Matei is another unique and talented artist that we have decided to interview. In our conversation Matei shares some interesting stories about why he prefers to add so much detail into his art. We also discuss why hobbies outside of graphic design can really enhance a designer’s eye and imagination. Matei's hobby is clay modeling and you can check out some of his modeling work inside and in his web shop.
Q Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
Thanks for having me. I’m Matei Apostolescu, I’m 27 and I was born in Romania EU. I am a full time freelance illustrator; I started out as a graffiti artist and migrated from web design to illustration and most recently clay modeling and animation.
Q You incorporate complex shapes and patterns into most of your illustrations, what exactly draws you to use this type of style?
I drew from a very early age, and detail has always been one of my favorite things. When I was a kid my mom used to bring home from her work place huge blueprints of all types of machinery from mining equipment to aircraft engines, I copied quite a lot of them and even colored some and ever since then I remained hooked on very detailed stuff.
Q On the side you also create these amazingly detailed polymer clay models, do you believe designers should take up hobbies like this and not always focus on digital art?
Modeling clay has really opened my eyes to a new dimension of art and taught me quite a lot of things about perspective and form, I feel it is a great way to enrich a designer's experience with digital art, I recommend everyone to give it a go. I want to create even bigger models and take modeling beyond a hobby level.
Q You work with a lot of traditional art tools like pencils, markers, and even spray paint. Is it a challenge to mix these traditional tools with digital art?
Not at all digital art actually adds new dimensions to the traditional art and I think they complete each other. A small challenge is to capture the stuff done traditionally and implement them into the digital environment, for that you need good digital gear (I have had problems in the early stages of my career because my computers were slow and working with 600dpi scanned artwork was quite a
challenge). I am very concerned with quality.
Q Illustrations like "Flippin Bits" & "Silencer" feature some amazingly intricate patterns, how difficult it is to create them? And please walk us through making the pieces.
With Flippin Bits I wanted to illustrate self repairing technology, for the background part I tried to create a futuristic vision of a huge multi-processor motherboard, I used Illustrator to assemble it from various shapes and brushes and then some minor shading tweaks in PS along with the repair robot which is also drawn in illustrator using a
Wacom tablet. Silencer was a bit trickier as I had to make the character and its moves more obvious in all those patterns, so I broke the symmetry by shading the hand and killing off some of the color surrounding the
skeleton's hand. Both of the pieces are using one of my favorite color combos red, white and black, they were created for Depthcore 40th chapter Mythic (I encourage everyone to check out this release it is full of amazing artwork).
Q You have a pack of 27 amazing wallpapers that you are currently giving away for free, which one would you say is your favorite wallpaper and why? Walk us through how you created it as well.
When I started working as an illustrator I was confronted with an obvious problem: who will see my stuff? How will I be able to enter peoples homes so to speak. The answer was creating this collection of wallpapers and trying to expand it all the time just updated with HD versions for all wallpapers!), I was amazed when I saw my wallpapers on peoples desktops, so I included icons and a small set of brushes too, I intend to keep it free forever. My favorite wallpaper is Battle 13,(my current desktop) it started as a practice sketch in illustrator, I then pasted it in PS, ditched all the coloring (it was quite vivid) and went for a deep underwater tone. It took me a while to get it to where it is, but after some fighting with the burn and dodge tool I was happy with the result.
Q In your portfolio you state that you will be opening up a web-shop soon, what can we expect to see in it once its up?
Yes I am trying to open it for quite a while now, but I’m happy to announce it will be online in about two weeks. The main reason for the delay and hopefully one of the highlights of beaucoupzero (up
now) will be a collection of shoulder bags and laptop bags featuring my illustrations. The bags design and development was quite slow as we had to find the right materials and especially the right people to assemble them and I can say now that they turned out awesome. I will be also selling limited editions huge sized prints of my illustrations and some of my best polymer clay toys.
Q Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Thanks again for having me. Good luck to everyone, and remember "there is no style like freestyle!" Peace!
Where to find Matei on the Web