Artist Interview: Camilo Polanco | Concept Artist
What are your strength and weakness?
My weakness, I would say is to try to finish the artwork as fast as I can. Sometimes I miss some important details that I fix after seeing the finished artwork, but they had to be fixed before the artwork was done.
My strength is that I'm always creating, I haven't stopped since the first day I started digital art. I can achieve what I propose and I do my job with love and passion.
What is the last thing you learned?
To create a better artwork with composition, lighting and shadows, atmospheric perspective, storytelling. I always try to improve these.
What was your process to create this artwork?
This artwork was made for a client, the brief was clear: devastation, sadness, destroyed city, a tank with soldiers walking around, this piece must be post-apocalyptic. The process was similar to all of my other artworks, but I needed a deep investigation of cities in a war like in Syria. It was very hard to see a lot of shocking images but is part of the job.
It was very hard to see a lot of shocking images but is part of the job.
I had to model everything in 3D, the tank, and the environment, then I just made a clay rendering, and in photoshop I used photo bash techniques to create a realistic scenario that works perfectly for the client.
This piece has a personal story in addition to what my client wanted. This was written by a recognized writer and friend of mine Samuel Bond:
“Walking aimlessly through rubble and ash, there was nothing, but silence accompanying the soldiers as they traveled upon the land. Their stomachs rumbled with anger caused by the lack of food and nutrition they had stored within. The wetness wasn’t inside their mouths giving them hydration. Sweat ran down their cheeks and ended in a puddle inside their boots. The soldiers took in the wreckage from the war that seemed to be centuries ago, which only happened within one year. With no resources left, they continued on their path, hoping for something to give them regeneration of life. Instead, they were poisoned as a shelter was nonexistent as the days become nearly endless with no hope in sight. Only silence is what accompanied the soldiers other than each of their deaths as their bodies began to give in slowly each day. With no water and no food, the soldiers had no other fate than death.”
What is usually the most difficult part of your process and how do you overcome it?
I think the most difficult part of doing digital art is to find the photo references that fit perfectly into your composition, with the light direction, the shadows, and all the things you need properly to the main art, but most importantly, the quality. To overcome this, I have to make exhausting research of photo references in professional websites that provides high-quality photos and find the correct one that fits with my concept.
What are you working on these days?
I'm working in the concept art department of a video game studio, I really enjoy doing this job. Recently I finished some concepts for a movie about mafia which will be released next year.
How did you come to do this job / passion?
My story with Photoshop started when I was a child. I had a folder full of video game art that I saved. The quality and realism of the images always surprised me and I wondered how I might be able to create such artworks myself.
Years later, I discovered a book about game design that had a chapter about game art and how it’s done. It caught my attention and I discovered Photoshop. I realized I was able to create artwork like the ones I saved in my folder when I was a child!
Since that moment I've been creating non-stop, through hard work I got into the game industry and step by step I got bigger clients.
What is your art dream?
I'm now living a dream, working for a game studio, and having big clients that I never imagined to have, working in what I really love and enjoy. Art is a dream itself, Art is a lifestyle. It is also a dream to create such pieces that you see and feel proud of.
Who is your favorite artist?
Beksinski is my favorite artist, I feel very inspired by him. His art is beautiful and unique.
Do you have a favorite theme to create about?
Yeah, post-apocalyptic and dystopian themes. Destroying environments from the main photo and turn it into an abandoned / post-apocalyptic scenario.
Do you have one last wisdom to share with us?
Make Art your lifestyle, and you will see a big improvement.
Camilo Polanco contacts: