Neo Pop Artist, living in Vienna, Austria. To bring my visions to life, I work with different kinds of media like, 3D, vector, traditional drawings, collage, mixed media and photography. Even if my cheerful, bizarre, and colourful characters in their fantastic environment seem to be a little menacing sometimes, they are friendly in the end.
I have the main concept and ideas for a few kids cartoon shows based on my character designs and I am searching for partners in the cartoon show industry, who are interested in collaboration or partnership.
Please contact me, if you or your company is interested!
What can you tell us about your creative background and how you got to where you are today? When did you discover art as your passion/career?
I was interested in art since I can remember. My dad was an artist himself and I grew up surrounded by his work. He was also a hunter and a taxidermist, and I have learned to prepare animals and birds as a child already.
As teenager I have earned my pocket money with taxidermy jobs and also worked as preparator after school together with a few friends in one of my dad’s friends workshop. At that time, I begun to work with skulls and bones and made my first sculptures using birds and animal skulls.
My artist life started actually at the beginning of the 90’s, when I went to the People's Art School in Vienna. My life as digital illustrator started with surreal photo-manipulation works that I created using Photoshop and images that I shot using my digital cameras.
My website www.Apocryph.net and the work displayed there was the actual beginning and was at the end of the 90’s. Later, in 2005, I started using CINEMA 4D during my time at the SAE College and that changed everything.
After the setup of www.Theodoru.com in 2005, it took one or two years until I was ready and able to translate my imaginary worlds and characters to 3D. But I did succeed and have created 3D-based illustrations and character-based works since then. Beside that I have also set up www.Popartoons.com as a home for my ink drawings.
How would you describe your work, and how has it changed over time? Do you have any early work that shows your progression?
I would say character based Pop Surrealism but to be honest I don’t really care about labeling my work under a specific art movement or direction. I just do what I like to do in the first place and want to enjoy my work and that is what matters for me.
The changes are visually obvious and have to do with the change of tools that I use to work with. For example, from Photo based digital work to 3D or from 3D to ink drawings. But the essence of my work has never changed. It’s the same since the beginning.
What’s the inspiration behind your art? How are they influenced by your personality/your culture? Are there any artists that have influenced your style?
For sure the first big influence on my work was my childhood and teenager experience as taxidermist. Another big source of influence on my work are the classic cartoons that I grew up with and that I still love until today. All the cartoons from Disney, Max Fleischer, Ub Iwerks, Grim Natwick and Hanna-Barbera have a huge influence on my character-based work.
Another important influence is the work of Hieronymus Bosh and of course a lot of influence comes from the Surrealist movement and the Pop Art artists like Lichtenstein, Warhol or Haring.
What would you say are the most important elements in your work that create your style?
I would say that my style is defined by using a colorful and bright color palette for my characters but in the same time to give them a slightly dark or mean personality twist, complemented by skulls and bones and rounded and rubber hose shapes influenced by the classic cartoons style.
A big impact on my art comes from my own life experiences and the problems and hurdles I had to deal with over the years. The sliced limbs and broken bones and the blood have a lot to do with the fact that I was shoot wounded three times during the Revolution and almost lost life, my leg and my arm. But even during those hard times I never lost my hope and that can also be seen in my work.
Even if my characters have sliced limbs and are bleeding they still look happy and give hope. I also love to see how something that I imagine and that exists only in my mind comes to life and suddenly starts to exist through my work. It's simply a lot of fun to get rid of all rational conventions and to decide myself what can be real or not. It may be surreal for someone else and some people will simply say that something like that can't exist but for me it becomes real in the moment when I create it.
What does your process look like? What steps do you take when creating a new piece of art?
Most of the time I start with a drawing or quick Post-it sketches to catch the main idea of a character. That sketch-based idea will be afterwards either turned into ink drawing for Popartoons.com or into the 3D software to be modeled, textured, and rendered as standalone character. If I decide to create a series of characters to share a story, I will create all the characters that I need for the illustration and I put them together in a pose and create props to support the story. Eventually I might create a particular setting around them that could also be populated by some other characters that would fit in that imaginary world.
What art tools do you use the most (programs, brushes, paint, etc.), do you have a favorite?
My tools of choice at this time are MODO, Photoshop, and Illustrator. I made the switch from CINEMA 4D to MODO some years ago and I've never regretted it. I love the options that I have with that software and it fits my needs perfectly. For my drawings I use acrylic pens and ink.
What music do you like to listen to while working?
Nothing particular. From 20’s Jazz and Swing to Rock or classic. The 80’s music because is the music of my teen time. But I like all kind of music and I am always happy when I stumble on something new on Spotify.
What’s been your biggest challenge as an artist?
One of my biggest challenges was the work that I did for the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade for three years in a row. To work on so many different well known characters and to be able to keep the balance between the original style and pour my influence in them at the same time was not easy but the result was fantastic and I really enjoyed the work.
You must have days when you have art blocks, or are unmotivated to work, how do you deal with these days, what do you do?
Unfortunately, there's no switch that can turn the creative mode on or off but usually I always think about what I could do next or how I could achieve something. I can say that it drives me mad when I am not able to do it right away or I don’t know what to do next. That's why I choose to spend as much free time as possible working because a lot of ideas are born during the work either on a new character or a new drawing. If I'm not working, I hunt for vintage toys at the local flea markets, go to see a movie, or go out in the city for a walk and have fun.
What do you think is important to do, in order to become a professional in your field? For aspiring artists, how can they get to where you are?
Jump in and keep working. Everybody has to make his own mistakes and learn from that. That's the way. Do your thing! Forget about what others think or say about your work. Believe in yourself and in what you do and never give up.