kasumi by anabel martinez

It’s been way  too long since we’ve spotlighted an Arizona geek artist around here.

I was actually able to meet Anabel Martinez in the real world before I even realized she was an amazing artist. Then one day while stalking her on Facebook, I noticed a couple pieces of her art in her photos, and I was hooked.

Anabel has a wonderful fluid style, reinforced by her understanding of lighting, color, and detail.

Plus she paints video game characters, so it all ends up turning into some delicious geek eye candy.

Enjoy diving into her brain!

Tell us about yourself & your art style.

I create digital sci-fi and fantasy art. I start from scratch in Photoshop (yep, just Photoshop!), doodling until something clicks. I was pretty broke in college, so instead of learning to paint with acrylics, I got inspired by the earliest digital artists who worked with Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.

Several of my characters are somewhat androgynous or drawn in a way that implies they’re not entirely human or bound by any specific Earthly rules. I like to slip my own little “tells” into some of the pieces; usually a butterfly that I also put into the story behind the piece.

maidenandthebutterfly by anabel martinez

What artists inspire or influence you?

Two of my favorite digital artists are definitely Dan Luvisi and Linda Bergkvist. They started from humble backgrounds, worked their butts off to promote themselves online, and got discovered through their work in online communities. I also admire them because they don’t keep secrets; both have extensive tutorials available for budding digital artists in their Deviant Art Galleries.

Check them out!

Video games look like a big influence for you. What are some of your favorite characters?

Worst question ever!!! How do I narrow it down?!! Video games are great fuel for my creative energy. I’m always looking for recommendations, too.

Zelda/Sheik, Garrett (Thief), Manny Calavera (Grim Fandango), Coyote Smith (Killer7), GLADoS (Portal), Garrus Valkarian (Mass Effect) [random trivia: his voice actor was in the “magic fridge” beer commercial], Balthier (Final Fantasy XII).

dragontamersdjinn by anabel martinez

You also build some pretty intense costumes. What are you working on now?

My latest costume and biggest challenge right now is Tali’Zorah vas Neema from the video game Mass Effect 2. It’s been pretty crazy. But breaking down the costume into pieces has made the project not-so-terrifying, and I have some amazing friends helping me with advice or some of the tougher sewing spots.

I also learned from a lot of local costumers that there are really random materials that make projects like this come together. I bought a gorgeous anodized purple tint for the visor (actually, an engine tint instead of a car tint on accident, but I can see through it if I coat it right) and a sound inverter so the mouth light blinks when I speak (as it does for the character in game). The
detail in the hood will be drawn by hand with silver paint to cut down costs.

Working with physical materials – plastic, cloth, foam – and being around other costumers has been instrumental in helping my art evolve and improve. I think each hobby feeds the other.

just a screenshot... for now.

So, what would be your dream job?

Being a concept or character artist for a video game developer.

Freelancing in the meantime is pretty awesome.

Thanks again to the talented Anabel for sharing some details about herself and her art with us. Beyond being a great artist, she is a  a very friendly and generous person and a big supporter of our local geek culture.

Her new website actually launched just last week, so please go check it out and support a great local talent. And also feel free to follow her on the Twitters.

Plus you can find her booth at Phoenix Comicon and she’ll even be doing some live speed painting at Lightning Octocon!