Sutthiwat Dechakamphu is a concept artist, graphic designer and illustrator in Thailand. You can see what he’s working on on his blog at therafa-art.blogspot.com and more of his work at iddpd4studio.blogspot.com.
You received a traditional Fine Arts degree in painting in college. When did you switch to working digitally?
I graduated in fine art, but I taught myself digital art in my last year at university. I had done some cover work for a book company traditionally, but sometimes they needed way too many fixes, which was very difficult to do traditionally. When they told me that I had the option of working digitally, that made me decide to learn the program. I think it’s been a better way to go.
What made you decide to pursue commercial art?
When I was kid, I liked to draw fantasy or science fiction things because it was very enjoyable spending time with those subjects. When I grew up, there was no concept art school here in Thailand, so traditional art school was the only choice for me. After I graduated in 2008, I was an assistant artist in China for five months. It was very hard work and did not make good money, so I sent my portfolio to a new game company in Thailand. I liked them a lot and got to do concept art for them. I improved a lot in 2009 and after only one year I became the lead concept artist.
You have a very interesting mix of work on your website—illustration, every kind of concept art subject, and traditional portrait work. What is your favorite to work on?
Actually, I like them all, but the concept art is my favorite because the things I design come alive on video games.
What are you working on now?
Most of my work right now is illustration for a card game. Second is concept art for games.
What can you tell me about your cover illustration, Zora?
In the picture is Zora in wolf mech armor. She’s a character from the video game Planet Cyrene, which is an expansion of the MMO Entropia Universe.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your illustrations? I read that your Wizard of Plague illustration came from a dream. What motivates or inspires you to create these images?
I always draw what I am impressed with most. I draw inspiration from songs, movies, and the artists I like. For Wizard of Plague, I had a nightmare. It felt very real at the time, so when I woke up I drew it that night. It was scary but I didn’t want to lose what I saw in the dream, so I just drew it up.
Which of your pieces is your favorite, or which are you the most proud of? Why?
My favorite piece is Jiwa Reina. I made it because I had no job and had a lot of free time. I spent a lot of time on it and used many techniques, like smoke brushes, texture brushes. It was very fun. When I posted Jiwa Reina to the internet, it made a lot of people follow my work. And then I got a job.
Who are some of your favorite artists, or who inspires you?
I have many favorites, but I give the most credit to Thai artist, Mr. Skan Srisuwan. I found an art book in my college bookstore called Thai Digital Painting. I saw his very cool work and was impressed with the work style. I read his profile and saw that he had graduated from a fine art facility and was self-taught digitally. That inspired me to do this as well.
What is something that you’d really like to paint but haven’t had a chance to yet?
Someday, I’d like to do my own artbook: how-tos, step-by-steps, and secret techniques. But sadly I don’t have the budget or the time. It’ll only happen if I have support from a sponsor or when I am rich.
Thanks so much for the peek into your artistic process!
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