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TRCH David Suchet

Art Works: Michael Nam

18 March 15

"I was one of those kids who would record a Saturday morning cartoon so that I could later squint past a warped VHS image and sketch out the characters"

Aspect of Water

I’m a QA tester at a games studio by day, but in my free time I create character art of my own design, fan art pieces and more technical projects. I was one of those kids who would record a Saturday morning cartoon so that I could later squint past a warped VHS image and sketch out the characters. I've branched out into different disciplines but I always come back to character art. This piece is a rendition of the main character from
Legend of Korra, I wanted to create a snapshot of her mid-motion. She's been drawn countless times across the internet but I hadn't seen many that respected the heavy martial arts references in the animation.

I did it about three years ago, and I know there are faults with it, but it marked a turning point where I began to render characters as I dictated, rather than being beholden to references and art guides. Mark Demsteader, a contemporary figurative portrait artist, is an inspiration. His work often revolves around studies of models under dramatic lighting - the kind of chiaroscuro that made Rembrandt and his ilk famous in Renaissance Europe. His way of contrasting the fine details in the areas of interest with the loose textured sketch of the periphery translates to digital well, making art that appears to strain against the default box dimensions and really pop, or integrate them organically into a larger web design.

Thanks to the internet, the dynamic between creator and audience is the least one-sided it's ever been. Sites like Tumblr, DeviantArt and Instagram give a potentially vast amount of exposure, but the ideal isn't always the norm. There is a cyclic affirmation loop where only images that ‘go viral’ are really interacted with, making the bid to break out a game of chance in some respects. I got my start in my teens on a brilliant, but now-closed, website called Manga Revolution - a site that had methods to counter this systemic imbalance.

I did a digital arts based degree at Uni of Huddersfield, and work in a variety of programs, but I also work with traditional mediums, I see them as complementary rather than competitive. Nothing quite beats a tangible piece of art though, so I plan on setting up a Redbubble account for that purpose. These days I'm a bit older than the child with the VHS recorder, but that's essentially the only difference.

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