Interview with Master Sci-Fi Digital Artist Tobias Roetsch
Science fiction is a literary genre that extrapolates from existing knowledge about the real world to speculate about alternative worlds. It always includes an element of the fantastic, since it aims to go beyond what exists, to give a hyperrealistic model of “what if?”.
Exploring the consequences of such differences between what is real and what we think is the future is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a “literature of ideas”. Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possibilities. The similar context is applied in creating Sci Fi artwork as well.
A setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record. A setting in outer space, on other worlds, or involving aliens. Stories that involve technology or scientific principles that contradict known laws of nature. Stories that involve discovery or application of new scientific principles, such as time travel or psionics, faster-than-light travel or robots, or of new and different political or social systems, all these make up the future we envision and what our mundane imagination can perceive
Why this interview?
A few weeks ago, when I released an post on some of the most visually stunning wallpapers, I never understood the true power and imagination those artists possessed. I did a thorough research on Science Fiction and how one can percieve the future from his/her own perspective. I contacted several artists and looked at their works and finally I found Tobias‘ works. I was immediately stunned by his creations. The way he intreprets the “future” is certainly exuberant. From what I can fathom, he envisions a world where in, the man has mastered the space travel and has achieved speeds close to the speed of light. New planets are being colonized and due to the increasing crave for power, there are wars and destructions of other planets.
Is Science Fiction that interesting?
We have been increasingly inspired towards Science Fiction from the novels we read, from authors such as Issac Asimov, Jules Verne and others. Even movies such as Star Trek and Star Wars have captured our imagination and ignited a possibility of an alternate reality in our minds. The future, as seen by many of us have been expressed in forms of art, design, movies, comics, and even cartoons. Ever since man landed on the moon, he has been fascinated by the very concept of space. Space is nothing short of an artistic masterpice carefully crafted to hold mysteries together. Whenever we imagine about the future, we visualize space, stars and the planets instantly.
Long before the advent of technology, our ancestors tried to picturise the concept of space with mundane tools such as pencil, paper, brush to name a few. Ever since the advent of Graphic tools like 3D Max, Photoshop and others, we have constantly evolved and have adopted our imagination to be able to visualize the futuristic world. It is quite hard to disagree that space has been an undaunted influence over us.
When you think you are a designer, an inimitable imagination is a part of parcel of the package, so different artists have their own interpretation of the future. So, without further ado, let us have a small chat with Tobias and see how he uses his inspiration and love towards science fiction to create some of the most breathtaking artworks which most if us use on our desktops today and let us also learn how he become one of the most prolific artists on the web. He also happens to be a gallery moderator at deviant art :)
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?
I have to thank you for your interest in my work and it is a pleasure for me to answer your questions. My real name is Tobias Roetsch but I am better known as taenaron in the web. I am a German artist and I am currently living in Dresden, a beautiful city in the east of Germany. I have been doing art for my entire life but focused on digital art at the end of 2005. One year later I also started taking photos after buying my first DSLR.
2) Did you study graphic design in school or are you a self-taught artist? And in your opinion what are the pro’s and con’s of each.
I am self-taught and at the moment I am studying international business (to be more exact: European Business). The last three years I worked for an advertising agency what really improved my skills. Although I am studying management, art is still more than a hobby for me. Right now I am in the early stage of being a freelance graphic designer and photographer, so I am earning my money with art. Maybe I will take some classes or start to study graphic design somewhen in future to get a certificate. It also would help to get to know some things that are unknown to me at the moment. That would be a great advantage. But on the other side, being self-taught has the advantage of original ideas without default thinking, which is given to you in schools. You make direct experience with people and clients out there. Of course this is a disadvantage at the same time, as you are going to make mistakes. I think it is hard to say what way works better and it definitely depends on the individual person.
3) Your art work is visually stunning and hyper realistic . Where does you seek inspiration from? How do you come up with the ideas?
Thanks for your kind words. My inspiration comes from things I see. By seeing I mean to see something like others do not do. As a photographer that is normal I think (or should be one of your strengths). Nature is clearly one of my main sources of inspiration. It is hard to beat this beauty. Besides that I have always been a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars, which both have a lot of inspirational content. Ideas are spontaneously created out of my mind. I mostly have a finished impression of how the image is going to look like, in advance.
4) A lot of your art seems to be based around space, planets, explosions and futurism, tell us how you make them and why you like using them so much in your art?
To tell you how to make them, I would need more space than I have haha. All those elements are basically done in photoshop. For planets it is better to use a 3D program (if you are not going to paint the whole planet but are going to work with textures). The reason why I decided for this genre is pretty simple. Like I already told you, I’m a huge fan of Star Trek / Star Wars. There is so much beauty out in space and only your own imagination sets a limit. I’m using so many apocalyptic scenes because I’m also fascinated by the power such events are releasing. Ignore the fact, nuclear bombs are the most powerful weapons on our planet and look at them from the artistic side and you’ll immediately discover beauty in there (google an image for french nuclear test 1970). I simply want to copy some of this beauty into my pictures and, with some images, also want to remind people on the fact that we are one of the smallest things in this universe.
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?
I only can tell you, what other artists are telling as well. It’s all about patience and training. Art and graphic design is like everything else in your life. If you start something new, don’t expect to be perfect in a first attempt. An other important thing for me is, to do it for myself. My art is an expression of what I am. So it only can be authentic, if I like it. This is something I had to learn over many months. Nevertheless, feedback is very important and helps you to grow.
A last important experience I made: you only can become better if you try out new things. That’s a major point.
6) Could you tell us a few of your favorite websites that you always look for inspiration? And any particular artist who has always inspired you?
I basically only browse deviantart.com for inspiration. As it is the largest art community in the world, it should be the best place to look for inspiration. From the very beginners to the professionals, everything can be found there. My most important source of Inspiration was and is Jeff Michelmann I think. We started together at the same time and helped each other to become better. Without him, I wouldn’t be the artist I am today. Besides him, the first name that comes into my mind is Dylan Cole. I think everybody knows him, and if not: go check him out now!
7) What do you think is going to be the “design trend” in the future. How do you see yourself 5 years from now?
That’s a hard question and I don’t have an answer yet. As there are so many different styles and genres out there, there are going to be countless changes. I myself am not sure how my life and my art is going to look like in 5 years. That’s a long time. I’ve been an artist for about 4 years now. If I’m going to make the same development in the upcoming four years like in the past four, I’m really excited about my future. I just started my own business as freelance graphic designer and artist. We’ll see how this affects my future.
8 ) Once again, thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
It was a pleasure! Thanks for your interest in my works and thoughts.
My final words: Try to find your own style. You only can be successful if you are unique and people remember your name just because of your unique art.
Tobias’ presence on the web:
The Works of Tobias Roetsch
Here are more of Tobias’ breathtaking creations which has revolutionized we look at sci-fi art. Do not forget to check out his DA profile for awesome wallpapers that he has created for us.
So, what do you think? Does Science Fiction Art truly tries to create such amazing environment what we see in movies and Sci Fi books? Or do you think, this alternate reality is just another way of interpreting the Neo Surrealism from what our imagination can fathom.