Interview with Photomanipulation Master, Erik Johansson
Photo manipulation are always fascinating to look at, because they separate reality from what we actually see. When done with utmost perfection, it looks so stunning that one cannot find the difference between what is real and what is not. In this article, we will meet one such artist who’s works are quite familiar to almost everyone because they are featured in most of the popular websites. Erik Johansson is a student and a photographer in Sweden and when he sits down to create some of his art works, he really means business.
Erik was gracious and obliging enough to answer a few questions about himself and his works and I consider it an absolute honor to feature someone of his caliber. If his works amazed you, his approach towards creating such awesome stuff and the places he seeks for inspirations will amaze you as well. Transforming ideas to reality is a very interesting adventure and there can be no better person to tell this other then Erik.
1) First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to inspire us with this interview. Could you tell us where you’re from and what made you become an artist and designer?
My pleasure. My name is Erik Johansson, I am a photographer and student from Gothenburg, Sweden. I work as a freelance mostly in advertisement and mostly in Sweden but also with personal projects. I have always been drawing and as I got interested in computers quite early I begun to modify photos and images. I realized that it’s best to photograph all images myself to get it the way I want and that is where it started. I am also studying interaction design at Chalmers University of Technology.
2) Your art work is quite stunning and very realistic. Where does you seek inspiration from? How do you come up with the ideas?
My daily life and things around me, I get ideas from almost everywhere. I don’t try that much to come up with ideas, they just come to me. My goal is always to realize them as realistic as possible.
3) I think there are a lot of young and professional artists who are eager to know this: How does your process of photo manipulation evolve? How do you start with a picture and how do you finish it?
It always starts with an idea. Every idea I get I always make a quick sketch of it. Then the hard work starts to find a good place to capture all the different photos I need to be able to create the photo in the computer. The more I plan the idea, the easier the post production becomes. When I have all the material I need I roughly put together the photos to get a feeling of where things will be. I then start to work more and more with the details until the photo is finished. It has to take time because it needs time to grow. The whole process usually takes at least a week with a few hours of work from day to day.
4) Your work mostly comprises of super realistic photo manipulations. What programs do you use to create them? And what advice would you give to designers who would like to follow your path as an artist?
I only use Photoshop to create my photos. I am self-taught and I have learned by trying and looking at different tutorials. The good thing about trying as a way of learning is that no one can tell me how I “should” do. But the downside is that I sometimes don’t do it the most efficient way.
My advise is: Trying is the best way of learning!
5) Throughout your experiences in graphic design, and other studies, what is the most important lesson you have learned? Why do you find it so important? And how do you apply it now to your art?
Always consider the light and angle to be similar in all photos you want to put together. Until just a year ago I usually used natural light to get a result that is as realistic as possible. But I am using flashes more and more often to get better control of the light.
6) Till now, what would you say is your favorite artwork that you have created? What motivated you?
I am very very self critical, I don’t really like to look at what I have done. I always try to become better, and I often learn small things that I can improve every time I work with a new photo. The next one is always the best one.
7) Could you tell us a few of your favorite websites that you always look for inspiration?
8 ) Once again, thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
As I mentioned before, trying is the best way of learning. Go your own road.
Where to find Erik Johansson on the web :
Here are some of his stunning works. Don’t forget to visit his personal website. It is definitely a treat for aspiring artists.