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Interview with Michel Koiter & Rene Koiter

We have interviewed two young, but very talented brothers who are engaged 2d atr at professional level. Find out more about them!

Interview with Michel Koiter & Rene Koiter
September 03, 2003 | Stryker


Michel Koiter Rene Koiter

Skill Summary

We are a self-contained two man art-production team specializing in:
   – Illustration
   – Digital Painting and Colour Design
   – Conceptual Design
   – Promotional Art Design
   – Website Design
   – Graphic Design

Software & Tools

We have extensive knowledge and experience in:
Click to view big image
– Photoshop
   – Painter
   – Illustrator
   – Dreamweaver

Relevant Work Experience (concurrent with education)

Blizzard Entertainment
   – Illustrations for Warcraft RPG: Alliance & Horde Compendium
   – Illustrations for Warcraft RPG: Manual of Monsters

Dreamwave Productions
   – Colour Design for Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

88MPH Studios
   – Colour Design for Transformers: Genesis

Adrian Monogue
   – Character Illustrations for Knight of the Goddess

Aniway (Dutch magazine)
   – Cover Illustration

Please introduce yourselves.
We are Michel Koiter & Rene Koiter and we are 19-year-old twin bothers who were born in Argentina and we have been living in the Netherlands for the majority of our lives. Currently, we are studying in the Dutch city of Utrecht and each is specializing in what seems to be a totally different direction than the other (Illustration and Information Sciences). We have a great passion for art, history, culture and mythology and anything that relates to these aspects. Especially storytelling has been one of our great inspirations. We have always believed that the studies we are currently following reflect our character and personal differences…one is more artistical and the other tends to follow a more technical approach. On closer inspection these two qualities are quite compatible with each other. So, instead of each going a separate way, we tend to bundle our forces and work together on the skill of creation.

Click to view big image

Click to view big image

How do you spend your free time?
Almost everything that we do in our free time is somehow related to our passions described above. Movies, video games and books have always kept us entertained and inspired through the long boring hours. Stories like that of The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars are among our favourites and we came into contact with those when we were very young. Besides these activities, to keep our balance in life, we practice the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do.

How did you get engaged with creating art and when did you realize this was the direction you had to follow?
Michel: I began my aspirations when I was six years old. I remember at that age that I became very productive in drawings and sketches. However, my serious dedication for drawing and art came at the age of 15. My brother and me discovered art books and comics and that just got us hooked. Actually, it was then I decided to pursue a career in art and specializing myself in illustration.

Where have you learned to draw, did you receive any formal education or are you self-taught?
Michel: In the early years of my art dedication I have mostly taught myself via practicing and observing. In this period we two also became very interested in digital artwork so we took it upon ourselves to learn various software that allowed us to realize our visions digitally. Now I am studying Illustration and I am receiving a formal education, enhancing my abilities and getting a broader view of this discipline.

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Do you have a personal favourite piece in your gallery?
We have a few pieces of the past that we really appreciate. However, there is one piece that we personally are very proud of and that’s the King of Clubs. Michel came up with the idea after sorting through an old deck of cards that we had. After that, we agreed that we just had to try out to make a design of our own. We started to do some research and the card that struck us the most in particular was the King of Clubs…in other words the leader of thieves and brigands. Personally, we find the end result very satisfying and that gritty textured look really gives it a medieval mood. It looks great on print too! :) We would love to see a complete deck finished, but unfortunately time has not allowed us to continue with the rest of the cards.

What software programs do you use for your work and why?
Rene: We use Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop to create our artwork. These two programs are obviously an industry standard so when we decided to go on the digital tour we chose these two software packages to help us in our creation process. You can use Photoshop alone, of course, but we chose to use Painter as well because of its options to mimic the painterly quality that most traditional pieces have. Photoshop allows us to further enhance our pieces with methods that Painter lacks.

What are your techniques and or methods to produce a solid 2D piece?
The three C’s: Concept, Composition and Colour.

Tell us what is necessary to begin with before creating a piece. Describe the process!
Michel: Everything begins with a thought or concept. All the original pieces we did started out as an idea that we wanted to realize. These ideas are mostly ignited when we get in touch with something that has deeply inspired us in the things we do in life. After that, you begin to focus on the meaning of the idea…start out with research and build up to the point when you’ve totally figured out the concept. Asking yourself ‘Why’ and ‘What’ on several aspects of your creation is the key to fully enhance and add richness to your concept or character. Once this phase has been completed, you can proceed to realizing the whole piece.

What "tools" do you use in Painter and Photoshop?
Rene: In Painter we only use a set of personally customized brushes. Painter is in our opinion far more efficient in creating personalized brush settings than Photoshop. Once a piece has been through our Painter treatment we go on to Photoshop to add, enhance and correct a lot of aspects. From blurring to colour correction, from textures to blending modes, almost all the Photoshop options are used to finalize the process and make it suitable for publication.

What settings do you use (image size, mode, resolution etc.) when you are producing a piece?
Rene: The size may vary because of the ultimate goal of a piece. Usually we work on a 300 DPI resolution, but that can still change once a piece is meant for publication. We always work in RGB because that mode allows us to apply crucial elements that cannot be done in CMYK. For example, a lot of our personal lighting and image correction techniques fail when CMYK is used.

How long do you work on a piece?
Well…that depends on numerous factors, so it varies. Factors include: amount of time given, research, amount of detail, size, etc.

Click to view big image
Click to view big image

What kind of monitor do you have and what type do you want to have?
We’re using a 17-inch monitor right now. We are going to purchase a whole new computer system soon and it will definitely include a 19-inch monitor if not a bigger one.

Do you sell your pieces online?
Yes, we’re offering hi-res prints of our pieces at our own website.

Can you recommend any 2D sites?
There are a lot of sites that, in our opinion, are very inspiring and educational. One of the sites that we visit almost everyday has to be cgtalk.com. This site offers a wealth of both 2D and 3D artwork that is absolutely stunning to behold. There are also a lot of informative articles and useful tutorials there. Furthermore, we like http://www.sumaleth.com/links/ It’s an amazing digital art database full of tutorials and cool sites.

What are you plans for the future?
We do not know for certain what the future will unveil. We would love to do a creator-owned project one day. Also, working in the gaming or movie industry would be a dream come true. As of now, we are focusing on our education, personal art development and several projects.

Thanks for the conversation. It was very interesting. Best regards!
Thanks, it was a pleasure!

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