Who is Raymond Minnaar and what do you do?
Hey, I’m a freelance fantasy illustrator and concept artist. I was born and raised in sunny South Africa. Currently living in Pretoria. I just draw and paint pretty pictures of everything fantasy, trying to visually tell epic tales. I mainly do artwork for games, book covers, card illustration, and so on. Overall I can say that I love art, love to have the ability to create things. I’m always trying to remain truthful about the things I love.
I’ve always had that runaway imagination and found my escapism in movies, drawing and games. As a kid I drew from time to time, and loved doing it, but never really invested the time to learn and get better. Later in my life things changed. After school I studied graphic & web design, and on the side I worked on my art. I grew up in an environment that typically never understood how art or rather fantasy art and storytelling could benefit society, or give us the ability to earn a living. I’m trying to change that mindset and inspire others to do the same.
Along with writing we create worlds that give people the ability to escape the real world. People need stories.
How would you define your style or art?
Semi realistic, a bit over the top, gritty and dark. I’ve always tried to create art as realistic as possible but at the same time artistic and painterly. Things should make sense, even in a fantasy world, but there needs to be a bit of mystery too. And I’m really trying to balance that out; it’s a fairly hard thing to do.
I think my focus has always been to learn the fundamentals as much as possible, and just trying to be a better painter with every piece, style is something that should develop naturally.
What inspires your work?
I love the typical medieval fantasy realm and that’s my playground; knights, chivalry and dragons. I’m always trying to bring something new to something old and constantly trying to improve my abilities. I’m also inspired by mythology and funny enough, the real world. We have a world filled with the good, bad and all sorts of crazy stuff. I try and think of our experiences and how events and certain things could unfold if it was set in another world or realm. This creates familiarity and people can relate to things because they have to some degree, experienced something similar.
What are you currently working on?
I’m mostly freelancing and working remotely as a concept artist for Animus Interactive, a small indie game company based in New York. We are developing a game called Avalon Lords. We have a very talented team of developers and artists that worked on games like Halo 4, and Battlefield 4. What I do is provide artwork and concepts. We draw out most of the content that later goes into the game. I am working very closely with the writers and the art director.
I am also working on my graphic novel called “Sins of Our Fathers”.
It follows the life of a man exiled to poverty and suffering. It’s a very dark tale, with a story line better suited for older audiences. I can’t wait to reveal more about this project in the near future.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
What I would say to anybody that wants to do art for a living is to just do it. Draw a lot. Make good art, make bad art, as long as you make art, because that’s how we all learn. Be open minded and never let anybody tell you that something can’t be done. It takes a lot of hard work and you have to be very dedicated. Never wait for permission or the right time to do something. Make today the right time.
If you have dreams, you have to peruse them. You only have one life.
We live in the information age, and that is the best thing that has ever happened for creatives. The Internet removed all the physical borders, particularly the borders for studying, and created a global audience for everyone.
We have some of the world’s best artists teaching online for way cheaper than what the traditional art school or university degree would cost. You can be anywhere in the world and still learn from the best.
I can write pages and pages of advice, but sadly I don’t have enough space.
So if there is anybody that needs any sort of advice, please send me a mail, or catch me on Facebook. I’d love to help and give some of my own opinions.
Where can our readers follow your work?
Here are a few links
Oficial Portfolio: www.raymondminnaar.com/
facebook page: www.facebook.com/artofraymondminnaar
art bucket (paint Studies & sketchbook): raymondminnaar.tumblr.com/tagged/studies
Deviant art: raymondminnaar.deviantart.com/
Avalon Lords: avalonlords.com
I just want to give thanks to SA Creative Network For giving People like us the opportunity to showcase our work here.