Interview with Master Doodle/Dark Artist – Shaun
Regardless of any advancement in technology, pen and paper will always be the number once choice for any budding artist or illustrator. It is with these pencil sketches that we create great designs. So, what exactly makes a doodle so fascinating even though it is claimed to be one of the most unproductive ways of spending time. Today, we have one of the finest and undoubtedly, the most unique work of art I’ve ever come across in my past year or so as an artist.
There are two types of artists in this world, Geniuses and Magicians. Geniuses create extraordinary work of art but give you space and time to realize that even you could do such stuff if you work hard enough. And then there are Magicians, and you have no idea how they do it! Shaun is a magician.
Popularly know by his nickname, Biomech44, browsing through Shaun’s DeviantArt profile is like a trip to paradise. Shaun is an artist, more appropriately, a doodle artist who lives in Sydney, Australia. Not only are his doodles remarkable, but they are so complex to comprehend that he uses hundreds of words to describe the story behind every doodle. I am honored to have met Shaun and talked to him about his works. Each of his doodles are a treat to your eyes as they awaken the inner spirits in you and I’m sure they will blow your minds away just as they did to mine.
What is a doodle?
A doodle is a type of sketch, an unfocused drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied elsewhere. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes. Stereotypical examples of doodling are found in school notebooks, often in the margins, drawn by students daydreaming or losing interest during class. Other common examples of doodling are produced during long telephone conversations if a pen and paper are available.
Popular kinds of doodles include cartoon versions of teachers or companions in a school, famous TV or comic characters, invented fictional beings, landscapes, geometric shapes, textures, banners with legends, and animations made by drawing a scene sequence in various pages of a book or notebook. (via wikipedia)
Now, what if we take doodling and the very foundation of art, mythology and dreams and put them together. The result is simply sublime. In this interview, Shaun talks about his art, his sources of inspiration and how he develops his stunning masterpieces. So, without further ado, let us begin!
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?
My pleasure Richie, and thank you. I’m from Sydney, Australia and I’ve drawn in one style or another since I was a little kid. My love of cartoons and comics then would be my inspiration to pick up a pencil or pen and haven’t looked back since.
2) I haven’t seen such amazing artwork anywhere in my life before, except something similar on sculptures. How do you define this type of art?
It’s a style that was born out of doodling at work, just creating crazy space stations etc., and necessity. A few DA artists have used the term collage and I think it’s the closest description. With the exception of works like Enigma which are one monolithic character or being made of many. Most of my pieces are a representation of the story, characters, events, the world and it’s environment; Symbolism used to relate topics raised and questions asked, to reflect character personalities, and to create the atmosphere or mood of the piece and the events and world within. The necessity part is that it is the best way to tell stories visually for me as I’m not the fastest artist in the world and it would take me forever to create in a comic book or graphic novel format. Not being lazy, lol just realistic and I actually enjoy this style more than a comic format.
3) Your art work is quite stunning and highly unique. Where do you seek inspiration from? How do you come up with the ideas?
Thank you so much that means a lot to me. I’m inspired by various sources and mediums. I find inspiration in different religions, from ancient cultures and their beliefs and mythology and also from day to day life; something heard or discussed; something randomly seen. Art, movies, games, books and music are of course all great inspirations. Even just a simple word like “dreams” for example, can and has led to me creating stories and visuals.
4) How do you go about creating your artworks? What is the design procedure you follow?
There’s no real procedure to be honest. I just start usually with a main character and then branch out from there. If you were to see the evolution of one of my pieces you’d see a bit here and a bit there and then gradually see it all come together as one piece. It’s like a puzzle really. I also have tendencies like most artists do to come up with new ideas as working on a piece so the bit here bit there method is great as it allows me most of the time to incorporate new ideas. It also helps with the storyline as well as sometimes a visual idea will inspire new characters or scenarios for the storyline which isn’t final until it is written after the drawing is complete.
5) What advice would you give to others who would like to follow your path as an artist?
I’m a self-taught artist and I learnt from those artists that inspired me. I still do from artists of varied styles and mediums. The best advice I can personally give is to have and keep an open mind. Don’t limit yourself to books ” How to..” or otherwise, or courses that teach anything other than how to use certain technology or equipment. Learn from them what you need but don’t take them as dogma. Besides certain tools or programs and their usage there is no “right way” or “wrong way” in art. Don’t limit yourself, learn and find inspiration from all styles of art and don’t let anyone say “you can’t do that or that is wrong” even if something is genre related. Break the stereotypes, push the envelopes, and be true to yourself and way of expression. It’s how genres grow; it’s how we have the greats from history and the artists that inspire us today.
6) Throughout your experience as an artist, what is the most important lesson that you have learnt? Why do you find it so important? And how do you apply it now in your art?
Pretty much the same as above, in that, there are no rules in art. It’s my personal mantra really. It’s the same for my writing and creating of stories and characters. Don’t be swayed by the negativity or sometimes jealous comments of others or even their expectations ( by that I mean if you’ve had a couple of pieces of work that have similar styles and themes which people really liked don’t think that you have to continually keep those elements or that style for people to continue to like your work.) The bottom line really is that we create first and foremost for ourselves and if people like it great if they don’t, that’s OK too. When creating, I do what I enjoy and don’t limit myself in any way. I try not to worry about what made one piece popular and another not or let doubt set in as to whether I can capture again what others enjoyed so much. I don’t draw or continue a piece if I’m not inspired as it just won’t work and leads only to frustration. I don’t limit myself to the confines of one genre but take everything I enjoy and mix it all up in the hopes of creating an interesting and fun ride for readers and viewers alike.
7) Could you tell us a few of your favorite websites/book/artists that you always look for inspiration?
Deviant Art is the main site I look at art now unless I’m searching for particular artists. IGN.com is also a great site for gaming concept art and trailers as well as movie art and trailers. Artist that have and still inspire me in various ways are H.R.Giger, Luis Royo,Brom, Simon Bisley, Bernie Wrightson, Jack Kirby, Masanume Shirow, Jim Lee, Liam Sharp just to name a few. In films director Ridley Scott is an amazing visualist and has made some of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Special effects and make-up artist Rob Bottin created creature effects for John Carpenters The Thing which had and still does a great effect on me and my art as much as Giger’s work on Alien. Clive Barker as a writer/ artist/ director also has an amazing imagination and vision that is inspiring. Tattoo shows also are a great source of 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?
It’s been a pleasure thank you. Just to explore all styles and keep an open mind as it’s amazing what you can learn and ultimately accomplish. Believe in yourself, keep pushing your limits and challenge yourself, and most importantly no matter what anyone says there are no rules in Art only the limits of your imagination.
Be sure to visit his awesome DA profile to check out his works – Biomech44
More inspiration from Biomech44!
1) The Herald
2) Insanity + Paradise
3) The Navigator
4) Sketchbook Concept Series
I hope you are equally as awed by his works as I am. Make sure you check out more of his works and apply his words of wisdom in what you do! Good Luck!