Last weekend I had the pleasure to interview László Szabados, a fellow digital artist from Budapest, Hungary. His fresh, traditional looking images caught my attention a while back, and they seem to be getting better by the minute. He has an outstanding ability to translate his background in traditional art into digital mediums. His edge control and value grouping is worth taking a look at.
You can check out his works and read the interview below.
When did you start your journey as an artist, and what led you on this path?
I started drawing after high school, in December 2012. The path there was a curly one as in high school I was planning to become a programmer and actually I started my studies at the Technical University of Budapest learning Software Engineering. I always loved gaming and therefore I wanted to take part in creating games, first by modding Warcraft 3, later by making my own games from scratch but I felt that the art behind games interested me more so that’s why I started drawing.
Your work has a really pleasant traditional feel to it. Did you consciously develop this style digitally or it naturally stuck with you from previous experience with fine art?
Thank you! Yes, my goal is to have my traditional drawing and painting background come through my digital works so I try to treat the digital canvas like the physical one and try to think the same way when painting in both mediums, in terms of colors and brushstrokes or even in the full process of the painting.
Do you still use traditional mediums in your workflow? If so, what are your favorites?
Yes, I paint and draw a lot traditionally, I do most of my studies with charcoal, pen (stabilo or ballpoint) or oils and sometimes acrylics. My favourites are stabilo pens and oil paints at the moment.
There are two opposite schools of thought when it comes to institutionalized art education. Some people swear by it, while others are quite vocal against it. Since you are a fine art student yourself maybe you could share your thoughts with us on this matter. How important of a role does art school play in your career as an artist?
Really depends on the school and your goals I think. I can only speak of my experiences from hungarian art institutes: if we speak of digital arts, concept art for example, there’s no real support or course here where you can learn such a thing. But art schools I think still can be of help: life drawing, anatomy, art history and architecture history. I for example studied animation, graphic design and now classical painting and I feel like they all broadened my horizons and helped (and still help) me to find and develop a specific way in illustration and concept art. So my final answer would be yes, every bit of knowledge can be implemented in your works and can be useful.
Other than school, what do you think are the resources that played the most significant part in your fast paced artistic development? Were there any other important factors you can think of?
Online tutorials for sure, especially gumroad, drawing a lot on my own and having a lot of artist friends who gave me feedbacks on my work.
Also switching between drawing and painting or even taking a break from them for a few days from time to time. I experienced that in these days the previous weeks’ or months’ works, studies are getting organized in my head and when I return to work my paintings always feel more fresh. Taking breaks and focusing on something other than work is important!
What do you think is the most challenging part about being a digital artist?
Probably developing a unique style and making your works recognisable as there are so many digital artists in the industry.
What do you think is the most rewarding part?
Getting your work recognised by its uniqueness if I can relate to the previous question. And also I could add that, as with any other fields of art, making a living of your works, the kind of things you love to do in your free time.
Since you’re still relatively new to the field, you probably have quite an extensive list of dreams and goals in front of you waiting to be accomplished. What is the biggest one that you would like to tackle in the next couple years?
Oh yes! One of my goals is to illustrate Magic the Gathering cards in the future, other than that I have no specific ones. Working on cinematics and movies are something I’d like to experience one day, but that feels like a distant and hazy dream still.
What is an average Tuesday like in the life of László Szabados?
Funny that you picked Tuesday. At the moment I go to university on tuesdays, paint in the studio from 9am till 12pm, then I have art history and anatomy courses till 6pm. When I get home I usually work on some personal pieces, if I don’t have urgent client work, do some spitpaints for example. Then I do my workout routine (sports are necessary when sitting all day working!) and in the late evening I sometimes work more on my stuff or just relax in various ways.
Who are your role models? Could you name three persons – dead or alive – who inspire you, or significantly influenced your life?
I couldn’t name role models, but people who influenced me are for example Craig Mullins, Egon Schiele and Anders Zorn. And also I should name my sister as she’s doing such an awesome job with her works and projects in various artistic and social topics.
Lastly, what brush do u use, bro? Would you mind sharing your brush set with us, so we can leech on the awesomeness?
I have a small brush set I put together over the years from some of the brushes I collected (and modified some of the time). They come from various artists’ brush packs, like Maciej Kuciara, Jamie Jones, Mathias Verhasselt.
I would like to thank László for taking the time to do this interview. I know he has a lot going on, especially with the new studio position, so I really to appreciate the effort.