Michal Sycz (AKA Noeeko) is a popular designer currently residing in Poland. From his work you will quickly notice his love for art as well as his spirit for perfection. Michal strives to create different styles of artwork so he can expand his creative world.
In this interview Michal will give us a few pointers on how to improve in the Photo Manipulation field, and he will also describe how he made one of his best illustrations "Order vs Chaos." Lets get into this interview!
1. Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
Hello readers, my name is Michal Sycz, aka Noeeko. I'm 24 years old, and the last four of them were dedicated to design and illustrations. I currently reside in Krakow, Poland. I have always loved drawing and sketching objects around me, but one day someone gave me a copy of Adobe Photoshop and I realized this was what I really wanted to do. I started creating digital images just for fun.
My first digital artwork was a Star Wars movie poster. Special only for Psdtuts+ you can check it here. Yeah I know it's nothing special, but those days I was really happy with the results. That was my first step in the design world.
2. You have clearly mastered the technique of Photo Manipulation, so what advice would you give to the designers who are just starting to use this technique?
If you are true beginner, I'd advise you to push yourself to the limit. You will be surprised at how quickly your skills develop. Psdtuts+ is definitely a daily source of great inspiration and royal class tutorials so try out some of them and practice.
The most important thing you need to remember is that you must be patient! If you will be creating a photorealistic illustration, then spend some time and pay attention to details. Always work on high resolution photos. Perspective, composition and color combinations are also very very important. Be a perfectionist and don't give up! Creativity is a full-time job.
3. You're design style varies from 3D shapes mixed with Photo Manipulation to basic 2D illustrations. Why do you feel the need to try out different styles instead of mastering a specific one?
There are a lot of reasons why I'm trying to use different styles and applications. Some people prefer mastering a specific style but there are a lot of people who understand the nuances of different styles and can create illustrations in the artistic style they feel will best tell the story. It's quite important when you work for clients or agencies to show that you're flexible and could solve a graphical problem in more than one way and use a lot of different tricks.
I know that having no style makes you less recognized on the web, but this is not my life purpose. There are so many things I want to try and create to express myself.
4. "War Brings Chaos" was featured in SlashThree's recent pack Order vs Chaos. Walk us through how you made this incredible illustration and explain why you gave this piece the specific message that it has.
I'm really glad that you asked me this question. The theme was "Order vs Chaos." We were allowed to focus on one of the two, so I chose chaos. The main idea is simple - war brings chaos. This illustration was my manifestation against the war in Iraq. The hand is a symbol of oil and human greed. The grenade is also a symbol of war.
I usually start by doing a quick low resolution sketch, but in this case it was different. I didn't have any big idea so I decided to create a typography work with simple text and meaning (you can see part of it in the center of the illustration).
I wasn't happy with the result, maybe because each piece of my work should have a hidden story, that’s why I've started thinking of the meaning within. After an idea comes into my mind, the first step is to search for photos, next is to make some sketches and 3D renders. Here you can see my case study War brings chaos
Its supposed to be only experimental typography work, but it turned into an illustration with many layers, details and a huge resolutions 15000px. I spent a long time making this image and I'm quite happy with the results, but I still see some mistakes, and I’m not talking about the grenade. Maybe I will fix it someday.
5. To date what would you say is your favorite illustration that you have created, and why?
Well, it changes all the time. My favorite work currently is my vector illustration, "Milk Sucks." Yeah, I know that most of my works are made using photo manipulation and vectors are not my best skill, but maybe that's why I love "Milk Sucks" so much. It's a really kick-ass piece of artwork!
6. What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to achieve design wise in the next 5 years?
The biggest goal for the future is to open a studio, where many of my projects will come to life, but for now I want to improve my techniques, focus more on interactive media and keep experimenting with different things. I want to try some other styles :]
7. Who are some of the designers you look to for advice and inspiration? Why do you feel you can ask them for help and not someone else?
Really though, it’s hard to clearly pin the inspiration down to a few subjects, for me it's like the inspiration is coming from everywhere. I'm not saying there are no artists who inspire me.
Pablo Alfieri from Playful is a great designer with a great set of skills, and some amazing artworks that inspire me a lot. Brock Davis and Greig Anderson are also brilliant designers. Those guys are full of creativity. I just named a few but if I really want to find some inspirations from others, I visit ffffound. There are truly some magnificent images on this blog. I just can't get enough of that site!
8. Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
My advice for designers would be that you should sell your soul to the devil of creativity hehe! Thank you for the interview.