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华东师范大学网络学院:Helen Ilnytska: concept artist interview

Helen Ilnytska

Concept Artist & Illustrator

Ukrainian concept artist Helen Ilnytska switched from pharmaceutical validation to art just three years ago, inspired by sci-fi, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic art. Check out work from her portfolio, inspirations, and aspirations…

Helen's website

Adam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Helen

Hello! My name is Helen Ilnytska. I am a concept artist and illustrator from Kyiv, Ukraine. My primary focus at the moment is digital environment design. Academically speaking, I hold a degree in engineering and had had a fairly successful career in pharmaceutical validation when about three years ago I began my journey in the world of concept art design. The main driving force behind such a career change was my longstanding passion for science fiction, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic art. Simply put, I adore anything to do with portraying new incredible worlds.

Adam

What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea www.hor5.cne from?

Helen

Sometimes I make quick sketches in Alchemy without thinking about what I want to depict. Quite often I’d just be drawing spots and at some point start seeing something interesting in them, so next I would concentrate on drawing certain parts to make the general vision clearer. Such unpremeditated “doodling” is so much fun and sometimes helps with finding unusual www.hor5.cnpositions. Then I’d work on a more detailed sketch in tone to better understand the mood I want to convey.

My next step would normally be creating a 3D base, but with my latest gallery image I skipped this step and after tone moved directly to color. I painted the sketch with gradients, then added photos and, finally, drew the necessary details.

Adam

Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?

Helen

I regularly use Alchemy, Photoshop, 3D-Coat, ZBrush, and Keyshot. I usually start with simple sketches in Alchemy concentrating primarily on the www.hor5.cnposition. I turn to Photoshop to work on detailed sketches, crystallize the mood, and then create 3D bases. For sculpting I mainly use ZBrush, for hard surfaces – 3D-Coat. My go-to rendering tool is KeyShot. I used this soft to create multiple raw bases of different light and material www.hor5.cnbos. A www.hor5.cnbination of rendered layers, adding photos, drawing details, color correction, and adding of post effects happens in Photoshop.

Adam

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Helen

My head is always full of ideas, but free time when I can work on them – that’s the hardest thing to find. Ideally, I’d try to sketch my ideas or, if time is seriously lacking, I’d just write down what I’ve thought of and turn my notes into a sketch at the earliest opportunity. When deciding which sketch to work on for my portfolio, I try to challenge myself by choosing the ones with www.hor5.cnpositional, artistic or technical intricacy in them. I see the task of keeping my portfolio up-to-date as a quest: I set difficult goals for myself. I work out challenging aspects; I gain new skills and as a result have new portfolio entries I am proud of.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Helen

The ultimate ambition is to improve my skills to the level where I could work as a concept artist for the high-end film-making industry. The other goal that I’m currently thinking about is devising and launching a course in digital concept art for newbies. Speaking from personal experience, when three years ago I decided to turn my hobby of drawing into a professional plan and started looking for courses or a school where I could quickly figure out the basics, and from there build my skills up in the preferred direction, I literally found no platform for basic training. As I have a lot of experience in training people in another field, I feel confident I can help beginners who decide to change their profession to digital art to quickly get their bearings. With the digital art industry being so dynamic, people don’t always have time and opportunity for long-term basic art education, I believe.

Such unpremeditated “doodling” is so much fun and sometimes helps with finding unusual www.hor5.cnpositions.

Adam

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Helen

My favorite artists are Raphael Lacoste, John Harris, Eytan Zana, and Jama Jurabaev. Their art is my main source of inspiration. The atmosphere of their art is so thrilling and enticing, the www.hor5.cnposition is flawless, the form play just breathtaking. I am also a fan of color choices in the works of Ruxing Gao and Ruan Jia. Paul Chadeisson’s art hooks me with its cool shapes, Florent Lebrun’s work has beautiful www.hor5.cnpositions. I also enjoy scary stories portrayed in such a great style by Piotr Jab?oński. Frankly, the list is very long. Thankfully, Instagram and other social media platforms give access to works of all kinds of artists, digital and traditional – a bottomless ocean of inspiration.

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Helen

Hopefully more original works. I will continue to develop my skills and abilities. I`ve recently started a new personal project, which is quite crazy for me in some aspects. A new challenge for me. And I need to tackle a lot of new work, of course. My imminent interests are Terragen and Gaea. Will see how it goes.

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