Interview with Pixel Artist- Alexandru Gramada (PumKPie)

Tell me a little bit about yourself, about your life? Where did you go to school, and what classes did you study (if any)? What helped prepare you to become the artist that you are today?

Been livin’ in Romania my whole life, always trying to get out of the “boredom zone”, as I call it – doing different things as a kid, out of which, gaming and drawing being the ones that stuck with me, which I keep doing even to this day. In school, art theory helped with nothing, those classes being just fillers along the real deal we went through. As preparation… well, just been drawing for fun all this time, keeping quite the lazy head though, thus not advancing too much (been drawing for 10 years now, yet I’ve probably not drawn more than 40 pieces, traditional and digital combined).

How do you go about designing a new piece of art, and what goes through your mind, from start to end?

I either take inspiration from real life or from stuff I find as being “cool”, modifying and combining those as I please, my mind just staying focused on how the final result will look like.

What is a typical day for you, and who are the people you work with?

I usually don’t schedule out my days, as I feel better with this kind of weird unorganized freedom, regularly doing some sport or going out with friends if I’m not gaming or drawing. I haven’t collaborated with anyone yet, as I haven’t seen that fit with my way of doing things.

What are some of the things that you have worked on?

To list few… traditional – Ahri fanart, Erza Scarlet fanart, some castle scenery / digital – 2 OCs, 2 game characters so far.

Is there a character or illustration you have done that you are most happy with?

Recently finished a pixel art challenge, one of the versions of an OC I have made made me very pleased with what I can sometimes achieve – vaporwave style! Other than that, maybe the Ahri fanart previously mentioned.

What projects are you working on now? (if you can tell us)

I always wanted to make a full on game, but right now I just need to decide when to hang to that idea and keep going – story is supposed to be a post-experiment crisis which caused nature to corrupt and become fully sentient, metroidvania, loads of interactive environment thingies.

Who are some of your favorite artists out there?

I don’t idolize anyone in any culture, genre or anything generally, but I do like what Turtleye and Reff are putting out as pixel artists.

Could you talk about your process in creating your art, as well as the types of tools or media that you use?

The simple deal – doodle, line in the pose with sticks here and there, sketch, line it in, color in, shade and then I add in a background if I feel like it. Tools that I use – 2H, HB and 2B pencils with 160g or 300g/mp paper OR, for digital, Huion 1060Plus 10×6.25 inch and its provided stylus. For media, I dabble with Photoshop and Aseprite, but I’d like to learn and use Krita as well.

What part of designing is most fun and easy, and what is most difficult?

Shapes and good poses seem to be the hardest thing to achieve, them being the base of your whole drawing, easy fun part being coloring in and shading 😀

What are some of the things that you do to keep yourself creative?

I generally just need some rest if I ain’t being creative the moment I want myself to be, so I either do that or go on with my day, go around the park and then continue fresh, with new ideas!

What are some of your favorite characters from other creators that you enjoy?

As stated earlier, I don’t pick favorites.. I just enjoy simple aesthetics, whatever the character may be.

What is your most favorite subject to draw? And why?

Characters, definitely! Fanart especially! The reason to that is that it’s just so much easier to draw something already existing than just design something yourself.

What inspired you to become an Artist?

Other people and their works, but also Pokemon, the first gen – began with stickmen drawing for fun, then with drawing pokemons, very accurately mimicking the image provided.

What are some of the neat things you have learned from other artists that you have worked with or seen?

Almost everything I know is just provided feedback from other artists – from shapes, to shading and all!

What wisdom could you give us, about being an Artist? Do you have any tips you could give?

Start small, use tons of references (even the biggest of artists use them), accept feedback from others, don’t compare yourself to others, but instead to your previous self.

If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?

Either discord (PumpKPie#7619) or mail, which I don’t really check that often right now, to be honest with you (pumpkpie@hotmail.com).

Finally, do you have any of your art work for sale (sketchbook, prints, or anything) for people that like your work can know where and when to buy it?

I don’t have any site assigned for such things or products with my name on them for sale, but I’d do commissions of any kind, excluding nsfw and gore, contact for that being the already provided info above.

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