1) Please tell us a little about yourself first.
Hello, I'm Daniel Alekow and I am currently studying Digital Film and Animation at the SAE institute in Leipzig. I have been doing art for about 5 years now, and I signed up at deviantArt in February 2004.
2) How did you start out with art? Which was the first (digital) medium you used and why this one?
I got interested in art by looking at a friend's 3d works, I was quite surprised of what you could do with a 3d software package and felt like giving this a try. Also I stumbled a bit into design after I had played around with html before, but found it not quite enough to create a nice website. So I think that design and 3d were the first digital artforms that I got into contact with. Meanwhile I am concentrating mainly on painting, but 3d never lost its fascination to me, and I hope to eventually pick it up again. (Perhaps tomorrow, in 3d class, huh?)
3) What prompted you to venture beyond this medium?
I liked to experiment, to try out new things, pull an advantage of the digital tools wherever I could. I found it fun to play around with photos, alter their colours and light, apply textures to them. Eventually I bought my wacom and started to paint, a process that I found was giving me much more freedom than most other mediums, so I have been doing that mainly, since. But I still play with photos here and there, edit my own photography, and implement that in matte paintings, I don't think I will ever do only one thing.
4) What does Mixed Media mean to you?
To me Mixed Media is the possibility to use the advantages of several mediums and artforms, and to combine them into one image. I think this new category will make it easier for artists who so far struggled with the choice in which category to put their images, because they had been using more than one medium. And eventually this is not just a categorizing matter, putting the image in the right gallery is important, because only then the people who are looking for that kind of art can find it.
5) Which media did you use for your deviation Remnants of the past? Why did you choose these specifically and which part of the deviation is what?
Remnants of the past is a matte painting, which means that I created an environment which clearly aimed for photorealism, which is kind of the purpose of a matte painting. To achieve this, I employed both photomanipulation and painting, to extend the shot and tie the various stock photos together. The plate that I shot can be seen here: [link] , it is a 5 photo panorama that I freehand shot in a city nearby. I then stitched it in photoshop, and started to clean it up, remove the house and so on. I didn't really have a clear vision of where this was going to go, it just developed as I went. After a while I started to put in the rocks on the right which are photos that I extended and painted together, and tried to merge as believable as possible into the whole picture. I cannot really say this or that element was painted or a photo, often I would take a photo and then paint over it, removing seems, adding details...the castles are both strongly edited photos, as well as many of the rocks, while sky, background mountain, the majority of the water and parts of the trees were painted.
6) Do you have any tips regarding the use of several media in ones art is there something one should keep in mind when combining the art forms?
I think the most important thing to keep in mind for a mixed media piece, is to try and get the best possible result, without really worrying about the technique. There are many purists out there who call a combination of photomanipulation and painting cheating, but frankly, if it looks better in that case, then it looks better.
Just keep in mind to always make sure that the different elements from your painting, photo or 3d program always match in light, colour and perspective, and then you're good to go!
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.