Growing as an artist / The emotional aspect AMA

Alexander Bonk
Sep 6, 2018

Hey there!

My name is Alexander, I am 19 years old and I am a self-taught artist from Germany. I mostly paint digital portraits and I love to let my imagination go wild :)

Since I was a kid, I always felt the need to express my emotions by making stuff. At first, it was playing Legos and building all kinds of crazy creatures and machines (some of them were actually impressive). Whenever inspiration hits me, I want to express that. And so, my journey as an artist began.

Being an artist is highly emotional. I am still a beginner artist but that is one of the first things I realized when I began painting 2 years ago. Hey, if you can relate, then Ask Me Anything about the emotional aspect of creating art and/or growing as an artist.

I'm looking forward to it!

Check me out on Instagram to see all of my artwork :)

30.08.2018 jpeg.jpg

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Do you think that in order to create art, one should feel emotions strongly? Can you be an artist without having intense emotions?
Sep 8, 10:20AM EDT0


That is a very interesting question. I think you can be an artist without feeling strong emotions because art is also about technique(shading and perspective). All artists get artblock eventually and in this phase we don't feel any strong emotions yet we still make art. Before I started making art I thought I was an emotionless rock so I started learning the fundamentals which are all purely logical. After some time of drawing, I discovered that I am the exact opposite of emotionless, I am deeply emotional and I was just supressing all these feelings. To put it into a nutshell, yes, you can be an artist regardless of emotions but I believe that having intense feelings is something that can be developed.

Sep 8, 11:46AM EDT0
How would you describe your own personal style of art? Does your style ever change?
Sep 7, 8:11PM EDT0
How would you like your artistic career to unfold? What are your dreams regarding your future as an artist?
Sep 7, 5:12PM EDT0
Everytime I look at work of art, it feels like the eyes are the most communicative. Is this intentional? How important is it for an artist to get this right?
Sep 7, 2:13AM EDT0


I think it is not always intentional. Our brains tend to interprete every single detail in the eyes. Even when an artist paints the eyes incorrectly, our brains just fill in all the information for us. In this painting, I put in just as much effort into the eyes as I did for the nose and mouth. I think, putting in an extra amount of work into the eyes is not necessary because our brains do it for us.

Sep 7, 4:59AM EDT0
Do you plan what piece you will be working on or do you get creative as you start working on something?
Sep 6, 9:51PM EDT0
What is your approach to conveying actual feelings through art?
Sep 6, 7:13PM EDT0


I believe that actually feeling the emotion you want to paint while painting is the solution. It is just like good actors don't pretend to have a specific emotion, no, they really feel that emotion. But then, how do you get yourself to an emotional state? I like to listen to music which fits the emotion I am going for or I go for a walk and focus on the nature around me.

Sep 7, 5:05AM EDT0
As an artist is creativity or technique your biggest focus when creating work? Why?
Sep 6, 6:29PM EDT0
What are your personal techniques to produce anatomically accurate portraits?
Sep 6, 4:36PM EDT0


To be honest, I think my portraits are not 100% anatomically accurate. I know how to draw a human skull from any direction and I practice the planes of the face but I do not know much about face muscles. Andrew Loomis has a great approach to drawing heads. I recommend studying him, the skull and the planes of the face.

Sep 7, 5:16AM EDT0
Do some of the art pieces you work on reflect your mood at the time?
Sep 6, 2:04PM EDT0


I think my mood has a lot of influence on my artwork, especially on portraits. 

Sep 6, 3:04PM EDT0
What other art forms do you engage in?
Sep 6, 7:49AM EDT0


Besides digital painting I also draw traditionally and sometimes, I design flyers. I also play the guitar and love to sing. When I was younger, I did a lot of 3d-modeling and sculpting using the computer.

Sep 6, 10:14AM EDT0
In your experience, is art a good form of emotional therapy? What are the reasons for your answer?
Sep 6, 5:01AM EDT0


I think, yes! Emotions need a way to be expressed and art can do just that. I have seen a lot of people with depression who draw what they feel and share it online. On the one hand, art can help to let go of stress, pain and sadness, but on the other hand it is frustrating. Not every drawing is good and there are times where I think I can't draw anything at all. Also, it depends on the kind of person you are. We are all different.

Sep 6, 10:09AM EDT0
How would you describe your creative process?
Sep 6, 12:59AM EDT0
How would you describe your own art style?
Sep 5, 3:27AM EDT0


I would describe my artstyle as loose, exotic and dramatic. I really like strong contrast :)

Sep 6, 9:51AM EDT0
What other artists have had the greatest influence in your art and your personal style? How did they change your art?
Sep 4, 10:37AM EDT0


There are mainly three artists that inspire me the most: Ilya Kuvshinov, WLOP and Ross Tran. I learned a lot from each one of them and I like to do master studies using their artwork. Ilya's art introduced me into painting beautiful people(mainly woman). He is also the reason why I started to paint art at all! Then, I discovered Ross Tran who has an experemential and fun art style with very saturated colors. He is very confident with his brushstrokes and the fundamentals. I think he has made me more open to new ideas and just trying new things out. And finally, WLOP who propably has the biggest influence on me. The way he captures mood, emotion, beauty is incredible. I really like his loose painting style and the way he lights faces, there is a lot to learn from him! I can't think of anything specific that I learned from him but I think you can see his influence on my works.

Sep 6, 9:47AM EDT0
What are the most important tools in your studio that you often see yourself using while painting?
Sep 4, 2:43AM EDT0
What has been your experience and successes in marketing your work online?
Sep 4, 1:09AM EDT0
How is self-learning compared with going to school? Which do you prefer and why?
Sep 4, 12:57AM EDT0


It is difficult to answer that question because I never went to art school. I know that there are a lot of self-taught artists who are very successfull which means it is possible to learn everything yourself. But finding the right path which leads to that goal is difficult. Often, I miss the guidance of a teacher and other students I can talk to because learning at home feels kinda lonely. I would prefer going to an art-school but they are really, really expensive!

Sep 6, 10:27AM EDT0
What themes and concepts are you interested in expressing in your work?
Sep 3, 8:39PM EDT0


I like sci-fi, fashion and design, mystery, shōnen-manga and surrealism. Also, since I am a christian, I would love to paint themes like, forgiveness, sin and grace. Most of my paintings take inspiration from just one of these themes but in the future I want to put all of them together and make it my own. I also like completely new ideas which were never seen before.

Last edited @ Sep 6, 10:39AM EDT.
Sep 6, 10:35AM EDT0
Which artists, in your opinion, are able to capture a person's energy and emotion really well? What techniques do they use to do this?
Sep 3, 8:09PM EDT0
How has your art changed over time? What do you really like about your art? Which of your works is your favourite and why?
Sep 3, 3:46PM EDT0

Hi Lornale!

UUh very good question :) Here is a little story: I had a conversation with a friend which I know since kindergarten. We were talking about the times when we were in elementary school and suddenly she says to me: "You were always drawing robots on your notebook back then." The same day, just hours before our talk, I was sketching machines, mecha and robots in my sketchbook. To put it into a nutshell, my interests haven't changed that much. The faces I draw have become more realistic, the composition is better now and I have learned how perspective and color works.

What I really like about my art is the emotion which it conveys. I think I am good at drawing the image which I have in my head and the emotion I feel.

My favourite artwork has to be this painting I made recently

I like it a lot because painting it felt so natural. During the painting process, I tried not to limit myself in any way and just let it happen. This painting is not my best (technique, composition, etc...) but it is my favourite.

Sep 3, 4:57PM EDT0
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