K: First and foremost welcome and thank you for taking part
DD: Thanks brother, really appreciate it
K: Let’s start off with the beginning of your artistic journey, what gave you the courage to pursue a career in art?
DD: To be honest it was watching movies when I was younger. No matter how young I was, some part of me understood that very hard working people somehow contributed to what I was seeing. I didn’t know how, but I knew people made the dinosaurs I’m seeing (Jurassic Park) and I just wanted to be one of those people. And as I got older, started watching behind the scenes, my suspicions were confirmed and saw that yes, there’s a career in art. Just look at all the video games and movies I enjoy.
K: Describe the reaction of your family and close friends when you told them you want to pursue a career in art
DD: My family was disappointed but they came around when I showed them there’s a livelihood when they saw art as a career was more than trying to sell paintings of portraits at the beach side. My mum allowed me to go to university to study 3D animation in films and games. My close friends are people I met in university doing the same or similar degrees so no reaction from them. We were all doing the same thing.
K: Now that you’re professional there’s a certain level of quality your fans have come to expect. Has this changed your creative process?
DD: No not at all. whatever quality anyone expects is always individually based and completely subjective which does nothing for me. most of them aren’t artists themselves and don’t know any better. If I started caring about that, I’d lose my mind. The only person who’s quality expectations affect my work in any way is me. which is perfect because I’m never satisfied.
K: Describe your favourite job or project and why?
DD: Can’t say I only just started freelancing and everything I’m doing is under NDA
K: Describe your worst job or project and why?
DD: Same answer, NDA
K: Describe your creative process from the point of inspiration to completing a piece.
DD: It all starts with an image in my head. Nothing crazy. Everyone can imagine. I may be doing anything. Watching an anime, playing a game, going for a walk, heck even working on a farm. Then an image pops into my head but it’s never really clear. It’s memory after all. So actually, more so than an image, it’s more an idea. So now it’s time to break out the sketchbook. Here I work out poses and camera angles that best represent the aforementioned idea. Also the characters props, gadgets and weapons. While I’m doing this, I have a lot of reference covering, clothes, expressions, armour, poses, you name it. Once I’ve figured out what I want it to look like I go into my 3D digital sculpting software of choice in zbrush and slowly build the character from the ground up. I apply paint and texture to the models then I lock the camera angle and start rendering. I take those render passes and composite them in Photoshop and there you have it… An image.
K: What do you think separates good art from great art?
DD: I’d say merely your opinion. After all in art, it’s all subjective and depends on personal taste. But personally originality over all. For instance, I don’t generally like fan art, doesn’t matter how well it’s done usually, Spider-Man is still Spider-Man. No matter how many panels and gadgets you add to his suit, Still Spider-Man. But that is not to say I’ve seen great fan art, it’s just mostly the monotony of seeing the same faces and aesthetics over and over again just bores me. There are many things that separate good art from great art but most importantly and universally I’d say honest, originality and authenticity.
K: When you think about beautiful art what is the first name that comes to mind?
DD: That’s hard to say, all I can do is tell you who my favourite artist is an even then that’d be difficult right now I’d say, Joshua Mays
K: Great choice, he’s work is amazing!
DD: Absolutely, just an aside, after him I’d say Android Jones. But I have a bias to Mays just because his figures are black and brown exclusively.
K: So who are your top 5 artists?
K: You step into a phone booth and suddenly feel the ground shake and everything goes black. The earthquake stops you step outside and see your younger self (five years to be exact). What would you say?
DD: I’d say, dont worry. It gets easier. all you have to do is keep on doing it.
K: Describe your art in a sentence?
DD: Hhhmm, wow ok, I can’t describe my art. I’ll just say my art is me trying to tell our (africans) stories properly because only we can.
K: What can we expect from you in the future?
DD: I’m looking into creating a line of collectables statues of some of the characters I’ve made as people have asked. That’s the main project right now other than making more imagery. also looking to create apparel.
K: We look forward to seeing more from you, thank you for your time.
DD: No, thank you for this opportunity man, greatly appreciated.