Interview with Stephan Martiniere Part:1
I had the pleasure of interview Mr. Stephan Martiniere who is a world famous digital and book cover artist. In this interview we discussed some of Stephan’s own personal experiences in the animation industry as well as some of his techniques. Stephan’s art work can be viewed on his website.
Interview pt. 1
A: I understand that you have a particular focus in science fiction and fantasy art. What motivated you to tackle such a technical genre, and what gives you inspiration.
B: The context in which I grew up motivated me the most. I grew up in an environment in which I was constantly surrounded by comics and I was constantly reading comics. I was interested in everything that was fantasy and spaceships and monsters. There was nothing that particularly lead me to the genre, it was just a preference.
A: So your work typically goes one way or another, you fantasy tends to be very fluid and organic, and then you contrast that with a lot of your science fiction which tends to be very technical. Is there a reason that you go to each extreme for that or is it that over the years that’s just how it came out.
B: When I do science fiction that involves something very technical, the way I use Photoshop seems to be more relevant in terms of using it more as a photo manipulation tool. I also use a technique that I developed over the years which is a subtractive technique. I create a very pure straight erasing tool to make very precise straight lines. Because the art is very technical in nature it tends to make more sense to use these techniques. When it’s Fantasy, It involves things that are more organic such as characters, vegetation, and clouds. These things are more curvy and whimsical in nature. The painterly approach seems to be the better approach in conveying the softness and roundness of these things.
A: Take us back to the beginning of your career and talk to me about your experiences when you first got into the industry, and were there any hurdles or surprises that you encountered when you first started working in animation.
B: Before I started school, I wanted to be a comic book artist. Being surrounded by comics it seems to be the logical choice. I didn’t think very far into the multitude and subtlety of careers that you could choose as an artist. I didn’t even know that you could be an animator, and I was watching cartoons all the time. My world was really comic books. My views changed when at age fifteen I got accepted at “Duperre”, a famous art school in Paris. In addition to the classic disciplines such as anatomy, perspective, drawing, painting and sculpture, the 4 years program was broad enough to allow me to discover and practice a variety of disciplines such as photography, architecture, advertising and a banquet of other exciting artistic courses. After completing the program I was unclear about what to do next. I applied to another school to become an art teacher; I was even accepted to the prestigious art school ‘Les Beaux Arts” but comic book still being close to my heart, I choose the closest thing to it and went to the animation school “les Gobelins” for a two year program. At the end of the first year, I was hired to work on an animation production for inspector gadget in Japan. It was a summer job and I was only to be there for 1 month, but eventually 1 month became 2, and then 3, and then they offered to hire me full-time. Suddenly, finishing the animation program became unnecessary This was a career move. I accepted the offer still thinking to myself I would eventually go back to comics; it never happened, and that was the beginning of my career.