Featuring Andree Wallin
Andree Wallin is a name which many will recognise. The 27 year old Swede has been working in the film and game industries as a concept artist and matte painter full time since 2008 and has managed to get himself onto some big name projects such as Napoleon: Total War and the book Oblivion.

Lum: Welcome, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you. A lot of people know of your work and look up to you as being one
of the greats in digital art, but for those who aren't so familiar with your work could you tell us a bit about yourself.

Andree Wallin: The pleasure is all mine. My name is Andrée Wallin, a soon-to-be 28 year old swede who's been active in the field of digital art since the age of 19, professionally since 2008. Besides painting I also enjoying playing drums, watching movies and hang out with family and friends. I started out my career as a concept artist at RealtimeUK in the summer of 2008, moved back to Sweden one year later and have been freelancing since.

Lum: Just by looking at your work anyone can see you have mad skills, but how did you get to this level? And did you always intend to become an

Andree Wallin: When I look at it retrospectively, I think I was probably born to do this. Not because I consider myself talented or "exceptional" in any way, I was just that kind of kid that could spend hours and hours crouched over my desk, drawing anything and everything. I've always had a very vivid imagination and a pen and some paper was the perfect platform for me to stimulate that imagination, and that's the way it's always been. I'm very lazy by nature though; I never fell for traditional painting, using colors and all that stuff. It was just too much work and I always lost interest when it became more about the tools and less about the creating, which is why painting digitally was the perfect medium for me. It's by far the most relaxing and comfortable way to paint in my opinion. I'm self-thaught as a concept artist, I never studied art and I've only glanced at a handful of tutorials. To be completely honest, I just can't stand to listen to others talk about how they create their art, it just puts me to sleep. But to each his own - there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to something that is 100% subjective, and you definitely have a lot to gain from studying.

Lum: How do you feel the about the competitiveness in your career amongst other artists?

Andree Wallin: I rarely feel any competitiveness, quite the contrary. Most artists that I know or have spoken to are very friendly and supportive, so I'd say it's like a small community of people looking out for eachother. Of course it might be a different situation if you're new in the industry and you're applying for a certain job or something like that, but as a freelancer I really don't have that problem (fortunately).

Lum: How often do you start with a sketch or do you start with a blank state just brushing in shapes? And how long would you say it takes you
finish an image?

Andree Wallin: I always start with a rough sketch, just blocking out a composition that works and then take it from there. 2-3 days is my usual timeframe when I create detailed concepts, but of course it varies.

Lum: What do they find harder to draw? Nature-landscapes, city and future scenes/architecture or characters (like people, robots etc)? And why?

Andree Wallin: Characters, hands down. I'm not good with anatomy, so that's my achilles heel.

Lum: How do you keep yourself motivated working from home, how much harder is it to keep learning when there is no one to learn from next to
you like there would be in a studio?

Andree Wallin: It's definitely harder to keep yourself motivated when it comes to personal art, but I think that has more to do with the insane workload than the fact that you don't have colleagues. The work itself is pretty much the same, you speak with your clients over the phone or via e-mail and their feedback will be exactly the same as if you were working in-house. Of course you must make sure to take breaks and see other people, socialize a bit and do what normal people do. Otherwise it's easy to lose the motivation.

Lum: Where do you get your inspiration from? And out of those areas which really gets you motivated to paint?

Andree Wallin: It can be anything. Movies, music, nature, people, you name it. When there's work to do 24/7 the motivation is usually that 'next project'. A really fun job can be motivating enough these days. The pleasure of working with cool people on a cool project, I mean what more could you ask for! 

Lum: Looking through your work its obvious you have done a lot of commissioned images, how did you come about getting work in your field? And
do you have any tips to other freelance artists in getting work? 

Andree Wallin: It's just a matter of meeting the right people at the right time. One thing leads to another and so on. I met a great artist when I studied 3D a few years ago who introduced me to my first employer. However to start things off you need to show your art to the world. You'll never meet that right person if you just hide behind your monitor. Make sure you establish your name in the art community, be as prolific as you possibly can and show people that you're constantly improving. Do that and good things will happen sooner or later.

Lum: You have been working for some time on a project called OBLIVION, a book of sorts in collaboration with Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy) and
writer Arvid Nelson, from what's been shown of the book so far the art work and story both look and sound very interesting. How long have
you been working on this project?

Andree Wallin: I've been working on it on and off since the summer of 2009, so it's constantly evolving. It's a bit different from the stuff you usually see in my portfolio. I can't say much about it other than it's a post apocalyptic adventure set in a very dark and desaturated world. 

Lum: Has it been a challenge being the sole illustrator for what appears to be a very image heavy book?

Andree Wallin: It's been very challenging indeed. This was my first major job as a freelancer, and to be working with a big time director has been both nerve wracking and educational.

Lum: And how did you end up working on such a project?

Andree Wallin: I was contacted by Radical Publishing in early 2009 after their art director had stumbled across one my website, and when he dropped the names involved with this project I couldn't say no.

Andree Wallin: Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reading your replies, I tried to make it as painless as possible.

Lum: Thanks again Andree