Sci-Fi Art Now Creator Interview: Armand Cabrera

Marooned by Armand Cabrera, featured in Sci-Fi Art Now.
To view a walk through of how this art was created
go to: http://www.myebook.com

Armand Cabrera has been a professional artist now for 30 years. He did some book covers in the 1980’s and some magazine illustration, then started working for Lucas Film Games in 1990, which later became LucasArts Games. He stayed there for two years and worked on some early Star Wars games for the NES and SNES platforms and a CD reissue of Loom as well as the first iteration of The Dig.

He then bounced around as a freelancer for years and worked for most of the big game houses, including Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Atari, Accolade, Virgin Entertainment, and Sony. “I ended up at Larry Holland’s Totally Games working on Star Wars and World War 2 games and also a game for Paramount called Star Trek Bridge Commander.

“In the last ten years I’ve spent a lot of time painting for fine art galleries but I still work in Games and Illustration occasionally doing one or two projects a year. I do everything from concept art to in-game production art. I just finished two Totally Games Projects one for Nickelodeon, one an IPhone game.”

Archipelago Characters by Armand Cabrera

SciFi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art? 

Armand Cabrera: All of my Gallery Work is oil on linen. My Illustration work is usually oil, acrylic or Photoshop with a Wacom tablet and games art can be any of those and also 3d. I use 3d Studio Max for my 3d work.

SciFi Art Now: Why?

Outside overview for
the Oceanis game

Armand: I use whatever tools I need to get the job done. If a client wants something a certain way I give it to them that way.

I make no distinction between digital and traditional mediums, they are just tools and if somebody wants something to look like watercolors or oil paintings I paint them that way I don’t let a computer fake it for me.

SciFi Art Now: What inspired you to become an artist?

Armand: I’m not sure. It seems I’ve always been an artist; the first memory I have is drawing in front of the television when I was about three years old.

SciFi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?

Armand: Work from life. Working from life gets you to a professional level faster than any other method of learning to render realistically.

SciFi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?

Armand: In fine art I like John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Peder Monsted and Willard Metcalf. In Illustration, I am inspired by N.C. Wyeth, Dean Cornwell, Syd Mead and Frank Frazetta. Those are only my top picks — there are many more.

SciFi Art Now: What is the appeal to you of science fiction as an inspiration for some of your work? 

Armand: I think more than any other genre, the best work in science fiction is about ideas that explore some timeless aspect of the human condition.

SciFi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?

Evening Light on Lake Ediza by Armand Cabrera

Armand: Every year, a group of us goes up into the Eastern Sierras to paint on location. This painting was done in the studio using my field sketches and photos and I think it captures the grandeur of the place.

SciFi Art Now: In your career, have you had any bizarre experiences while creating your art?

Armand: I was painting out in Glacier National Park in Montana and out of the corner of my eye I saw something big running towards me. I looked and it was a bear charging from about fifty yards away. I screamed at it and fought the urge to run.

Luckily it was a black bear not a grizzly and it made a right turn after I yelled at it and took off for the trees. I about had a heart attack…

Acrylic painting for Netrunner game Wizards of the Coast by Armand Cabrera.

SciFi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist? 

Armand: Artists who want to work so badly they work for less than someone at a fast food franchise and clients who think they should not have to pay for their indecision when they change their minds endlessly about a job.

SciFi Art Now: What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?

Armand: I still enjoy the challenges of picture making and I still enjoy getting up every day to make art for myself and my collectors

Myebook - Creating SciFi Art Now: What advice would you offer to anyone starting out as an artist?

Armand: Learn the fundamentals of picture making and how to render realistically before you ever touch a computer program.

• If you’d like to see how Armand created his beautiful painting ‘Marooned’, which features in Sci-Fi Art Now, check out this Step by Step Guide on MyeBook

• Check out more of Armand Cabrra’s work on his Flickr Gallery and his fascinating Art Blog http://www.artandinfluence.blogspot.com or www.armandcabrera.com

• Contact Aramnd via Armand Cabrera Fine Art, 7437 Whisperwood Drive, Warrenton VA 20187 or by email: painterATarmandcabrera.com

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Comic Creator Interviews

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