Monday, November 30, 2009

Revital Falke

Meet Revital Falke, a 3D artist in Israel working mainly in plasticine and modeling clay. She is famous for sculpting the cast of the TV drama Lost and taking them to the beach to photograph them in Tel Aviv with two friends. Read the full story here.

How did you start working dimensionally?
I was actually always into modeling clay. When I studied at the best known art & design academy in Israel, Bezalel, the illustration teacher told me to forget about plasticine (modeling clay) - he said it's childish, cheap material, "not serious" - so I left it till I finished studying, when I could finally do whatever I want - and it was great! I enjoyed the freedom to work with it, and started sculpturing everything I saw..

I started creating modeling clay figurines of friends, and everyone was curious to see what would their "modeling clay version" look like.. so I started working with icons, characters that are all known, celebs - Madonna, Michael Jackson, Tarantino, and the best know project - the Lost TV show cast.. people were thrilled to see the known figures as modeling clay figurines, so I thought it can be a great weekly section in a magazine - the celebrity of the week - the modeling clay version..

Please describe your working process.
It starts with an idea and a sketch, and then I begin sculpting; a metal wire for the inner structure, then foil for the volume, and then the modeling clay I've mixed to the exact color I want. Then, the fun part begins and I start playing with positioning, backgrounds and angle to get one good shot that can be used as a illustration.

What do you enjoy the most / least about working dimensionally?
I think the options are endless, and mostly enjoy the playful aspect of my work - I can create some figurines and objects, take photos of them in so many ways, so many locations and even lightening style, and then exhibit them as sculpture art. The LOST project was first photographed on the beach, like the original location of the show, but later was presented in a wheelbarrow... and I can keep playing! nothing is taboo, and the photo has already been taken :)
See the full set of the Lost project photos here and also here!

Revital Falke
phone: 972-54-750-0432
images and content © Revital Falke

Friday, November 27, 2009

Laura Meredith (aka Toasty Illustration)

Meet Laura Meredith of Toasty Illustration. She's a 3D illustrator based in the UK and she told me... 
"school and college art courses left me quite disillusioned with the concept of an art career so i had a break from doing any artwork for 4 years before enrolling on an art foundation diploma course on impulse when accompanying my friend to an open day in 2003. I intended to train as a tattooist and only applied to university as a back up idea. I accepted a place on the Illustration BA course at the university of Portsmouth where we were encouraged to find a way of working away from the traditional mediums of drawing and painting. I didn't branch out to 3d illustration until the middle of my second year and from then on i didn't look back. I graduated in 2008 and since then i have been published in several books and magazines and have participated in several group exhibitions in london, cardiff, winchester and portsmouth."

How did you start working dimensionally?
I think that i had always subconsciously yearned to create something sculptural and tactile, however i thought my career would be in drawing or painting until i discovered the potential of 3d illustration. 

What or who has influenced the way you work?
when i first started Chris Sickles was definately a huge influence. since i started to research the medium my tastes have branched out to include sculptors and animators such as Ron Mueck, Suzie Templeton, Paul Berry, The Brothers Quay and Tim Burton. Individual pieces are mainly influenced by found materials or objects which can kickstart the direction of an illustration.

Please describe your working process.
I use super sculpey, wire, fabric, acrylic paints, glue and acrylic doll hair. I have recently experimented with enclosing my work in resin or jars and i love the idea of my models becoming jarred specimens.

What do you enjoy the most about working dimensionally?
I'm very impatient clumsy, and i have been known to ruin a piece in my eagerness to make the finishing touches! I also find that i have to use so many different tools and materials that anywhere i'm working immediately turns into a building site so i'm contantly having to tidy up after myself to avoid stepping in/on paint, needles or wire. What i enjoy most is the sense of accomplishment in creating miniature sets and characters, and the satisfaction when you can finally sit back and see that its coming together and that its the best thing you've made so far- Its great to know that there is always room to improve.

Laura Meredith (aka Toasty Illustration)
images and content © Laura Meredith (aka Toasty Illustration)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Richard Borge

Check out Richard Borge, who combines his sculptures with digital photography and found objects. He works on primarily editorial, corporate/advertising illustration and music packaging (imaging and design). More recently he's been working on animation and motion graphics. Last but not least come his personal projects, which usually work their way into his commercial projects.

After graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, Borge went on to receive an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He then took a full time position teaching illustration and design at Western Carolina University in NC. He moved to NYC in December 1994. He has taught part time at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI and at The School of Visual Arts, NYC. Early in 2003 Borge taught two illustration workshops in Paris at Intuit Lab and Strate College Designers.

How did you start working dimensionally?
For a while, I was always trying to make things look dimension but was working flat. At some point I just started making things 3D and photographing them like that. I do like working with my hands and making objects/sculptures.

What or who has influenced the way you work?
I am influenced by things that are experimental, whether that be music or visual art.

Please describe your working process.
always start with pencil in a sketchbook. A big part of what I do as an illustrator is come up with conceptual solutions. For me this is more important than whatever technique I end up using. That said, I use a combination of sculpted objects, found objects and textures, and heavy photoshop. I often times am buying more of my art supplies at the hardware store rather than the art store, and am always looking for interesting things that people discard.

What do you enjoy the most about working dimensionally?
I like working with my hands and making objects/sculptures. I also like to combine this with drawing and photoshop. I think a big part of it is just the tactile quality to working with 3D objects. I don't always like the room that all this stuff takes up when finished with the project. 

Richard Borge
images and content © Richard Borge

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jean-Marc Laroche

Jean-Marc Laroche is a sculptor living near Paris. His influences include movies and comics. He has been creating sculptures professionally for over 20 years. His exhibit at the International Fantastic Film Festival helped to catapult his success. He is most famous for his Art Knives, selling them at American and European Knife Shows. After 12 years he wanted to change directions and make larger works. Today he is focusing on statues and would like to be represented by a Gallery in the US.

Title : Byakhee Knife
Inspired from HP a Lovecraft Story
Lenght : 17 inches
Media : Resin, Damascus Steel, Bronze

Title : Shaman
Dimensions : 23 X 23 X 39 inches
Media : Mixed

Title : Ecorché Mecanique
Height : 44 inches
Media : Resin and Steel

Title : Mecanic Book
13 X 12 inches
Media : Silver on Resin

Title : Spider Lamp
32 X 32 inches
media : Blowed Glass, Bones, Steel, Stones, Resin

Title : Reliquary Head
Height : 17 inches
Media: Bronze, Silver, Natural Quartz Cristal

Title : Venus
Height: 71 inches on stand
Media : Silver plated bronze
Jean-Marc Laroche   

images and content © Jean-Marc Laroche

Friday, November 20, 2009

Paul Moldovanos, aka The Clayman

The Clayman is a creator, an animation film-maker, cartoonist, sculptor, comedy writer and designer living in scenic Vancouver, BC. The Clayman is a self taught artist, and entrepreneur who began his cartooning career making polymer clay cartoon fridge magnets for family and friends. This led to a year long internship with a leading Canadian stop motion animation company, Bowes Productions, in the early 90's where, under the mentorship of David Bowes and Lisa Jane Gray, he fine tuned his skills and learned a great deal about traditional hand drawn, and hand sculpted animation. During this time, he participated in a number of productions including television commercials for Pharmasave, BCAA, Lotus Awards and Fuji TV Tongue Twister short films.

How did you start working dimensionally?
I dabbled in sculpture for as long as I can remember, actually my high school ceramics class was the only 'A' grade I ever received. In my early twenties I was mis-diagnosed and had surgery on my right hand. In the process some nerve endings were severed leaving my right hand partially numb to this day. During my post-op physio therapy, it was suggested that I pick up some clay to get the muscles in my hand working. It has been a few years since I last sculpted at this point, but when I picked it up again, sculpting felt easier on my hand than drawing, the rest is history ;O)

What or who has influenced the way you work?
My first clay animation mentors were Lisa Jane Gray and David Bowes with whom I apprenticed for a year in my late 20's. They taught me a great deal in a short time then moved away from the small island town where I lived. The internet had just started which was the perfect way to get my early works out to a global audience. Some 10+ years later, Lisa Jane and I reconnected and I was fortunate enough to work with my mentor again for the past year. Sadly, Lisa Jane Gray passed away a couple months ago but her lessons, inspiration and love for the craft will live on forever in my heart, and in all future works. (I was given all her sculpting tools which I will always treasure!) 

What do you enjoy the most / least about working dimensionally? 
I enjoy the creative process most, and although the final art is very satisfying, I am quickly moving onto to the next piece to tap again into the creative 'zone'. All sense of time is lost, almost a Zen like meditative space, similar to what the Tibetan monks must experience when spending days and days making colorful mandalas. The part of the process I enjoy least is dealing with clients who do not value what we do and only seek to get the lowest price.

Please describe your working process.
Different processes for different projects. Commercial projects generally begin with conceptual sketches which are the translated into clay illustrations. Personal projects begin with a hand twisted wire armature, coated with polymer clay, baked , painted and photographed. If the sculpts are for stop motion animation puppets, the process involves making molds, pouring silicon rubber over a steel ball and socket, flexible armature.

Paul Moldovanos aka The Clayman

images and content © Paul Moldovanos aka The Clayman

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

David O'Keefe

Raised on Hollywood, sports and rock and roll music, David O’Keefe has an acute awareness for the images and personalities that have colored the lives of his generation.  He just sees things differently – more intensely, edgier, somewhat more perspicuous than the average spectator. The pop culture icons that we idolize, glamorize and glorify, O’Keefe visualizes for us in all their humanness as well as their stardom. An editorial illustrator for over 25 years, O’Keefe began his art career at The Tampa Tribune as a promotion artist, dabbled in editorial cartooning under mentor, Wayne Stayskal, and spent several years as the Special Projects Illustrator for the newsroom.

His sardonic caricatures and humorous illustrations also appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Mad Magazine, The Village Voice and within the pages of TIME.  His advertising clients include Coca-Cola, WaffleHouse, Fuji and SunCom Communications. In 2007, David left his day job to pursue his passion of painting and sculpting pop culture icons. O’Keefe’s work is transformative, capturing not just the likeness of his subjects, but their personalities as well. He has recently released an epic depiction of the characters from The Godfather and of the entire I Love Lucy cast. His company, David O’Keefe Studios distributes his work through galleries across the country and in Europe.  David O’Keefe Studios also operates a solo gallery on St. Armand’s Circle in Sarasota, Florida. O’Keefe’s work has won numerous awards from such organizations as The Society of Illustrators (NY and LA), American Illustration, Communication Arts, National Headliner Awards, Dimensional Illustrators, and the Society of News Design. He considers himself blessed to pursue his dream and finds great joy in his work and in his family. O’Keefe currently resides in the Tampa Bay Area with his wife, Janice and their four children.

How did you start working dimensionally?
I started working dimensionally back in the mid-1980s, creating larger than life paper mache sculptures of the likes of President Ronald Reagan and the then undefeated boxer, Mike Tyson.  I've always had a passion for caricature and working dimensionally seemed like a natural progression. I experimented with other sculpting mediums, including plaster of Paris for a Billy Joel bust (Mozart style). This is my first sculpted illustration to win an award and bring me national recognition as an illustrator.
In order to create dimensional illustrations for editorial deadlines, I had to work faster and smarter. About this time, a friend introduced me to super sculpey polymer clay.  My first big break came from TIME Magazine and art director Ken Smith. Their first commission of me was an illustration about AT&T layoffs. Unfortunately, the art was killed after completion ("too harsh") and I was crushed, but Smith soon gave me another chance to humorize "Mad Cow" disease and British Prime Minister John Major.
In the early 1990s, there was no affordable digital camera, photo imaging software, or the internet.  I would get an assignment from TIME on Monday, fax sketches to the art director the same day and usually get a final sketch approval by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.  Then I would sculpt like mad to the camera's eye only (leaving back sides unfinished,) paint a background or build a set, have my photographer come to my studio Thursday night and shoot a large film slide for the highest resolution.  A courier would pick up the finished slide early Friday morning at my home outside Tampa to take back to NYC to meet TIME's Friday 8 pm deadline.  What a rush! Literally.

What or who has influenced the way you work?
Aside from the old master painter Peter Paul Rubens, people who have inspired me over the years include the incredibly talented illustrators Ronald Searle, Carl Giles, Carter Goodrich, Edward Sorel, Sempe, Peter de Seve and sculptors Damon Bard and Michael Defeo. I have had the pleasure to work with outstanding art directors like Ken Smith (TIME), Minh Uong (The Village Voice) and my Tampa Tribune AD, Pat Mitchell.  All have had a huge impact on my career.

What do you enjoy the most / least about working dimensionally?
As editorial budgets got slashed, it just didn't pay to continue doing editorial assignments.  A perfectionist, I became increasingly more dissatisfied with the quality of my work on such short deadlines. I really wanted to sculpt for more than just a photograph - to finish all sides and truly capture the essence of my subject's personality.  Today I do a lot of oil painting and work on smaller, finished sculptures.  I like to incorporate realistic details such as human hair wigs, doll eyes, moles, wrinkles, and clothing.

Please describe your working process.
Before I start any sculpture, I first come up with the concept and initial sketch of the person(s) I am going to sculpt.  Then I study videos and photos of the subject from all sides.  Video is especially important in capturing a person’s mannerisms and nuances.   I then study the source images side by side, and then amalgamate the person’s likeness into my own style.  I won’t start sculpting until I have sketches from all sides. Today, I photograph my own work with a digital SLR camera.

David O'Keefe Studios
2310 W. State St.
Tampa FL 33609
images and content © David O'Keefe

Monday, November 16, 2009

Paul Harding

Let's play with the insanely talented Paul Harding!

After graduating from Syracuse Universtity (Illustration) in 1998 Paul moved to NYC and began a career in multi-media design.  Soon after, he began sculpting and working for various toy companies.  Nearly ten years later he continues to work for companies such as DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, and Marvel Entertainment making statues and action-figures.

How did you start working dimensionally?
I began working dimensionally in an effort to impress a newly-formed contact in the toy industry.  This was my first real experience with someone who was responsible for the things that gave me the most pleasure as a child-- action-figures.  The rare, beautiful sculpt on a toy would immediately become a favorite posession and the not-so-rare awful sculpt always haunted me.

Please describe your working process.
In terms of my medium of choice, I use a wax-like clay called castilene to rough out sculpts. Then I mold them and cast in my own version of "hasbro" wax to finish.  Other than that, just a bunch of small tools do the job... oh yeah, and a digital waxer to drip on wax and carve away.

What do you enjoy the most about working dimensionally?
What I most enjoy about 3 dimensions is that I can see all angles to a subject.  With 2d art the subject is limited to one heartless angle.  It can seem more difficult to achieve the results that I originally had in mind.

Paul Harding 
images and content © Paul Harding

Friday, November 13, 2009

Irma Gruenholz

I know I had said Fridays would be a day to reflect on dimensional artists from the past, but I have SO many current artists to post about that I just can't wait another day. Check out the amazing Irma!
Irma Gruenholz is an illustrator in Spain who specializes in clay and other materials.

How did you start working dimensionally?
I started about 12 year ago without too much asking myself what I was doing. I started experimenting with different techniques to illustrate and I felt very comfortable working with clay, I liked the possibility of this material to work directly on the volume and colour. Gradually, other materials have been introduced, I love experimenting with all kinds of elements and textures.

What or who has influenced the way you work?
My references are quite diverse, I find it quite difficult to say who influenced me most. Some of the illustrators that I admire are: Mattotti, Baudoin, Shaun Tan, Maurice Sendak, Christian Voltz and Ana Juan. I also love the stop motion animations of Svankmajer and Tim Burton.  But mostly I am excited to see up and coming new artists, it inspires me to work on new experimental pieces.

Please describe your working process.
First I read the brief carefully and I emphasize what I consider most important, in a second reading I point out the first ideas. Then I look for documentation on the subject if that is required. After gathering all the information I start to develop concepts and specify the materials that I will use. I make a sketch, it is very schematic drawing to help me direct the illustration and from here I begin to model. Once the sculpture is completed I take a photo to send it to the client and once approved we make the final photo in the studio.

What do you enjoy the most / least about working dimensionally?
In this work there is no monotony, each project is different and I enjoy the challenge of finding the best way to communicate concepts with images.
I love being able to experiment with different materials and playing with the interaction between them.
The only disadvantage I see to work in three dimensions is the amount of space each piece takes up. Archiving the finished sculptures ends up being a real problem.

Irma Gruenholz
images and content © Irma Gruenholz