Interview with Digital Artist Amalia Chitulescu
Those of you familiar with the Heroes of Ravenford have seen those magnificent covers. Well, recently they have gotten a spectacular typography upgrade, all due to the talents of a new artist I’ve had the pleasure of meeting—Amalia Chitulescu!
My author friend, Shannon, had been a longtime admirer of Amalia’s, who does both digital cover art and typography. Shannon reached out to her to have the typography done for her new series, the Oracle’s Path. When I saw how gorgeous it was, I couldn’t resist seeing if I could have Heroes updated by this new artist. I got her contact information, and she turned out to be as nice as my cover artist, Jackson, and equally as talented.
Anyway, with all that being said, here she is, the amazing and talented Amalia Chitulescu:
Q: Hi Amalia! Thanks for stopping by to chat with us today. Let’s start from the beginning. What first drew you into the artworld? Was drawing something you have always done or is it a more recent talent that you discovered?
A: Hello Frank! Thank you very much for this opportunity!
My influences to art comes from childhood, I had an intense curiosity and imagination for drawing, I also loved very much painting classes at school. When I first started to work in Photoshop, I was only fourteen.
The artwork below was done on 12th of November 2009. How time flies!! 10+ years.
Q: I can see you were talented even then. So, did you start off small and grow into being a full time artist? Or did you get a “big break” that led you down this path?
A: Yes somehow. I started at a quite young age, when digital art was just beginning to grow. It all started with an account on DeviantArt, back in 2008. I didn't know what to expect, regarding my future, but I knew that from the moment I saw a digital artwork by one member, I began to be interested in how I can create such works. I started from the very “bottom”, working only for my gallery, earning very little just from image sales. In 2010 the first author contacted me for a book cover and since then I have formed my dream, the dream that I am living today. At the moment I do not work full time, actually I am but…I am still a student, the school made me busy for a long time, although in the last year it has been lighter and allowed me to focus more on the covers. Starting this year, I can say that I will work full time, only in this area!
Q: That's fantastic that you get to live your dream! Not many of us can say that. Now let’s flash forward X number of years to experienced artist Amalia. What is a typical day like for you? Do you have a standard process for each commission?
A: A normal day begins with a cup of coffee ^. ^. After that, the long day begins. In most cases, I am very focused and I work from 9-10 AM, until 1 AM at night. When I work a lot (recently, I always work a lot), I can barely concentrate on anything else beside the cover artwork. Sometimes I even forget to eat for hours. For me, the day goes by quite quickly when I work, sometimes in the evening I go for a short walk for recreation.
As for the process of image creation, yes, I generally work on the same model with all authors. First I send them a rough draft, to know if the composition is going in the right direction or not, and the most important element in a character cover, for me is its pose The character's position/pose talks about his status, about his personality. After this stage, I begin on details.
Q: From what I understand, you are booked with commissions for the next full year. Given your drive and talent, I can’t say that I’m surprised. In all the time since you’ve started, what do you feel has been your most challenging work? Are there any you have found particularly difficult or are the most proud of?
A: Yes, I've had difficult times too. When I meet deadlines, and I don’t have the finished cover, I cry. I cry a lot and get stressed. I am always trying to motivate myself with positive thoughts. One of the hardest covers I ever done is the one above, with the Phoenix. It took me a few days only to finish the sketch. It was quite difficult because it is a more complex creature. I've attached below some covers that were also challenging for me.
Q: I love that phoenix cover. It is absolutely gorgeous! As a writer, I have been inspired by numerous authors. Now that I write though, I find it can be overwhelming at times and look to my family and hobbies to keep me sane. So, what inspires you—what keeps you going both in and out of the artworld?
A: Lately, more precisely, almost the whole year 2019, I have focused most on work. I have always been that person who firmly believed in the Law of Attraction. Almost everything around me is an inspiration to me, I think that everything I propose, I "must" succeed in doing it. Of course, like any artist, I am inspired by the work of others, better than myself; there are fabulous artists in this world, I am just a small one. I think I have a lot to learn from now on, especially as time will allow me this. At the moment I have no children, so I can focus more time for myself (and my future husband ^.^). I like to travel a lot, I want to see as many places as possible, it helps me a lot in the process of creating the works. Any landscape is a source of inspiration.
Q: I think that's a very healthy viewpoint all around. So then, what’s next for you? Where would you like to find yourself two to five years from now?
A: Oh, that s simple! This year I'm getting married, so the plans will be much more evolved than they have been until now. Currently, I work at my own company, as a digital artist and I am a student at the University of Architecture in Bucharest. In the next five years I see myself as a very happy and fulfilled person, working in the same place, but more evolved, because I do what I like, I have worked a lot to get here, and I want to get much higher. My dream is to create illustrations for the Big Publishing Houses and maybe open an architecture office. And no, I will never stop doing digital artwork.
Q: Congratulations! I wish you the best and hope you get to realize all your dreams. So, after all you’ve seen and been through, do you have any advice for aspiring digital artists? The ups, the downs, the naked truth of this industry?
A: Yes. They should try to be themselves, to draw from the heart, and have big, very BIG DREAMS! We survive by having those dreams.
Q: Finally, how and where do you like to be contacted by potential customers, fans, etc…
Thank you SO much!!
Well there you have it. I'd like to thank Amalia again for stopping by and sharing her story and artwork with us. Stay tuned in the coming months for the first excerpts from City of Tears, book one in the Rise of the Thrall Lord series.