Deep Disruption – The 2020’s

I’m just back from the SwitchOn event in Stockholm, Sweden.

As promised I’ve uploaded the slides and audio.
Here is a recording made on the day, sadly very poor audio:


If you really can’t stand the sound quality, here is a version I uploaded a few days before:

Sci-Fi Art Feature — Tigaer (Christian Hecker)

Next up in our regular SciFi Art showcase, we have some amazing work from Christian Hecker, aka Tigaer. Christian also took the time to answer our whirlwind ‘tell us what makes you tick’ questions.

Thanks for doing an interview! First, tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started in art and what’s your overall goal? Where do you see yourself going?
From an early age on I had fun drawing things. I never really followed up on it and so my skills in that department stagnated fast. I never really had the drive to become better. Instead I developed an interest in computers. When I got my first PC in the mid 90s I started to check out digital imaging software. Corel Photopaint was part of the software package that came with that PC. I learned some things with it and soon switched over to Photoshop and learned to love it. That was by the end of the 90s and early 2000s. I combined my love for computers with my creativity. At that point I never really thought I would end up doing this stuff professionally at some point. Things fell into place in the following years. I learned basic 3d and how to combine in with my love for Photoshop. I always admire the Matte Painting work in movies and so I naturally loved creating my own landscapes. Over time my scenes became more and more complex. Especially with the futuristic cityscapes I created. Combining rendered material with photos and trying to make it look as seamless as possible. I never had the goal to make my work look photorealistic, which is actually the goal of matte painting, but I certainly used the same techniques that are used for digital matte painting. Finishing up an artwork with the title “Artificial” showed me that I was able to develop the right amount of patience and technical expertise that made me start thinking about doing this stuff professionally. In the following years I tried to become more efficient and tried to streamline my techniques. Pieces like “Elysia”, “Epica”, “Mistral Coast” and “Gates To Elysium” and the feedback they got, convinced me that I’m on the right path. Since then I worked for Authors, Publishers, Games and smaller film productions. My goal would be to work for larger productions at some point.

Mistral Coast

Gates To Elysium

What inspires you to make sci-fi art? TV shows, books, other artists, etc.?
I’d say it’s a mixture of all of that. I recently started rereading Asimov’s “Foundation” series. There I can easily find inspiration. “Hyperion Cantos” by Dan Simmons is another fantastic piece full of descriptions for places that come up in the story, ideal for you to project your own ideas onto. Artists like the sadly just passed away Syd Mead will always blow me away. His body of work is so influential to everyone working in the entertainment industry. So naturally Blade Runner, Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings are prime examples for inspiration when it comes to movies. Of course it’s not wrong to keep your eyes open when you’re outside, observing the world. You can find inspiration the most weird things.

Which of your pieces is your favorite? Why?
Most of the time it’s like the piece you are currently working on, that is usually the one, you’re in love with. It’s hard to pick a specific piece. I like many of my works for different reasons. My piece “Artificial” I love because it’s the one that taught me patience and what I’m able to do with my skills. “Gates To Elysium” I like because it got a lot of attention and once more showed me how far I can go with my skills. “Room With A View” was a scene I had in mind for ages until I sat down tried my best to realize it. I managed to pull it off and again learned a lot with the artwork getting some good attention. “Sanctuary” was a first serious try in creating a scene within a night setup and I got this down pretty nicely too. “Phoenix Rising” and “From Here I Can Almost See The Stars” both are good examples of scifi cityscapes I always wanted to do. All these are older pieces where I would approach certain things differently today but I can still look at them and enjoy them very much. A newer piece, more settled in the fantasy genre is “Journeys Of An Unknown Huntress”. I’ve put insane hours into it and it turned out fantastic. Seeing it on a 150cm X 100cm canvas print is breathtaking.

Journeys Of An Unknown Huntress

What’s your technique like? Do you finish pieces in a single setting or spread them out over multiple days?
Sometimes weeks. I always try to work with dimensions that allow me to print the finished piece as large as possible. That requires me to really dive in and explore the world I’m creating. It naturally requires tons of detail work. Sometimes I even go down to the pixel level. When working on a 8000×4000 pixel large scene… it can become tedious. But it pays off when you see it printed. There’s always new stuff to discover in these scenes. That’s at least when it comes to my personal work.
Now when it comes to commissioned work it’s a little different of course. Depending on the requirements I can work more quick. A client who knows specifically what he wants is quicker to work with than someone who still isn’t sure about things. If it’s the latter then the client and I need to find out what’s right. All the concepts and revisions take their time. If the result works and everyone is happy… it’s ok to take your time and find out what’s best.

From Here I Can Almost See The Stars

Finally, of all the future technology consistently theorized across all forms of media (teleportation, instant communication, genetic editing, spaceflight, cloning, etc.), what would you like to see the most?

Beaming like they do in Star Trek would be cool. But wouldn’t we in consequence end up like the humans in Wall-E? Something I really wish for mankind is an efficient way for space travel. We need to get out there and move on. With all consequences that come with it too. “The Expanse” shows nicely how all that would probably work out. We will not live long enough to see it happen, which makes me a little sad… but it needs to happen for us to survive if you ask me. For now I hope I’ll live long enough to see us landing on Mars (not just with drones and rovers). =)

Great Stuff! Many thanks for sharing your art and for doing this interview!
Find out more about Christian Hecker:

Sci-Fi Art Feature — Hideyoshi

Continuing our series in epic SciFi Art, we have some favourite pieces from the very talented Lorenz Hideyoshi Ruwwe. Hideyoshi was kind enough to answer our whirlwind ‘getting to know you’ SciFi speed dating questions too.

Thanks for doing an interview! First, tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started in art and what’s your overall goal? Where do you see yourself going?
Hey, my name is Lorenz Hideyoshi Ruwwe and I live in Berlin, Germany. I have always been interested in drawing ever since I was little and kept up practise over the years. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Dragon Ball and other manga and tried my fair share at drawing in that style, even publishing a manga story later on with a very limited print count. Some time in high school I stumbled upon Feng Zhu’s old marker concept art and was really inspired to get into that as well. In 2004 I finally gave digital art a go and have been creating in that medium ever since, also expanding into 3D art more and more.
People say it’s important to have goals. Yes, I agree but when it comes to art, I don’t really think in these terms too much. If you’re only chasing some sort of career, it can take out some of the value of art. I simply follow my passion of creating and expressing when I feel the inspiration and work usually comes along by itself. You simply attract the kind of work that you’re doing at any give time. Where ever you put your energy, you attract more of that. I have been fortunate to work on all kinds of different projects so far that have challenged me in different ways and has kept work interesting and I hope it will continue to do so.
I’d like to inspire people when they look at my art and tell stories. I guess that is some sort of goal. I want to expand upon techniques that can help me create more striking art.
I am juggling a few other things professionally which is why I am a bit more relaxed about art these days. Filmmaking has become another field which I have been pursuing for quite a while now. I keep shifting my creative output so to speak and try to stay flexible. That has worked quite well for me over the years. But I always wonder if I should make a decision one day and commit to one passion and really chase that alone. As long as I can express myself in various fields simultaneously, I’ll continue to do so though.

What inspires you to make sci-fi art? TV shows, books, other artists, etc.?
There is a long list for sources of inspiration that come from all kinds of media. The usual suspects for a lot of sci-fi artists that always come up are titles like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Bladerunner, Alien, Matrix, Terminator etc. Yes, they have influenced me just the same. Since manga was a big part of growing up, I read everything by Tsutomu Nihei and went down that Cyberpunk rabbit hole for a good while. Also titles like Battleangel Alita or Eden had an impact on me. I have read Philip K. Dick’s work with keen interest.
A bit more recently, Ghibli and Moebius have influenced my art quite a bit as well. I feel I had this dark cyberpunk phase initially and then also went on to explore lighter sci-fi, edging on Fantasy as well. I like the whole Star Wars aesthetic just as much now while I had been evading it mostly for reasons that are beyond me haha.

Which of your pieces is your favorite? Why?
Uh that is a tough one. I don’t think I can answer that definitively. It keeps changing. I still like some really old speed-paintings of mine like the Samurai standoff (above). Also recent speed-paintings like Bounty Hunter and Child Inventor. Also anything Steampunk such as the Tesla Teleporting Station.

I usually like the rough work I put out more than the rendered up ones. There is a certain charm about quick paintings that can be both realistic and abstract at the same time. They leave a lot to imagine for the viewer. I generally like simplicity in art, telling a story with the bare minimum. Speedpainting is my favourite style of working.
When it comes to more detailed art, this one I am still quite proud of Conservator Walk Gateway. (below)

Also Akira this one, but it’s more fanart than being original.

What’s your technique like? Do you finish pieces in a single setting or spread them out over multiple days?
Well, speed-paintings I finish in one go, mostly in 30 minutes haha – when I do one for the so called ‘Daily Spitpaint’ activity which I really like. It’s like a highly focused session of bringing your best skills to the table in one go. These quick paintings really force you to concentrate on what’s most important, no second – guessing, no procrastinating.
When I render a piece, it can happen over several days, yes. But I feel that taking too many interruptions can harm a piece because you lose momentum and start overthinking which is never good in art.

Finally, of all the future technology consistently theorized across all forms of media (teleportation, instant communication, genetic editing, spaceflight, cloning, etc.), what would you like to see the most?
Hm, all kind of sci-fi is intriguing to me, I don’t really have a preference as long as the ideas are presented well – may it be aesthetically or conceptually. Of course it’s best when concepts are shown both visually appealing and functionally sound. I always dig me some space-related and robotic/cybernetic art for sure.

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your art and for doing this interview!

You can find more about Lorenz Hideyoshi Ruwwe on Artstation