Bobby Myers: One of my favorite landscape painters is Albert Bierstadt. I just recently found his work, but almost every single painting of his is breathtaking and just amazing to look at.
Remi Chevalier: Mostly music & photography; and pornographic paintings.
Seb Hue: The engravings from the 15th century were absolutely stunning like those of the German artist Albrecht Dürer for instance or the Flemish Hieronymus Bosch from the early 16th Century. Details in both master pieces are completely mind blowing.
Matthew Attard: Most art types I like are more modern than that. I guess there were some pretty decent-looking landscapes from those times though.
Kai Saunders: Coming from a mostly traditional background through studying fine art during school, I suppose (and would like to think) I have a decent appreciation for traditional draughtsmen/ painters. If I had to a couple I would probably pick, Egon Schiele and James McNeill Whistler.
Richard Davies: I'm a big fan of renaissance art. I studied it at college so I spent a lot of time studying artists and techniques. I personally think this was the greatest period of painting and how techniques advanced during this time. I love it.
Christian Hecker: I think architecture of all kinds. Older paintings. Hudson River School especially.
CARPE: What defines art for you? And where do you see it?
Kuldar Leement: I guess art is brilliance. For me, art is everywhere. It's just a daydream which is visualized - so everyone can see it.
Remi Chevalier: I really don't think that there's a real definition of art. It depends of people : what they like, how they see "Beauty", what attract their attention. You perhaps just... 'Know' when you see art. Something in your brain tells you "Hey man, this is it, you see art". I don't & won't believe for a strict definition for this so complex field.
Seb Hue: Art is creation and sharing; it reflects a state of mind, an emotion, an aesthetic, a desire to materialize something intimate and private into something made public and exposed to others.
Matthew Attard: Art is something that is created by man with the intention of it being an artwork (sure a sunset or a flower is pretty, but those are natural phenomena, not art). And it has to be created for art's sake first and not for practical reasons first (otherwise it becomes an invention or tool).
Erik Schumacher: Personally I'm not a fan of endless "what is art and what's not"-discussions. I simply see it as a way to express oneself. Of course I can appreciate an artwork more if it is meaningful and unique and might even convey a message. But let people just do what they like without caring too much about whether it appeals to a certain group of people or not.
Christian Hecker: That's difficult to answer. I guess everything that triggers an emotional response can be considered art.
CARPE: Do you make art because of the beauty for the eye itself (l'art pour l'art), or because you want to send a message?
Kuldar Leement: I make "art" for myself - it's more like visualizing my own "dreamscape" - like I see a photo of a tree and I try to find it's "angle" for my dream. Sometimes dreams just stay dreams, but some of this dream will be visualized too.
Bobby Myers: I rarely ever create something that doesn't have some sort of story or concept in it. It's hard for me to imagine being inspired or motivated to create something that isn't story-driven. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't though.
Remi Chevalier: Both. If you create art that truly is beautiful, then you send your message, in a way. If you send a message thought your piece, then you crated kind of Beauty. Both work together
Seb Hue: I always try to combine both and convey a certain emotion in what I depict.
Juan Carlos Barquet: This depends entirely on the piece. I think aesthetics and substance are both perfectly valid reasons for art to exist. But naturally, when they complement each other, great art results.
Matthew Attard: I do it for both. It just depends on what I feel like at the time and where the idea came from.
Jakob Hansson: It varies, some of my pieces start out just with focus on the aesthetics, and then eventually a meaning can pop up. On some pieces I never discover if there is a meaning, while others pieces can suddenly reveal symbols and meaning after I have finished it and can look at it from a distance. I like stories, messages and meaning in art - it creates depth and emotion, but I prefer when it is a little subtle and can have room for different interpretations.
Erik Schmacher: Mostly I create art for myself, hence I do try to make it look cool with a variety of colors, interesting lighting and dynamic perspective. This doesn't mean I don't do conceptual work but it's probably not my top priority. Actually I want to stay away from controversial topics like religion or politics as I don't want to start a flame war with my art based on allegedly insufficient knowledge of the situation.
Kai Saunders: Art, for me, is not just something pretty nor conversely, is it something that is solely meant to convey a particular message ( I myself don’t really make art to convey a meaning.). It can be either or both or even none, the main difference between what I believe is art and what is just a pretty picture or a clever meaning, is an insight in to the artist themselves. How they think, what subject matter they focus on, their style, brushstrokes, colours and lighting- all the things that evoke a sense of individualism about the piece and the artist. This is all really subjective though, and what I've tried to write probably won’t make any sense at all!
Richard Davies: I find I make art purely for selfish reasons, I do it for myself really. I'm not a big fan of using art to send messages as I see it as a purely creative exercise. Creating art helps me forget about everyday crap that you have to put up with. The actual process of creating a unique piece of art is what it's all about for me.
Christian Hecker: I do it to explore my imagination and my capabilities. A nice sideffect is when people like it and become inspired. That's a great compliment to get.
CARPE: If you had all the resources you wanted to. What art project would you do?
Kuldar Leement: Resources - like time? Time is always the main problem. I have always wanted to make traditional paintings. Who knows, maybe someday I manage to make some.
Bobby Myers: A sci-fi short film. I would love to direct one myself and I think it would be an amazing project to take on.
Remi Chevalier: Personally, a movie. A movie that tells everything. Truly everything. That find a truth, applicable in each field, even if such a movie won't ever exist.
Seb Hue: To me it's not good to have all you want, as being restraint or frustrated is a good way to think wisely and brainstorm how you can move forward anyway and it pushes to work even more.
Matthew Attard: With limitless resources and money, I'd make my art bleed into the real world by creating a large garden, with real rocks and trees etc and make it a dramatic landscape in itself, perhaps even an alien-looking one.
Jakob Hansson: I work in the game industry with level design and graphics, so eventually I would like to make my own, weird and arty game project. Making a great game can take several years of hard labour however, so I want to be certain the core idea and concept holds water before diving in.
Erik Schumacher: I'd probably sneak my way into the Hollywood film business and have a go or maybe just a look at a high-budget scifi production, presuming I have the knowledge and time to do all that lol.
Christian Hecker: That can only be answered once I have these resources.
c21: Last thing(s) you would do if this were your last hour in the internet ever?
Chris Cold: Declare myself dead.
Kuldar Leement: No worries, there will be always television.
Remi Chevalier: Write a poem.
Seb Hue: I would make a quick final piece in remembrance of my little person.
Matthew Attard: I would announce to my watchers that I'm leaving forever but not by choice. This is the only place where I matter to anyone after all.
Christian Hecker: Waste it on some questionable sites? Ha! But no. Well, I think I would write post on my site, where I would reflect on my work and thank all people who supported me in my doings.
Lesha: What kind of music influences you as an artist?
Bobby Myers: I listen to rock (both new and classic) most of the time when I work, but I also listen to electronic music and film soundtracks (my personal favorite is Tron: Legacy). When working on something specific I'll usually turn on some music that sounds like it could come from that world, or when working on something inspired by a film, then I'll turn on that soundtrack.
Remi Chevalier: Well, mostly ambient music, experimental, avant-garde, harshnoise, drone. The experimental noise & avant-garde of the 80s-90s really inspired me for my most dull pieces.
Seb Hue: Mostly Metal music and J.S BACH organ pieces. Music that is powerful in terms of energy, harmony and emotion.
Jonathan Maurin: I always listen to film music during my moments of creation. I think the Original Soundtrack are very useful to delve into a soundscape and an universe. Most often notes will even influence my lines and my vision of the creation : sometimes more futuristic with an OST like Tron : Legacy or sometimes fantasy with the OST of The Hobbit ...
Matthew Attard: It's strange really. No music really influences my art, but I still listen to it while creating it, but there is no real connection between the theme of my art and the type of music I listen to.
Erik Schumacher: Most of my art is definitely to some extend affected by the music I'm listening to, for instance, I like to listen to Folk Rock and Folk Metal while creating fantasy matte paintings. My underwater series which I created in summer last year was definitely inspired by the music of Katatonia, which is beautiful and atmospheric, with a very dark undertone. To be honest, I have no idea what I'm listening to when I get the urge to create space art or scifi lol.
Kai Saunders: Anything from electronic dance music, to soundtracks from movies. Nothing like a bit of Lord of the Rings to make you feel slightly epic whilst painting!
Richard Davies: While I'm creating art, I tend to listen a lot to soundtrack/film music. Music such as Trent Reznor's soundtrack work, Vangelis or even Hans Zimmer's work all conjure up visual ideas and landscapes which are totally inspiring when it comes to creating art.
Christian Hecker: Orchestral soundtrack music usually is a great source for inspiration. Kingdom Of Heaven or Gladiator have great musical pieces. Other than that it's mostly rock music that's playing when I work on my pictures.
Ken Neth: Are there any artists that have been particularly inspiring for you?
Remi Chevalier: Zdzisław Beksińsk in visual terms ; Bartosz Dziadosz a musical one. With Erik K Skodvin, Tim Hecker, or Arvo Part as well.
Seb Hue: Dylan Cole is probably my most inspiring one. He is the one who really tilted my brain and made me wish to do matte paintings and computer graphics art.
Jonathan Maurin: Yes Gary Tonge aka antifanreal, is a great artist. See his artworks give to me the ambition to create my personal universe.
Matthew Attard: I guess anyone who has done matte paintings for movies like Dylan Cole for example. There are also some classic science fiction landscapers like Andrew C Stewart, Don Dixon or Roger Dean.
Erik Schumacher: Bobby's (Kaioshen) und Kuldar's work is always very inspiring. They were a big reason for me to finally join the Luminarium and actively take part in this release!
Alastair Temple: Quite a few, I love the work of abstract artists like Brandon Wagner and Jonathan Foerster as well as the art of older sci-fi artists like John Harris and Syd Mead.
Christian Hecker: It's less the artists and more their work that inspires me. If I would have to pick some names then it would be a Gary Tonge, Dylan Cole, Ryan Church, Syd Mead and Thomas Pringle. All of them awesome magicians in their respective fields.
Ken Neth: Where does your individual style come from?
Kuldar Leement: My style is more like experimenting - I really don't have my "own" style yet.
Remi Chevalier: From my pure essence perhaps. My own personality. What you are, who you are, always reflect itself in your art.
Seb Hue: Famous matte painters like Dylan Cole, Dusso, and thus films they worked into like Star Wars, Tron, Lord of the Rings and many many others. There were Luminarium artists too who inspired me a lot and naturally orientated me towards science fiction art.
Juan Carlos Barquet: It is a result of what inspires me and what I have learned so far. I try not to worry about style: I think it comes naturally to everyone. My style will change and evolve as I grow up and get better. And this process will hopefully never be over as long as I live.
Matthew Attard: It comes from me going for realism but not always hitting it entirely. Even if I could I think I'd still opt for a cleaner, brighter look anyway, sorta like the backgrounds in many Pixar movies.
Jakob Hansson: I have a background in traditional painting, but had a break from drawing and painting for almost 10 years to focus on IT studies. Then I discovered digital painting in 2010, and found a new joy in painting again. So I am still learning all the new tricks of the trade!
Erik Schumacher: I never considered myself to have a 'personal style' until people told me a certain artwork looked very much like me, which is a cool thing I guess. Having said that I'm not really sure what it is. I like to use vivid and contrasted colors and although I mostly use photo material for my work I edit it sufficiently enough so it doesn't look like a photo anymore. It's probably one of those reasons above although I know you could find many other artists who do that as well.
Alastair Temple: My style has developed itself over a few years now. Starting as an abstract artist I initially borrowed a lot from the abstract art I saw around the place, but slowly my love for Science Fiction has influenced the direction I have gone with my abstracts. Recently I have also been starting to create Science Fiction artwork myself, and I have found that I use a lot of abstract forms in these pieces. So my style is possibly largely down to the artistic route I have taken.
Kai Saunders: I don’t really know! I love to travel (who doesn’t) and so I guess my style focuses on creating imaginary places that I would love to visit, and I suppose I try to translate that feeling across to people viewing it, at least that’s my hope anyway!
Richard Davies: I come from a background in painting and drawing but in recent years, I have been using Photoshop more and more to the point where I do almost everything with it now. It's this mix combined with constant experimenting over the last 6 or 7 years that explains how I've ended up with the particular style that I have. The thing to remember though is that the style is always changing as I still like to experiment with different media and techniques.
4-CtY: How much pre-production work goes into a piece? (Such as sketches, research, different variations, etc.)
Kuldar Leement: Sometimes my works are re painted over and over again to get result what i like. And of course - there is always room for sketching.
Remi Chevalier: The point is, in the pre-prod' of your piece, you got the development of the idea, of the concept. What are you going to share, what are you going to say ? And this, is the base of your piece. So, I personally spend more time of thinking, that acting.
Seb Hue: I'm trying to sketch and conceptualize my thoughts a little in the first place but sometimes I already know what I want in terms of composition, so I go right into it. 3D modeling helps a lot as well for placing elements see how it works.
Juan Carlos Barquet: Not nearly as much as it should. There is always something you could have done better. This can be minimized if you invest the time in pre-production (I have gone as far as building maquettes, like the great James Gurney does). But many times I'm too lazy, even though I'm sure every preparation I neglect is reflected in the final piece.
Matthew Attard: Practically none. I just jump right in. Experience has told me that my first idea is always the best anyway.
Jakob Hansson: On my personal pieces I just dive in and begin to paint: take chances, experiment and have fun on my own. When I am doing commissions there is a lot more pre-production, as clear communication with the clients and understanding their wishes is absolutely first priority.
Kai Saunders: Usually not a lot, if it’s a personal piece, then I won’t bother sketching anything beforehand, I will just jump right in, with large blocks of colour and see where it goes from there! The only time that will change is if it’s a commission, this will usually go through a more lengthy process of some initial thumbnail sketches, a more refined drawing and then a full painting. So that the client is happy they are getting what they've asked for.
Richard Davies: I always start with a pen and paper to start sketching out ideas. The sketches don't look much but it's a way for me to put ideas down (and for me to not forget them!). The actual process of getting ideas and sketching probably takes the longest part of the whole process. I then progress onto Photoshop and do what I call, a rough, which consists of a pretty basic composition of the final piece. Again it looks crude, but its a way to work out composition and lighting before commencing on the final piece.
Christian Hecker: That depends. If I have enough time, I tend to take myself that time. I always try to get the most out of my work and want the result to reflect that. It sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Working with 3d also gives you time to think about your next steps while the picture is rendering. Especially when working in a good print size. On the same note it's always good to take a break from a piece. Helps to get a new perspective on what you're trying to do.
4-CtY: What are some ways that you get pass art blocks?
Kuldar Leement: If there will come any art block then I usually sketch a lot - it helps.
Seb Hue: I don't really have art blocks because I often switch from digital painting to 3D modelling which are completely different processes. So in that respect it's quite convenient.
Juan Carlos Barquet: Making more art. I think there is no such thing as a moment of enlightening when a wave of inspiration will suddenly come to you. If I need an incentive, I look at the work of artists I admire, which reminds me of just how much I still have to work and improve.
Matthew Attard: I don't. I just fill in the time with my other non-art hobbies until I feel like drawing again.
Jakob Hansson: The same way as I would get past a big stone block on a road. Maybe just go another way, maybe change my mode of transportation or maybe find out how to remove or destroy the stone. The worst thing you can do is just camp beside the stone and give up!
Kai Saunders: I get pass art blocks just basically by not doing art. Just leaving it for a day and going to do something else. Chill out, hangout with friends, watch movies, play games. Maybe even some university work (if I’m feeling particularly adventurous!) just usual, normal things.
Richard Davies: The way I get through is just to go off and do something not related to art. Maybe go out for a walk, hang out with friends or read, anything that's not related to what I'm working on. I find the best ideas just come to you when you're relaxed.
Christian Hecker: Blocks can be tough. You feel useless, thinking that you never did something that's worth anything. It has some elements of a depression. But the key is to just keep on working. Try stuff. Try new ideas. You may fail here and there but sure enough the creative spark lightens up and you will find your drive again.
Madsen-7: How do you manage to your lightning and color balance in your deviations?
Kuldar Leement: Usually I paint in grayscale - so I have always overview what I'm doing.
Seb Hue: Lighting is a key thing when starting a new piece so I always try to define my source light and focal point in the first place. Color balance is a final step that sometimes is really time consuming but I always try to balance cold colors with hot ones.
Matthew Attard: For a lot of my pieces I use Vue for, which does make lighting very easy (and fun) to toy with, it's like being a photographer outside and literally being able to move the sun and change the weather to your liking to get something that best fits the picture you want. As for colours - well I think I've always had a knack for choosing cool colour combos.
Erik Schumacher: I use a lot of clipping masks which are very helpful when it comes to editing certain areas of an image. I overpaint most of the material I use on these clipping masks to adjust colors and lighting but I also use color balance and curve adjustment layers in Photoshop to change the overall mood of a scene.
Richard Davies: I don't have a particularly technical approach when it comes to lighting and colour. I use a intuitive approach really, I judge it by eye rather like painting or drawing. Colour is a very important part to all my work and I tend to use recurring colours if you look at my other work. Again it is a very intuitive approach, if it looks good then go with it. Doesn't sound very technical I know but that's the way I work.
Christian Hecker: That's a huge back and forth process. I try to find the right colour-mood early on in the creation process. But that can always change while I'm working on the picture. Sometimes I even throw my initial colour setup completely over board in the final stages. When it comes to lighting then that's the first thing I try to establish. Since I'm often working with 3d, I naturally have to get that done before I move into Photoshop.
Anything Pink: What in life do you draw inspiration from that you place into your digital work?
Juan Carlos Barquet: Books, movies, other artists' work, but above all, nature and the real world.
Alastair Temple: For me everything but a heavy influence is nature, I love the forms that it creates, both at the tiny scale with plant and animal life, and large sweeping landscapes.
Anything Pink: How would you describe your process of creating a creative concept and executing it?
Juan Carlos Barquet: I always start either with an idea in mind or a sketch that is not so clear. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do; many times the concept evolves as things start to take shape. Every piece is different.
Dani: How do you think the interactive aspect of the internet (or web 3.0 as it's nominally referred to) is going to affect the future of digital art?
Alastair Temple: I’m not sure it will affect art in and of itself, but what it will do is that we will see a much larger integration of artwork into websites. Rather than them simply sitting on top of, or displayed on a website, pieces of artwork will become much more part of how websites function.
Dani: Do you think the multitude of styles within digital art will ever make traditional art redundant?
Bobby Myers: Traditional art will never become redundant, ever. It's amazing how much influence digital art has had in the art world in the past 20 years compared to traditional art over the span of its lifetime. But that doesn't mean that we should throw away our own traditions as artists for something that can only emulate a brushstroke on a canvas. Traditional art teaches us the foundations of art, without it we would have nothing. It's not just a want to keep it, but a necessity, and one that all should hopefully come to understand.
Juan Carlos Barquet: No, never. For me, digital is just another medium which some people, myself included, like to use. But it simply can't replace the feeling that comes with using traditional tools.
Mike Yang: What's it like to work with a collage of different artists?
Kuldar Leement: It's awesome and very instructive.
Bobby Myers: It's a great opportunity to meet new artists and feed off of each other for inspiration and motivation. As long as you have somebody with you that can motivate you to continually push yourself then you'll be fine, but to have a whole group that can do that is really amazing.
Remi Chevalier: Wonderful. You learn, & discover a lot. It creates links between your team and you, it's a great experience. I have to say that, working in several collective art group really helped me to keep working on my art.
Seb Hue: It is so inspiring and helpful when you are looking for an artistic identity.
Jonathan Maurin: It's very interesting because each person is unique and give one vision of the world. Combine all vision for open your mind... Sorry for my bad english...
Juan Carlos Barquet: It is incredibly enriching. Interacting with other artists is a constant source of inspiration. Receiving and giving critique is a fantastic way to learn. Working with other people who think differently is the single most rewarding thing online art collectives have to offer.
Christian Hecker: Brutally honest feedback can be devastating! But if you're able to channel it right it drives you further. It certainly helps to get you going and better.
Dani: Apart from aesthetic appeal, what separates Lum from other art groups?
Bobby Myers: Our heart to better ourselves and everyone in this community. We do not look at outselves as just an art group that creates exhibits, but a team that helps each other out on a daily basis with whatever they need, art or otherwise. We continually push each other to get better through critiques, inspiration and motivation. We don't see ranks or anything else when talking with one another, it's just one person - or artist - to another. We do feature such titles and ranks, but they mean nothing more than text on a page; an order to disorder. That kind of mentality has to start from the top in order to set the right tone for the rest of the team.
Alastair Temple: For me it is the way the team is set up, and what it’s key aims are. A lot of groups are about giving their artists as much exposure as possible, and purely gathering together great collections of art. Lum is more about helping each other learn, making sure we push each other to make each piece as good as we can.
Anything Pink: Do you feel as though the exposure your work gets from Lum is enough to push your work into a professional level?
Jonathan Maurin: It is clear that being recognized with CG artists can get valuable advice and constructive criticism. In addition, be with Lum allows for greater visibility because the group is internationally known artists has therefore seek to excel to show only the best of their art.
Alastair Temple: I hope so, although for me the exposure isn’t what The Luminarium is about, it is more of a nice side-effect. Really what we are about is trying to push each other to the limits of our artistic ability, and keep learning from each other.
IzzuThug: Who chooses the topic for each exhibit and how do you decide what it will be?
Alastair Temple: The entire collective puts forward suggestions on themes, we discuss them over a week or two, which often results in new themes or interesting ideas being developed out of the original suggestions. At the end of this period the most popular suggestions are picked out and the artist group votes on which one will be used.
Dani: Where do you see Lum in 5 years time/what are the long-term aims of the collective?
Bobby Myers: Well, we're still young and building on what we want to do and where we want to go, even in our 20th exhibit. But, in 5 years I can see world domination (with cake!). Have one person in the illuminati and one in freemasons, you know, just for extra measure. World domination.... it's no easy task.
Alastair Temple: Hopefully still here! Haha, I would like to see Lum expand beyond the boundaries of the internet, hold some physical exhibitions and get involved in a lot of creative projects like we did with Experience the Planets we did a few years ago.
Lum: Thank you for reading our little feature. We hope you have found this insight into our artists minds and working habits interesting and helpful!