GuildMag issue #8



Featured Artist: Charlie Dayman

For this issue we have a rather special artist, as in my personal view he is one of the best and most talented amongst the Guild Wars fan artists. If you are familiar with his work you will probably agree. We have already featured some of his work in a previous issue of GuildMag, but we did not interview him back then. The artist is Charlie Dayman. If you have never 'walked' through his thread on Guild Wars Guru I would advise you to do so, even if you are not really into art, as I am fairly sure everybody can appreciate cool artwork.

We had a chat with Charlie and asked him the following questions, and apart from a good artist he is also rather witty, as those familiar with him might already know. But enough of me talking, here is the interview in which you will hopefully get to know Charlie a bit better.

GuildMag: Can you tell us a little bit about your IRL self?
Charlie Dayman: I'm a student enrolled at California State Long Beach, currently pursuing an art degree till' death or madness take me.

GuildMag: So you are busy with your study, which is art related, can you fill us in on what sort of study you are doing, and what they have you do?
Charlie Dayman: My degree path requires that I delve into various fields of art, not just illustration. It's a good way to branch out and get involved with methods outside of your comfort zone. This previous semester I had an advanced ceramics, character design, and an illustration course. The ceramics class allowed students a lot of freedom in what they could make, and additional studies in glazing formulas. The "Executioner" statue was my favourite project from the course.

Character design was focused on a character and environmental redesign of "The Wizard of Oz". This was probably one of my most challenging classes as it was geared towards animation, and forced me to create an entirely new drawing style. Rather than just drawing cool looking characters, our professor taught us how to approach characters design in far more dynamic ways through shape, posture, personality and context. It was extremely work demanding, but one of the most fun learning experiences I've had. Illustration provided assignments through mock commission requests and introduced us to freelance projects. It was also a review on colour theory and compositional skills.

GuildMag: Do you aspire to work in the game industry after your study, or will any art related job do?
Charlie Dayman: Ideally, I hope to find a spot on an art team geared towards game development - especially one like ArenaNet. There's a lot of amazing artists out there though, so I'm still keeping other doors open if that doesn't work out.

GuildMag: What is your favourite art form? Do you have a favourite medium for your art?
Charlie Dayman: I don't think I really have any one single favourite art style. Normally I look to the Classics, but recently I've been completely taken in with contemporary folks like Mary Blair and Earl Oliver Hurst. It all really just depends on my mood and what it is I'm working on at the time.

As for my favourite medium, I love working digitally. It allows me to be more experimental in terms of how I draw and is significantly cheaper than traditional mediums (starving college student). However, it's not an end-all solution as digital work cannot replicate the beautiful surface textures you can get through painting or other methods. It's always good practice to use other mediums to keep yourself from getting bored.

GuildMag: Any advice for aspiring artist on how to progress their skills?
Charlie Dayman: You're only an artist so long as you're making art. Keep practicing as often as you can. If you start to get bored in one style, then start looking at others you find interesting. Analyze those traits you like, and interpret them through your own unique voice.

GuildMag: If any of our readers would like to check out any of your art, where should they go?
Charlie Dayman: They could go to ‘my’ thread on guildwarsguru; or check out my gallery on deviant art.

GuildMag: When did you join Guild Wars?
Charlie Dayman: I think it was around Spring 09' when my brother introduced me to the game. I was never heavily involved with RPGs, so I didn't expect to get that attached to GW. I loved games with a heavy dose of historical influence like the Total War and Dynasty/Samurai Warrior series, and the all-out-battle vibe they had to them. It wasn't until I loaded up Factions that I picked up on that feeling and started to get way more involved.

GuildMag: Do you have a favourite profession?
Charlie Dayman: Definitely a Warrior. Playing casters can be a lot of fun, but bludgeoning your enemy to death is far more satisfying. It also goes back to my love for ancient warfare - Hoplites, Samurai, Teutonic Knights, Praetorians, Gladiators, etc. The warriors and front-liners were always the most fascinating characters, with the best looking armour.

GuildMag: Did you do art before you started making Guild Wars related art?
Charlie Dayman: Yes, like many others I've been drawing for as long as I can remember.

GuildMag: When did you start making Guild Wars related Art? (was there a special occasion that sparked it?)
Charlie Dayman: It was the 09' Halloween Workshop contest hosted by Tzu that sparked my interest in fantasy and GW related art. It was also that thread that introduced me to the Nolani board and GW art community.

GuildMag: Have you ever participated in a Guild Wars art contest, and did you ever win a prize with your Guild Wars art?
Charlie Dayman: Yes, in the 2010 Halloween Art Contest where I submitted a semi-animated piece referencing Stanley Kubrick's classic "The Shining". The piece was named "Panic", and was a first-time experiment with both simple animation and custom sound editing. I was extremely excited about winning an "Art of Guild Wars" book signed by their entire art team. A prize like that is worth getting into a fist fight for.

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GuildMag: In your thread on guildwarsguru I saw you also got a 'mention' on deviant-art, what was that about?
Charlie Dayman: That would be a Daily Deviation - a daily gallery featuring a number of artists and one of their works. Artwork is suggested to the team in charge of the DD catalog, and they in turn choose which works will be shown that day. It's a nice way of getting your work circulated and shown to a larger audience.

I was featured sometime in Fall 10' for my "Confrontation at the Skyway" piece. This was a little less than a year after I had begun painting digitally, so I was still working out the kinks in Photoshop. Either way, the DD certainly helped boost my gallery views and number of followers. Looking back at last year's paintings, I'm hoping to get another DD on something much nicer and more recent. We'll see with the next piece I'm working on.

GuildMag: We hope we will be seeing you (and your art) in Guild Wars 2. Do you have any idea on what sort of character (race, profession) you will play?
Charlie Dayman: You'll definitely find me running around on the day of release. As far as race/profession combos go, I'm looking at a Human/War, Charr/Thief, Norn/Ranger, and Sylvari/Guardian.

GuildMag: If you could ask yourself one question, what would it be?
Charlie Dayman: Pirates or Ninjas?

GuildMag: And what would be the answer to that question?
Charlie Dayman: Pirate ninjas.

GuildMag: Anything else you would like to share with our readers/your fans?

GuildMag: Thank you for your time and interview, it was an honour to feature you in our Mag.
Charlie Dayman: No worries, thanks for the questions!
GuildMag: And thank you for your art.

Seeing we could only put one animated work of art in this interview, we choose to feature his price winning work 'Panic'. But as I was doing my background research I stumbled upon this animated piece that I just don't want to withhold from our readers. So follow the link and enjoy!

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