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Deep Magic Artist Profile: Bryan Syme

Deep Magic Artist Profile: Bryan Syme

Chaos Magic by Bryan Syme

When did you decide to become an illustrator, and why did you make this choice?

I really find it difficult to talk about myself in these sort of things. I always feel like I either come off as rather pompous or far too self-deprecating. Usually the latter as I am a pessimistic introvert who enjoys spending his days in the basement in front of a computer monitor with either a pencil or a stylus in his hand, listening to punk music and drinking too much coffee. I never really decided to become an illustrator; I pretty much had to, as I had too many stories and too much imagination filling up my head that needed to get out. And being as I am severely dyslexic, becoming a writer wasn’t going to happen. So I drew. Stephen King called his need to write “feeding the alligators,” and I think that pretty well sums up my need to make art. If I don’t feed my alligators, they will eat my brains.

Please tell us a little about your work style and technique.

I work digitally most of the time. I have a pretty set system as to how I go about creating a piece of art. Step one is thumbnails, which I do to brainstorm and figure out the overall look of the image. Next is research, where I look up reference material like models, environments, textures, props, costuming, and just about anything else that I may need for the piece. Next is my drawing stage, where I draw the piece out with pencil. This is usually just a line work with maybe a bit of very rough shading that I then scan into the computer. Then I do a grayscale rough to figure out my light sourcing and gradations. Then I do a color rough to work out just what color everything is. Both these are very quick paintings done with very broad ham-handed strokes that quite frankly look terrible. But that’s okay—they don’t need to look good yet, as long as I’ve worked out all the lighting and color dilemmas ahead of time. Then I do the painting. That is, of course, after all the revisions and tweaks asked for by the art director. Sometimes more than others.

Demon Binder by Bryan SymeWhat is your favorite piece you did for Deep Magic . . . and why?

My favorite piece that I did for Deep Magic I think has to be the demon binder, but that beats out the chaos mage by only a small margin. And that’s because I got to put my own take on a classical genre demon. And drawing a hot chick is always nice, too.

Anything else of interest relating to your work and/or working on Deep Magic you might want to add? :)

Working on Deep Magic is probably one of the funnest projects I have done so far, not just for the subject matter but also because I really enjoyed working with Marc and Wolfgang. I’d like to thank them both for the wonderful opportunity and the great additions to my portfolio.

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