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Hello, and welcome to another edition of Digitalists new interview series:

Behind the Screens: Digital Art Masters


Through these interviews, we will get an in-depth look into the minds
and careers of DeviantART's most influential digital artists.

Today's featured artist is LyntonLevengood


:iconlyntonlevengood:

Lynton Levengood was born in the city of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He was raised in a loving family and was always encouraged to pursue the things that interested him. From a young age He had a love of dinosaurs. As He grew up he fell in love with fantasy and stories of monsters and especially dragons. When he left high school, he studied Animation graduating in 2007. He has been working in the animation industry ever since. In 2010 he married his wife Lizelle whom he met in his final year of Animation School. He is working hard towards becoming an established Concept Artist and Illustrator, being largely self-taught with no formal art education. It has been a long road but he is excited and hopeful about the future.


How and when did you first discover your passion for art?

My journey as an artist began as a young boy of around 4 or 5 years old. On a family holiday to the Kruger National Park we stopped at the Sudwala Caves Dinosaur Park and there the flame of my imagination was ignited. From then on I would nag my dad to draw me dinosaurs and would trace each drawing 10 or more times and hand them out to my preschool friends. It made me happy to see their excitement. After a while I didn't need to trace any more and was drawing dinosaurs and dragons from my own imagination. I think from then I have always had a love for art and have been inspired by great artists like James Gurney and John Howe. 

Your blog "The Modern Dragon" is so unique and inspiring for artists and fantasy lovers alike. For those unfamiliar with your work, could you give us a little insight about how this wonderful series came to be?

I have a great love of dragons, and I have read so many great stories about them. They are almost always set in an ancient pre-history or are the last of their kind. I'm fasinated with the tales of dragons in history as well, in many cases they are described in great detail and not in a fantasy context. I like trying to imagine what they were describing. The Modern dragon is a mix of these interests. It started with my painting called “The Sock Dragon”; a dragon who lives in a time when treasure is hard to come by so he has found something else to satisfy his need to horde. I then stated to think more about the topic. What if dragons found a way to survive? What if they managed to slip through the cracks of our bustling society? That is really what the modern Dragon is about for now, just me exploring those ideas. 

What tools of the trade can you not live without?

My sketchbook (on number 4 now) ,my 4B pencil and my little watercolour kit are what
I use most often. Those and photoshop CS2 and my Bamboo tablet.

As a professional digital artist, what advice can you give to those 
who are trying to become successful in the business?

Give yourself time, I've been drawing my whole life and it's still a challenging industry to make it in. Keep learning, if there is something you don't like drawing it's probably because it's an area you need to improve on. With that said, don't lose your creative spark getting bogged down with studies, draw what you love to draw in between studies. Sketch as often as possible, anything and everything. I always have a sketchbook within reach. I would also recommend doing some reading on how the business works. A book I have found valuable is the “Graphic Artists Guilds Handbook, Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.” It will give you a good idea of what your work is worth and how you should conduct business.

There are a lot of people in the community who think receiving a Daily Deviation 
is essential for achieving popularity on DeviantART. From experience, 
how much would you say getting awarded Daily Deviations has 
impacted your success on this site? 

I find that getting a daily deviation is an honour, I have always been surprised when I have received one. It is great to see what resonates with the people who view my work. I really enjoy the flood of comments and I find it enjoyable to read them and respond. There is a definite impact on the amount of views for about 2 days then it drops back down. I see DD as an indicator that I'm on the right track.

Name three influential artists on DeviantART whose works 
inspire you and tell us why you look up to them.
I'm a big fan of Tolkien and Donato's images based on
the Silmarillion are breathtaking.

Huor and Hurin Approaching Gondolin by DonatoArts   Blackveil by DonatoArts   Joan of Arc by DonatoArts

:iconaaronmiller:
He is a truly talented artist, I enjoy his tradional work.
It's really impressive.


Zaos by AaronMiller   Shipwreck Cove by AaronMiller   Carrion Crow - MtG by AaronMiller

:iconpascalcampion:
PascalCampion
His use of colour and composition are amazing, just beautiful to behold.

Brazil 01 by PascalCampion   People watching by PascalCampion   Under the trees by PascalCampion



Thank you LyntonLevengood for sharing your wisdom and experience with the community! 
Join us next week for another installment where we will be interviewing

liransz






:icontrinitysage:
TrinitySage Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! Your art is simply amazing! Nice Interview!
Reply
:iconlyntonlevengood:
LyntonLevengood Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
:icontrinitysage:
TrinitySage Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome! ^_^!
Reply
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