Kuldar Leement is a concept artist, illustrator, and graphic designer from Tartu, Estonia. He has won several awards and honors for his works, and his art has been recently featured as the cover of Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue #98. For our issue #4 we went with a piece by Kuldar called “Resistence.” Today we are talking to Kuldar, getting to know a bit more about him and his art.
Q & A
Iulian: Tell us a little bit about yourself: where did you grow up and how did your early life influence your future as an artist?
Kuldar: I am actually a country boy, but after art school I stayed in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia. A lot of people told me that I should go study in art school, but I decided to learn construction first, and after that I went into the army. After army I finally decided to see what art school can offer me. There isn’t much to tell—I have always loved to make futuristic works and art school gave me the extra push. It’s here where I’ve discovered digital art. I went on to study graphic design for the next 4 years.
What are your favorite design tools and how did you get to learn them?
I use a graphic tablet (Wacom Intuos5 M) and Photoshop. I also use Illustrator, Mandebulb, and other great programs. I like to use different tools because they help me give a more unique look to my works. I was introduced to the Adobe software in art school, and I learned it there. Later I really became a master in it and I even taught it in the same school. I learned all the other programs through self-study—there are a lot of tutorials out there and it’s really easy to learn when you know what your main goal is.
Are there any other artists out there that you admire and whose work has helped shape your work?
Indeed! I like lot of artists and their works. To showcase the sources of my inspiration, I’ve created a Tumblr page where you can see all of that: http://a-million-little-fibers.tumblr.com.
Where do you find inspiration?
Movies and games are great inspiration resources for me and I just love science fiction.
How would you break down your workflow in steps?
Basically-bigger shapes first and details later. Light is very important for me so I’m constantly working with it throughout the entire process. Sometimes I just make some start sketch to see if the idea is good or not. Mostly doodles 🙂
Your work is very fantasy-driven. What drives you to that subject?
I don’t really know-life can be quite boring if I can say so-dark winters and bad weather makes you really want to see something else and it’s really nice to watch new works come to life. Also I like to be a source of inspiration to others-many works of art have driven scientists and engineers further-so it’s cool to be a part of that.
If there was one piece of advice you could give other beginning artists, what would that be?
Do a lot of work with yourself and respect copyrights! Best way to start is art school, but there are many tutorials out there as well. If you want to succeed, you simply need to practice a lot.
We’ve selected one of your pieces for the cover of our magazine. Tell us a few words about how that piece came to be.
This is my first work for Cosmosys’ art collective exhibit “Resistance”. I used some of my Terragen renders for rocks and tried to make a cave-looking environment where people are trying to stay alive because the planet is in its final days.
Where can we find you on the web?
Kuldar, thank you very much for being a part of our magazine. Good luck to you and we hope to see more of your works on our covers!
Here are some samples of Kuldar’s works:
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