in Art, Experiment, Life, Podcast

Creator Series S1 E8 – Martin Schlierkamp

I’m a freelance illustrator and designer from Cologne, Germany. I have a passion for painting and for producing traditional, original art. My preferred technique is a blend of airbrush, acrylics and colored pencils on gessoed hardboard panel. I studied graphic design at the (then) Fachhochschule Düsseldorf, Germany, with a strong focus on illustration and traditional black and white photography. I majored as Diplom-Designer in 2000. While I studied I took part in several cartoon animation projects as a set and character designer. After finishing design school I worked for two years as 2D and 3D artist in PC game development. Since 2002 I’ve been working freelance for various design agencies, animation studios, book and comic publishers, game developers and private customers and collectors.

I’m one of the founders of the Cologne-based “Illustratoren Festival”, an event that celebrates the many styles and techniques of illustration, traditional and digital. Since 2012 the “ILLU” is held every two years and features the work of more than 50 illustrators from the Nordrhein-Westfalen area in Germany. I regularly take part in exhibitions, both group shows and solo shows. My artwork has been on display in multiple comic book related art shows at the “Cöln Comic Haus” in Cologne. With the “Lokalkunst Köln” organization I held several solo shows in different locales in Cologne. Since 2017 my artwork is shown in various group art shows at the Creature Features gallery in Burbank, California.

Enjoy my conversation with Martin!

Show Notes & Links

Transcript Follows

Madhav SBSS 0:00
is going well as well. Hey, thanks a lot, Martin for taking time.

Martin 0:05
Yeah, thank you for having me.

Madhav SBSS 0:08
I know what is 6pm now, right. In. Are you based in Cologne?

Martin 0:16
Yeah, I’m based in Cologne. It’s 6pm

Madhav SBSS 0:18
now. Awesome. Awesome. How is your art work going? For the? I think you said art show coming up or something?

Martin 0:29
Yeah, I’m pretty busy working on a couple of paintings all at the same time. And I have another three weeks to go, which is? Yeah. I’m running out of time here.

Madhav SBSS 0:44
Okay, but okay. It’s the fun. Yeah, that’s the best part. I think it’s still fun to do what you love to do. You’ve been an artist all your life.

Martin 0:58
Yes, yes. Yes, I would say so. I didn’t study art. I worked in the movie business for a while and in cartoon animation, the stuff but I think for a few years now it’s basically painting painting and drawing and that’s what I want to do. Wow.

Madhav SBSS 1:24
Fantastic. Yeah. Love it. i It’s amazing how I think I saw that on your profile. You didn’t learn or you didn’t go to art school? Or anything like that. But you just, it’s something that’s inbuilt. I guess.

Martin 1:40
A little bit i think i think i i got the talent from my father. He painted also. Oh, okay. And my parents were very supportive of me. So when I said I wanted to study graphic design, it was all Yeah, do it. Do what you love.

Madhav SBSS 2:00
There we go. That’s, that’s awesome. I, yeah, I just, I used to draw I’ve ever done for the last 35 years or whatever. Since I was a very, very little kid. It’s pretty much a mature drawing. I like mostly portraits and pencil and mostly pencil and paper. I don’t, I did a little bit of watercolors, but not really a fan of anything but pencil and paper. This is cool.

Martin 2:31
That’s cool. I mean, I feel the most at home when I’m working with a pencil actually. Yeah, it’s really the technique I use is it’s almost all his pencil and colored pencil base. And they use the airbrush to colorize the paintings, but mostly it’s pencil.

Madhav SBSS 2:53
Wow, I saw your pictures and they’re fantastic. I mean, that’s, that’s so, so unique and very, very beautiful. Thank you. Hey, Martin, I know. We like to keep it for 30 minutes. I know you have a lot of work on your hands. And so

Martin 3:10
Oh, nobody’s taking the time.

Madhav SBSS 3:14
Okay, it’s all fine. Good, good. I’m based in Austin, Texas, in the US, and it’s known here. And yeah, let’s get started. I wanted to quickly give you maybe two minutes of maybe like some of the questions that I wanted to ask you and then maybe give you a heads up so you might be able to have some thoughts around it. So I’ll introduce you as so let me get your last name right. But I might just introduce Yes, Martin but slur camp, is that how you say it or it’s closely a camp clear cache to say camp comm. Okay, cool. I will introduce you as a freelance artist and a designer based in Cologne, Germany, and then I let you fill in some gaps from your side of the story. Or, I’m going to ask you a few questions. I’ll just quickly run through them. So you have a heads up. One of the things I’d love to start off the recording is with any favorite inspirational quote, that you like, that sort of, you know, that inspires you. And that’s something that you apply in your life day to day. Oh, it can be Jay any quote that you sum it can be from anybody. Any artist or designer or whoever. I mean, something that

Martin 4:41
oh, God, actually, that’s something I never really thought about. Oh, wow. Okay, I never thought about something like that because I was always driven kind of driven, you know, wow. Okay. Okay. It’s the from from my childhood on I started very early on with drawing and Yeah drawing with a pencil drawing with chalks in kindergarten. And so it was natural for me. It’s not like like I needed outside notationally Oh,

Madhav SBSS 5:11
I see, I see

Martin 5:13
that. But they actually is, they actually is a quote, which might fit. Okay. Okay. It’s from Indiana Jones. Oh, there we go up as I go, there we go keep this up as they go.

Madhav SBSS 5:26
Perfect, perfect. I think I love those interviews where you know, we just make things up as we go. Those are really more natural and one, one of the things that I I asked my guess is, if there was anything that set you back in your, in your journey as an artist early on, or whenever that was a dark point or a low moment in your life as an artist, something that you know, maybe a failure or anything that helps others who are facing challenges in their artistic journey can also learn from it. If there is anything you can share there, maybe you can share, you know, share if there is a failure or setback in your artistic journey. That will be

Martin 6:08
no, if there is in a way. Yeah, I think I learned from failures, I can each new paint each new drawing I do. There’s something that I’m not quite happy with. Okay, figure out what that is and doing it better the next time it’s really is growing as learning. Okay. And I I remember a moment. That was it’s interesting that you asked that. It’s because it’s it’s the moment where I really started to paint the way I do today. It wasn’t I I’ll never forget it. It wasn’t 2010 And okay, okay.

Madhav SBSS 6:53
Sorry, Mike. I’m sorry. Yeah, I think that’s love to hear that incident when we get to that question, but that sounds perfect for this question. All right. And

Martin 7:02
then so yes, you’re gonna you’re gonna edit this? Afterwards, right? Yeah.

Madhav SBSS 7:07
Yeah, I actually haven’t started the recording, but I will. I was just giving you a heads up to make sure you know what’s coming. Alright. And then last,

Martin 7:16
I didn’t know that. I thought you were recording and putting it together then afterwards?

Madhav SBSS 7:20
Oh, okay. Okay, now, I’ll actually run through these questions in order. So you will, I’m just giving you a heads up. At least. I’ll give you a heads up. I didn’t give you a heads up. So maybe you have some time. Then,

Martin 7:34
please give me a second. I gonna get my cup of coffee. Oh, perfect. Okay, ready now? Because it’s on the other side of the room. Because I have you on my iPhone on my easel right now. Oh, wow.

Madhav SBSS 7:50
Okay. This part of the painting? Absolutely. No. Part of the art right now. Yay. Feel good. I feel good. Yes. Coffee. Coffee. Oh, coffee. That’s my dry. All right. Same here, same here.

Martin 8:08
This one came up quick. So.

Madhav SBSS 8:12
Okay. So Martin, I think we can get started. I mean, there are a few quick questions, but I’ll let me just ask them. And you can respond right away on the fly. I wanted to maybe I mean, one or two are tricky, but I’ll let you know. One. One is about a low point, which you said you will talk about a failure or setback. And the second one is around a magic moment, if you had one, you know something that sound the opposite of low, low point, but like a high point maybe that you can share and then we’ll go into quick, rapid fire questions around, you know, a favorite book that you can recommend if it can be inspirational, it can be artistic, creative book or anything like that. It could be a movie or a song or a book anything. Your favorite artist or designer? And, and pretty much Yeah, I think and what was holding you back in starting this journey as an artist, if there was something in the beginning, very, very beginning on day one. What was holding you back? We’ll talk a little bit about that. And then we’ll wrap up with one magic question. I’ll ask you. I think there’ll be a surprise but that’s pretty much it. It’ll be a short 20 to 30 minutes, max. All right. All right. Ready to get going?

Martin 9:25
I think so. Okay. Before so let’s let’s just give it a go.

Madhav SBSS 9:30
All right, let’s do it. Um I’m super thrilled to be speaking with our featured guest, Martin Shai camp. Martin is a freelance designer and artist based in Cologne, Germany. Martin, are you prepared to create magic? Absolutely. Awesome. Awesome. I’ve given create a nation a glimpse into your artistic life. Please take a moment and tell us your side of the story. My side of the story about yourself and your artistic journey.

Martin 10:09
My artistic journey started when I was very small. I think when I was a child, I started drawing more or less right away. So I think it was, was clear from from the beginning where I would end up. And my parents were very supportive of me. Let me have my way. And so I studied graphic design. With Yeah, I did illustration there and photography as my two focus points. And now I’m hanging

Madhav SBSS 10:49
words, no worries, I can edit all this.

Martin 10:52
That’s good. No, and I, from there I pretty quickly after, after I finished my exams, I started working in the game industry. And I did some 2d and 3d graphics for computer games. And while I studied before, I had worked in cartoon animation and did some work as a grip and as a camera operator for various smaller projects for German TV. So had a look around so to say, and, well, it didn’t take long for me to really focus on drawing and illustration. And after my two years in computer animation in computer games, I went freelance as an illustrator. So this is now my 15th year being freelance. Wow.

Madhav SBSS 11:58
Fabulous, fabulous. 15th year, congratulations. That’s a great.

Martin 12:04
Thanks. And I’m still here. Still here.

Madhav SBSS 12:09
Martin, that’s fantastic. I think it’s very inspiring to see. You started out as a child, and you were drawing from when you were very young. And then you took it on, you took the leap and you know, jumped into it. First with gay, there wasn’t any other way. It wasn’t any other way.

Martin 12:26
Yeah, my mom bought me my first comic books. That’s how I started it. More or less. It was Star Wars, Spider Man and Batman. That was my upbringing.

Madhav SBSS 12:41
was wonderful. Yeah. And then the, what led you into the games in specific as your first professional career job.

Martin 12:54
Um, that wasn’t, I wasn’t really too much interested in creating games. But I was a great fan of the first Tomb Raider game, which was published in I think, in 1969 1996. And I really enjoyed exploring the this world, these, this adventurous world, climbing through tombs and stuff. And I was always interested in archaeology and in history. And so it was really, that was interesting. And when I finished my studies, it was like, Okay, what am What am I going to going to do next? What what is going to be my my next job, and we have a blackboard at my school, and I saw in an advert from this computer game company, they were looking for artists for 2d and 3d artists. And I thought, Alright, maybe I’ll just try. And yeah, that led to, I would say, two very fruitful years. It was very inspiring, very interesting. I met great colleagues and made great friends there and learned a lot during these two years. But in the end, it was really do I want to do this forever? Or no, it was more like I wanted to do. illustration. I wanted to work as an illustrator as an as an artist.

Madhav SBSS 14:27
Excellent. Excellent. Martin. We here like to start off with an inspirational quote, or a creative quote that gets the creative nation excited as well just as you are in creating things that they love. Could you share with us a favorite quote of yours that you look up to?

Martin 14:47
Well, that’s not really an artist quote, or an art quote that I would put here, but maybe it’s one from Indiana Jones. I make I’m making this up as I go. because that I never needed an outside inspiration. You know, it was really it came from within, and I never really thought about it. So there’s a lot of inspiring things, but there’s not an artist quote or something that that really pushes me or gave me my direction or it is really finding my way.

Madhav SBSS 15:20
Finding Your Way, finding your way. That’s a powerful line. That’s that itself is a quote in Indiana Jones, a line from Indiana Jones is something that you’d like to share.

Martin 15:34
Absolutely. Yeah, this this one line. I’m making this up as I go, I’m making.

Madhav SBSS 15:40
I go. Alright. Yeah.

Martin 15:42
This one’s perfect for me perfect. Because I don’t have I don’t have a plan. And it’s really, you. It’s I think you’re speaking from experience, but planning plans are there until life happens, you know? I believe it. I suppose the client says are your work is great, and I want to hire you. And then the suddenly there’s a new execute if something happens, and suddenly the job is gone, and you have to improvise, oh, my god, the renders to what, what do I do next? And so there has not really a plan and in this whole thing, other than I would say, stick to yourself, be yourself. Stick to what you what you enjoy. Don’t. Don’t try to bend yourself too much. To please. The customer, with the client. Go out of your way to please decline. But don’t. Don’t lose yourself in it. Hmm.

Madhav SBSS 16:54
Don’t lose yourself. Oh, yeah. That’s actually I’m reminded of I think it was Mike Tyson who said that, like you said in the beginning, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Pretty much like that. I didn’t get punched. didn’t go too hard. Yeah. All right. That’s about right. Um, so you mentioned briefly about how you apply this to your day to day life, make up things as you go. Can you share with us an example of something that you might say, you know, how you made up things as you went? When was, was it maybe creating a painting for a client or you were asked to do things that you are not necessarily yourself?

Martin 17:42
Ah, that’s plenty. But nothing that really sticks out. I mean, there’s always something like, the client asked us to put in some elements in a drawing or in a painting that you usually wouldn’t do. And it’s always the client pays you always see what what, what the client does for you, and you have to meet this you have to meet the client’s expectation expectations. You you expect them to pay you so and that’s nothing that I do grudgingly or with a grumpy face, or you know what I mean? It’s you have to find a middle way for these for these occasions for these kinds of things. And other stuff. If you asked me about making things up, making things up the paintings I’m working on right now. It’s really it’s really a completely I made that whole project of myself. It’s, it’s a small art show. It’s in a small girly gallery here in Cologne, and I propose them with with the idea of making a design show. It’s about archaeology. It’s about fictitious archaeology. So I’m mixing paintings from actual archaeology, like the golden mask of Tutankhamun, Tujunga moon, and the Ark of the Covenant from from Indiana Jones and they love the idea and now i i am over my head into this thing, and I have three weeks more to go. I’m running out of time. So this is an this is something like I like what I like to do apart from my or, or parallel to my work for agencies or for for big companies are, too. It’s a parallel thing to my regular work. Trying to come up with with my own projects was known See themes and with with my own ideas, and trying to find an audience for that. So this is really this is what I really enjoy about the work I do. I’m not glued to just one thing, I can experiment experiment, I can find new ways for me new new themes, new new techniques, maybe trying out something, some some new stuff, and breaking new ground for me, but you never know where this journey leads you. So it’s just making things up and hope it works.

Madhav SBSS 20:45
Making things out and hope it works and taking the initiative create a nation, as Martin says, to not only do what you get paid to do, but also do things that you know, taking up initiative, like the the exhibition or the art show that you’re creating, that’s completely on a parallel track, but that you took an initiative on wanting to do it, and see how it goes. And there’s experimenting is part of the whole process. Absolutely. Perfect. Martin love to, you know, learn from any dark moments that you had in your journey as an artist. Could you share with us a setback? Or a dark moment in your artistic journey? And how you picked up yourself from that?

Martin 21:31
Lots of dark moments, each new painting is a dark moment. Or has its dark moments? Yes. No. I mean, I tend to think we learn from failure, and not not in a big way necessarily. But each new drawing into painting, there’s something that happens that either because I don’t work. Or I, I used to work more digitally than I do these days. And when you work in the analog world, mistakes happen. And sometimes it’s an happy accident. And I embrace those, I love those. And sometimes it’s like, Oh, damn, now I have to go all the way again, which doesn’t happen too often. But I love to work with the airbrush, for example. And if it happens that you must something off and the mask doesn’t stick to the painting round, and you just don’t see it. And suddenly, you wasted the last three hours or something. And it’s like, oh, God, no, I have to go over that again. But that’s I think everybody who works creatively has these moments. So that’s not a biggie. It’s just learning from your mistakes, I think, a big downer. Yeah, years ago, so it was in 2010. I never forget that one. That was really that that got me started in really painting classically again, and yeah, basically saying, No, I don’t agree with this person. And this is what happens. And what happened I was at a book fair here in Germany, one of the big book fairs we have here and measure my portfolio and it was really it was torn apart. It was with with with comments like, this is the worst I have seen all day. It was like, it can’t be that worse, please. It can’t be can’t be that bad, you know? And he really told me apart. I was really I didn’t know what to say afterwards. It was like, Okay, thanks for the interview. And that was really bad. That was really bad. And that was completely uncalled for. Yeah. Later, I talked to other other colleagues about that. And somebody mentioned to me that that this person in particular was not the nicest person I could have run into so maybe it had something to do with that but on that, on that evening, after this book, I sat together with a with a few friends and we had basically we had a good evening, but I was a little I was a little down and while we were sitting there I was thinking okay, how can I improve? He didn’t tell me anything that would have helped me in getting better or anything. But I was like, I was after look after after a certain look for my for my artwork, and that was before I started working exclusively Traditionally a gap. So I am I had worked with the airbrush and with color pencils and stuff before but then when I went into the computer animation, the computer game business, I left that field did did mostly work but mostly digital. And did so long afterwards. And I that’s what when I started to teach myself painting again. We that that kept me going, you know, it’s there was a but that was the absolute low point other than that, wow. And that really kick started me. You know, it helped helped a lot. So thanks a lot for that. Yeah, sometimes you need some

Madhav SBSS 25:52
sometimes you need that cake. And that’s fine. It just sets you in the right direction. Absolutely, absolutely. With that you had shown him was that digital art.

Martin 26:06
It was a mix. It was a mix. And to be honest, it wasn’t my best work. I see. But it was my work at that point, at the point and at that point in time. And surely I I had, it was a bit of free stuff in there. But there was a lot of work for different clients. And there was a bit of cartoon work. It was, it was a bit all over the place. Because thanks to my time and cartoon animation, I learned to adopt different techniques, different styles, and did a lot of different cartoon artwork over the years, like signee figures, logo designs, stuff like that. And so it was a mixed bag, and it’s okay. It was okay at that point. But it wasn’t that I the project I showed them was a well paid work, mostly. So it was all okay for my clients. Yeah. So it was really I don’t know what what was going on back then. But with this guy, but, you know, it’s all for the better now.

Madhav SBSS 27:21
Yes. And it helped you just sit back and say, you know, and that inspiration to say, I need to reteach myself painting. Yeah. And let me do that. And then you were more focused on that. And you were still able to use all your past knowledge, and the tools from graphics and games and all that. But then you shifted all that attention and focus into painting, and then absolutely never looked back. It’s been seven years.

Martin 27:53
Yeah, and I, I have questioned my my path a few times, because my my final exams at art school I was, was a painted comic book, it was really fully painted 22 pages, and I really questioned if my path would have been better if I would have been more successful, whatever if I hadn’t stopped painting traditionally, and wouldn’t have taken this this turn, you know, but ultimately, I must say, I’m glad that I did all these other things and saw all these other techniques and possibilities and opportunities to, to grow artistically and technically, and to. So that’s what I do. When I get asked what, by by young students or by by young folks who want to study art or go in go this creative way. Don’t just focus on focus on what you like and what you enjoy. But also try to learn as much as possible about things that you don’t like and don’t enjoy because it will broaden your horizon it will make you more flexible, it will give you skills that you may need or probably will need when you work as a freelancer when you work for agencies. When you work for companies that are used to work with freelance artists. You will be able to adapt to their needs much more quickly then, if you only focus on maybe you love to draw portraits or you love to draw horses or whatever. You may be an expert on that after after a while, but you may not be able to draw a car or two do quick sketches for a storyboard or you get you get the picture, you get the idea, it’s. So I would encourage everybody broaden your horizon, I think, learn as much as you can, because it will help you eventually.

Madhav SBSS 30:17
Great, great, awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I think that’s very, very helpful for budding artists, to see which direction they should go. And it helps them sort of get a broad stroke, understanding of not only things that they love, but also things that they don’t love. And as you said, rightly, I mean, you never know, you might not like something today, but three years down the road, you may actually start liking it because you you’re on a different path, and you’re in different time in your journey. Can you? Sorry, go ahead. No, no, can you can you share on the opposite side of the spectrum, as opposed to a dark moment, any magical moment that you had, or moments that you had, in your journey?

Martin 31:04
Getting paid? Getting your work approved by your client, each time every time? Yes, no. There’s also been a lot of magical moments when when there’s some what what really is great as when when you work on a piece that really, that you really enjoy. And you find in the end, that decline enjoyed it even more, or the same way as you did. And it’s very enthusiastic about it. And this This is not not the higher point. Well, this year actually, there’s something happened that I’m really honored to be part of and proud to be part of. And I’m very happy about. I’m I have I have a piece of art in an upcoming art book on John Carpenter’s The Thing. There’s the movie from 1982. It’s an anniversary companion book and by printed in blood, and it will be released at the San Diego Comic Con this year, and I’m very, very proud to be part of that, that such a great project and I love the movie so much. It’s that was great. That is actually that’s a high point.

Madhav SBSS 32:32
Wow, welcome. Yeah, that’s me. Sure. The best and that’s, that’s a great high point. And yeah, I mean, it’s just, you know, obviously, like you’d mentioned in the beginning, as an artist, the inspiration and the happiness is all inside you. There’s definitely not nothing outside you. But this, these things definitely help you. You know, I think especially when you’re in the beginning of your journey for those artists, creative nation who are starting off, I think an external inspiration definitely helps. When somebody you know, recognizes you or approves you, or art. I think it helps in a small way. Definitely not going to be a game changer. Because at the end of the day, inspiration truly comes from within. Yeah,

Martin 33:21
yeah. Take that from get that from from inside of you. Nobody can give you the excitement for for your job. And I mean, working as an illustrator is sometimes it’s it’s a lonely thing. You’re working mostly alone sometimes as I do at the moment. It’s long nights. It’s plenty of coffee. And you i I don’t I think you have to be made for that.

Madhav SBSS 33:55
They had to be made for that in some ways. Yeah. Yes.

Martin 33:58
And so this nobody can give that to you. You have to have that in yourself. You have to Yeah, be driven.

Madhav SBSS 34:05
Yes. In a way. Yeah. Positivity being printed and crazy. And a little bit crazy. We’ll help go a long way. Absolutely. Printed in blood San Diego Comic Con everybody. Take a look at that. Um, Martin, what is exciting you right now? Where are you heading with your love for art.

Martin 34:30
Oh, what is exciting me right now is the the pieces I’m working on right now. Pretty exciting for me and pretty challenging because it’s, I’m on a tight timetable title here. So see how that works out?

Madhav SBSS 34:52
That that calls for a question that I was going to ask you in a little bit. But I think one of the things I wanted to find out from you was how you keep producing great art because sometimes as an artist, you could get into the art and just keep doing it. And there is no end, the art is never completed. How do you maintain the discipline? To create things on a some sort of a time schedule?

Martin 35:20
Oh, but first, thanks for the great. And who? Sometimes I think I work best on a deadline. So the more crushing the deadline, the more I’m gonna head into that piece of art. And no, I am. How I’m gonna answer that. That’s I just love the process. I love work. It’s some, it’s not necessarily the subject matter. It’s also the way of working to really dig into the dig into the technique. Work myself through it work through problems work through difficulties. See where my layout lacked? When when I see it in larger size and larger scale when I have it on my on my painting round, and we work stuff and go into the details and add effects like like sprinkle effects and stuff like that. So it’s really not ever good stuff never gets boring.

Madhav SBSS 36:36
Yeah, the price I have.

Martin 36:38
Sorry. Yeah. But I have jobs that are Yeah, not that exciting. Yeah. Okay. When I went to do my storyboard, or something like, well, actually, I didn’t have boring jobs in recent times. But now, obviously, there’s the the boring job, always in, there’s always something that has the potential to be boring and just working. Get it done. For me just just doing my

Madhav SBSS 37:20
work. I think that’s a that’s an excellent point. Because a lot of times we get focused on the goal. But actually doing the work. If you’re focused on doing the work and the process of doing, then the goal will happen, and that’s fine.

Martin 37:38
And then the final the final painting, picture, graphic, whatever it is, sometimes is the real. Yeah, it feels good to see that it’s really, you have accomplished and there is something that you’re happy with. And that’s great. But it’s it’s it’s both I think it’s both it’s the way to the finish painting to the finished art work. But it’s also the reward reward in the end, when when when you see what you had planned in your mind fell into place, or some what fell into place, and sometimes you’re just happy. It’s not too embarrassing.

Madhav SBSS 38:24
Yep, yeah. Awesome. Could you share with us anything that was holding you back? Before you took this leap? And said, I’m gonna be a professional artist? And when did that not shift happen? Was it very, very early on? And there was nothing really holding you back?

Martin 38:46
No, I think holding back wasn’t the issue. It’s I was aware from the beginning that I was going on on a journey that would be challenging, that would provide me with a lot of channel challenges financially. Because sometimes you just don’t know when when will the next client have the next job for you? It’s I don’t have something like a magazine staff that I work for regularly. So this is really a challenge and can really it can hold you it can hold you back. Um, maybe I’m just maybe I just decided to not look that way and just go right in and

Madhav SBSS 39:43
hope for the best. Yeah. Hopefully, I think that’s actually a great weight not look at that side of things. I mean, there is always going to be the self.

Martin 39:56
That’s the self doubt. Yeah. I wouldn’t say don’t Look at that. You have to look at it. Maybe I was naive. Maybe I’m just lucky. Yeah, that it worked out. You have to look it. Absolutely. But it it should be, I think like 5050. Or like, you have to, you have to develop a sense for business. Definitely, you won’t have it from the beginning. That’s another part of not just learn what you love to do learn what you need to do to do the job. And that is when you work freelance, learn the business. And I’m still, I’m learning every day, I’m learning with each new project with each new client. And not not in a negative and a very positive way. And I wish I had known a few things. When I started out, maybe maybe I have made a few mistakes I could have avoided.

Madhav SBSS 41:07
But a couple of mistakes that you would have avoided in case someone who wants to take this path as professional artists, but is holding back because of hey, can I make this? I don’t have any business skills? How do I go about it? Can you give us any tips on things to avoid or look for

Martin 41:30
things to avoid is void is difficult because I think it depends really on what you’re doing. But what to look out for or what is helpful is really connect with other artists. Find find friends in the art community, share your experiences, listen to the house and because we have urine in Germany, in in Germany, and especially here in Cologne, we have a very good community among us illustrate the local illustrators and the other say this German wide and I think you have that in the US you have that too. And yeah, the more you the more you connect with others and network, the better you prepared for business decisions for job challenges, opportunities and challenges as you open up. Don’t, don’t just sit in your office and work for yourself. Try to connect to other people to other artists to creative people, not just painters, or if you if you’re into painting, don’t connect us to painters, but talk to 3d artists talk to concept artists don’t talk to to storyboard artists, you will learn from them, and they will learn from you. It’s it’s always it’s it will broaden your horizon. It will help you on the long run. So that’s stuff that might be helpful. Other stuff holding me back things go

Madhav SBSS 43:21
definitely creative. I mean, meeting with other people connecting and talking to him open up I think that’s something that you mentioned open up, don’t be okay. I’m going to just sit in my den in my basement and just keep churning out paintings. That’s just not how you can serve. Right?

Martin 43:42
It will help you technically it will make you like I said it will help you paint great horses, I terrible horses. I can pay the horse if I if my life depended on it, but but I know people who can who can teach me so go out and find those people

Madhav SBSS 44:02
go out and find those people get out of the building. I think that’s a great, great line right there. Get out of the building, go open up people. And you learn something that you have absolutely no idea how to do and part of it could be how to make yourself as a successful artist, being able to create the business that you need to do the things that you want to do. Yes, yes, exactly. Yeah. Martin, we Sorry. Go ahead.

Martin 44:31
I just wanted to add in today’s world, it’s thanks to the internet. And thanks for the end and we met on online Yeah. Thanks to the Internet. It’s possible to connect worldwide so don’t shy away and just show your stuff and connect with other people. Yeah,

Madhav SBSS 44:55
perfect. We’re getting the last section Martin of the recording and this is going to be have rapid fire questions, quick questions. And you’re ready for this.

Martin 45:06
You can see I can I can answer them.

Madhav SBSS 45:10
Just quick questions, nothing too fancy. All right. I know you mentioned in the beginning, you know you’ve done basic painting, traditional art, and then graphic and digital. Do you have a preference between 2d Basic painting paper pencil versus digital animation or digital art?

Martin 45:33
I would say I, I prefer a classical painting in the way of using airbrush and colored pencils. Because it just, it works best for me and I love to have a finished painting in the end, not the digital painting, but a real, like physical

Madhav SBSS 45:52
touch and feel.

Martin 45:55
Yes, yeah, absolutely. I want I want to get my fingers dirty, you know?

Madhav SBSS 46:00
Literally, yes. What do you have any art tools that you use that you can recommend to others?

Martin 46:10
Depends on what you

Madhav SBSS 46:13
whatever you have. In your particular, you know, medium of art. What would you normally use that you really like?

Martin 46:26
I use Prismacolor colored pencils. I use a very basic airbrush pistol. I don’t even know which one it is. I use and what what is really helpful to me when when drawing as an electric pencil sharpener. It’s the most value to hear. And it’s, we could fill another half hour with my drawing tools. Because I think workstation or working workplace studio should be like, like a good kitchen. Do you have everything you need in reach? And you build that you you see something and you see ah, that’s what I could use and you buy it and you implement it in your work routine. And so it’s really I may find a new tool to tomorrow and think Oh, that’s great. How could I work without it all the time? And so there’s always a little little things to you little things they are

Madhav SBSS 47:28
Yeah, super any particular artist or designer that that you look up to?

Martin 47:35
Lots of way to make way too many. I love UFC my work I love classic poster artworks and obviously a huge influences through Susan. I grew up with this movie posters like I think everybody else in my generation and it’s had I think they LIDAR to fire back then somehow and, but there’s also artists like Richard Ansel, Bob peak, James Gurney, I love his Dinotopia books. It’s they’re amazing. And various Marvel and DC comic book artists have the highest respect for for artists churning out page after page after page a month. It’s amazing what these guys can do and also illustrators working today. Mark writes, I love his work. He’s also working classically. People who work for Lucasfilm, Jason Palma, Russell walks Joker, Ronnie. Huge shout out to these guys I respect work so much. And it’s so and also I love classic painters. So it really goes back to the to the old Impressionists and I could go on and on.

Madhav SBSS 49:08
That’s really, wow, that’s a great list of people that have inspired many, many 1000s of artists and nice to hear those names again. Keep an eye can get that keeps on giving. Absolutely. Is there a book that you go to recommend in terms of creativity?

Martin 49:34
1000s Oh, God, one book. No, really? Jesus Christ, no, you’re having me. I can go through to my bookshelf and there’s really so much on what I think when you want to pay when you want to paint with regards to natural light and realism. There’s two great books by James gurney. He released them I think two years ago, for the second color light and it’s getting dark and the light was so much there’s so much on anatomy on comics and

Madhav SBSS 50:24
anyone that to anatomy and you anyone that you have that in your library

Martin 50:34
what I actually recommend to students, although it’s not just an anatomy, and it’s focused on comic books as if it is specifically as Stanley and jumbo scheme, how to draw comics the Marvel way, because it breaks down things very simple and very to the point and teaches you many things, not just basic anatomy, it teaches you dynamics, it teaches you page layout. And you can go from there. So it’s a great starting point I think for for beginners. And as you can use these techniques, these, this drawing so you don’t have to draw superheroes that way you can draw manga, you can draw? Realistically, it’s all the same basics. It’s all

Madhav SBSS 51:28
on the same basic. Margin way we are down to the last question and this one is tricky. If you have one superpower to create anything you want. What would you create and why?

Martin 51:45
Oh god you’re surprised once one superpower maybe being able to translate what my eyes sees or what I imagine into a painting without having to use help like photographs or various tools to to like the computer to put together layout or something really translate my imagination into the final painting without

Madhav SBSS 52:31
like by Google Translator, but the like the imagination translator.

Martin 52:37
My own creative magic, All

Madhav SBSS 52:40
right, great Magic Art.

Martin 52:46
Maybe another useful superpower would be that I can work without sleeping. These are just too short. But

Madhav SBSS 52:54
he’s just too short, too. But I will have

Martin 52:57
to work with coffee instead.

Madhav SBSS 53:02
I live on coffee. Wonderful, wonderful, Martin. Before we say goodbye. share with our listeners one parting piece of advice. And then how we can connect with you online.

Martin 53:17
Oh, another piece of advice. Do what you love to do. Stick to it. Stick to your guns stick to it. Learn the most the most you can and make the best of it. And love what you do. Do what you love.

Madhav SBSS 53:31
Love what you do do what you love stick.

Martin 53:37
Our best I can. Perfect. Yeah. How can you connect with me? Visit my website. It’s yeah, I have to work. I have to work on it. But I think that that’s another thing. All artists I think have been have in common. We never find the time to work on our own home pages and stuff. So but visit my website, www. Martin Shere Khan dot t visit me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and on Instagram. And yeah, we’ll see each other online.

Madhav SBSS 54:16
Perfect. Thank you so much, Martin. Thanks, great nation and they say you’re the average of the five people you hang out with regularly. You’ve been hanging out with Martin, Schley camp and Madhav. Thanks a lot. Thanks, everyone. We’ll see you on the magical side. Take care. Take care. Bye

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