Art Liberty: Hello, Mike! Tell us a little about yourself, where you got education?
Mike: Hello there!
My name is Mike Lundahl and I’m a character artist living in Sweden.
I am self taught when it comes to cg art. I studied Virtual design in
gymnasium (kind of like the Swedish high school) that mostly was about
web design, cad design, architecture design… well, a bit of everything
I guess you could say. But the cg-art aspect of it for the industry I
work in or have the interest in (games, movies, illustration design and so on)
I would say a lot of just practicing it and going through a lot of
trial & errors.
Art Liberty: How and when have you started to be engaged in art?
Mike: I have been drawing as long as I can remember but when I
turned 14-15 I discovered Cg. So I kind of transitioned
to that. That wasn’t maybe the best thing to do since I
almost dropped drawing completely (which I’m trying to catch up with now).
I started out doing 3d illustrations. Back then I thought
of cg just as a hobby. Then after a couple of years I got
more serious and got into game modding as I also was a
huge gamer. But I was more interested to get into the movies
industry though, but since that was (still is kind of)
nonexistent here in Sweden (when it comes to big vfx movies)
I ended up focusing more into getting into the game industry
back then. But now being in the industry I no longer do
game-art in my spare time.
Art Liberty: What subjects do you prefer: fantastic, fantasy, horror, cyberpunk..?
Mike: Well... I more or less like everything that has a bit of creativity in it.
But the subject matter I’m drawn to when it comes to creating my own stuff
would be sci-fi/cyberpunk I guess.
Art Liberty: Was it difficult for you to find your style?
Mike: That depends on how you see it… I don’t necessary think
it’s hard to find your own style. I think that you
automatically develop your own style while you practice
your own art. Sure, it’s hard if that’s what you strive
for when doing art. But if you just do art and are creative
because you love it, style will come by itself. Just copying
or redoing already existing stuff might make that harder.
Art Liberty: Tell, what inspire you and how you realize arisen idea?
Mike: Could be anything basically… Almost everything is inspiring
in some way. If I see something that I think is really cool,
ideas could just pop up in my head and I could just start
sketching and it will end up being something. Could also be
stuff that just pops up on the fly and I just make quick sketches.
Or just sketching in general and ideas will come from that.
Art Liberty: Who are your favorite artists?
Mike: Wow, they are so many!
I have big respect for people that do their own thing,
Pascal Blanche, Loic Zimmerman “e338”, Aaron Sims,
Andrew Jones, Rick Baker, Steven Stahlberg, Jonas Thornqvist,
Meats Meier, Neville Page, Feng Zhu, Celia Calle, Ashley Wood,
to name a few of the many that inspire me in their own way.
Art Liberty: What is the most difficult and important at creation of your artworks?
Mike: Hmm. The most difficult would probably be knowing when
to stop and call it finished. When working on your own
stuff you have no deadlines and no one to tell you how it’s
going to end up so you can work a life time on something.
Most important I think is having fun… Having fun will have
you put some soul into your work and that will also let you
learn a lot more.
Art Liberty: What is the average time for creation of one artwork?
Mike: Too long, hehe... No, but that depends a bit on what project I have.
For my personal art like concept sculpting a creature or character
could take a few hours spread through some evenings and weekends but
doing more final and textured art and putting it in a nice
presentation/illustration could take weeks or even months working
nights and weekends. Depends also how interrupted I get by life.
Art Liberty: What tools do you prefer: natural (pencils, brushes, paper) or CG (tablet, mouse, graphic editor)?
Mike: Well, I use my wacom intous tablet for pretty much everything.
For sketching and drawing I mostly do it digital but sometimes I
just wanna step away from the computer for a while so I use regular
paper with some light colored pencils.
I have 2 workstations, 1 stationary and a laptop.
For the moment I really enjoy picking my laptop up
for doing lighter things but since my laptop is pretty
powerful I can bring my artwork pretty far, but for
finalizing stuff like final rendering and when reaching
those high resolutions I mostly turn to my stationary
while that still being a bit more powerful than my laptop.
Art Liberty: What software do you use?
Mike: I’m a heavy zbrush user and I
have been working with 3dstudio max
for a lot of years. But I see myself
using xsi more and more. For texturing
I use both zbrush and photoshop.
Art Liberty: You work freelance or in any studio? Tell about your project/work place.
Mike: Right now I work fulltime as a character artist for
a game studio called Grin here in Sweden. I can’t
really tell anything what’s happening at the studio
due to NDA’s.
Art Liberty: Do you have time for free creativity?
Mike: Well, sometimes it’s a bit harder to find time for doing
stuff but I really try to take advantage of the free
time I get. I always have projects going on.
Art Liberty: Tell about your hobbies, what you do at leisure?
Mike: If I’m not creating art you can probably find me recording
my own music. I have also been playing guitar for a long
time but haven’t recorded my own music until a while ago.
I also love movies and games, so I pretty much try to play
and see everything that attracts me if time allows. I also
try to keep my health up by spending some time at the gym.
Other than that I usually just hang out with my girlfriend.
Art Liberty: Whom do you see yourselves in 10 years?
Mike: That’s really hard to say. Have so many things I want to do.
I am however sure that I’ll stay creative and be involved in
creating art in some form. Maybe running my own studio… who knows…
Art Liberty: What can you wish to beginners artists?
Mike: Just hang in there.. no matter how hard the competition may seem.
As long as you stay focused and get your skills up wonderfull things
will happen. Another thing is also to learn the basics and learn
shapes. I see so many new artists just speed up the process of
finding shapes and then rush into getting into detailing and that
resulting in everything just looking noisy. Spend more time on
getting the base shapes and siluette right before moving into detailing.
Art Liberty: We thank for interesting conversation, Mike!
Administration of Art-Liberty wishes to you inexhaustible inspiration, successes in creativity and creative ideas, and with impatience we wait your new artworks in our gallery.
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Copyright Kyrylo Bozhok "Art-Liberty" © 2009