Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Grzegorz Rutkowski

Grzegorz Rutkowski is a Polish artist specializing in concept art. He brings his own flair for the dark and fantastic to his work, and in the following artist spotlight, explains a little about his personal taste.

The Day We Left EarthWhat do you enjoy the most about concept art? What does it achieve, where other kinds of art cannot fall short?

The best thing in concept art is this whole creating process. From a description you have to make an image of character and location. Then other people use your “idea” to create the next step, and finally you can see your contribution in a final effect.

You made a tutorial on concept art using this month’s cover. Is this your typical process when you create a new piece?

Mostly yes, this is a simple way to get an effect you need. Sometimes I start from scratch, building whole ideas step by step, but sometimes I need to make a sketch in a very-traditional way (pencils and paper).

Your gallery features many character portraits. What does zooming in on a single person have to its advantage, rather than a wider landscape and scene?

Portraits and landscapes have the same destination for me—with both I need to create a special atmosphere. In a portrait there are close feelings; because we are zoomed in, we can be there with this character and read his/her face closely. We can feel like that character. In a wider scene, we are seeing the wider picture, standing behind the story. Of course this both has advantages and disadvantages, which is why I sometimes choose portraits, then landscape.

Many of your pieces contain sharp contrasts between light and dark. Is that a stylistic choice, or something that happens unconsciously for you?

I’m still looking for perfect way to show what I want to “tell” to my audience. I choose this sharp-contrast way because I’m feeling comfortable in this stylistic; I’m a fantasy fan, more dark then light. But also, I think it has to do with the general perception; certain people see things in pink colors, others in dark, and it has nothing to do with frame of mind.

What other artists do you admire?

I have a big list of artists I admire, in short: Michael Kutsche, Craig Mullins, Andrée Wallin, Sławomir Maniak, Marek Okoń.

What are your favorite kinds of characters or worlds to create?

I love dark atmosphere, and dark characters.

What are you working on now?

As a freelancer I have to do some commissions. I can only say that lately I’m involved in bigger project, which is why I didn’t have too much time to do something for me.

Is there anything you’d like to work on, but haven’t had the opportunity yet?

Maybe it sounds weird but from the past two years I have been interested in cinematography. This is my unfulfilled dream.

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Erin Stocks

Erin Stocks Lightspeed Assistant Editor Erin Stocks’ fiction can be found in the Coeur de Lion anthology Anywhere but EarthFlash Fiction Online, the Hadley Rille anthology Destination: Future, The Colored Lens, and most recently in Polluto Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @ErinStocks or at www.erinstocks.com.