Maciej Kuciara is a concept artist in the entertainment industry he's currently working with Naughty Dog Inc a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment. Maciej has been featured numerous times on Coolvibe and we've finally got to ask him a few questions.
Coolvibe: Can you explain when and how you got into digital art? Also, why do you feel it captures people’s imagination so much?
Maciej Kuciara: It goes back to 2003, when I got interested with CG for the first time and I started with learning 3d's Max. Over time however, my interest shifted towards 2D, as I always loved to draw pictures. It was a hobby at first that quickly became true passion and 2 years later, profession. It was a great deal for me to be able to visualize things and ideas I was having in my head and I think it's one of those things that push people's interest into CG - ability to virtually create things.
CV: Would it be accurate to say that a good quantity of the digital art you create is concept art?>
MK: For things I do at home, definitely yes. At work however, majority of things I create are production artworks. A sole purpose of production art is to make sure that designers, modelers, texture and lighting artist or even programmers get everything they need to produce the game. That often times mean functionality over artistic qualities, where you usually don't get time to polish and render image to make it look as you like, but rather put your entire focus on it's reference function. It's the 'boring' part of daily duties, although concept artists do get their moments to shine, usually during pre-production time, where actual concepts are being created.
CV: Are you also a traditional artists and do you think the two can be compared?
MK: I never had a chance to experience academic teaching in traditional art media and beside hobby-related scribbles I loved to do time to time, I never really had any major experience with pen, markers or oils. My learning curve based entirely on CG media ever since. However, I found extremely valuable to study traditional Masters work and books. Composition, color or value rules have been explored for centuries and they are still the foundation of any successful art in general. I can't imagine how would my work look today without any knowledge on those foundations.
CV: How do you choose what CG art you paint next?
MK: Usually the idea comes up after I look at something, or hear some really interesting tune, or just even read or watch the news. There are many sources of inspiration and I usually wait for ideas to come to my head first, instead of pushing myself to find one. I found also that its a great exercise to just draw any idea into small thumbnail with whatever you have at hand (pen and napkin, smartphone etc). If you don't have any tool to sketch something quick and if your brilliant idea isn't in your head by the time you can put it on drawing board, it usually mean it wasn't worth your attention.