Artist Maksimilijan Gecevic, better known as Skam, is a master of producing fantasy artworks. His visuals show vivid events unfolding in practically every illustration he creates. In our interview Skam talks about the benefits of being in a design collective as well as some of his upcoming projects. So let's get into another interview with a great artist.
Q Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
Hello, glad to be here! My name is Maksimilijan Gecevic and I am from Zagreb, Croatia. I went to a School of Applied arts and I’m currently finishing Faculty of graphic arts in Zagreb. Before I started doing digital artworks I was more into traditional techniques as it was mostly what we learned in school; the basics of traditional art.
I got more involved in digital art in college where I started to combine those two techniques but later I found myself creating digital art and graphic design. It all started when I was creating some album covers, posters and logos for fun. But now I rarely sit and draw something traditional. I still draw sketches or doodles for some digital works, and knowing the basics really helps to improve digital artworks later on.
Q All your art has amazing imagery in it, where do you get the inspiration to create scenes like "Evil" and "Dreaming?"
Well, it depends. I get inspiration from everywhere, sometimes ideas just pop into my head. I see a movie or read something that gives me an idea. I like to think of a background story for every piece that I make, so basically, I do as much daydreaming as possible so I can come up with great ideas.
Q You are a member of SlashTHREE a great design collective, in your opinion what are the positives of joining a design collective and submitting your work. Has it benefitted you in any way yet?
I joined SlashTHREE about a year ago, and I have definitely improved since then because the artists there push each other to work on a higher level, giving each other critiques, pointing out things you might not notice, and they don’t let up until you show some progress. But seriously, joining collectives are great for artists to improve and grow. In the end, it gives more exposure to your work. So yeah, I definitely benefitted from it.
Q "Devotion" is a beautiful piece that was featured for SlashTHREE's latest pack. Please talk about how you made this incredible illustration and what this piece is showing us.
With Devotion, I was inspired by couple of movies I saw with aliens so I wanted to create something with that theme, but in a way to show different kinds of connections, or call it relationship between humans and aliens, in a way I see it if something like that would ever happen.
Basically the story itself is up to viewers to imagine, but one of the ideas was actually a love story behind it all. It was created as half manipulation and half illustration because I'm trying to include more painted and illustrated elements to my works so they could be less "cold“ like when they are 100% manipulated, but still on another level when there is some mixed media in it. The ship was mostly painted with some manipulated details, while cityscape was a stock, same for the girl which was exactly what I was looking for in this piece so in the end it turned out like I wanted to. Glad you liked it!
Q All of your fantasy scenes look absolutely seamless with the photo-manipulation techniques. Talk a little about what you put into them when making these illustrations.
I try to include both manipulated and painted elements in my work and blend them together in the end. The key to making these illustrations work is the details. Correct lighting is very important and it's something that you can't really learn from a tutorial; you really have to trust your own eye and make those decisions on your own. It is really important to learn, observe, and explore.
Q What plans do you have for the future of your graphic design career? Any upcoming projects you would like to talk about?
Right now my main goal is to finish college and create as many pieces as possible. I would love to make some kind of art book in the near future and I am working on some projects that are still in preproduction for a computer game but it's still a bit early to make any announcements at this time. A bit further in the future, I hope to have my own design studio and do what I do now but I suppose we shall see how that goes.
Q Are there any specific techniques you use when designing that you would suggest to someone who is starting out in the same field as you?
I can't say that there are any specific techniques that I use but I think the most important thing that any designer can do is pay attention to details, highlights, as well as depth of field; which can bring a new dimension to a piece. My best advice to a young designer is to experiment and search for tips on their own. When create something, feel free to make things your own way because that is what will become your signature.
Q Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
My pleasure, and thank you for having me! Thanks to everyone for reading this and I hope that I have inspired at least some of the young designers out there. Keep working, don’t rush, don’t give up and maybe we can collaborate on some projects in the future!