Firstly, can you tell me a bit about your background and how you started in digital illustration
Did you study design? If so, where?
In the field of computer graphics I am self-thought person, for many years I have been using different 2D and 3D programs, trying different techniques. My adventure with computer graphics has started in the ’90, when I bought Amiga computer. During next years I changed my job several times, and even though I have been working as graphic designer, I was able to know many forms of computer graphics such as: animation, 3D graphics, visualization, printing and typical commercial art.
How did you get your first commission?
The most interesting orders are from books’ publishing houses. My first order was connected with my cooperation with Polish Stephen King portal, for which I made calendar graphics. Publishing house, which was searching for illustrations to several reissues of Stephen King’s books, noticed my works. Currently I cooperate with three publishing houses.
What techniques do you use to create your images? Where does Photoshop come into the equation?
Nowadays I work mostly in Photoshop. It is a perfect tool of photo-manipulation and it allows typical painting operations at the same time. As I try to use my own photos in 100 per cent, often way to create specific graphics is long and painstaking. It often demands taking lot of specific (sometimes oddJ) pictures, or finding exact places. Only after collecting materials I start dressing in Photoshop. Usually I try to connect photo-montages with 3D graphics and/or matte painting, often in such way, to make it clear for onlookers, what is picture and what is added. On the illustration for Stephen King’s „The girl who loved Tom Gordon” I have connected photo-montage with hand-graphics. Forrest on a background of the illustration is my acrylic painting.
Where would we have seen your work?
My graphics might be seen mostly in many Internet galleries, including my Web site (www.darekkocurek.com). Many of my illustration might be seen on a book covers published in Poland.
How would you describe your style?
Many of my graphics oscillates between fantasy and horror. Partly it results from my interests and party from cooperation with Polish and Dutch Stephen King’s fun-clubs and cooperation with publishing houses, for which I make covers in such styles. Majority of my works are also music inspirations, mostly connected with ambient.
Who are your top favorite digital artists?
In Poland, for sure, Tomasz Maronski and Zdzislaw Beksinski, abroad, among others, Dylan Cole, Philip Straub, David Edwards.
Do you have any current projects you’re working on/projects lined up for the future?
Currently I am making several illustrations for book covers. I am planning to prepare 12 graphics connected with Stephen King’s work for calendar Publisher by Polish portal of that writer (www.stephenking.pl).