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INTERVIEW WITH Zach Bush

10: World Exhibition II

May 9th, 2009

slashTHREE would like to underline the impressive dedication and hard work of Zach Bush (alias zbush) as this release's featured artist.


Saad Moosajee:
Zach, congratulations on your feature for our 10th release, "World Exhibition II!" Please introduce yourself and tell us a little a bit about you.

Zach Bush:
Thanks a lot for the feature! I am very honored to be interviewed by the group! Well my name is Zach Bush and I am 23. I grew up in a military family so I have been traveling all my life and I was into art ever since I was little kid. I was introduced to graphic design in 2006 when I offered a job to do web design and from then on I have been challenging myself to learn as much as I can.

Saad Moosajee:
Ah cool indeed, so what sort of process do you go through when creating a piece of art for the typical slashthree exhibition?

Zach Bush:
Well the first thing I do is look online for inspiration. It doesn't really matter what type, I mainly watch upcoming movie trailers or just view famous artists' works that I really like.

Saad Moosajee:
Alright, and when viewing the artwork from those artists or searching for inspiration, do you incorporate a lot of the aesthetics you see or do you use them as pure motivation for creating something great?

Zach Bush:
Mainly just motivation. I have many ideas in my head and I like to keep my works as close to original as I can.

Saad Moosajee:
Ah ok great, who would you say is your biggest inspiration of all time?

Zach Bush:
Well that would have to be my favorite artist, Dylan Cole. The stuff that he creates is incredibly detailed and I loved detailed works of art.

Saad Moosajee:
Dylan Cole has achieved some spectacular things as a matte painter, are you hoping to follow a similar path in terms of your career or a different one?

Zach Bush:
Oh man, that would be a dream come true for me. I guess that is what I am shooting for but I still think I have a lot to learn before I can even compete with that level of expertise.

Saad Moosajee:
Ah, very humble tongue. On a different note, we see that you mainly work in a style that combines photo manipulation and painting, but not quite matte painting. Is this your preferred style? have you ever wished you could do a different medium or style?

Zach Bush:
Well my two favorite styles are matte painting and concept art. I stick with the combination of photo manipulation and painting because I believe that's what I am skilled the most in right now. Once I become better at matte painting and concept art, those are the two things I will focus on, but I do like to branch out and try new things every once in a while to keep my skills well rounded.

Saad Moosajee:
Of your three pieces, 2 were this blend of photomanipulation and painting, and one was a concept painting with no references, of the three what is your personal favorite?

Zach Bush:
Morning Mist is definitely my favorite by far. I just had a lot of fun creating that piece and it turned out exactly how I wanted it to.

Saad Moosajee:
Ah good, I agree. Alright, switching topics again then. What is your standard on digital artists with no traditional background? Do you believe that being traditionally talented helps when creating a digital work and vice versa?

Zach Bush:
Yes, it is always helpful. Depending on what type of style you want to get into it can help out a great deal! I keep hearing professional matte painters say that it is really good to have a background in painting and drawing because painting will help with digital painting and drawing will help with laying out the piece to look exactly how you want it to.

Saad Moosajee:
Ah good, I agree with your response. Do you think in the future you will get into traditional painting then, or explore other mediums in general?

Zach Bush:
I would really like to get back into painting, but honestly it may not be for a while. Whenever I try to venture off and try a different medium, like painting, I feel that it takes to long and I like to see results fast so I get back onto the computer and bring my idea to life.

Saad Moosajee:
You attended Radford, which produces some very fine illustrators. Do you feel the training you received there helped you to become the artist you are today?

Zach Bush:
Hahaha, I think I need to be careful how I answer this. My professor(s) might be reading this. Radford was great for teaching me the basics and how to use the programs in general but I wanted to learn more than the basics so I would spend lots of my free time at the computer going through online tutorials and just messing around with the programs I wanted to learn myself.

Saad Moosajee:
So if someone asked you if you were self taught, would you essentially say yes?

Zach Bush:
But I think that goes for anything you want to get better in. You just can't expect for someone to make you better. You have to push yourself to get better if you are really serious about what you do.

Zach Bush:
I would say the works that I create now, yes. But I learned the how to use the programs at college.

Saad Moosajee:
Ah alright, and lastly, would you recommend to younger artists who are hoping to be illustrators in the future to follow the path of a college course or to apply themselves rigorously and be self taught?

Zach Bush:
I would say both. If you want to continue a career in graphic design most design places won't even consider you without a degree in art (at least the places I have seen). And like a said before, if you are really serious about art you need to push yourself and learn new things. I think the most important thing of all is you need to have good ideas. I have been asked quite a few times how I create my works, and it comes down to having a good idea before you even start. If you don't have that, you won't see good results most of the time.

Saad Moosajee:
Could you give us a breakdown of the Morning Mist piece, from brainstorming to completion?

Zach Bush:
Well I know I wanted to use something involving turtles because I like the way they look. Since their home is there shell I thought I would make the shell itself home for a small village. So I searched online for images of turtles large enough to work with and I found these three. Once I found them, I looked for the base image that I was going to use and then started working on blending them together so they would fit. Then I just started painting and adding other images that I thought would help sell the idea of a very calm and enchanted world.

Saad Moosajee:
Thank you for this interview Zach; any last words for the guys reading this?

Zach Bush:
Thank you for the opportunity! I would just say that don't get discouraged by seeing other people's works because there is always going to be someone out there who is more talented. Instead push yourself to improve your skills by learning on your own and getting good critique, and being able to handle it. Really good talent doesn't come easy, you have to practice! Thanks again!