One-on-one with Sebastian Becker

Boneshaker Press has the pleasure to introduce you to, an illustrator living in Germany and we are proud to welcome him on the second volume of Encounters with the Imaginary. Check him out on his website and social medias!

What’s your background?

I’m a student in communication and graphic design from Germany, aspiring to become a freelance illustrator. I mainly work digitally with my genre of choice mostly being fantasy/gothic. I live in a small town between Bonn and Cologne, right next to the forest and the “Wahner Heide,” a big heathland.

What got you interested in the arts to begin with?

That would be the illustrations in the rulebook of Dungeons and Dragons, Edition 3.5 (especially the work of Todd Lockwood)

When did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?

After I noticed that I wasn’t as good in my advanced math and physics courses as I would have liked.

In highschool I wanted to become a scientist, but noticed that the actual work behind that wasn’t for me. I never lost the interest in science though.

Metamorphoses

Do you remember your first piece of art you were really proud of? The one that made you say yes I am an artist!

I’ll let you know when that “I’m an artist” piece comes along. As most artists, I am usually not very proud of the images that I did in the past, as I tend to see all the mistakes I made back then. ThI remember coming back from my third year of illustration with a bunchload of finished drawings and paintings. I remember vividly only one that stood out. It was a portrait I had drawn for my father.ey say an artist is his own harshest critic and, at least for me, that’s true.

The first piece I was proud of must have been my first ever painting doodle thing I did with my tablet instead the mouse. It just all fell into place so easily. Looking at it now, it’s a piece of garbage, but for where I was at that time it was a big thing for me.

Do you collect anything?

Not really, no. I have the obligatory collection of art books, comics and books, but I wouldn’t say that I collect them.

Memories

What research do you do?

Depending on the subject I do a deep Google and Pinterest search, but most importantly I do  research about the background and history of the thematic I’m illustrating. Most of the times that gets my imagination going and some images pop to my head. I then directly go into thumbnailing my ideas. After that I either go on reference search, build a 3d model or shoot the reference images myself.

Do you ever feel like giving up and doing something else? If so, why and how have you overcome that feeling?

Sometimes I wish I could do something else, but the inner call for self-expression and self-fulfillment doesn’t let me. I’m not the type of person that can sit 8 hours behind a desk and answer phone calls. I do sit a lot behind a desk though.

What themes/ideas do you pursue?

I would say my artwork revolves around melancholy, loss and romanticism. It’s also an expression of my love for nature and the ideal of harmony between mankind and nature.

Leaving Soul

 

What advice would you have given yourself ten years ago?

Loosen up sometimes, don’t try to please the people that don’t appreciate you for who you are and don’t worry too much.

How has your practice changed over time?

I do a lot more research and use more reference than I did starting out. I do photostudies to learn about color and light, and try to be decisive about my brushwork. The more you learn the more you have to worry about in your work. In my earliest images I didn’t think about technique, lighting and perspective. I also never did any thumbnailing, but painted away from start to finish.

How do you keep your creative spark? What keeps you motivated?

A weird inner drive keeps me going. Inspiration comes from literally everywhere: Movies, Games, photography, nature, other artists work, bus rides and the like.

Inner Spirit III

Professionally, what’s your goal?

Doing the work I want to do for the people that want to see it, not having to worry about how to get food on the table and a roof over my head.

What does visual storytelling mean to you?

Creating an image that tells a story beyond what is shown, which makes you curious about what happened before and what will happen after the scene that is shown. Ranging from a character’s background shown through their clothing, to the history of the land the scene takes place in. Visual storytelling is all about those little details that enrich the experience of the image and give it deeper meaning.

What’s your main challenge when beginning a new piece of art?

I guess that would be choosing what to paint. I have all those ideas in my head, it’s hard to pick one to begin with. For client work the hardest part is meeting the client’s needs and guidelines while staying true to your own artistic vision.

Spirit of the Deep Woods

What is the most vital/indispensable tool in your studio?

Definitely my PC. It is the medium I paint on, a well of inspiration, a window to the bigger world and the source of my daily soundtrack.

What are you working on right now? (Other than this project) What are you currently obsessed with?

Currently I am working on my diploma thesis, an illustrated collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems.

Would you eat the moon if it were made of spare ribs?

Most definitely! Spare ribs are the best!

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