DG: What’s up, Adam? Let’s start with a little intro.
Spizak: Hi Darshan, I’m a Visual Designer & Illustrator. My work combines my two passions of drawing & 3D design. I’m also a full time UI Designer for a finance market.
DG: You’ve been making a lot of photo manipulations around fantasy & sci-fi. What drives you towards such awesome stuff?
Spizak: Think it’s just how I grew up – reading a lot of sci-fi books (like Frank Herbert’s “Dune”), watching sci-fi movies & playing video games. Sci-Fi is still one of my fave themes to get inspiration from.
DG: Fantasy & science fiction is all about vision & imagination, it doesn’t come that easily to everyone. I’m sure your design process must be asking a lot of thinking. How is it to design fantasy? How’s your design process?
Spizak: Embracing narrative is something I always loved, but not through extensive exposition but rather via hints & clues. This idea of storytelling is something that always resides in my brain when trying to make new illustrations & that is also the especial step for me to build anything new. All new work starts from basic idea & from there I ask basic questions about narrative & characters, etc. A game which I call “Why is the zebra white?”, where you assume there’s a white zebra & you ask questions why is it white? The more, the better i.e. is it in fancy dressing? Is it scared & it lost its stripes? Is it from space? Was it running really fast?
Asking these questions helps me come up with ideas that help with the image.
DG: What’s inside your design stack?
Spizak: I use Photoshop as my hub tool for 2D work, where I do 95% of actual design process – for 3D, Photoshop is where I combine my work & use it to add post production & all sort of effects. Designing in 3D is where I often start these days & it’s primarily ZBrush & Cinema 4D. ZBrush is where I would do most of my modelling & explorations, leaving Cinema 4D for particles & physics based simulations. I also use Cinema 4D for rendering my output.
DG: Your “Why Do We Fall – Batman” & “Adobe Cannes Lions” are some of my personal favorites. What’s the story behind these beautiful pieces of design?
Spizak: Batman came from the idea that Bruce Wayne & Batman are really essentially a creature made from one same material & from that point of view, they are growing out of each other. As for the Adobe Cannes Lions, it’s very much based on the brief – brief was to create a signature representation of the lion using my own style. I do believe that when it comes to working for a client – the brief is the king & in that sense it should be respected as the most basic guideline. From a creative perspective, I was looking at Egyptian monuments, masks & pharaohs. Hence, the gold bits & the shape of the jar resembling sarcophagus.
DG: For how long have you been designing? And what first dragged you into design?
Spizak: Back in early 90s, Amiga demo scene was very active & I as growing up watching all the crazy intro, demos & illustrations – that was definitely when I’d decided I wanted to try making something myself.
Purely on design note however, I think what got me into design was the idea of problem solving, finding something challenging & then finding a way to solve it.
DG: The appreciation for your designs on the internet & your followers count on Behance is fantabulous. How does it feel to be such a celebrated artist?
Spizak: It’s great & I do appreciate it very much, but… you’re as good as your last work. That’s the truth of design & in that spirit, I always do my best when working on something new.
DG: Is freelancing your full time work or are you associated with some design agency or something of that sort?
Spizak: My freelance is my off-time & comes mainly at the cost of my free time & sleep 😉 My daytime job is with a finance company, where I help solving visual issues within a vast platform of applications. It’s a very challenging & rewording role & reminds me often how we (as designers) can take some of our basic principles for granted. Dealing with clients that often have not only no design knowledge, but also – very often don’t want design inputs. This kind of task can be very interesting a problem to solve.
DG: There are ample amount of people on the internet who believe in giving back to the society & they practice it by sharing some of their design work as freebies. What’s your take on this ideology?
Spizak: Yeah, I think it’s a cool idea & from my own perspective that’s why I share wallpapers & any assets I think I can. I did try making videos (some are still available on Vimeo), but unfortunately it takes a lot of time & I’m unable to do it any more.
DG: Apart from your awesome photo manipulation & 3D designing, is there anything else in design that interests you?
Spizak: Pretty much anything – natural media like paints, I love old-school craftsmanship. I also have a great passion for UI design as something fairly knew.
DG: Without a doubt, you’re one of the best in the business. You’re so damn good at doing what you do. It had be great if you could share some experts’ advice with the up & coming artists of tomorrow.
Spizak: Yeah, thanks. The most important piece of advice I can give would be: Things are often not as easy as they seem in the beginning & that’s okay. When working on a project, you’ll get to a point where you just feel like you’re stuck & the truth is – it happens to very senior designers as well, almost as often as it does to junior designers. In my mind the only difference between junior designers & senior designs is that senior designers know it can happen & it’s fine. You just have to try something new or just try again & you’ll get through it. Don’t give up, hardness is part of the fun.
Rapid Fire Round:
What if Superman kills Batman in Batman V Superman?
Well, that would be another reason to not like Zack Snyder (Just after the first one, where he made the Superman a mass murderer in Man of Steel).
A good designer is one who ____.
Doesn’t give up.
A few words for the people who ask for free design work?
I think it’s fine sometimes (like charities), but for the most part I would say: “You do pay when you go to restaurant, no? Okay then.”
World will be _____ without design.
Hard to say, but almost impossible to imagine.
Internet is ____.
Adobe is _____.
What happens when you don’t listen to user feedback.
Favorite Superhero other than Batman?
Darshan is ____.
Adam has done great justice to this Conversation, hasn’t he? He has always inspired me with his unique design style & creative thought process. I hope his work might inspire you as well. Thank you for the enlightenment, Adam. Thank you for everything.