When selecting an artist to create a piece of artwork on our November Visual Trends theme, “Machine Learning Comes to Life“, there seemed to better choice than French ‘photobasher’, concept artist and matte painter, Sebastien Hue. Fuelled by his love for science-fiction, Sebastien is pioneering digital imagery in this innovative landscape, with incredible depth and attention to detail. We spoke to him to find out more:
ADOBE STOCK: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?
Seb: My name is Sebastien Hue, I’m a French digital artist from Paris’ area. Self-taught, I started around 8 years ago when inspired by the likes of Dylan Cole and other famous matte painters. Initially I started out with Photoshop but as I put aside my drawing skills for a while I decided to learn 3D modelling as well to help me build objects or things I could not paint. I felt that environment was more my kind of thing and my passion for Science Fiction fuelled my inspiration and imagination. Formerly Community Volunteer for Deviantart Sci-Fi gallery and Staff-admin for the International Collective The Luminarium, I became officially professional freelance CG artist in 2014 and works worldwide since then for Publishing companies as well as Gaming ones.
AS: How would you describe your style and the techniques you use?
Seb: I don’t know if I do really have a style but it’s a great compliment if so. I would say my style turns towards photorealistic environments and keyframes. That is why my main technique is to use stock photos to achieve this kind of result. I really like to start from sketch painting, then to speed up the process, photobash with some textures and stocks and then paint over to blend everything together.
AS: Where do you look for when needing a shot of inspiration?
Seb: I have several resources to find inspiration but simply browsing for photo references can trigger inspiration. I follow many artists through social media and so it’s part of an inspiration loop as well. Movies are a strong source of inspiration too, so very often I draw some thumbnails on my sketchbook when I see a cool keyframe when watching a movie. Then my sketchbook becomes my own inspiration database.
AS: What’s been your biggest challenge to overcome in the design industry?
Seb: There were so many challenges but the biggest one was to change my life career from logistics to art freelancing. I worked so hard just to be able to make that U-turn and actually live from my art. I think my will to change my pro situation was stronger than all, this will was driven by the passion to learn which turned the hard work into a positive need to become a better artist and produce better and better artworks.
AS: What are your perceptions of stock images, and do you think the perception is changing?
Seb: My perception is that all means are good to produce efficient and appealing art in an industry that wants things in a minimal time with the best quality. So I don’t consider using stock images as cheating, it’s a technique like many others. Some would use 3D instead. So yes I think the perception is changing indeed.
AS: What artists and designers should we be following?
Seb: Those you want badly to be like (laugh). The question is to know your own art path first and what you are the best at. Follow the artists who inspire you so much that it’s a natural source of inspiration for you. Don’t feel crushed by the level of the artist, on the contrary take it as a target and a challenge to take.
AS: What features did you most like the most about using Adobe Stock?
Seb: The synchronization of the stocks you saved on the internet and Photoshop. Having access to Adobe Stock directly from Photoshop is a great tool and time saver. The pre-visualisation of the images you did not license is great as well. You can quickly do some roughs with those and then license the stocks you will actually use in the end.
AS: What’s been your favorite project to work on to date?
Seb: My favorite project is the one I am currently working on. I am concept artist in a French studio specialized in TV shows and live performance graphic layouts and screen animations. I’m working in-house with 3D modellers and motion designers on the next tour of a very famous rock pop French band from the 80s. It’s a big project in which I do concept designs and concept arts, I can’t wait to see it live In Paris Bercy next year.
AS: What music do you currently listen to whilst working (if any!)?
Seb: It depends on my mood but the music does not really influence my painting. It goes from metal music, score music, blues, pop and classical music. What is certain is that I barely work without any music playing.
AS: What design trends should we be looking out for in 2018?
Seb: Honestly I try not to follow too much of a trend that would influence my work. I simply hope that the trend to produce sci-fi games, films and art covers won’t be running out of breath.