The Career Path of Marek Denko
This month's featured artist is the hugely talented Marek Denko. Currently a successful freelance artist who's worked for the likes of Blur Studios, Marek provides a bite-sized insight into the path has career has taken, and also offers advice to those looking to follow in his footsteps and make their mark in the digital painting industry.
What were your childhood inspirations and earliest artistic memory?
I remember my grandfather as a very good painter. He had a few paintings on the old garage's walls and that place held a magical mood for me.
What training have you had (if any)?
I didn't have any, so I was always learning and building from my own mistakes and success. I'm not saying it's the only way though; schools are surely cool and inspirational places to be.
Are there any particular schools or courses that you'd recommend?
There weren't any schools for digital art when I was young. They started to pop up when I was at university, so I didn't have a chance to take that train.
What was your first job in the industry and how did you get it?
I think it was some low poly modeling for a company in Bratislava. Just freelance. They liked my work, so we decided to try something together.
What can people expect from working in the industry?
Lot of work. Tight deadlines. Bad-ass client notes. Competition!
What are the key things that a great portfolio must have?
It should be honest. Done with love and sweat.
What is your current workspace like?
It's a table with two monitors, a good chair, a nice view, with a bed and few computers behind me.
Where would you like to be in five years' time?
Alive would be just fine! I already have pretty much all I ever wanted. Fingers crossed (Laughs).
Looking back with the benefit of your experience, are there are things you wish you had done differently, in terms of your career?
Can't find any. It looks good as it was. I'm not one for looking back really.
If you could give one piece of advice to people looking to break into the industry, what would it be?
I'm not sure who the original author of this was, but I like the advice: do a little more than your neighbor everyday and success will find you. Wake up early. Constantly do what you want to be good at. There is no stopping. Even if you lack a particular talent you can do a lot with brute force if you push it.
To see more by Marek Denko, check out Digital Art Masters: Volume 9
Digital Art Masters: Volume 8
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection