Wednesday, March 24, 2010

George Grie interview

This Zazzle related interview was given to "Rise of the Angry Squirrel".

Q; What brought you and your fantastic art to Zazzle in the first place?
A; I believe I opened a “Zazzle account” about 7 years ago. There were not many online print services at that time. It was and it still is a very convenient way to give visitors a chance having a piece of modern digital art for an exceptionally fair price. In addition, your print content may be distributed globally with your minimal involvement.

Q; Do you have a professional background in the arts, or is just a hobby that you happen to excel in?
A; I have a BA in fine arts and various other certifications such as digital graphic design, multimedia development, digital media specialist, etc.

Q; Your 3D renders are absolutely stunning. What programs do you use and how long does a print like "Lost Expedition" take you to complete from inspiration to final render?
A; I use two main applications for the most of my images, 3ds max and Adobe Photoshop. Max is the main tool for setting up any of the image scenes, where I import live forms from Poser or Daz studio, background skies or landscapes from Terragen or MojoWorld and many other “2D-3D software extras” and “3D model downloads”. There certainly are preferences of spending no more than one week for one image, because I try to keep it fresh while the inspiration is still in full swing, but it all depends.

Q; Entropy, abandonment and loss can broadly describe many of your images, these are ghosts of history. Where does your love of centuries past come from?
A; The short answer is books. I used to read a lot when I was a child. Reading actually, inspired me to apply my imagination to into something real. Drawing was the obvious choice.

Q; Do you work online exclusively? Do you sell out in the real world as well?
A; The first part of my life I was a painter. My last painting was completed in 1996. The second part of my life is dedicated to the digital creativity. However, I might return to brushes and canvas one day. I do not work online only, that would be kind of sad, wouldn’t it? I’m engaged in the real world as well.

Q; What inspires you as an artist? Do you have any artists that you look to for inspiration?
A; I won’t be the only one to be incapable of determining exact ways of inspiration. My muse comes and goes as she pleases. In fact, everything around us can be inspiring: music, movies, ads and commercials, etc., as long as it carries a strong visual, philosophical, or emotional message. All ideas are in the air, you just have to keep your mind open to them. However, there exists one unbeatable source of an inspirational chain reaction, so to speak, - that is another artist’s artworks. There are tons of classic and “modern artists from whom you may be inspired. I would not bore you with listing all of them.

Q; You descriptions are nearly as engrossing as you images. Do you have a background in writing as well?
A; My short notes are meant only as a hint, alongside with the image titles themselves. Sometimes I incorporate encyclopedic or historic quotes into my descriptions, but you are absolutely free to interpret my artworks in your own unique way and to neglect any guidelines coming from me whatsoever. In fact, my sole existence should be of no concern to you, when you’re trying to fulfill the most challenging job of all – to build a perception bridge to a picture based entirely on your sensitivity, personal knowledge and world perception. I do not have any background in writing. In fact, English is my second language. In fact, I did not speak a word of English 10 years ago.

Q; What keeps you going as a shop keeper? Is it only sales, or do you enjoy other aspects of the online selling experience?
A; To tell the truth, I do not consider Zazzle sales as income. Long time ago I was trying to mange limited edition printing by myself. Somehow, I felt guilty when I could not fulfill someone desire to have a simple poster print. Unfortunately, that was taking to much time to handle and manage. Too many people asked me for prints so Zazzle came along as a perfect solution to direct them.
Q; Did you have the same "new to Zazzle" questions and confusion that so many others experience when first starting out, or did it all come pretty naturally?
A; 7 years ago Zazzle was a total disaster. It is a smooth sailing for me today. However, you might need some time to get the website logic. There are many features there that require a professional “Zazzle” approach. We were discussing many of them over a dinner last year when a Zazzle team was visiting Toronto.
Q; Could you give a ballpark figure of how much time you spend a week taking care of
your Zazzle shop and promoting it?
A; I am not a very active zazzler. I go there to add new images only which happens about once a month.

Q; Are there any other places online or in the real world where we can find more of your images and prints?
A; You may see most of my digital works on my “official website Let me know when you are in Toronto and I will update you with the latest exhibition events.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

San Base Studio, Toronto, Canada

The Dynamic Paintings can be considered a generative art - an art that has been generated algorithmically by a computer system. However, they are more than that. First of all, they are exceptional art design concepts brought to life using the latest in computer technology. Unlike all other generative art examples that account for just a few basic artistic principles and require very little artist input, the Dynamic Paintings by San Base are truly creations of an artist. This is what sets it far apart from any other works in this area. One can think of Dynamic Painting technology as a new medium - a new form of canvas and paint.

San Base is a Canadian artist, born in Russia. Since early childhood, he showed an aptitude toward arts, and at the age of 12 he was accepted into a Fine Arts school. Soon after, he discovered another passion - the mathematics. As an admirer of both art and science, he faced a tough decision as an adolescent - to accept an offer to Surikov Academy of Fine Arts (one of the most prominent art schools in Russia) or to go to a technical university.

A Dynamic Painting, capable of displaying a magnificent never-ending show, is truly the way this technology is intended to be seen. The slowly transforming elements of the painting will mesmerize the viewer and will create a calm, soothing atmosphere. A typical Dynamic Painting installation includes a special high-end computer system connected to a large high definition monitor or TV. The system and display can be tailored to a particular specification, to fit any environment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Surrealism by George Grie digital artist

George Grie had decided to transform his artistic carrier dramatically when he settled in Toronto, Canada and studied the latest computer digital art techniques. He becomes a professional Multimedia Graphic Designer and joins IBM Corporation as a lead new media specialist. His prime interest is in contemporary 3D modeling software and their applications. Applying his previous fine-art experience and classical painting education in new digital projects brings him a compete freedom of self-expression. His latest digital neo-surrealistic artworks are an extraordinary photo realistic visual record of his conceptual thoughts, philosophic views, fantasies, and dreams. Often journeying into the subconscious, Grie's work shows a magical and playful, dream-like world laced with mastery details. Supernatural illusions, mystic romanticism, spiritual magic, and delusional trance are all together presented in his digital world. It is not always a comfortable, conventional world. There is a great deal of tension and of alienation in the strange events taking place in the landscape of his imagination.

Picture: Moonlight Bathing Valkyries: Gods and Heroes series
To take a bath is an ancient physiological trait shared with other land-mammals. So, bathing has a long bio-history, which underlies the social history of its adoption by advanced human societies. Bathing for beauty, power, and status was a refinement of bodily care. There is something extremely sinister in an amalgamation of a woman who is a symbolic source of life and mythological female creature that is a harbinger of death. Bathing on a battlefield makes this scene absurdly gloomy. Merger of beauty and terror, grace and danger, erotic and decay is the main motif of this artwork. This image has very little in common with the original Scandinavian mythology. Even though, it has many historical references and symbolic medieval attributes it is a present-day scene based on modern sub cultural trends such as Goth, Emo, Metal, etc. Marked by its emphasis on individualism, a strong emphasis on creativity, tendency toward intellectualism, and cynicism, Goth ideology is based far more on visual aesthetics and simplified ethics than politics. There is no common religious tie that binds together the Goth movement, though spiritual, supernatural and religious imagery has played a part in gothic fashion, song lyrics and visual art. Reasons for donning such imagery range from expression of religious affiliation to satire or simply decorative effect.