The Grounded Artist: Alexander Tsaruk

by Joshua Diokno   

In our interview, Mr. Alexander Tsaruk exuded a certain kind of freshness. It’s not that the previous features that we have done have been dishonest; it’s just his attitude toward his own craft had been grounded in such a way that he is not afraid to admit that he has yet to decide if he would want a place for it in the long term.

However, if you are to look at his works online, you might be surprised by just how much talent and skill had evidently gone into them. Even more surprising is his honesty in admitting that he does not have a good grasp of anatomy, something that we would beg to disagree with.

Call it what you may, but we believe this is his passion talking—and we could not have been any more grateful for hearing what he has to say.

So here’s our full interview with Alexander. And if you are an aspiring artist, may you draw inspiration from his story.

Xeno Creatives (XC): We understand that with just about any craft, the passion takes precedence. In your case, how did it start becoming a passion?

Alexander Tsaruk (AT): I was always impressed by art. It does not matter if it is comic book art or high art. What I gravitate to the most are CG art and game art. I remember loving Diablo 1 when I played it for the first time. The environments and characters were magical to me. For a long time, Diablo was a big influence on my style.

As you can see in my gallery, female beauty is also the object of my passion; I gained plenty of inspiration learning from it.

XC: Would we be correct in assuming that you consider it a calling as many of your contemporaries do?

AT: There was a time when I considered it a calling, but right now, I don’t know. I will have to allow some space for it in the future

XC: Was there ever an art piece (digital or otherwise) or artist who bolstered your interest in digital art and motivated you to enter the space? When did you get involved fully in the industry?

AT: Unfortunately, for a long time, there wasn’t anyone interested in this stuff like me. I just pushed myself. However, I was inspired by many foreign artists. I kept a big collection of pictures which I saved and looked at sometimes to get inspiration for my sketches

XC: Now that you’re an active part of the industry, would you say you have pegged a solid place in it?

AT: I can’t say. Everything is changing so quickly. I still haven’t reached my goal. I am still heading towards that.

XC: How does your day look like in production?

AT: I start my day by browsing Artstation, trying to stimulate my imagination for a bit. After that, I try to find some good references somewhere on the web (it’s always a challenge to find some good ones). Once I find something, I put it on my mood board and then start to sketch. Afterward, I color shade. While these may be a common pattern in my process, my pipeline always changes.

XC: What are the common challenges that a digital artist like you encounters daily in a project?

AT: Ending up in a direction you are not experienced in has always been proven to be a challenge. For example, you have experience in creating characters but currently, there’s no task like this for you and all you have been getting are tasks related to rendering environments. That’s where the challenges begin. In my case, anatomy is not necessarily a strength. I never had enough practice in anatomy and composition. However, it is this challenge that makes the process interesting. I must note though that this is the time wherein your brain will start to implode so you have to be careful. This might break your passion. Take things step by step and surely you will manage

XC: We have seen your works on ArtStation and they’re impressive. The concepts, though pegged to known characters and icons, exude originality. Do you have any favorite works? If so, why are these your favorites?

AT: For now, my favorite is the “Rusty Moon Characters” project as it’s not fan art or something. It’s something that I worked on following the pipeline that I’m accustomed to following at work. I’m quite surprised that it worked well and people appreciate the piece; I also have fun sculpting models. I hope that in a future project I will get to use all my Apowa 3D and 2D together to create new stuff or to update older ones and fix mistakes. I would want to see how much I developed my skill.

XC: If you are not a Digital Artist today, what would you be working as?

AT: Probably I would stay in Outdoor Advertising which I have experience in. I have had the chance of making stickers, printing banners and stuff, making all of them in vector. But I must admit, what I don’t like about it is the mechanical stuff. As this is the case, I’m happy where I am.

XC: What is your message to other artists in these challenging times?

AT: I think I can’t say something new. What I recommend is to try to enjoy the process or somehow make it more fun. That’s how we get hooked. Artists also need to be flexible. Try some new tools, change your perspective, and meditate. In my case, it works well; keeping your mind calm makes you more effective.

Want to see more of Mr. Alexander Tsaruk’s works? Click here!

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