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Artist Journey: concept artist Arturo Gutiérrez

Arturo Gutiérrez

Digital Artist & Illustrator

“I doodle a lot and I feel like it’s an important part of growing to produce ugly things. I think maybe I enjoy drawing more than the final drawings themselves.” Concept artist Arturo Gutiérrez explains the importance of enjoying the process and finding the playfulness in drawing, as well as detailing his journey as an artist so far…

Arturo's ArtStation

3dtotal

Thank you for sharing your journey so far with our readers. Let’s begin: please introduce yourself and let us know how long ago your journey started? What drew you to art? Any early influences?

Arturo

My name is Arturo Gutiérrez, I’m a concept artist in the videogame industry and I’ve been drawing with the intent of living from it, since 2006. I’ve been studying drawing and kept at it for 15 years! I remember my dad giving me a white piece of paper and some colored pencils to entertain myself while my grandpa watched TV. My dad being a photographer, has always had a sweet tooth for the visual arts. When I told them I wanted to be an artist, they were not surprised… all my notebooks had more drawings than notes in them.

My early influences were the series and movies we watched with my siblings, really. Mostly StarWars, X-Men, Magic Knights Rayearth, Evangelion… and some amazing illustrated books that were lying all around the house.

imagination storytelling fictional book imagery illustrations
This is probably why I got into concept art, to begin with. I didn’t really know it was concept art, to me it was just imagination and telling a story. Gnomes by Rien Poortvliet & Wil Huygen.

3dtotal

Do you still have any early artwork? We’d love to see your early work, be they digital or traditional. How do you feel about these works now?

Arturo

My mom has helped me keep a record of every single drawing I’ve done. Not exaggerating. So yeah! I still have them all. I feel really proud actually. I know there are tons of things I would do differently now, but I remember how I felt when I was doing them, and that sensation was amazing! I used to study a lot of other artist’s images, and also colored a bunch of line-arts around DeviantArt. They slowly started to morph into my own images, but I still feel the same way and still vividly recognize the kid in me.

sketch illustration skull drawing deviantart 2d
I’ve always liked high-contrast images, and the dark undertone really fits with me.

3dtotal

What training or learning did you do in those beginning stages? Could you see your progression?

Arturo

I remember being addicted to drawing what I was seeing, buildings in particular. When I got to the human body, it was all blocky and… well… like a building. So I started getting into hero comic books to get these amazingly dynamic poses and it helped a lot. I saw my progression but wasn’t really worried about progressing really. I was mostly interested in turning my hand into a mind-printer. And with every step, I got a bit closer.

3dtotal

Can we see some of your progression artwork? Where did you think you were improving? And where did you need to improve upon?

Arturo

Sure thing! I believe at first, I was too concerned with making every part of the image detailed and kind of… overt, self-evident, and “mansplained” if that makes any sense. I started understanding that the viewer’s mind is really good at filling the voids of the image, with information from the rest of the image or from the rest of the universe. That made me chill a bit on the details, and made my job easier. Although I’m back at drawing every detail, just because it’s fun, even if unnecessary.

3dtotal

Were you always happy with what you produced, or was there a turning point where you thought; “This is it, I’ve made it!”?

Arturo

Well, from the first drawing I made, I felt like I had made it. There’s really no better feeling than making your mind visible to others, and others enjoying it. That said, that doesn’t mean I believe my drawings are perfect (not that there’s such a thing). I’ve always been happy with my drawings, even if they were really “bad.” I doodle a lot and I feel like it’s an important part of growing to produce ugly things. I think maybe I enjoy drawing more than the final drawings themselves.

3dtotal

Which piece are you most proud of, and why?

Arturo

It’s a tough question to answer. Partly because I want to be fair to all my drawings. I believe this image is one of the most perfect moments in my life, represented. I took a while to memorize what I was seeing in order to draw it and be faithful to what I was seeing. A lot of people tell me its levels are wrong and the color could be more saturated, but then it wouldn’t represent what I was living. I’m really proud of it, even if it’s a “weak” image, and I guess that’s why I would pick this one.

sketch digital art underwater people design
It’s an image about my friends taking a vacation at a friend’s vacation house. Being underwater is a whole experience in itself.

3dtotal

What advice would you give to any of our readers who are just beginning their journey now?

Arturo

I would tell them to feel their work humbly but unapologetically. I have had the luck to find friends and mentors that tell me without a second’s hesitation, what they truly think of an image.

I value that a lot. I would urge them to remember the playfulness in drawing and let go a bit of the “formal” drawing.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Arturo

I am starting a new journey again this year. I’m going to start streaming my processes weekly on Twitch Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm (GMT-5) at arthur_draws and letting my Patreon grow with Art Mentorships. I’ll stream illustration and study processes. I have opened a Patreon Tier: For $25, anyone can start a mentorship with me, to get their processes and images to where they want to be, and have access to my Discord server to keep in touch. (I also set up a trial meeting of the mentorship for 7$ if anyone is unsure of the commitment of becoming a patron.)

I’m really excited about this new path and I hope I can get to help others in their process! I think it’s a good moment to start giving back.

Thank you for reading!

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