Raphael Vanhomwegen a digital artist.
Tell me about yourself?
I’m a 30 years old Belgian digital artist. I’ve studied psychology at the University of Ghent and a few years ago I decided to give my artistic career a chance by practicing more. I’ve been widely encouraged and my art has been appreciated more and more over time.
Tell me about your work experience?
I still consider myself a student and my main goal at the moment is to learn. That is why I have not yet created a structured portfolio for companies and my work experience remains very limited. Nonetheless, I’ve been making lots of illustrations for small clients and companies. Example: Eludice: French company specializing in the design and production of escape games and custom-made immersive games. Dreamhop music: music label and a community of passionate beatmakers producing chill lo-fi and hip-hop instrumental beats. Kwassa films: currently finishing my internship, creating the storyboard for an upcoming movie.
At what age did you start doing work and developed a love for artwork?
I’ve always been busy artistically speaking. My first animation was made when I was around 8 years old with a software called gif animator 2000 (not sure about the right name)
How did you develop a fondness for artwork?
My passion grew when I started looking into other artists’ work. The more I looked at other art, the more I got inspired.
Did you study artwork? If yes then from where?
I’ve never done many studies, I’ve mostly drawn from imagination with some sort of reference. What helped me a lot with my perspective and light, was when I learned to use 3d. When you start using a 3d software, you start looking at things differently, it helps a lot.
From where did you learn this?
I’ve always learned the art by myself. Whenever I felt like adding more knowledge, I googled information about art fundamentals or searched for tutorials.
Why did you choose art as a profession?
I think it came gradually, I never imagined having a skill level good enough to be professional. I only started realizing my skillset was at that level when my artwork quality started to compete with the biggest professional artists. One of the reasons for that is that I developed a style that was unique and efficient.
Who are your biggest influences?
Karel D’Huyvetter, Feng Zhu, Devin Korwin, Eren Arik
How do you become a successful artist?
The only secret is practice. The more time you put in it, the better you’ll become. Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise. People will try to sell you tutorials, books, communities, etc. These are helpful, but you will never be able to achieve the same skill level as someone who puts significantly more time into practicing. Now, that being said, what do you consider successful? What it means to me is this: flexibility in style, subjects, color pallets. Also speed, quality, likeness, being able to turn chaos is into beauty.
What people confuse with artistic success: financial success.My advice if you are looking for financial success: study business management, stick to one niche, and specialize in drawing only one type of subject over and over again. Use a lot of line drawing together with 3d.
Anyone who repeats the same action over and over again, to a point where it might even look ridiculous will always find someone who will be prepared to pay for that particular action. If you’re very very good at something extremely specific, there will be someone on this planet who will be wanting to pay for this specific skill. If you lock yourself up in your room for 1 year and only draw sports cars, 15 hours a day 365 days, you might get hired to design cars for a company very quickly after only one year. Money doesn’t look for art but a highly specific skill.
What makes you good and different from others?
I’m not scared of experimenting. I draw weird things that nobody likes sometimes, just for myself. I break the rules of art very often and make many mistakes on purpose because I know this is what will make me learn new things. Sometimes artists and followers will tell me “oh damn, you became so much better than a week/month ago” because the quality of my work fluctuates with my periods of experimentation. People don’t like to see experiments and change in style, they prefer consistency and confidence. This is the pitfall of social media.
Don’t let others dictate your level of art. My confidence is a reflection of the hours of work I put into practice, it’s not a reflection of the likes or approval of other professionals. My respect goes to artists who accept this logic, who understand that skill is only a matter of practice. Those who try to tell u, you can achieve the same result 3 times faster if you have the right teacher or pay the right tutorial, are lying, well that is my opinion of course. I think a good teacher can also help you establish a good drawing habit and routine. It’s more than just explaining perspective or pointing out someone’s mistakes.
What Does Your Art Represent?
My art is my fantasy. I draw what comes up in me and what I feel like drawing. One of the things that keep me drawing is the fact that I can choose what I want to draw. It’s priceless freedom that gives me so much happiness.
What Does Your Art Mean to You?
My art is only the result of my needs. My art isn’t a purpose or a goal, my happiness is. My art is the result of my need for improvement and experimentation.