Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Marcin Jakubowski

In January’s artist spotlight, we asked Marcin Jakubowski to tell us a little about his work and his cover for Lightspeed, “Gamedec City.”

This piece is full of SF elements, including a futuristic setting, airships and the hand-held device of the central figure. Can you tell us about its origins?

I was asked by SF writer Marcin Przybylek to depict the future world from his novel series “Gamadec.” Gamedecs (Game Detectives) are Private Eyes who investigate suspicious cases in virtual reality, a huge value market as important as reality. The cities in Gamedec are multi-level huge structures called Megapolis. They have barriers protecting from hazardous environment and concentrate most of the population inside. This technology is everywhere and people are completely dependant upon it. In the image I wanted to show such a bustling city, and its span from bright and clear skyscrapers to darken and gloomier lower levels. In the center stands a Gamedec who has just realized that he might be in someone’s game.

What originally interested you in digital art?

At the beginning I was fascinated because it was new and I was trying to find a way to express my imagination. Digital painting gives me possibilities and freedom that I wouldn’t have in traditional media. It’s easy to experiment and trying different things without destroying whole work which is extremely important for self-taught individual.

Much of your work showcases animation. How does that differ from your other pieces in the creative process?

In animation projects I usually create concept art. These are not regular paintings. Concept art usually focuses on the design and helps develop the ideas.  Therefore, it often lacks feelings or emotions.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes from all around. It can be a natural environment, architecture, machine parts, strange installations and photos. Besides, I’m a fan of dark SF. Books, films, comics and illustrations in this aesthetic are great sources of inspiration.

Any particular images you’re most proud of, and why?

I think it’s “Titanomachy: Fall of the Hyperion” (not connected with the Dan Simmons series) painted for one of the CG competitions. It’s quite spectacular and I’ve put much work into it. This image made me more recognizable.

What are you working on now?

I’ve been working on few various projects—mainly television commercials. Of course I’ve got several personal projects that I’m trying to work on in my free time.

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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.