An Interview with Concept Artist SEBASTIAN GROMANN
SEBASTIAN GROMANN is a Concept Designer from Berlin, Germany. Recently Artbrew.org took an Interview with him and Today we are happy to present “An Interview with Concept Artist SEBASTIAN GROMANN”. Hope that will be inspiring for the readers.
Q 1: Hey Sebastian, Thanks for talking with artbrew.org. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your current job?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: Hey, Thanks a lot for having me.
I graduated this March from University of Applied Sciences (HTW) in Berlin, Germany, and received my BA in Game Design. I’m currently working freelance as a Concept Artist, mainly together with the amazing guys at KARAKTER Design Studio ( http://karakter.de/), who are most known for their great vfx-concepts for the HBO series Game of Thrones. We’ve been working together since early 2012.
Q 2: What first drew you to art and what schools/colleges did you attend, to develop your skill?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: Like most concept artists I know, I was always passionate about being creative and was filling some blank papers here and there in my early childhood. But I only started to take concept art seriously when I received my copy of the Guildwars artbook back in 2008. I found out that creating that imaginary stuff I loved is actually a job, which you can do for a living.
From that day on I spent most of my free time learning how to draw and paint. The popular website conceptart.org was a great influence and motivational boost for me.
I finished secondary school early 2011 and got accepted at the HTW in the same year. The study program I attended focuses mainly on actual game design and it’s process rather than on concept art. But this helped me to understand the overall game production pipeline. That gained knowledge I can now transfer into the concepts I create on a daily basis.
Q 3: Can you tell us the different projects that you did? And What is the most fun project you did till now?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: Luckily I had the opportunity to work on some smaller movie pitches as well as big video game titles over the last few years. The only disadvantage of working on bigger projects is that it ́s mostly attached to longer NDA’s. I’m really looking forward to expand my resume with upcoming project releases at the end of this year.
The best thing for me working as a concept artist is, to be able to work together with a lot of talented and passionated people. Knowing their desire to create the best experience possible can be totally infectious. One videogame with an realistic aesthetic for instance called for very complex yet believable design solutions. Coming up with an possible idea, being able to experiment a little and discussing it with the team is always great fun for me.
Q 4: According to you what’s the standard process for you when you come to do a concept?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: I personally think that this heavily depends on the current need. So “standard” would be a little misleading I guess. Let’s say that there is a need for a giant ancient structure in the background which needs to be designed, but you’ll never see it closely in the final product. Since time is our most valuable resource I find it reasonable to question yourself what process would fit best regarding the pursued outcome, rather than just starting your usual workflow immediately. In our case it might be the best idea to think about a way to generate interesting silhouettes for those ancient structure, while finding a way to communicate its scale and not to jump straight into a scenery painting, starting with a greyscale sketch.
Q 5: Which softwares you use the most?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: The applications I use the most are definitely Adobe’s Photoshop and The Foundry’s Modo. Modo for example lets me build up my objects and scenes very intuitively and give me the opportunity to explore my design ideas in 3D-space. I also have a fun time finding out about new and useful functions every now and then.
Q 6: What other interests do you have that help influence your work and keep you motivated?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: I love switching gears! One time it’s a book that inspires me and another time it’s a mate telling me about a new fact he/she just read. It can be anything that influences me really!
One important thing I found out for myself is that I also need to do sports in order to be able to keep absorbing new influences. It seems like a strange comparison at first but since our creative passion is totally driven by heavy thinking, there needs to be an element that requires different abilities to keep things balanced. So, doing sports like soccer is so valuable to me, cause I get to focus on cognitive demands for instance and preserve myself from getting creatively stagnated.
Q 7: Which artist inspired you the most?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: This industry and its vast global connection makes it almost impossible for me to nail it down to one person. But this is just another amazing aspect of that job. There are always new badass people you discover on the internet or meet in person. So the beauty really is that someone might inspire me to draw some mech sketches because his/hers are so lively drawn; Or I would be inspired by a talk someone gives. And another time by the wonderful artist called nature.
Q 8: What are you doing next?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: Get myself a coffee and go back to painting! 😉
Q 9: Can you give some important tips on design and visualization to the young aspirants?
SEBASTIAN GROMANN: Something I try to apply these days and something I would even tell the 2011- me is to get up!
Doing our job, creating art, unusually happens in front of the computer – sitting. But the real, beautiful stuff happens outside. It’s something totally different to look at photos or artworks on the internet which are already filtered and adjusted. Instead, experiencing and getting inspired by the amazing emotions and references you can find when leaving your chair is invaluable and will push your work tremendously.
So, get up!
It doesn’t need to be a huge holiday destination, though. Just give yourself a 10min timeframe to walk around your block or take a crossroad earlier and take a different path at your way home. This is not only healthy for your body, but most importantly a refreshing habit which pushes your concepts while you enjoy the observation of your surroundings!