In this occasion I bring you *sandara, creator of hades and persephone 2
What got you interested in the graphic arts in the first place, and what motivated you to take it more seriously?
Aha... it was actually the game Final Fantasy 7. It was the first 3D game I've ever played and the story, characters and art made a huge impression on me. Before that game, the only art I did was watercolors: Still-life drawings, life paintings, and stuff like that. I had not realized that you could do art like that (FF7).
Even though FF7 made a huge impression on me, I still didn't think that I could be an artist professionally as game studios were unheard of in my country in those days and parents actually looked down on drawing as just a child's hobby. There were also no schools (well, only 1 and it was a very new course back then) offering such programs.
It was only years later (and after I got a Diploma in Engineering, of all things) that the industry started up here and I finally got a job as a concept artist for a kid's TV series. After that I joined KOEI and have never looked back.
Another huge motivation were actually the people who commissioned me in those early days. I was actually selling my artwork! And that was a huge boost to my confidence that I could make it in this field. If you reading this and you had ever commissioned art from me way back in 2003, 2004, I thank you.
All of us artist experience the so called "Art block" once in a while. What do you do to find inspiration when you need it?
When I am stuck in my personal art, I usually just switch to working on my freelance/paid work. After some time, I will feel my inspiration come back to me. Taking a break off from painting and art for a couple of days helps too.
I usually find inspiration when I am not doing anything that requires thinking. Like when I'm on the train or in the shower. I like to mull over things I've read or heard, sometimes an idea will come to me and I will actually visualize the image to maybe 70-80% in my mind before committing it to pixels.
Your work is greatly focused on fantasy and mythical creatures (and you're very good at it!) What made you choose the fantasy realm as your main focus?
I guess it's because I loved reading fantasy books. I've been reading ever since I could remember. I also love animals, so it's a small step from drawing real animals to drawing fantasy creatures. And the games I play are usually of the fantasy genre too.
How did you discover deviantArt and what made you stay? Is there something you like the most about it? What about something you would like to change from it?
I was surfing around and happened on to DA. I actually had a personal art website, but I decided to give DA a try and when I did, I realized that it was just so much easier to post art here than on my own website. And it's always nice to have comments and feedback from other artists and viewers here. I have been using DA ever since.