Maxime des Touches while relatively new to the group has thrown himself into everything we have done with great passion and dedication. Not only does he never fail to produce outstanding pieces of art but he drives on everyone within the group with his positive attitude and bags of encouragement.

Lum: To start with I want to congratulate you on your feature. Also how did you find working on this release?

Max:Thanks to the whole team, it was a wonderful project and a very special one! It was special because everyone's got a dark side and the aim here was to put mine with some unusual creations. You know, since I'm twelve years old I discovered an interest in metal/goth music and in fact this helped me a lot for this exhibit!!

Lum: Why don't you tell us abouot yourself, what do you get up to in your free time, any quirks of character?

Max: I'm 30 years old french artist who love to work with his computer and his dear laser mouse to create pictures of all kinds. I mainly use Photoshop and 3DS Max to do my work but since few month now I began to try other great sofwtares like Cinema4d, After effects and z-brush to learn new techniques. Apart from computer graphics, I love to play electric guitar it's an very interesting instrument and when I play I feel completely free and it is another way to create something. The music, in general, is really present in my life since my childhood. Another exciting thing is the nature, I mean traveling to many places, countries and admire our environment. When I'm in front of a beautiful landscape I feel good and at the same time so " small " ! lol ! Sharing my work and my knowledge is still something very rewarding but stressful at the same time as we do not know how people will react every time.

Lum: You have only been a part of the artist team for a relatively short time (sincce our 16th release) but have well integrated yourself into the group, what do you enjoy about contributing to The Luminarium?

Max: What I appreciate the most in the group, first, the conviviality, for sure ! Exchanges with other artists are always positive and rewarding, there are no clans and no competition between us either ! This applies to the choice of themes which are each time more original and therefore unique.

Lum: Awesome, it is great that we all get along so well within the group! You have made 3 quality pieces of artwork for this release, why don't you take us through the creative process for one of these pieces?

Max: Ok ! Why not ? I'll choose my second piece "Bitterness dream". This creation is the best way I work in general and my personal touch, the symbolism that I have incorporated. First I used a great free software which is called "MakeHuman" and it allows to generate and set human bodies in 3D. So I used it to create the head with a specific mood. Then I exported this object in 3dsmax. After that I modeled the tower with very basic tools like "extrude", "bevel" and "chamfer". But the very fun part begins here, the head explosion ! lol ! I love to play with deflectors, particles and forces it is very cool but not so easy because of the randomness. For this creation I wanted to represent something very personal, a feeling and some dreams or nightmare I had. This is why I added a particular tone, between black and white and the color. All is symbolic here, the signs in the background (one is my zodiac sign, the other that of someone else...), the head (this is me...), the tower (some steps of my life...) and the ravens on the sides ( a sort of representation of the darkness). Now the compositing, this is the longest and hardest part for sure ! I always draw with basic brushes over my 3d renders like a photomanip then I add some textures (crackled texture, marbles, clouds, etc) to give more details. I love to mix 3d elements with draw parts and photos. For example the ravens are'nt 3d objects because too hard to do in 3d for me. I spend a lot of time in Photoshop, with pleasure of course, by adding a lot of details and little things like depth, foreground / background effect, particles, etc.

Lum: You work alot with 3d processes which can often be time consuming with render times, how important do you feel patience is for you?

Max: Patience is something very important, you can't do experimentations and good renders without patience !! Impossible ! When you have an idea, you are naturally motivate then you don't need to look at your watch every 5 minutes. A good thing that helps me each time is the music. I always work with my favourite albums and artists, I must feel relax when I'm waiting for a 3d render ! I often stop a creation for 1 or 2 days to see the result after. I don't want to go too fast this is a mistake. When I finish a creation I always want to show it directly on the web but I prefer to wait just a little because I can see some modifications to do.

Lum: How about inspiration, what is it that provides you with your ieas?

Max: I've got many inspirations but the first one is the world of movies. There are so many kind of movies, action, sci-fi, fantastic, horror.... with so many interesting visual effects ! Another inspiration I love is the music as I mentionned before and books. For example I had the idea of "Bitterness dream" by reading a fantastic book from Stephen KING called "The Dark Tower". But inspiration comes easily this is an everyday training I suppose. If you're looking around you with a little bit of attention you will see that the ideas are everywhere.

Lum: Have you got a favourite piece of your own? What is it that stands out about it?

Max: I really don't know yet ! I created many pieces of all kinds since few years now. But if I have to choose one this will be maybe " Raven's rest ". It is just a photomanipulation, no 3d here. I spent a very long time to give it a particular tone with simple things. If you look closer this creation, there is just a girl, a raven and some branches around. It was a sort of challenge to me. By checking my deviantart gallery you'll see that all my pictures are very details I think, excepted this one.

Lum: Do you have any advice for newcomers to digital art?

Max: Yes of course, I'm sure of one thing to do, don't hesitate to experiment ! Internet is here to have feedbacks on what you put online without risks. You can quicly know if you're wrong or not of course. Don't forget to look everywhere for inspiration, not on Internet only. I think an artist must feed himself with numerous references like books, magazines, the nature and of course the others !

Lum: Finally do you have anything else you would like to say?

Max: Keep in mind that we are in a hard society with many troubles everywhere. Art is the best solution to gather people from all over the world. No politics, no religions, no money. Just you and your feeling. If people spent more time to create than destroy, life would be more enjoyable !!

Lum: Thank you Max, it is an honour having you as part of the team.