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By Alex Clark


Sandro Rybak

How long have you been creating your art? Can you tell us little about how you got started and how you have grown over the years?

I started learning to draw in 2008 when I got my graphic tablet. Since then, I spend most of my time learning how to paint. I always thought I had to draw naturalistic stuff, until I noticed that when I work more free and abstract, it represents me better. Now I also feel more connected to my work.

Your work has evolved a lot since you began. Was it difficult to start a career as an artist in a country like Germany?

In the beginning, I painted a lot of fantasy inspired work and thought it was the best thing you can do when you are a digital artist, but with time, it changed in a completely different direction. It was really hard to start a career, as Iʼm living in a small town and there is really no place for abstract and contemporary work here, so I had/have to fight really hard to teach people that things can be different, but still most of my work comes from the US, as it seems that people have a different taste over there.

Please tell us more about your artistic process! How do you go from concept to finished piece? What softwares and materials do you use?

I really donʼt have a solid process that brings me from A to B, but I try to have a fix workflow. I have a couple of workflows though. One workflow is usually for personal work - I start with random forms and go from there. With this approach I never know where the artwork will lead me to and it leaves me room for happy accidents and to experiment. When Iʼm working for clients, I usually start with a more or less rough sketch. When the client approves my sketch, I make a couple of color variants and start to block out the forms with colors i want to use. From this point I start shading my artwork and give all my forms a dimensional form. In the end I like to tweak the colors and see if the composition sits, if there are forms that overlap weirdly or if there are things missing. I usually work in Photoshop, but I also like to use Illustrator if I need geometric forms, so they donʼt look wonky.

I wish also that I could work more with Adobe Indesign on layouts, but it got rare since I concentrate on illustration work.

If you werenʼt an artist, what would you do for a living? Where do you see your artistic career going? What would be your ultimate dream to accomplish with your art?

If I werenʼt an artist, I think I would like to become a cook. Itʼs my balance to working as an artist. I donʼt know where my artistic career is going, but hopefully somewhere, where someday I donʼt have to be afraid of being broke and hopefully someday I can work together with people I admire and maybe leave a small footprint in this world.

Can you tell us about your morning routine and daily schedule on any given day?

My routine is kinda the same every day. Usually I fight 1-2 hours to leave my bed. I get dressed and leave my apartment for a small work and go back to work. It helps me to separate the fact that I live there where I work. So when Iʼm home it's much easier for me to not go back to bad and watch another season of a TV series. I have a break at 12PM and usually go to buy some stuff to prepare for dinner and after that I go back to work.

Do you listen to music while you create? If so, what kind and how do you see it affecting your finished product?

I always listen to music. I think I start my day with music and end my day when I turn off Spotify. I think music is my biggest inspiration and helps me a lot finding the right mood for my work.

What has been your proudest career moment so far? Whatʼs the next one you hope to reach?

Iʼm sure there are a couple of things that made me proud in the last years of work, but I think the proudest moment was, when i reached a point with my work that someone was willing to pay for it. The next point I want to reach is to create something that makes people happy, so they look at it every day, like I do with some artists.

Letʼs say you get full artistic freedom on a billboard on the busiest road in a huge city where millions will see your message. What would your message be? Any combo of words and images is fine.

Tobey Maguire was the best Spider-Man.

What would you say to up-and-coming artists who want to pursue their passion?

If itʼs really what you want to do, never give up because itʼs a really hard business and can break you to a certain degree, but it's really worth it.


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