical part. The artistic part is made by Emma: concept, texturing, materials, the shape of characters, the makeups, poses, expressions, promo work, thumbnails, etc. Jordi is the modeler, does the hair and clothing shape, rigging, morphing, shaders, scripting, technical work, and the artistic part of modeling. We collaborate all the time, so some designs are of we both, so most of the time this is mixed. We work in two desktops with different computers in the same room, and are working together all the time.
About Violin Soul: we like heavy metal, rock, Gothic rock, fantasy movies, vampire books… all this has a aesthetic and culture we show in our products. Actually the 3D products are a reflection of their creators, of their interests and how they see the world.
Artienne: What programs you use in your work? Do you use programs such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, After Effects,Sketch up, MS Paint or Softimage DS? What do you think about 3ds max? I heard opinion that 3d max can not give very high quality and you need to buy more expensive tools like “RenderDriver”.
What is your attitude to the plugins. Some artists claims that plugins are unnecessary because 3ds max is a very good program. Do you were using plugin from Blur Studio, Brazil, Meshtools, FreeHand tools, Character Studio, Stich, morph-o-matic or matterwaves?
Emma and Jordi: We mainly use Zbrush and Silo, Photoshop, Freehand, and a ton of smaller programs that allow us to save time to shorten the production time while keeping a high quality. Zbrush is the most powerful application to model in 3D in an artistic way and is essential for many parts of our work. But our Zbrush is very customized and adapted to the way we work. At the beginning it is not very friendly but it allows a lot of customization. We know many people don’t like it because they didn’t adapt the application to themselves but we did and now use it for most of our work, except for things that require very low poly work or very precise adjustments.
About 3D Studio Max, Jordi used it in a very old version when we began but then used others as Hexagon, or Shade. When it comes to 3D modeling applications, there is not one better than the other, each person finds one or the other better because it fits their way of working or thinking more, or has tools that they find better. Our advice is always to have some knowledge of the most popular ones, and find the one that fits best with their way of working.
Character: EJ Adora designed by Emma and Jordi
Artienne: “Rosalia”, Agatha, Luvia, Adora, Graciana, Estella , Rita are some of your best products.When you create a model of people. What you use for the reference? , Photographs with real models or your own imagination? Do you use the technique of “photogrammetry”in your work? How looks your work on skin texture? Did you create your own texture or rather buy from other artist, vendor?
Emma and Jordi: Our characters are very detailed and have a lot of skin work. For them we use high resolution photos, but not from an only source. We use many different photographies in a same character. We don’t use resources. At the beginning we did it, but now we prefer to make them from several photo stock images we buy.
Character: EJ Rosalia designed by Emma and Jordi
Artienne: Emma -On your blog, you mention often artists such as Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. Is only these artist had the greatest influence on your digital painting?
Emma and Jordi: Absolutely! And Ken Kelly. When I was a child I was absorbed looking at Frank Frazetta’s illustrations. I used to look at disc covers of rock bands. When I saw Steve Vai’s disc cover “Love and Warfare” I decided that I wanted to become an illustrator.
Digital painting by Emma Alvarez
Title: The Unicorn Under The Moon
Artienne: I really like your artwork“Spring in the Golden Garden””the Dreamer Mermaid”and The Unicorn under the Moon”. Is it a mixed media, photo-manipulation or digital painting? I understand that your artwork, images were printed on canvas? Have you thought about the release of the book with your digital painting ?
Emma and Jordi: All my illustration works are mixed media. They combine many different techniques to get the result I want. At the beginning when I did the exhibitions, I printed it in paper, but the matt crystal was very expensive, and the glossy one gave problems with reflections and light. So in an exhibition I tried to print it in canvas, and liked the result so much that I started to print in canvas, and my “Justice” illustration in canvas visited 36 exhibition rooms. In my web page they can be bought printed in canvas.
I have my web page very outdated, I have to find time for that. Yes it has always been in my mind to make a book with all my illustrations. I sometimes write and thought in mixing tales with my illustrations. I will do it some day.
Digital painting by Emma Alvarez,
Title: Spring in the Golden Garden
Artienne: You participated as illustrator with 5 books. Can you tell a little bit about your experience as book illustrator?
Emma and Jordi: The experience of watching your work in a book is wonderful. My father was a business man of book publishing. Since I was a child I saw books and dreamed with being part of them and not only editing. But everybody expected that I was a book editor as my father. Watching my illustration in a book was achieve a dream of my childhood. In addition, one of the books was a selection of sci-fi works made by the ex-Marvel UK editor, John Freeman, and another had Ken Kelly as judge. Those two books are very special for me because they are not only important professionally but also at an emotional level. I chose the artistic part and although it has been a long and hard path I finally can say I got it to be my profession.
Artienne: Emma you had many of exhibitions and conferences in different places in Spain and other countries? Which one was your best exhibition and conference? Jordi also has deals with photography. Did you have any exhibitions together? What were your greatest achievements in this field?
Emma and Jordi: My favorite exhibition was in Barcelona, in the Dali museum in a dedicated room for a collective exhibition. As Dali is one of my favorite painters it was a blast to have one of my works close to his paintings. My favorite conference was about digital art. Many people who didn’t know about it was amazed with the topic, the room was full, with people standing because the chairs were full, and the public was very warm and nice.
We have exhibited together, Emma with a painting and Jordi with a photography in Taza (Morocco). The exhibition appeared in the news of the public television and it was great.
Artienne: Jordi you are making contest for Poser and Daz Studio! What this mean? Can you say more about it? What are you working now?
Emma and Jordi: Not in this moment but we have it in our thoughts.
Artienne: Any plans for the future?
Emma and Jordi: Our plans is to keep on giving the best of us in our products. And in the personal side we are thinking in moving from our city and go to a new and exciting place where we can continue developing our creativity. We always thought that home is where the heart is.
Product “Temple Guardian” designed by Emma and Jordi
Shiba Shake – 3d Artist who doesn’t like to talk a lots about him self but he makes fantastic illustrations. His magic world is rich with different kind of creatures, elves, mermaid, dragons, vampires, demons and etc. Every render is like a beautiful story, fairy tale full of life and treasures of nature.
Artienne: When I saw your oldest works as “The queen of summer and winter”, “Elf Knight”, “Coffee by Moonlight”, “Saucy Red Devil”or “Moment of Peace”, I had the impression that you have good knowledge about Photoshop. Did you do digital art before you found Renderosity? Do you have an education as a graphic designer or rather you are the type of self-taught?
Shiba Shake: No, I do not have any formal art education.Before Daz Studio, I had an old Wacom tablet that I used with Photoshop to draw and paint. It was a very good way for me to relax after work. 🙂
Artienne: When I watch your images like “Medieval Tavern girl”, “Mermaids Fantasy Moon” or “Read head”, I wonder what type of character did you use? Is this the Victoria 7 plus a combination of different morphs or something else? What is your favorite character from Daz Studio and Renderosity?
Shiba Shake: For those images, I used a combination of Eva 7 and Victoria 7. I really love both those figures and they are still my favorite. Recently, I got FWSA Freckles from Renderosity, and I super love her too. For male figures, my current favorite is FWSA Liam from Daz3D. I guess it is pretty obvious that I am a big fan of Fred Winkler and Sabby. 🙂
Artienne: I read that you had deal with the art when you were 5 year old and you won the first Art contest. Do you have more similar achievements with traditional painting?
Shiba Shake: Haha, no. I think that was more of a fluke than anything. My Daz Studio images are a lot better than any of my traditional or digitally painted pictures.
Artienne: I know that you are fascinated by dragons and often these mythical figures we find on your lovely illustrations like “The lovers”, “Where Dragons Dwell”, “Lady of Winter”, “Cowboy and Dragons” or “Dragon Lord”. Which kind of dragons do you like? Do you have favorite artists of the fantasy genre?
Shiba Shake: I love all kinds of dragons, little ones, big ones, Eastern, Western, cute, and bad-ass. One of my big favorites is DA Black Dragon from Daz. All those spikes and scales are just so fierce! My top two favorite artists are Royo and Vallejo.
Artienne: You are the artist who is working about two years for Daz Studio. What does it mean for you this job? Is this the grim duty of doing everyday promotional render or rather something like a new challenge?
Shiba Shake: Haha, that is very flattering, but I do not work for Daz. I love Daz Studio though, purely for fun and as a hobby. It is relaxing, interesting, and I enjoy every minute of it. Plus I get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment after I finish a picture. I think 3D-Art would be a great thing to have in schools. It trains both the right and left sides of the brain.
Artienne : Hahaha one artist gave me wrong information about you, but I am glad that you made things clear about it. You have two blogs, which means that you like to write about your experience. Have you thought about making a video tutorials ?
Shiba Shake: I have thought about it, but I am much more comfortable with writing.
Artienne: Many young artists would like to make a good renders. Is it better to do first background, set the lights and then add the character or all scene and after add cameras and lights? Any advice?
Shiba Shake: I think every artist develops their own style and it depends a lot on what we are most passionate about. I love figures, so that is my main focus. I usually start out with my main figure(s) and then build everything else around them.
Artienne: What you think about Octane? Is this program can reduce the rendering time?
Shiba Shake: I have never tried Octane although I have seen some great renders from people who use it. Brian Sains (Sainsy) has some great Octane artwork and the way he does human skin is wonderfully realistic. He is also totally awesome, and has written some great Octane tutorials on my website.
Artienne: I know that you are a lover of dogs and you made a very nice calendar with them … I know that your pseudo Shiba Shake comes from name one of your dogs. Can you tell us what is in the SPECIAL about Husky and Shiba Inu? Which kind of personality they have?
Shiba Shake: Dogs are totally magical! I currently live with two Huskies and one Shiba. Shiba Sephy is stubborn and chock full of confidence. He is usually up to no good! J Husky Shania is happy and full of vim. She is curious about everything and lives life to the fullest. Husky Lara is the youngest and she is more gentle and shy. After she gets to know someone though, she is very affectionate and loves to do play-boxing.
Artienne: What can you say about your activity on the portal Patreon? Let’s say some new artists would like to become your “patrons”. What you have to offer them? What advice do you have for people who just joined there recently?
Shiba Shake: Actually, I have recently suspended my Patreon. At the moment, I have too much going on and don’t have the proper time to devote to it. I did it for about a year though, and it was a great experience. I met some totally wonderful people there.
Artienne: Which is your the best render and why?
Shiba Shake: Heh, I am not usually a very good judge of that. Usually I like my recent images best. My current favorite is probably Vampire Love on my Daz Gallery. It is romantic and I had great fun playing around with lights and colors.
Artienne: Any plans for the future?
Shiba Shake: I would like to do more on my art website thinkdrawart.com. We currently have a fun monthly contest with DazGC for prizes. What other events would you be interested in? What discussions would you like to have with vendors? What types of articles or tutorials would you like to see? Suggestions and ideas are very welcome. I am on Facebook and DeviantArt too. 🙂
Silvana Massa is fantastic Dark Fantasy illustrator from Chile. She made great album covers for
bands like Graveland, Myrkur, Melankolia, Verminaard, Ironwood, Poltergeist,Dream Ocean, Haegen, Doom of Valyria and many others. I like her dark vision and admire her desire for making different kind of art. She is doing photography, wood crafting, oil, acrylic and digital paintings etc.
Artienne: You define your art-work as Dark Fantasy, Pagan Art. What has the greatest impact on your creativity? Metal Music, nature or pagan beliefs?
Silvana: Nature definitely is one of my biggest inspirations , also metal music… music in general, does not necessarily have to be always metal, I like to draw with some nice background music, it can be classical music as well. It depends a bit of what I have to paint.
Another big inspiration are movies and books.
Artienne: You wrote under one of your picture that “you are obsessed with Forest”I have to admit, your pictures, photo manipulation and painting often shows a forest with a very dark texture. What programs do you use for photo-manipulation and editing? Do you use also Photoshop brushes for digital painting?
Silvana: I love forest, mountains and their special energy.
I use Photoshop for photo manipulations and digital paintings, sometimes I work with PaintStorm Studio which is a very nice software. I like to create my own brushes, filters, textures, also we can find many great graphic resources on internet.
Artienne: One of your paintings has title “ You are not alone” and you said that it is very special to you. Why this picture is very important to you? Which kind of message is there?
Silvana: That’s a bit personal 😉 it’s related to someone very important to me.
Artienne: Can you tell us more about technique matte paintings which you sometimes used? Do you have any favorite artists who inspire you?
Silvana: Matte painting is an old visual technique where artists had to paint outstanding background to create the perfect environment for films, now with the new technology is easier to make it on a computer. I would have to mention many good artists from past decades until now, Albert Whitlock came to my mind right now.
Artienne: You made great albums-covers for bands like Graveland, Myrkur, Melankolia, Verminaard, Ironwood, Poltergeist,Dream Ocean, Haegen, Doom of Valyria. How long does it take you to do this type of the cover ? Did you decide on choosing a theme or another artist asks you to paint his vision.
Silvanna: Thank you, some of them are artworks for a single, it depends of what the band needs, usually they come with an idea and together we developed that vision, we see what can and can not do.
A cover with many details takes a lot of time, it can be weeks, months, years 🙂 , just kidding.
Artienne: Do you like to work with clay and wood? I think you had one unfinished project called “Sculptured Face and also you made some amulets like Mjolnir?
Silvana: I like very much, beside an illustrator I’m are artisan, I have many stuff I’ve never shown on social media pages, I sell part of my crafts in my country, Chile.
I like to make sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, jewelry, pottery, etc. I’m always looking for something new to do.
Artienne: What do you think about artists such Freya Aswynn or Andrea Haugen?
Silvana: I know them but there is not much I can say, I usually don’t talk about other artist works.
Artienne: In your offer there are canvas, pillows, Wall tapestries,bags, mugs with your graphics, painting? How popular are your products? Can you say more about it?
Silvana: All are made by a company that is the one that creates all those products, I only have to upload my illustrations and they do the rest. There are many other illustrators who prefer this way to sell their works. My products are not so popular because I’m a bit lazy with the promotion of my own stuff…. I admit it , but anyway they are well sold. and that’s good to me.
Artienne: Could you please share a few words about your latest video you made with your Artwork.
Silvana: It’s the only one video I made for promotion last year 2015, I thought it could be a good way to show my work. This video is featuring Arath’s music, from one of the best album I’ve heard, they were so kindly to allow me to use one of their songs.
I’m thinking to make a new video probably next year.
Artienne: How do you envision death and what do you believe happens to our souls?
Silvana: To be honest, It’s not something I think about much.
Artienne: Any plans for the future? Any closing thoughts to share?
Silvana: I have a lot of projects in mind, but I will need more time to plan everything what I want to do, sculpture and jewelry maybe in the next future, I don’t know yet.
Finally say, to all who want to start as an illustrator or any other artistic expression and feel frustration at first… perseverance passion and lot of practice, then you will see the good results.