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  2. Inspiration

Interview with Digital Illustrator Chris Haines


Chris Haines is an extraordinary designer currently residing in Australia, at first glance his style will blow away any viewer. Once you are drawn in by his amazing imagery, you will be surprised by his knack for detail in his art. Overall Chris is one of the best designers around and his work will prove that. In this interview we discuss Chris's signature style of mixing 3D with Photography, and more.

1. Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?

Hi, my name is Christopher Haines and I am a graphic artist from Perth, Australia. I got started pretty much like everyone I think, I loved drawing pictures as a kid, and just never stopped. I studied photography in my first year of high school and discovered Photoshop. This opened up a whole new area for me and was my introduction to the world of design. After finding the art site Deviantart my skills grew.

2. Did you study graphic design in school or are you a self-taught artist? And in your opinion what are the pro's and con's of each.

I studied graphic design for a few years in high school, and after I left I studied for two years in a diploma course. I also taught myself a lot of the programs I used and constantly made images in my spare time, so I would consider myself self taught as well.

If you are dedicated and willing to work hard, there is no reason why you cant be a self-taught professional designer. The advantage of going to design school is the years of experience your teachers bring to the table, and they can really help you get a solid design base, learning the theory as well as practical knowledge.

3. From your portfolio we see that your style ranges from typography, to 3D art, to even matte painting. What would you say is your favorite style to work in and why?

My favorite style is to mix of 3D, photos and painting together. I find this the fastest way to get lots of rich detail in my images. I do however want to explore more simple designs in the future.

4. A lot of your art seems to be based around these human like 3D characters, tell us how you make them and why you like using them so much in your art?

I like using humans in my images because I am fascinated by how we think and live. By taking something familiar that we interact with every day, and building abstract elements around these structures, I hope to bring another world to the viewer that is both human and alien.


5. "Zen" the illustration you created for the latest Desktopography wallpaper pack is a brilliantly made piece with amazing colors and beautiful scenery. Please walk us through how you made this piece and how you came up with the idea?

This image was created for Desktopography using dozens of photos all brought into one cohesive scene. This meant color correcting and changing lighting of all the photos to make them fit together. I also spent a lot of time hand painting details over these photos. The base of the face structure is 3D with these photo elements integrating together.


6. Who would you say are your "design hero's," meaning artists that you look up to; and also tell us why you feel this way about them, what makes them special?

In terms of illustration, my "hero’s" would be Craig Mullins and Stephan Martiniere. I love the worlds they create and the detail they put into their images. I also feel Craig Mullins treated Photoshop as simply a tool to create images with the richness of the old masters.


7. What was one of the biggest challenges you had to overcome in terms of designing? How did you end up overcoming it?

The biggest challenge I had to overcome as a designer was finding the balance between design and life in general. Sometimes your drive to become a better designer can be so focused, you neglect other areas of your life like hanging out with friends and family. It is easy to get burned out so you have to learn when to push yourself and when to relax.


8. Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

No problem, I guess my final words are to love design as much as you love life, and you will be successful.

Where to find Chris on the Web

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