How did you become an artist?
It was around 2005/2006 when I started to focus on drawing. I was in my early teens and at the time I was inspired by Games like Kingdom Hearts and Mangas like D.Gray-Man. They made me want to be able to create characters like that as well. I enjoyed drawing before already, but I never really had any goals or felt the need to improve my work. Having these idols to look up to, really helped me to stay motivated.
Around that time I also joined a website with the biggest Manga community in Germany, and shared my art online. That was the first time I got feedback on my work and connected with other manga fans and artists. The interaction made me try different mediums like Markers, Watercolors and digital art. I mainly did Fanart of my favourite books, shows and games. And occasionally I also participated in drawing competitions.
When Facebook and Instagram were becoming more of a thing for artists to publish their work, that was also a chance to reach an international audience. That became even more apparent for me when I started my Youtube Channel in 2012.
Around that time I finished school and decided to study art to become an art teacher, as I felt it was the safest option to do something that I like, but also have a safe job.
However during my time at university I found myself more and more estranged from the way things were handled there. And as over the years I found more and more success with my work and videos online I decided to focus on my personal art and that basically is how I became an artist.
Where do you get inspiration?
It’s probably all kinds of bishounen characters that inspire me, haha just kidding.
I guess I feel inspired by Anime and Manga and just all sorts of Media. As I said, games like Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts have had a huge impact on my work. I could list all the things I like but I fear that would take too much time. And don’t get me started even on the inspiration I get from fellow artists ;D.
What’s your hardware setup?
MobileStudio Pro 13.
What do you like best about Clip Studio Paint?
I think it's the Flexibility. I have been using Clip Studio Paint mainly for illustrations in the beginning. With all the brushes I could download and the tools that were available, I couldn’t ask for more. When I started to work on my comic book project I wasn’t sure at first whether I wanted to do it traditionally with ink and paper or I would draw everything digitally.
So I involved myself into figuring out what options I had in Clip Studio Paint in that regard and it offered all I needed.
If I was to point at specific functions though I would say:
Adjusting line width - I find myself using this filter more often recently. With just a few mouse clicks you can thicken your lineart or make it more narrow. This way you can create depth by the line thickness, by having lines closer to the viewer bolder compared to fine thin lines in the background Magic Wand close gap function- Massive timesaver when it comes to selecting areas with the magic wand. I used to struggle a lot finding that one gap in my linework that would make the wand unusable. So using the close gap function with varying degrees really makes it much more simple.
Being able to use the lasso tool across multiple layers- This is a function that I hold dear. If you are already in the process of coloring you drawing but notice that... Let’s say the head is too big, you can just select all the layers, circle the head with the lasso tool and transform everything simultaneously and proportionally.
How long does it take you to make a single illustration?
It depends on the illustration. Probably has been said by a million artists already haha.
There are paintings I did that took a few hours and then there are paintings that took weeks, some I even finished over a year. If it’s a highly detailed character for example or even multiple ones of them that can be a real time killer. Or a super detailed background that needs a lot of polishing. For me, one of the most time consuming things though is when I am not sure where I want to go with an illustration. Thinking about the artwork, looking for inspiration and options, that can be the most exhausting part of creating in my experience haha.
Would you consider Clip Studio Paint an industry tool?
Yes I would think so. I don’t know what the standards for industry tools are, but in my experience Clip Studio Paint offers a lot more than other art programs that I have used over the last 10 years. And for comics specifically I think it is the best option.
Would you like to promote some recent project?
I have recently posted a video on how to use 3D Figures in ClipStudio on my Youtube Channel.
Other than that I can always recommend my Etsy shop where you can also find my comic book that I was talking about :).
Where can we follow your work?
You can find me on social media as @laovaan. Here are the links:
*** Laovaan is doing a #Giveaway with us! Reach his post on Instagram, follow him, @graphixly and leave a comment. Winners of Clip Studio Paint Pro will be announced on September 21, good luck! ***