INTERVIEW WITH CONCEPT ARTIST TIBOR SULYOK
We’re very lucky here at Gamma Minus to have the amazing Tibor Sulyok on the team. Tibor made the amazing character concept art for Cold Comfort, adding to the overall look and feel of the game.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself; what’s your background?
My name is Tibor Sulyok and I am from Hungary. I am 27 years old, and I love painting, drawing, world-building and everything related.
Did you have any formal art education or are you mostly self-taught? Is there anything you’d go back and change about the way you learned to either improve your skill set or to learn faster?
I am totally self-taught. I learned from tutorial videos on the internet, from copying others, and from reading books about the subject. And harassing other artists with my questions.
A year ago I would have answered yes to the second part of the question. Now I feel like, I wouldn’t change anything, I am going with my own pace. Trying to improve when the time is ripe for it. I don’t think I can really hasten this process. Me chasing skills too rigidly, and always trying to learn faster and more when it is not the right time for it made my mind rigid and tired, and my paintings drip of sweat and unoriginality. So now I am trying to learn to not force it too much, but to go with the flow more.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
I wake up, take a nice refreshing shower, make a steaming hot coffee, put on some good music, and draw, paint.
What made you want to become a Concept Artist?
I love exploring this infinite realm of possibility. It feels good when the marks on the “paper” create something more than the sum of its parts. It is like Lego on steroids. I kinda feel like it is also like a mirror of myself, a way to know myself more. Struggles and mental barriers appear obscuring freedom of expression, which I think, are great teaching moments.
Is there a specific type of 2D art that you enjoy doing the most? (ie. characters, environments, etc.)
Not really. I love all of them.
What do you think is essential in becoming a Concept Artist? What are you continually trying to improve?
I think the only essential thing is a passion for it, everything else comes from that. I am trying to learn to drop my fear while drawing and painting, I feel that’s the only obstacle.
Can you walk us through your favorite process for tackling a piece of concept art?
I love scribbling something random, and seeing shapes into it, like the game with the clouds. Slowly building it up, staying loose, but not too loose. I still have a lot to learn, on how to do this. But I find it enjoyable.
What’s the one thing you think is least known about working as a concept artist for games?
This is a hard question. I don’t know the answer.
Other than games, where do you go for inspiration?
Everywhere. I feel inspiration can come from anywhere.
Could you share any bits of advice for aspiring artists or practicing artists looking to get into the field of concept art?
Yeah. I think just be yourself, don’t try to fit in, and don’t take it too seriously. You’ll die anyway. Even if you become the best concept artist god-king of the universe, that will pass, too. Why not just enjoy the unfolding of the process, without expectations to become something else (that will pass anyway).
What’s your opinion on the concept art industry as a whole? Do you think it’s growing or shrinking, and where do you see the industry going in the next 5-10 years?
I think there are amazing artists out there. But I think a big part of the industry is like a big bloated whale corpse. It will explode though. I don’t pay attention to most of these big corporations (Disney, EA, Blizzard, etc.) anymore, and try to avoid supporting them. I see indie’s as the saviors, I love when a project’s main motivation is not money, but a passion to create something amazing.
What are your favorite games?
- Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)
- Deus Ex (2000)
- Final Fantasy 7,8
- Diablo 2
- Call of Duty: UO
- World of Warcraft vanilla (at the time of release I enjoyed it a lot, and played hardcore for 2 years. Not enjoying it anymore, but I am still thankful for the amazing memories that are still inspiring me to this day. Somewhere in a long forgotten moldy box, on an even more forgotten dusty drive, I still have the voice recording of 40 of us shouting and cheering ecstatically after finally defeating the Elemental Lord of Fire, Ragnaros)
- Hollow Knight
- Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
- Steve Lichman (it’s a comic, but I love it)
You can check out Tibor’s Artstation page here.
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