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Artist of the week – Antera: “Being aware that there are people enjoying my art is an incredible reward”

June 21, 2010 by · 3 comments

Interview with Antera by Galya Mladenova


Antera is a young artist who is deeply interested in painting, heroic fantasy and video games. She’s attracted to online games like World of Warcraft, which are filled with a rich mythology. She used to paint abstract art, but thanks to WoW, she switched to figurative painting back in 2009. Ever since, she has tried to get better and better regarding color, perspective, and depth. She really enjoys this mix of digital universe and classic art.

Back in August 2009, she decided to create a facebook fan page to support her work and to share her passion. She makes short clips where she shows every step in making a painting. Now she has a youtube channel where she posts the videos. Judgehype (a famous French World of Warcraft fan site) noticed her talent and published some of her clips, which helped a lot in increasing her popularity.
Sometimes she paints online during live sessions where people can see her work in real time. You can see more of Antera’s works in her webpage Art by Antera, her page on Flickr, or her Facebook page.

When did you start painting? What were your first pictures?

I was thirteen when I started painting. At the beginning, I was interested in oil painting. My first painting ever was a landscape showing two small boats along the seashore: it really looked childish. When I was young, I tried to learn by experimenting in all sorts of styles: portraits, landscapes, still-life…


How did you become inspired by World of Warcraft? Do you play the game? How far have you gotten?

Two years ago, I stumbled across an ad presenting World of Warcraft – I tried it and became an addict. I’ve been mostly a casual gamer, but managed to get two level two (and a third coming soon) toons (characters in the game) to the level cap (the maximum level a character can reach). I experienced endgame raids for a time, but never fell into hardcore gaming thanks to a demanding job in real life…

Landscapes and game mythology are so interesting and filled with emotion! This is deeply related to the fantastic worlds I’ve ever been interested in.


Do you like other games (beside World of Warcraft)? Have you tried working with graphics?

I tried Warhammer Online but didn’t like the graphics and gameplay. I also recently tried Aion which I believe is interesting material too – with a Japanese style, stunning landscapes, and an eye-catching bestiary. Everything is colourful and dense. This is the reason why I was able to realise a new painting on that subject, and am already thinking of others.


Was it hard to switch from abstract art to figurative painting? What’s the difference between these two styles?

Abstract and figurative painting are by essence really different. Let’s say that these last years, I realised that I wanted to express myself in a different way. Abstract painting let me learn a palette of techniques (patchwork, material mixing etc), but World of Warcraft was an opportunity to try something else: to me, abstract is experimenting, where figurative is expressing. The transition was quite easy, yet I’m still driven by my former experience: quick moves and spontaneous painting.


Have you thought about drawing your own heroic fantasy characters some day?

For now, I’m more comfortable in creating my own landscapes. Regarding character design I’m still too close to existing creations, but I’m working on it! I would be so glad to be able to come up with my own worlds someday…


You like fantasy worlds a lot, but do you like them better than the real world? Why?

I find good motivations to live in both, and would not leave one for the other! (laughs)


How did you decide to popularize your art through the Internet? Isn’t it a little bit risky, considering the large amount of people violating copyright laws?

When I became interested in figurative painting, I needed a form of sharing with people. Facebook was a powerful tool to find and gather them. This was also a good way to meet critics – which is useful to keep up the job by providing a constant source of motivation. Being aware that there are people enjoying my art is an incredible reward. Regarding copyrights, I’m aware of the issue but I don’t consider myself anything else than an amateur yet.


Could you tell us more about the online live sessions where people can see you paint in real time?

I sometimes plan live sessions from my Facebook page. I’m supported by a friend providing all the technical stuff (light, sound, and video stream upload). From a simple web page, people can watch me paint on a theme previously announced (even sometimes through a vote), and chat with one another. People tell me that it’s a great experience to watch forms and colours move till they become a final painting. For those who miss the session, a replay is posted on Facebook the day after.


Do you meet new people through your facebook page and your site? Do you organize fan meetings? Are there a lot of other young artists, inspired by game graphics?

I meet great people thanks to Art By Antera : they helped me for all sorts of issues and with keeping up the activity: I’m really grateful for this. I also get a lot of mail and messages to support me: this is far beyond what I always dreamed of… There haven’t been any fan meetings yet, but why not, someday? I believe there are many artists inspired by game graphics: this is the reason why it is not so easy to come up with something different.


Is your art a hobby or your job? Is it hard for you to support this project financially?

This is still a hobby and I work on something else for a living. Days are sometimes too short for both though… Art is a time and money consuming activity but I believe this is worth the effort.


You’ve already achieved a lot for a short period of time. What are your plans for the future?

I’m still secretly dreaming of organising an art exhibition somewhere, someday. For the time being, I would just like to gather more and more people around my creations…

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