Adam Priester, a visual artist and designer born in Germany, raised in Sweden shares his work and thoughts with us. Visurreal, brilliant, feminine and masculine dualities of life, death and the mythology of it all. Adam leads us, the viewer through a maze of never ending darkness, yet dazzling bursts of light appear…
Q: Hi Adam, What draws you to the darker side of art? Your latest short film seems to be virus related with a mix of religious and war iconography. Do you have a specific ideology or story you are trying to portray with “Thoughts” and also with “Hallow”?
ADAM: I’ve really always been more drawn towards the darker side of things since i was a child, it’s hard to pinpoint when that started or where it had its roots. But for example, i remember being enthralled by the cover of a Swedish copy of ‘The Two Towers’ – it had Uruk-hais, orcs, wargs and more on the cover and was just great to start spawning ideas in my young mind.
Growing up in Sweden also meant going through a whole bunch of very long and dark winter seasons, perhaps that might have had something to do with it.
As for what I’m trying to portray in my more recent work, I used to be more open about the story and perhaps ideology but i find that trying to condense my thoughts into a short a few sentences usually does it more of a disservice than anything else.
“Hallow” is about the creation of an idea and “Thoughts” is really meant to be more of a non-narrative, i love the idea of the viewer interpreting my work and creating their own meaning. For my next short I’d like the main theme to be ‘the present moment’.
Q. When did you know you wanted to create art, at what age? Were you always aware of being an artist or what was the specific catalyst? What was your formal education, did you study 3D in school?
I’ve always had an urge to create art since, well, forever. In my early school years i would always be known as the kid to talk to if you wanted a drawing made. For my close friend group i would create ‘game manuals’ for playtime, designing fictional worlds with inhabitants and rules.
Eventually, I ended up studying a program called Design & Sustainability in Växjö in Sweden. Here I was introduced to thinking academically, something i hated at the time and treasured after graduating, as well as realizing just how much of everything design encompasses.
In my last year of my university studies, I started to pursue digital art as a means of getting some passive income, selling prints and the like on various print on demand sites.
On one of those sites I came across a certain Mike Winkelmann – and I was amazed. I had no idea how he created his images, and at such a frequency! Was it paintings? Photobashing? No, it was made with Cinema 4D, a computer software for generating 3D-graphics.
I started to incorporate 3D into my uni work, as a way to present projects, and eventually i used it to create my degree project.
After uni i attended the motion design program at Hyper Island in Karlskrona, Sweden. There I learned about motion design principles, got experience working in teams with a variety of different personalities, and, perhaps most importantly – having a lot of time for self studies.
Q: There is a side of your art that is also very soft and feminine- I see a duality in your art almost a struggle of light and dark, yin and yang perhaps? Do you find this balance in your work is a reflection of your personal life or is it more about the world around you?
ADAM: That’s a really good question, and very hard to answer. I believe working with contrasts is powerful, and most likely something i do without even thinking about it. As for the feminine, perhaps i use this to express emotions I otherwise wouldn’t.
Q. As for the process of your art, can you go into how you create? Do you write out or sketch out ideas? Or do you just start creating digitally with little to no concept? Which software do you use and how would you typically get inspired to create?
ADAM: If I am creating something with an actual meaning behind it, and not just trying new things out in Houdini I will sketch and concept a lot on paper and in words. I use physical notebooks for that and just ramble, to take quick notes i use my phone and Evernote. For me sketching is quite important, and being able to translate a sketch into 3D is a really cool feeling.
I work mostly in Houdini, but i don’t see the need to be confined to a single software, except for the cost of buying said software.
I’m not sure I get inspired a lot, i wish i did, but most of the time i have to struggle to create something i want to create. If that makes sense. Once I am in a creative mood, the best place to get ideas is away from work, at the gym or in the shower. Sometimes from dreams.
Q: Where do you get the soundtrack, music and effects for your short films? Do you work with specific composers or create the music yourself? How do you think that adds to your intentions for each piece?
ADAM: I will license music or find music that I can use for free, then i combine that with my library of sound effects that I’ve gathered from various sources over the years.
I really enjoy the sound editing part of projects, and usually I will not have much more than a very vague idea when starting. I enjoy letting this part of the project shape the overall project quite a lot, it usually takes unexpected turns.
Q: Lastly, where do you see your art going from here? What goals do you have for your art and professional life?
ADAM: I really want to continue creating short films as well as more extensive RnD to share with followers. If i could create two short films a year that would be the best. One non-narrative and one more story driven, do that for a period of time and then start working on something more complete, perhaps spanning several years. I would also like to get back to making stills for print.
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We hope you enjoyed our interview with Adam Priester as much as we did, to learn more about Adam please check out his links above and stay tuned for his upcoming CGCircuit tutorial!
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About the Author:
Lori Hammond, CG Circuit
Author & Content Producer
Experienced multi-talented Artist/Designer/Blogger with an extensive background in the Arts & Entertainment Industry(Animation, VFX, Game & Product Design)