Charlie Kelly + Food
Pokemon Ink Paintings - by Rubis Firenos
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people like me and idk why because im just
ARTIST FOCUS: MARCUS FREEMAN
We’re back today with our Artist Focus series and we’re delighted to bring you the work and words of Marcus Freeman aka Archymedius! Not only does Marcus create clean and beautiful prints of the games he loves, he’s also a bit of an astrophysicist at the same time. He recently took some time from studying the stars to talk to us about his artwork, check it out below.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
My name’s Marcus, but on the Internet I’m known as Archymedius. I’m a quarter of a century old, and I hail from New Hampshire originally, but I currently reside in Rochester, New York.
What is your day job? How long have you been doing that?
During the day I’m a graduate student working towards my PhD in Astrophysics. Bet you didn’t see that coming. I’ve been doing that for three years now, and I’m currently working on my thesis on planetary nebulae. If you Google that you’ll get some pretty pictures of things in space. I generally work with those all day.
How long have you been designing/illustrating?
I’ve been sketching and scribbling things forever, but when it comes to actually designing and illustrating, I’ve only been doing that since the Super Bowl in 2012. Yes, I associate my first official piece of digital artwork with the Super Bowl.
Who/what influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?
Pretty much anything can influence my art. I watch a lot of movies, play a lot of games, and browse the Internet a lot so I get exposed to a lot of different art styles. Typically, if I find an art style I like, I’ll try to emulate it and then make it my own by putting a personal spin on it. I’m a big fan of Alice X. Zhang’s work as well as Ian Wilding’s. I’d love to see my artwork alongside theirs someday.
What medium do you typically use when creating your art?
Typically I start with many, many sketches in my notebook and then I do all the real work in Photoshop and Illustrator using my Bamboo tablet.
How do you tackle new projects? Do you have a process you like to follow?
New projects generally start one of two ways: a light bulb in my head followed by a few words and a sketch in one of my notebooks (I always have one with me in case an idea hits me), or seeing a technique or style on the Internet that I’d like to try to apply to an earlier idea. From there I sketch and sketch until I get something that I’m pleased with. Then it’s to my computer for the hard work. Sometimes I scan my sketch, other times I just look at it and start with a blank file, which sometimes leads to something entirely new. It’s exciting, scary, and at many times frustrating when things don’t work out just right. I usually end up with multiple versions of each piece, and whichever I like the best is the one that gets posted.
What is your gaming platform of choice?
That’s a tough one. I own them all, but I think I’d say I prefer gaming on my PlayStation 3.
Do you have a favorite video game series?
Another tough one. If we’re talking about favorite individual game, I’d have to say Wild Arms on PlayStation, but as for a whole series I’d probably go with The Legend of Zelda. I think it comes back to when I’ve had the most fun, and I’ve always had fun with Zelda games, and I’ve played nearly all of them and I can definitely say that I’m always willing to go back and play them again.
Tell us about what you’re working on now.
Currently I’m working on a loosely tied series of my favorite games from 2013. I recently did a piece for Tomb Raider which was a bit different for me given the level of detail that went into it. I’m very proud of it. I’m now working on some pieces for The Last of Us, partly for a t-shirt competition, and also to continue my 2013 series. I also have a BioShock Infinite piece I’ve been working on for awhile that I hope to finish sometime soon.
What is the best art advice you have ever received?
Keep drawing. I try to work on sketches once a day, which leads to my notebooks being filled up quickly, all in the hopes of finding my particular art style, which at the moment seems to be a little bit of everything. Oh, and don’t give up. I’ve drawn and created hundreds of things no one has ever seen, all of which at one time or another I thought were crap, and then there were some I completed that others thought were crap, but it hasn’t stopped me, and I hope no bad critique ever does.
What do you like to do for relaxation/fun?
I like baking, watching movies and TV, and reading too. And of course playing video games. Though sometimes that isn’t as relaxing as I’d like it to be (I’m looking at you The Last of Us).
Are you playing any video games currently? Any upcoming titles that you are excited about?
I’m currently playing Tales of Xillia on PS3 which is great JRPG that proves how much the series has grown up in the past 15 years. In the near future I’m excited for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, but in the long run I’m looking forward to inFAMOUS: Second Son on PS4.
If you could be any video game character who would it be and why?
Samus Aran. I know Samus is a woman, but she’s a very powerful character, and one of my favorites. Her story is powerful even if she never speaks a word (ignoring The Other M) and she’s always a bit of a mystery wrapped in an armored shell. It’s her strength as a bounty hunter and as a person within a suit that makes her awesome. Plus, she has a cannon on her arm, she can turn into a ball, and she’s a badass, all the while remaining completely human.
What is your most memorable video game experience?
(SPOILERS FOR WILD ARMS) My most memorable experience in a video game is in Wild Arms. There’s a scene where the main party is about to be sucked into a black hole because one of them is tethered to a bad guy. He tries to cut the rope but he can’t, so to save himself and his friends he cuts his arm off instead, revealing that he’s actually a machine, which no one knew, not even him. It was mind-blowing at the time, and a complete shock. It was powerful to see how even though the character was a machine, which was taken to be a product of demons, his two friends stood by him and helped him. It made me realize how important my own friends were to me.
If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?
I’d choose a triceratops with the power of flight. Triceratops because you have a battering ram on your head to take out any enemies, and flight because I wish I could fly in real life and it would be an excellent escape plan if I was ever in trouble. For example: surrounded by raptors. Step one, ram as many as I could, step two, get the hell out of there by flying away. Or, fly up in the air and dive bomb them with my head.
Interested in keeping up with what Marcus is working on? Be sure to follow him on Tumblr and Twitter for all his latest updates. Also check out his RedBubble shop and DeviantArt gallery for a full collection of his work.
Words of wisdom.