We speak to freelance concept artist, Tim Kaminski, about his colorful portfolio and how he overcomes artist block…

Tim Kaminski is a freelance concept artist currently working for Ready at Dawn Studios. He enjoys using a mix of 2D and 3D techniques and media to bring his paintings to life. Tim believes that having a narrative in mind while painting inspires his artwork, and vice versa, like an artistic positive feedback loop. He artfully combines ancient and modern tech to create beautifully vibrant and highly saturated paintings of far off worlds. Tim tells us about how his early gaming experiences have influenced him and led him down his current path…

Hi Tim, thank you for talking to 2dartist! Can you kick things off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your work?

TK: Hey there, thanks for having me! As with a lot of other artist I started drawing at a very young age. Mainly I drew birds – for some reason it was always birds – I still frequently add birds to my paintings with the good old bird brush. During my frenzied bird drawing days my family owned a dairy farm and sawmill that I helped out with by cleaning the mill and shoveling manure. However, as I wanted to keep all of my limbs, I was eager to get into a different line of work and art was the perfect choice for me.

It took me a little while to end up where I am now (an environment concept artist) but I absolutely love it! I would describe my work as highly saturated; I believe the extra heaping of color helps it to stand out. I really enjoy creating worlds that blend ancient and modern tech, and with my process I combine 2D and 3D workflows into one – bouncing back and forth throughout the project.

Your works are often accompanied by a passage of text giving the images a context and narrative. How does this help you develop your ideas?

TK: They both help to develop each other; sometimes I have a glimpse of the image in my mind which inspires the narrative, and other times I have a story in mind that inspires the painting. For me they exist in parallel with one another. I think that if you have a story in your mind while painting it will come through in the small details; your imagination will be sparked to add more story elements in the image and think more thoroughly while painting.

What made you want to pursue a career in the industry?

TK: Definitely playing Goldeneye on the N64 when I was a kid! Also, my dad bought me a copy of Unreal Tournament for the PC and once I had played all of the content I wanted more, so I started using the editor (UnrealEd) to build my own levels.

The first level I made was a reconstruction of my house; I showed it to my mom but she wasn’t too thrilled to see all of the enemies dying in a recreation of her house – the bots were spawning over and over in the same location as I hadn’t learned how to change that part. Even though I didn’t end up going down the path of 3D environment artist, it did inspire me and lead to where I am today.

How would you describe your job to a group of aliens, who have no idea what an environment concept artist is or does?

TK: Okay, let’s assume I have already told them what painting is. I would tell them I paint what a different world might look like (or the world these aliens come from), as well as design all the objects they use in their world, or might be used in another world.


Check out the rest of Tim’s interview in issue 132!