Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with digital artist Benjamin Low who had some really interesting things to say about his experience working at a design agency and how he became a digital artist. Please take a moment to review this excellent interview.
Q Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
Hello, My name is Benjamin Low, and I am a digital artist & art director from Singapore. I have been in the Design field since 2003 but it is only in recent years that I became interested in making digital arts. In the beginning, I was very inspired by Joshua Davis for his courage in experimenting and later my girlfriend, who is an animator, introduced me to the world of matt paintings, cg arts, digital imaging and design forums. And that was my turning point.
Q Are you a self-taught designer or have you been to a design school?
I come from a design school where I did one year of basic fine arts. Thereafter, I majored in multimedia arts. I still remember back in school where I first learned how to use Photoshop 3. It was definitely not as powerful as cs5 now but useful tools like clone stamp, dodge and burn tool were already available and taught. Along the way, the other skills I acquired were all self taught.
Q You stated that you are currently working at a design agency, please tell us what this experience is like for those who are not familiar with what an agency does.
I have worked for a few agencies and different agencies run differently. It is the culture and the management that makes the difference. Some are commercially driven while others may be driven to produce works of merit. However, each project, regardless of the agency, provides different challenges and excitement. If you want to work in an agency you must be fast and be able to multiple task because there are usually several projects running concurrently. More often than not, your ideals or vision may have to be leveled by many factors, including clients’ expectations. But overall, it has been immensely satisfying to be able to produce a lot more of conceptual work that were aligned with my visions that are valued by my clients.
Q You have a lot of variety in the kind of art you can create, from making Slashthree exhibitions to web layouts and advertisements. How do you find time to expand on all these different avenues for design?
In my free hours I often find myself experimenting with different techniques. This resulted in part and eventually I got involved in the Slashthree exhibition. The rest of web layouts, ads and prints are a accumulation of my years of working experiences and self-experimentation. I had been inspired as I worked, from seniors and by the resources available in the world wide web. Psdtut+ has taught me a handful of techniques but most importantly, I believe it is my passion and conviction that kept me wanting to do more.
Q "The Carnival" is a video you created that has some amazing 2d visuals, could you explain the concept behind this and talk about how you created some of these images?
The video was created as a demonstration content for a client selling 3D auto stereographic technology. At that point, time was not on our side, so my team and I took a daring step in producing 2.5d content. The key was to have images stack in depth in a 3d environment. The result turned out well as it provided another avenue of advertisement for client through TV channels, which also supported 2d contents.
As for the concept I wanted to experiment with symmetry. If you look closely, the elements form a face-like collage. All in all, I wanted the video to be colorful, vibrant, fun and full of life. The visuals were done in Photoshop, animated in flash and aftereffect. Thereafter, the 3d team had rigged them up, and the resulting stereoscopic effect is spectacular. I am pleased with the overall effect.
Q To date what would you say is your favorite illustration that you have created, and why?
My favorite piece would be “Reach For The Sky" it is a piece created for the art pack "Le Cirque des Couleurs" at Slashthree. I like it because it represents my new approach in concocting a story and detailing the artwork based on my imagined story. The process of creation was itself fun and refreshing.
Q What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to achieve design wise in the next 5 years?
My future goal is to settle down with my girlfriend and start a family. I hope to be recognized as someone who had dared to be different in my experimentation with my own techniques. Eventually, I would like to hold a live exhibition.
Q Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share. My advice is to fear not, whatever you feel are the merits of your work. Keep learning and practicing. One day you will be there. Your surroundings and fellow artists are your best references and sources of inspiration. Train your eyes for detailing. There are also a lot of helpful resources out there where you can learn from and one of them is Psdtuts+. I would like to thank all artists who had given me so much inspiration along this wonderful journey.