Toonpunk features the work of artists from a wide array of schools and styles; several of them have provided interior illustrations, while others provide pictures specifically for use as playing pieces–those, you can see over in our gallery. We sat down with a few of them, to ask a few questions about who they are, what they do, and why. Joining us here are two of our artists: DimVitarius, and Curry-Kohai.
Q: Curry, DV. Both of you are being touted as illustrators for interior manual and gameplay components of Toonpunk, both of you are–in my estimation–perfectly suited to the task. I’d like to ask the two of you a few questions to help our audience get to know you a little better, show them the kind of artist they’ll be supporting. Would either of you like to say a few words about yourself before we get to the questions?
DimVitrarius: Hello, Harry, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’m known online as dimVitrarius, a self taught artist from Poland, earlier involved in beta testing Toonpunk.
Curry-Kohai: I’m flattered, for one; that I’m considered adequate for something like this. I do a lot of personal, private commissions, often for friends, so this sort of thing is new for me, personally.
Q: Let’s go ahead and get to the questions, then. Every artist has their own style, developed over the course of years from all kinds of inspirations. Who or what would you cite as your biggest influence?
DV: That’s a pretty hard question, actually. My style is still developing and constantly being influenced by whatever cool things I find and adopt.
I think my earliest inspirations are Boris Vallejo, the very father of fantasy art, whose album I saw back in Elementary. Todd Lockwood and Wayne Reynolds, prolific and excellent artists whose works I met through DnD 3E, further cemented my interest.
Nowadays I take mostly from amazing artists I find online. I have learned a lot from the amazing works of atryl whose coloring, composition and scene construction are absolutely amazing; And of course, my best friend, drawnbuttons.
That being said, cartoons always fascinated me, especially the old goodies by Genndy Tartakovsky and other titans of the nineties and 00s.
CK: I’ve been drawing since I was very young. I’ve probably picked up so many influences on my style that it’s hard to pin down anything big. Since I’ve began charging for my art though, I have looked to a few artists for inspiration. Alex Ahad, Yuji Himukai, and David Peterson are probably more prominent as far as influences to my current style goes, amongst others.
Q: Alright…what kind of things would you say most readily capture your imagination? Not just thematically or genre-wise, but down to specific body parts, aesthetics, items, etc…?
DV: Female bodies of all shapes and kinds, no point in pretending otherwise. There is an incredible beauty in the feminine form I love to explore one way or another. I’m a total fantasy junkie, too, so I tend to draw that whenever I’m not asked to doodle weird lewd stuff. There’s something in the epic scope of magic and myth and marvellous misadventures that grips my inspiration and twists into a pretzel in the most satisfying way.
Q: Well, let’s not sugar-coat it. Most of your work is not suited for the innocent eyes of the viewing public. But, let’s not sugar-coat this, either…some classic cartoons were racy. How do you feel about making the transition to safer, more mainstream material? Do you think your primary occupation will give you a unique perspective on the matter here?
DV: Drawing smut is fun and I probably never will stop - but given that many great artists did and do that too, I feel no shame or guilt. Not to mention it’s great to practice anatomy without all the pesky clothes in the way and with all the interesting contortions it brings.
As for safer and more mainstream, hey, I did my fair share of battling knights and dragons and demons and wizards and cringeworthy fanart of popular cartoons I have mostly nuked off the face of Internet. Point is, it’s nothing new for me. In fact I think that my forages into naughties made me better prepared to draw nicer things now.
CK: Things that readily capture my imagination… Often I find inspiration when I read– I read a whole lot, honestly. One of my favorite aesthetics that gets me drawing often is old pulp story illustrations, things like Frank Frazetta,I really enjoy that kind of stuff. I am big on the Swords and Sorcery genre. There’s anime, too, which inspired my style a lot, but I don’t really follow it anymore. Its influence on my style is mostly a result of my teenage years.
Q: Alright, fair enough. Speaking of the classics, then, let’s talk about a matter of taste: say you had to recommend a single comic or cartoon–animated movie, individual episode, whatever–to our audience, as a marker of what best encapsulates your taste? Your one thing to rule them all.
DV: ….I honestly have no idea, actually. All cartoons have their own merits.
CK: Oh, wow. That’s a really tough one, honestly. My tastes are pretty varied. Depends on my mood, I think. I guess I would point to Mouse Guard, by David Peterson. It really catches my attention for setting creativity and artistic aesthetic.
Q: And speaking of your aesthetic. How do you like working with the cartoon science fiction prompts? Are there any designs or ideas you’re excited to bring across?
CK: I really like the idea. I’m very eager to do a work that involves photorealistic people and cartoon characters, and how I’ll incorporate the two within a piece. In particular, I really enjoy thinking about how I can represent bizarre, four year old drawings in 3D space.
Q: Well, I’m sure you’ll get your chance soon. DV, this one’s just for you: as someone who’s been with it almost since the beginning, what would you say your favorite part of Toonpunk is?
DV: I think it’s the teamwork. The game promotes and even forces specialisation. You have to work as a team! I’ve almost always played a stealth specialist. Don’t act dumb, take calculated risks and use the rules to your advantage.
Q: Alright, we’re running out of time, so, are there any thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
CK: Yes! Regarding the first question– on my inspirations. I finally remembered one thing that contributed a lot to my current style, though I don’t like to admit it, since looking back, it wasn’t terribly great. It was a show called ‘Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!’. That probably contributed a bunch, if that helps one look into the influences on my style.
DV: Buy this game, it’s worth every penny.