Ronan Le Fur AKA DOFRESH is one of our original Bashers, the grand prize winner for the Warzone #KB3DCONTEST, and has an impressive client list that includes Framestore, Ubisoft, Focus Home Interactive, Unit Image, HarperCollins, Axis animation, Epic Games, and Passion Pictures among others. While we missed an entry from Ronan for the Cyberpunk #KB3Dcontest because he got slammed with client work (others artists perhaps were happy he didn't enter!), Ronan made an incredible Cyberpunk piece for fun and decided to share it with us! While we eagerly wait for the Post-Apocalypse #KB3Dcontest results, check out the talented Ronan's process and insights below.
Ronan, there's quite a bit of detail and explosive stories happening in this particular image. What's the story behind it?
For this cyberpunk image, I really did not want to use the usual visual library of the genre (neon kanjis, night rainy city, flying cars, etc...), but instead tried to give a sunny (and nevertheless brutal) mood to the image. I wanted to evoke a feeling of overwhelming chaos. The cyberpunk genre is (at least in its literary form) always dealing with the social and technological issues of a society on the edge of collapse, it’s a slight exaggeration of our own present with a strong political (and sometimes satirical) component. By many aspects, the creators of the genre in the ’80s had anticipated the world we are currently living in (megacorporations, ecological collapse, the rise of A.I., computer networks, globalization and so on). This is my vision of a brutal cyberpunk society, under a shining sun (the Ozone layer is dead) and since I do not like to take things too seriously there are also a few easter eggs in the picture.
The easter eggs are fantastic! What's your process before starting an image like this?
I start by taking a bit of time to let the ideas flow, and try to find what comes in my mind spontaneously. Once I have a few hints, I make some (very loose) digital or traditional sketches in order to find a composition, some masses, and movement in the image. I rarely use references as a starting point, they often come a bit later in the process, when I need precise details. Once I am happy with these first drafts, I jump into a 3d software to convert the initial sketches into a more defined 3d scene (and this is where KB3D kits are very convenient).
After the 3d phase, next comes the 2d phase again, where I paint over the 3d renders in Photoshop. It allows me to break up the sharp and cold render of the 3d in order to get a more painterly effect.
And for the record I used the following kits:
Glad we have you on record saying that. How long have you been an artist for, Ronan?
I have always been passionate about pictures and cinematography, and I have been a professional artist for around 15 years now. During the first ten years of my career, I worked as a CG artist specializing in lighting and textures (mostly for advertising and video game cinematics). With time and experience, I realized that the thing I preferred in all these productions was, in fact, the phase of pre-production, of visual research. Five years ago, I decided to become a freelance concept artist and illustrator. It was some kind of a leap of faith, but things have turned out very well so far and I do not regret my decision (at all!).
And to finish up here, can you tell us why you do it? Why you make art?
I guess I make art because it allows me to tell stories to other individuals in a visual way, beyond the border of language, age or culture. This is a powerful way to evoke ideas and provoke emotions, and also a good way to explore my own visual obsessions. And it is also the only way I have found to pay the rent :)
Ronan Le Fur aka DoFresh is a freelance concept artist and illustrator open for opportunities. He has a strong artistic background with a master's degree in computer graphics, experience in video games, book cover artworks, TV and cinema productions. His clients include (among others): Framestore, Ubisoft, Focus Home Interactive, Unit Image, HarperCollins, Axis animation, Epic Games, and Passion Pictures. He does NOT work for exposure.