First name: Leon

Country: Netherlands

Studies: Design

About you:
Question : You are from Netherlands; tell us a little description about the place where you live. Have you always been in Utrecht?

Tryingtofly : I was born on 30 April 1992. So I am 21 years old at the moment! I moved to the “big” city of Utrecht a year ago for school. It’s a busy but cozy city. I live in a neighborhood where many art guys live, so I only have to walk a few minutes if I want to hang out or work on projects with my classmates!

Question : What can you say about your school of arts, what are you exactly studying there?

Tryingtofly : I am studying interactive performance design and games at the Utrecht High school of Arts. At the school we try to find a link between games and theater. That means that we try to implement gaming elements into theater. And theater rules and principals into games. We also have to write stories and work with hardware at our school.

Question : On your Deviantart journal you talk about high jumping, do you practice this sport since many years?

Tryingtofly : I have been jumping high since I was 6 years old, but I recently quit due to an illness and injuries. When I was 17 years old I placed 2nd at the Dutch athletics championships. I then really wanted to be a professional sportsman but I have given up that dream haha! When the doctor told me I had a bowel disease I thought. Well ok! I’ll have to do something else then! That’s when I began to draw and paint!

Question : Does sport inspire you for artworks?

Tryingtofly : I don’t think sports inspire me for my artworks but it definitely made me more competitive. I always want to improve myself. I learned that in sports. This is an old video of me, jumping high at the 2009 Dutch championships! Don’t laugh! Haha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utmls3qlB2E

Question : What job would you like to apply for after your studies?

Tryingtofly : When I’m done with my study I would love to be a concept or environment artist at a gaming of film company. Or to build up my own gaming company with friends. That’s some kind of dream of mine!

About your art:
Question : When did you start working with digital techniques?

Tryingtofly : I started modeling in 3D about 2 years ago. And I started drawing 1.5 years ago. I have been drawing for 3 -5 hours a day since September last year.

Question : On your blog you show some quick pastel sketches. How pastels help you for setting up a concept?

Tryingtofly : Pastels are a great medium! But I also try to work with pencil, markers, acrylics and watercolor. I try to practice with as many mediums as possible! Really expensive though! Pastels allow me to create lighting and values really quick. Some artists at Pixar used this medium and techniques to create Toy Story, a Bug’s life and other great movies!

Question : Do you enjoy working with traditional tools?

Tryingtofly : Yes I really do! A great way to keep my eyes off the screen while still practicing my drawing and painting. It’s a really good practice to work with traditional mediums. A teacher once said: never paint digitally if you can’t work with traditional mediums. But I disagree with that. You should do what feels right. And as long as you have a good idea, the medium in which you visualize your idea shouldn’t matter.

Question : On your website you show some 3D based drawings. What is for you the benefit of using 3D basis for concept artworks?

Tryingtofly : I am a beginning artist, so my fundamentals and knowledge of perspective and basic drawing are not that good! I really like modeling in 3D so I can use that to my benefit. I try to combine the two things I like to create new artworks. But most of the time I use 3D to lay down a nice perspective with simple objects. I think 3D is a great tool for concept artists because it really saves you a lot of time on your paintings! I normally don’t take more than 4 hours to paint a concept. I like to keep things rough and dirty.

Question : How do you manage to reach a 2D painting style using 3D references?

Tryingtofly : The 3D image is really basic. I render it out and then I try to paint over every bit of 3D there is. That way it looks like a painting because the 3D image is covered with layers. Most of my last paintings include 3D references. There are not much tutorials about this technique online so I try to develop it myself to create a new style. But I don’t know if I will succeed!

Question : Your paintings often represent little characters lost in huge places; do you sometimes feel that kind of immensity around you?

Tryingtofly : As a beginning digital artist I often feel a little lost in the crowd of amazingly talented people. There are so many good artists around! There are also so many mediums to create your things with! I am also a really busy guy. I want to do everything at once. And sometimes I can get a little bit lost because of that. I really like to create environments and I put the characters in there for the scale and story. I never paint detailed characters because I don’t have the skill to do that! I really can’t draw characters haha!

Question : Your works are often related to imaginary sci-fi worlds. Do they refer to some specific books or movies?

Tryingtofly : Most of the time I really love to create my own stories and worlds. If I create a painting I always try to tell a little story with it. I always write down a few sentences to tell what the image is about. The paintings are often related with the sci-fi genre. That means I draw a lot of inspiration from films like Star wars and such. I think an artist can draw a lot of inspiration from watching movies and reading books! I also love to watch animated movies, such as Pixar’s and Dreamworks. If I like a game or film really much I try to buy the artbook of that work. I’m a real artbook collector haha! I think reading books is better than searching for pictures on the internet. Because you can hold a book in your hand. You can really feel the image. Also, reading a book is much more relaxing than staring at a screen. Also the digital art masters books are really inspiring. In those books really great artist tell about their workflow and their images. Really inspirational!

You and Pixelitist:
Question : What is your favorite feature on Pixelitist?

Tryingtofly : I really love the concept of a drawing arena! I always watch my e-mail to find out if someone gave me pixels! Haha! I think it’s a great way to find out if people like your work or not!

Question : What do you think about organizing some drawing contests on Pixelitist? Would you be interested to participate?

Tryingtofly : Definitely! I am not a forum guy! Pixelitist and Deviantart are the only art sites I use! So I follow Pixelitist every day! I would love to compete in contests because it helps me to practice drawing while I am competing with people I like and respect! Contests are a great way to get to know people! You don’t have to include prizes! I think the honor of competing should be enough! So yes! I would really love to participate in every contest you organize! Organizing contests with certain themes would be great! Like: Fire or “alone in the dark” or something!

Question : What are your favorite artists on Pixelitist?

Tryingtofly : I really like the work of dothaithanh. But in my opinion, all of the artists on this site are great! Everyone has a different style and it’s nice to see everyone’s improvement.

Question : What artists would you like to see invited on Pixelitist?

Tryingtofly : Everyone really! Pixelitist is a great way to present your art to other people so everyone with an unique style should be invited! Also I think that Pixelitist is a great way for beginning artists! When you invited me to this site I was only working on my art for a year! By showing my artworks to other people on this website I can really improve myself. Thanks!

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