Sebastian has been a dedicated member of The Luminarium's team for 10 releases now and in that time has developed from a up and coming space artist into a fully fledged Science Fiction master utilising a whole range of tools as well as joining the staff team.

Lum: First off Seb, congratulations on your feature. How did you enjoy this theme, anything in particular about it that through up specific challenges?

Seb: Thanks so much guys, I’m really honored !! I so much enjoyed this theme. Pure Sci-fi one which I dig the most of course, but to challenge myself and not stay in my zone of confort with rather environment and space, I decided to go for character design instead. An unsecure domain for me I would say but I like risks and I always try to work on my weaknesses than my strengths.

Lum: Lets get the ball rolling with a little bit about yourself, what makes you tick? What do you do outside of your artwork?

Seb: Music and play the guitar. Practicing the instrument took me around 20 years with hard work to achieve the level I wanted. Still self-taught, music is my moto. I need energy, emotion, and story to tell. I founded my own band 6 years ago now and this is quite some challenge too, with leadership, conflicts, strong friendship, hard work and true love for music and performing live. Art is all about sharing, it applies to music for sure.

Lum: You started producing digital artwork relatively late in life in comparaison to a large number of the people here who started in their early teens, what got you into it in the first place?

Seb: As it happens, it’s music as well. In the early stage of a band, you need a logo for your identity and web page. MySpace was the ‘must have’ page for bands but you needed to design eveything to have something decent. My guitarist and friend Fabrice is webmaster so he showed me some quicky stuff on photoshop to start the design of the logo and banners. It was really the starting point.

I know photoshop before but my generation did not grow up digitally as fast as the new ones. When I was 20, it was the beginning of digital arts with no tablets, few options. It was fun just to change faces on a picture of your friends or turn him into a purple alien, lol. When I discovered the evolution of the software around 10 years after and what people were capable of doing while browsing the internet, it was a revelation that finally I would be able to reveal my visual art instinct, serving at first my music, to finally become the opposite now. This is the reason why I started lately, because I found no interest to draw just for the sake of drawing with a pencil and show it to your best friend because no internet. The digital process and internet, changed everything in my conception of visual art but I was 30 already, lol Though, it’s never too late…

Lum: Still in that short period you have come a long way, where do you think you will be in say 5 or 10 years time, do you have any great dreams you want to persue with your artwork?

Seb: Yes a long way, with hard working and passion as leitmotives. My great dream is simply to be able to succeed in my professional U-turn and decently live from my artistic passion. Hopefully, in 5 or 10 years I would be either founding my own studio, or be part of a major game or film project. I don’t know but what is sure is that you always need to be there, show what you are capable of, develop your network, help each others and seize good opportunities. Luck exists but you got to provoke it most of the time I think.

Lum: You have been part of The Luminarium for quite a while now, and a staff member too what is it like within the group? What do you particularly enjoy?

Seb: The Luminarium is my artisitic family. When I started, it was my very first goal, enter this fantastic collective because the artists belonging to it were my strongest source of inspiration. What I truly enjoy about it is the qualitative advices I received there that truly helped me grow. The artistic level is really great and the good spirit, respect and constructive desire to help are the core of it. I’m convinced that I wouldn’t be at that level today without the collective. The other thing is to see how powerful this CG community is and discover really great people, becoming friends and grow all together. It’s the Lum friendship power he he !!

Lum: You have also recently become the latest in a line of Luminarium members who have been Gallery Moderators/Community Volunteers for the Sci-fi part of Deviantart, what sort of impact has that had?

Seb: Yes, it was a great satisfaction I admit but more work in the end, ha ha !! It mainly gave me comfort in my critical eye to determine if an artwork is worth being rewarded by a Daily Deviation or not. You are facing your own judgment and rewarding artworks that seem not to be as good for the dA community as you seemed to think is an important task for a CV. I have too much respect for this gallery to wisely select my DDs and pay a tribute to the awesome artists in this genre as well as shedding light to emerging ones who need more exposure. It’s an easy way to only pick deviation with at least 2000 favorites, but it’s harder to pick one with only 100 favs and see it achieve a great deal of positive comments and favorites by the end of the day. He he !! This position is a question of being fair because you are the decision maker in the end for your gallery even if you can have advice from the CV staff members,. There are rules to respect just like in a company. It helped me a lot for my Luminarium position as well. I’m more confident in the crits I provide.

Lum: Back to the release, you have made a couple of character heavy pieces for this release, why don’t you take us through your working process?

Seb: As I said earlier, character painting is quite a challenge for me, so I decided to make some for the exhibit because I knew the collective would help me developing my skills to make it. The artwork ‘Machines Have No Remorse’ started by the rough painting of the robot helmet on the right. Then seing the left side in desperate need of something, I decided to include a 3D model of a city I did a couple of months earlier. Then boom, the link between both was the explosion idea. I did not use any specific inspiration but just feeling and mental influences coming along my painting through the numerous sci-fi movies and artworks I watched.

The second artwork ‘Hail To Lord Of The Shadows’ bumped up from a challenging speedpainting timing of one hour I imposed to myself, which resulted in the sketch you see in the very start of my timelapse video (see the video here).

Then I continuously painted for around 4 hours, refining and stuff with this position angle slightly from above making the character quite authoritative and threatening. Of course Darth Vador was slightly my model for this one without making it too black like him and too obvious.

Lum: How about your inspiration, where do you get your ideas from?

Seb: Everywhere, anything that could be connected to a sci-fi style. When I visited the refinery in France, it was like Blade Runner movie with pipes, steam, loud sounds, rust and all. Love that. It’s paradoxical to say that I can see beauty in a rusted oil tanker wreck or a refinery but have a look a Oblivion and all these desolated landscapes mostly designed by the great Andree Wallin are just mental. I’m not afraid to say that it’s beautiful landscape because it serves the movie so well. It’s always a question of viewpoint and positively define beauty into something that at first glance looks ugly, as long as it’s interesting enough to serve your art of course. Being a contemplative person helps you grow as well to see beyond what your eyes are actually seeing and stimulates your imagination to go beyond.

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

Seb: Terminal 13 is probably my favorite one because I strived so much to make it but it paid off with many publications and quite a boost in my exposure. Just the Vue modeling of the terrain took me around one week to understand and achieve. My main motivation for this one was to have the honor to be selected for the Exposé 10 book. Unfortunately it did not happen in the very last stage but disappointment gave me even more strength to continue and work harder.

Lum: Do you have any advice for those just starting out into art, be it traditional, digital, photographic or anything else?

Seb: es two words : PASSION and HARD WORK. You need to be animated by passion to work a lot on something because this passion does not turn your work into just ‘work’ but strong motivation. The psychological motivation is essential to keep on learning, working and digest the first punches the others will give you for free either to unconsciously hurt you or just to help you out and make you grow. EVERY critique is good to take even from guys tha,t at first sight, are doing low quality art. Try to be a filter and take what you can and don’t be afraid to look for high level artists and follow them because at least it’s gonna be quality for your evolution even if out of grasp in the beginning.

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

Seb: Well I should become for good CG Freelancer in next October 1st. It’s been a great adventure so far but it’s gonna be even more a big adventure when I start this new activity at 37. This is the support of my family and of yourself, the Luminaium and the CG community who gave me strength to achieve this new dream. So my words would be a big THANK YOU to you all and wish me good luck!!!!

Lum: Thank you Seb, its been great! Here is to many more successful releases with you as part of the team.

Seb: Thanks a lot ! I’m sure this one will be like the other exhibits… a major success.