Please tell us your name, surname, nationality and where are you from.
My name is Marta Dahlig, I was born in Warsaw, Poland and that's where I live uptil now :)
How did you get interested in illustration?
Art has been a part of my life since my earliest childhood. I have been painting for as long as I can remember... First on paper (or walls, for the matter of fact) with crayons, nowadays digitally with my tablet. Into digital art, I have gotten thanks to viewing online forums and browsing game fanart :)
How much is the world of fantasy important in your life?
Picturing fantasy themes has always been a sort of escape from the real world. When I feel down, I just put some nice music on and try to forget about my problems by diving into the world of art. You might call it a form of “therapy” but it really works wonders!
Did you go to art school? What formation did you have?
No, I haven’t. I have not received any formal training in the field of art, and everything I know I have learned myself. I do own a few theory books (especially concerning anatomy) which are a great help when I am in need, but I generally prefer to freely explore and learn from my own mistakes rather than being told what to do. A lack of formal education has seldomly been a problem – fortunately, in the art community you are valued and judged basing on your skill, rather than a piece of paper.
Can you tell us an artist or more than one that have influenced your art?
I don’t know if I have someone I could call a real guru, but there are many people I truly admire. Such artists are Gustav Klimt, Alphonse MuchaWojtek Siudmak or Cristophe Vacher - I love their works and could look at them forever. I try to learn from their paintings a lot, observing their use of colours, character modelling or symbolism usage.
How did you arrive in your personal style? How was it evolved?
My style is something that just seemed to develop itself naturally. I never really stressed over it, never tried to artificially achieve a recognizable style - it is just one of those things that seemed to “just happen”.
Style, to me, is a combinations of themes and techniques used – that in overal creates an image, a perception of the artist. And so when seeing someone successful, I think many artists make the mistake of following that person step-by-step topic and technique wise, thinking that if they do the same thing to the letter, they will be as good, while it is so much better to just try to find what suits YOU.
It’s good to observe others and learn from their success, but instead of directly applying it into your works, it’s better to try to “transform” that general impression and show your interpretation of it. At least that is how I have learned and achieved what I can now call a style of my own. I just explored all the themes and techniques according to my own wishes, not following any tutorials and such. And so, after years of painting and plenty of attempts, my style emerged.
How many hours in average do you spend to create a typical artwork of yours?
Oh it is very hard to judge that, it really depends on how well have I planned out the theme before painting as well as on my schedule (whether I have to coordinate school with painting etc). In average, I would say it is around 40-50 hours per painting, spread over two-four weeks.
Can you reveal us which are the tools used for your illustrations?
I work in Procreate Painter7, Corel Painter IX and Adobe Photoshop CS, with a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. I really couldn’t live wihtout those!
Is in your plans a publication (book) of your works or is it already existing?
There is no current book dedicated purely to my art, but my paintings have been a part of various “digital art compediums”, especially in a few books by Ballistic Publishing, such as “Painter”, “Exotique” and “Expose 4”. I never thought about publishing a book with my art solely, but I have always wanted a tutorial-devoted book, covering all key elements to successful digital painting.
We saw your wonderful "Vanity" from the Seven Deadly Sins series on the cover of an issue of Computer Arts Projects dedicated to Sci-FI and Fantasy Art.
Have some other of your works been published elsewhere or used for games? Could you tell us where?
Quite a lot of my works are being published nowadays, in magazines and books, and I cannot really mention all of them, but what I am particularly proud of is a series of Tutorials and works published in ImagineFX by Future Publishing.
Blackeri.com is still a coming soon website. When will it open?
Ah, well, I am very ashamed that my website is “coming soon” for over a year now. I simply had no time to really work on any layout, due to the amount of projects I had to complete. I honestly promise I will try to have it up this summer!
Do you work as a pro illustrator or it's a parallel passion to another work?
I am a student still and do not work full time on anything, and participating in commissioned commercial projects is my only source of income at the moment. In the future, I might probably carry out a job along with being an illustrator though.
Could you tell us which is your actual project?
I am currently taking a break from commercial projects and taking my time doing some personal works... I am trying out all those new things I wanted to do but had no time before, experimenting in terms of theme and technique.The painting I am right now working on is one dedicated to biblical Judith.
Plans for the future?
For now, do what I love to do - paint. After I am done with my studies, I definitely will try to work in the field somehow related to art, as I simply could not live without painting. In the very distant future I would love to publish a huge tutorial book, which I will be starting to work on quite soon already. Thanks to such venture I would manage to combine a few of my passions – painting, writing and teaching. It should be fun and I hope some would find it useful as well!