Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ian Olympia

Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you go to school, and what extra-curricular activities did you take up? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

Hello~ This is Ian [pronounced as ah-yan] Olympia, also known as wickedalucard. I studied at Technological University of the Philippines studying Electronics Engineering, then I shifted to B.S. Computer Science at National College of Science and Technology. I'm an undergrad and have been working since 2002.

It started when I was in 5th grade. I always drew at the back of my lecture notebooks, joined art contests, joined the school paper, and stuff [ like giving girl crushes and my friends artworks ]. This went on ‘til college. Then when I started working, and had less time to draw, since all my earlier jobs were not art related. I always brought a doodle pad with me and I'd doodle whenever I have nothing to do. I just kept on drawing.

What inspired or convinced you to become an artist?

Reading a lot of manga and watching lots of anime inspired me to draw. My friends who believed in my skills convinced me to keep on drawing.

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

Waking up in the afternoon, coffee, smokes, check mails, spend a couple of minutes browsing updates from the artists I watch, do my job, go out and eat dinner with Chai, come back at the office, continue my job. If I am able to finish the tasks given to me earlier, I work on personal artworks, if not, I end the day with a doodle. Then when the sun is about to rise, I head for bed.
I work with the people of Groundbreakers Inc. [ Mangaholix ].

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

I've worked on my own title Echofreak which was included in the book Salted. I also have artworks/tutorials on the artbook Devour. I also made a one-shot comic, Ambition which was included in the mini comic anthology Sidedish, that we plan to continue. Also my title Ambition can be found on Komikon's Sulyap comicbook anthology. I also contributed an artwork for Dreamix Wave Artbook, which was sold at Comic Fiesta '10, Malaysia. An artwork of mine also got published at Pixiv x Otacool4 magazine. And a couple of years back I also worked on a lot of game assets, GUI, 2d sprites, sprite animations, cut scenes, pixel art, character designs, concepts, bg, 3d textures, from a lot of games that I've been assigned to by my previous employer Indigo Entertainment.

How do you go about an illustration, what goes through your mind, from start to end?

I take a cigarette break and brainstorm on what to draw. I study references, then do roughs. When the roughs are approved, I start working on the final art. Usually when I work I keep in mind the deadline. I always check if I am being too O.C. or too slow.

Could you talk about your process in coloring your art (if at all), as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

I start with the roughs. Then I clean it up by creating a pencil layer [ not-so-tight-pencils-stage ]. Then I ink them. After that, I create a base layer to mask the character from the background, then I color the piece accordingly. Depending on what needs to be done. If I am to do a painted character or bg, I sometimes skip the inking and from pencils I go straight to coloring. I am really careful at coloring the face. Its like putting make up on the character xD.

I use a Wacom Intuos 3. Manga Studio Ex 4, Sai, and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

I always listen to music. I also browse blogs and sites of pretty girls. Look at beautiful photos. Watch anime episodes. Play games. Go to places. Read manga titles I like. Watch music videos. Play my guitar. Go out with Chai. Look at my favorite artist's blogs.

What is your most favorite subject to draw, and why?

I like drawing the hair. I am really careful at drawing and coloring hair xD

Who are the top illustrators whose works excite you the most?

Obviously you can find traces of Shirow Miwa on my art style. He influenced my art style a lot. I also like the works of kiDChan, Takeshi Obata, Yi Lee, Sinbaru, Falcoon, U10, Yonekura Kengo, Oh! Great, Hanaharu Naruko, Shigeki Maeshima, and Ayami Kojima. I look up to these artists and I dream to collect their artbooks! ~(≧ ∀ ≦)~

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

I've learned from Shirow Miwa and ComiPa to keep on trying. Even if I fail, even if no one notices me, I've learned that if I don't stop, eventually I will improve and people will start to appreciate my art. I've also learned from my past experiences of self publishing and working at different jobs that even if you create a masterpiece, if it didn't meet the deadline, it can't serve its purpose. I also learned from Kriss Sison to be careful at drawing the face, because most of the people who'll look at it will be drawn to the face. And the expression, color, lines, of the character's face are all important.

I've also learned from ComiPa and through observing my favorite artists that line weight is important. Even if you draw something and you don't color it, it will not look flat if you've done an excellent inking.

I've also learned to analyze what makes me look up to my favorite artists. What's in their art that fascinates me. And I try to understand that. I combine all the things I've observed from all the artists I like and try to apply it in my art. Don't get me wrong, it is not emulating, but more like, learning and applying it in an actual piece. For example, U10, he makes excellent outfits. Why? Because these outfits are existing clothes that women wear. So what I did was researched on clothes that best suit my characters, play around them and put it on my characters.

I've also learned 'best effort' and 'career mode or nice-to-have' from wickedmikel. Where as 'best effort' means, the best of what I can do at the given time. Usually for projects with a tight deadline. And 'career mode' on projects that give me a lot of time, or no deadline at all. Here I can go all out without the trouble of having to worry on my speed.

What are some of your favorite websites that you go to?

Deviantart, Pixiv, Twitter, Twitpic [and stalk my favorite artists], Tumblr, Youtube lol.

What wisdom could you give us, about being an artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

Step up and always work your way to improvement. Practice and be serious about it. Don't take art halfheartedly. Research and learn from your mistakes.

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

They can note me at my DA http://wickedalucard.deviantart.com/

Do you have any of your art work for sale (comics, prints, or anything)? If so, for fans of your work can know where and when to buy it?

You can buy Sulyap at any Powerbooks outlet. The rest of my stuff are pre-ordered, you can just note me if you're interested xD

If a multi-dimensional witch (like Youko) offered you to be the ultimate Manga Rockstar, but asks for your hair as payment, would you accept it?

No way! I'd rather suck at playing my guitar than be bald or wear a crew cut \(º皿º)/

Got an Artist?

Do you know a Filipino artist who makes exceptional Japanese manga style illustrations? If so, leave his/her name and any other info about him/her on this post.