Featuring Lars Sowig in Organics
Lars has been part of the team for a few releases now, and since joining he has never failed to impress us with his intricately detailed pieces, dedication to his work and to helping others and his all round friendly attitude!

The Luminarium: Hi Lars! Let's get the obvious out of the way. Who is Lars Sowig exactly and how did he develop into the artist that he is?

Lars:I am a 24 year old artist, based in Darmstadt (near Frankfurt), Germany. Striving to become a concept artist myself. I think I've always been interested in art. Originally I started with video editing (mostly frag vids), and from there I discovered game design, through some comments on Youtube telling me I should create game art myself. A great source of inspiration was Marc Brunet (concept artist at Blizzard). What I liked was how he was combining 3D modelling and paintings and combining a lot different software to get to his end results.

The Luminarium: Your work always is a great mixture between science fiction and reality. What influenced this style?

Lars: I really like the way concept artist have to think of quick solutions to get quick proposals to clients. Taking stock photos and heavily editing them into futuristic images is a trend between concept artists. Although it's a trend, I always strive to refine my work to a presentation level. I turn concept art into a more illustrative form. Therefore I am usually much busier perfecting a single artwork, rather than creating a lot of rudimentary concepts. Also, I always like to include details which suggest a HUD, giving it a sort of 'in game' feel.

The Luminarium: How did you approach the theme 'Organic'? What was your thought process?

Lars: Normally I don't really make any organic work, my work mostly contains a lot of mechanical elements so this was quite a challenge. First I thought of doing a sort of bacteria themed artwork, based on the 'Sentinel – Nano Invasive Complex' video game by Michael Menzelincef. The way Menzelincef created a piece that looked like a scene through a microscope really interested me and I wanted to try that as well. That was the base idea for Microstream. I was heavily inspired by the work of Ridley Scott's Alien (clearly seen on 'FOSSIL') and the way that he combined an organism with a mechanical feel. I tried to emulate that in Fossil.

The Luminarium: You say Microstream was based on a 'Nano' styled piece, yet the background gives it a huge scale, creating a weird paradoxal kind of look. Was this intended?

Lars: There is a kind of freedom how you can interpret it. The giant bloodcells and the name of the piece refer to it as a really small piece. But the background indeed creates a lot of space. I wanted to make it into an alternate reality, a sort of sci fi space. My own goal is to always create something that no one has ever seen before by combining a lot of software. Although it's time consuming to constantly switch between software (and often a hassle, because not every software bridges well). But every program has their own strenghts and weaknessess and if you combine those strenghts you get really good work. I also want to provoke the question of 'How did he do this?' Mostly when you look at a good piece you can relatively often understand how 90% of the artwork was made. The remaining 10% is a mystery. People will wonder what the technique was behind, say, a certain area or an effect and start discussing about it.

The Luminarium: What's your favourite piece of the exhibition?

Lars: Striders of Vvardenfell by Erik Schumacher (kire). I think it's a bit similar to Microstream in the sense that there is a huge landscape containing a creature which has a clear function. Also the sense of scale in this work draws similarities with Microstream, seeing as you normally have mushrooms, which are quite small, made very large. The creature could also pass a large insect. I absolutely love the details in here, there is no square pixel in this artwork that isn't stuffed with detail. *Chuckles* I think it's better than my work to be honest.

The Luminarium: What do you think of the exhibition overall?

Lars: I really liked how different all our pieces are. Even if I just compared my piece to Erik Shumachers work, they are completely different in a lot of ways. For example 'The Offering' by Cristian Eres is an amazing take on the theme 'Organic'. Even though a lot of the artists drew inspiration from nature, they took it into a completely different direction. You have different spaces and planes drawn out on a canvas. Everything seen from completely different angles. In this theme we definitely took a step forward. A lot of the work in older exhibition were, in my opinion, very inspired by space and this theme has a very good balance. The artists really worked with the theme in mind, and it allowed artist to draw from other areas and this really came out in the final exhibition.

The Luminarium: Any final words?

Lars: Keep on doing art. Never stop!