Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is ‚DarekKocurek’?
I live in Poland, in Katowice city. It’s an industrial city in the South of Poland. Since about 15 years I’ve been working as a graphic designer. Many of my graphics oscillate between fantasy and horror. It partly results from my interests and partly from cooperation with Polish and Dutch Stephen King’s fun-clubs and cooperation with publishing houses, for which I make covers in styles like that. Many of my pictures are inspired by music, especially ambient-music.
Other passions of mine are photography, books, film, traveling and japanese language.
How long have you been working in digital art?
My adventure with computer graphics started in the 90s’, when I bought an amazing Amiga computer. For a long time I had been creating pictures just for my own pleasure. During following years I changed my job several times, and even though I have been working as a graphic designer, I’ve learned many forms of computer graphics, such as: animation, 3D graphics, visualization, printing and typical commercial art.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
I can say that I began drawing when I was about 3 years old. My favorite toys always were coloured pencils. I have drawn a lot! But, I have never continued artistic education at school. So, in the field of traditional and computer graphics, I am self-educated.
For some time, I was quite intensely painting in oils and acrylic (over 100 pictures sold). While doing it, I’ve learned a bit how to work with colour and composition, which, in my opinion, is very helpful while creating graphics. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for traditional painting now. At present, my main tools are Photoshop, tablet and digital camera.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on several thriller and S-F covers, one music cover and a film poster.
What software do you use?
Nowadays, I work mostly in Photoshop. It is a perfect tool for photo-manipulation and it allows one to do typical painting operations at the same time.
What is your creative process like? How do you work?
I usually mix 2D graphics together with photo-montage. It’s really hard to describe the exact process of creating such works. The main point is to have an idea. Then, I divide it into elements which will be assembled from photos and which I will redraw. In the first case, I start from taking a picture, and then completing the adequate ones. I try to connect photo-montages with 2D graphics in such a way, to make it clear for onlookers to distinguish what is a picture and what is added.
What do you think your best artworks are and why?
I’m not sure which is the best, but I have several which I like more then others. For example, „Emerald bliss.” Maybe because it is the most optimistic picture I have ever done. It shows a place where everyone would like to be. I like other S-F works too, for example: „Navigator,” „Regis III” and Stephen King’s works.
Who, or what, inspires you?
Everything inspires me 🙂 But, ambient-music, S-F films and books inspire me most. However, I am sure that nothing stimulates my imagination as much as ambient and electronic music. Sometimes, a short part of some music track recalls so many ideas and images. Music always accompanies me while I’m working.
You have done some fantastic book cover work. Do you have any advice for others looking to get work doing cover art?
First of all, I love books. Perhaps they’ve been shaping my imagination for years. I am glad that I could do a few covers for my favorite books, including several novels by Stephen King. Talking about advice… in Poland, publishers are the ones who are looking for graphic designers. So, the best method is to publish your best work in as many places on the internet as possible. Obviously, the most wanted are SF graphics.
Yes. I have contact with several Polish writers for whom I have made the covers. It happened to me only once to collaborate with one of the Polish writers while creating a cover where I let him influence the final result, in fact. Usually, writers have no impact on what will be on the cover. Publishers decide that.
You’ve been a member here on Renderosity since 2006. How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
The attendance in such communities is crucial. It is important to see submitted works of other artists. When we talk about renderosity.com, these are designers from around the world. On the other hand, we can look up to other designers workshops, and, of course, learn lots of new things.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
Never be afraid of experiments and try new techniques. Be inspired by the work of other designers, but work in your own style. And remember, that Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂