Acryl (Haujobb, Scoopex) (00.00.2000) graphician
Interview with Acryl
His name is Michael A. Mueller and he is 21 years old.He lives in Dortmund/Germany. He is among the best graphicians today and his pictures are always fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, Scentime (& diskmag.de) gives you Acryl/Scx. Njoy!
Matarazzo: I think your handle is cool. It tells you are a graphician. It's short - which makes it easy to paint. Did you have any other handles before Acryl or was that your first? How did you come up with it?
Acryl: Thanks =) . It was the time when i first saw scene gfx from pixel and lazur and I really was in need of a new handle ( J0KeR! was the first nickname I used , really uncreative ) . So I thought " Those dudes use handles to state that they are doing graphics ", so i decided to name myself Acryl . The bad thing about this handle is that everybody pronounces it in a different way (which sometimes gets confusing at parties).
Matarazzo: How long have you been an active scener, and how long have you been using your computer to make gfx?
Acryl: Hmmmm . . . How long have I been an active scener . . . hmmm . . There was no BIG BANG that brought me suddenly into scene life, but I think I started pixelling shortly before TP4. Rayden (AFL) introduced me to the demo scene and lateron I met with Cyclone ( Abyss ) who taught me how to put the pixels in brilliance and showed me some really cool gfx by other graphicans. Later on I met Wave ( Haujobb ) who told me some of his secrets.
By the way : I think that Wave was/is a really inventive graphician with great ideas and abilities , but noone really recognized him . To answer your second question: Well I painted pictures before I got my first computer ( paper / pencil ). My father was a great influence, he showed me how to use different medias (oil, chalk , watercolor, etc.).
Matarazzo: Whas it a natural choice to become a graphician in the scene, or did you try music, code or ascii also?
Acryl: First time I got my hands on a gfx program was somewhen in the eighties. It was Degas Paint on Atari 512ST, and I ripped some of the gamegraphics like the title picture in KULT or some Panza Kickboxing. I altered some stuff in those piccys but that was just for fun. Later I sold my AtariST to Jazz (Haujobb) hopefully the good old machine works still =). As i got my first PC ( 486 Dx2 66Mhz) my interest in the BBS scene grew and so I soon put up my own Board (Treasure Island) . This was my Sysop time ;D . The Ansi / Ascii gfx implanted in PcBoard looked quite stupid and I thought of doing my own Ansis, just to get rid of them . This was my Ansi/Ascii - painter time. Actually some ppl liked the stuff I did and I got requests from all places . When I joined Radical Rhythms (a pc-xm group which was quite famous) I tried to put up a diskmag . Flash (the name of this diskmag) was soon released and it contained my own pixel gfx and articles. This was my diskmag editor time. ;D I had a good contact to the musician Keith303 and I wanted to track some stuff , too . I did some really strange multi and 4 channel modules . I really don´t know if those modules still exist but I don´t care anyway =) . Hint Hint Hint : This was my tracker time =DDD.
People liked my gfx, so I decided to be a graphician in the scene. It´s that easy =). But I think it´s quite good to check if one is also able to do other things. I still track and do some "real" music and I actually got 2nd place at a small party in Holland =) .
Pics by http://slengpung.com/
Matarazzo: You are a member of Scoopex. Many sceners adore e'm and dream of joining them. Is it as nice to be in SCX as we think?
Acryl: Of course ! It´s actually a very vital group and the people in Scx are really cool persons. I have to say that i never had serious problems with other members. Antibyte does a great job as the head organizer. I think that all people in Scx are very talented and motivated. I´m in Scx since Symposium 97 and since then everything went just fine =) .
Matarazzo: Is Scoopex planning any new releases in our near future?
Acryl: As Scx is a very active group, you can guess that we´ll release something whenever it´s possible . So you can expect something at TP8 .
Matarazzo: Tell us about your computerhistory. What was the first computer you had?
Acryl: The first computer i got was the Colorgenie 2000 . It was a really cool machine . I had to load all programs via Datasette and the graphic abilities where equal to none. But I had great fun with it . Don´t ask me when this was. . but I´m sure this computer was sold a short time before C64.
The second computer I owned was an Atari 512ST short time after that a 1024ST with Monochrome Monitor. I had to use a tv to get 16 color gfx . In 93 I bought my first pc ( 486 ) which was quite a machine back then. Lateron I just HAD to buy an Amiga1200. It was a second hand one with a serious defect ( the screen always had a bad shade of blue ). Then I bought another pc ( P166 ) which I´m still using as my "main" computer . Another Amiga1200 followed in 98 as my old one died =( .
Some time inbetween I owned a c64 but as there are some nice emulators available I sold it to Cyclone ( Abyss ) .
When I think of all that, I really wonder how I could afford that much money =DDD.
Matarazzo: What equipment do you own today?
Acryl: I still own my 486 PC, the pentium which I mentioned above and an Amiga 1200 030 with 8mb fastram. At the moment I´m quite satisfied with the equipment I have, but if some of the readers want to send me money to buy a new or better one . . . . ;D
Matarazzo: How long are you planning to stay in the scene?
Acryl: Hehehe As long as I have the time to do something for the scene ;D. I don´t have a timetable which tells me when to quit =) .
Matarazzo: I suppose you do have a life beside the scene. What do you do in your spairtime when not computing?
Acryl: I´m studying Graphic-Design at academy which means a lot of work and I work as a night-porter at a hotel to earn some bucks. At weekends I team up with Nomad , Cyclone , Rayden and some other friends and try to get drunk =) . I hope this answers your question ;D .
Acryl at the Slengpung playing cards set 2003
that must be the joker!?
Matarazzo: Are you a regular partyvisitor?
Acryl: I attend at parties whenever I can, as like the spirit . To take part in a compo always gives me a thrill and parties are always great to make new friends or meet the old buddies =). If someone wants to meet me he should take a peek at Symposium and The Party for example .
Matarazzo: Which is the best party you have been to?
Acryl: Tp4 was a great party and it was the first I´ve ever been to, but also all Symposium parties were cool. I especially like the fun compos at Symposium as they are always a great laugh ;DDDD .
Matarazzo: Which is the worst party you've been to ? (if any), please motivate.
Acryl: Definitely the Bizarre Parties in Holland . There was no real scene spirit ( just some idiots which came to play Quake ). Only a few cool sceners were there but not enough to make this party a good one.
Matarazzo: I have seen some really nice lowres pictures from you. It takes more skill of the graphician to make lowres of course but do you think there is anymore benefits from painting in lowres?
Acryl:It takes more skill to make a lowers picture? Where do you have that from? You have to see it like this : A highres pixelled picture is more or less a picture made of little lowres pictures. You might oversee some mistakes, because your eye is cheating you a bit ( like smoothing or dithering ), but when I see a well pixelled highres picture like the ones by lazur ( just for an example ) I feel deep respect for the work. I think that painting lowres pictures makes you a better highres graphician, as you have to learn how to make the viewer believe that the picture looks good although there are quite big pixels on the screen. I hope that the other graphicans on this planet agree with me ;D.
Matarazzo: How do you feel about hi-res painting?
Acryl: As I said : In terms of pixelled pictures it´s somehow the same technique as in low-res pictures. I personally tried to pixel in highres but lowres pictures are made much faster. So I have no special "feelings" on hires pictures . Everybody should paint in a resolution he likes best.
Matarazzo: How long time do you spend on making a picture? Of course it depends on the motive and size but in general?
Acryl: * rolling a dice * . . . FOUR! hehehehe . . No, serious now . I actually start with a picture and see how it evolves. "Oppa geht Ficken" took me about 3 weeks, "Atomic Rider" was done in about 1 week and a half . But some smaller things like cliparts or something like that is ready in about an hour. It just depends on the mood I´m in.
Matarazzo: I have watched some pictures of yours and I think that no scenegraphician masters coloring as good as you. Your pictures are always colorfull, all colors match so well with each other. What is your secret? Do you work alot with the colors to get them right?
Acryl: I always start with a greyscale palette in 16 colors and then I add the different colors. I personally have no problem in finding a nice color and if I´m not really satisfied with the colors I adjust the Brightness/Contrast in Photoshop. Making a palette is quite easy , I give you an example : you have a green color table and you want to make it look more alive . Just copy the whole palette and then adjust all colors with a bit more red to make it warmer or blue to make it look a bit colder. then just dither ( 50% in brilliance )over your normal green painted object and voila ! It looks like you have a new color ! =)
Matarazzo: If you had to say ONE weakness you have as a graphician. What would that be?
Acryl: I´m on Internet too often . . . it steals too much time ;D .
Matarazzo: ... and if you had to say one thing your good at?
Acryl: Mhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . the colors . . I guess I figured out how to use them over the years. My early pictures looked a bit plain. But now I think I found a good way.
Matarazzo: Do you have any advice's to graphician beginners?
Acryl: You asked for it :
1) Paint as much as you can and try to do that in a 256cols based paint program.
2) Experiment with styles of other graphicans, you can only learn by doing.
3) Let other graphicans show you how they work, if you know one. 4) Repaint as much as you can, it´s a good way to learn how to draw humans or other objects.
5) Buy some comic books or art books by various graphicians.
6) Always leave your left hand on the keyboard so you can cycle through your palette and magnify.
Matarazzo: Were do you get your motives from? Do you use to draw sketches on paper before starting on a picture?
Acryl: I got my motives from various fantasy paintings. As I have a nice collection of comic books and art books I seek for pictures which could fit me. That´s no crime, but nowadays I´m doing more and more "no copy" stuff although I give a fuck about that term. When I start painting a picture from my mind I normally turn on a paint proggy and do the outlines on screen. I only need the picture in my mind although I could also paint it on paper.
Matarazzo: What program are you using when making your pictures?
Acryl: Gfx2 on Pc for pixel work and sometimes Brilliance on Amiga. For 24 bit stuff I use Photoshop as I got used to it although some graphicians I know prefer other programs like Paintshop or Aura.
Matarazzo: Which program is your favourite?
Acryl: I can´t say that for sure, but I started gfx2 quite often as it gives me a good control over the mouse and palette. It´s very similar to Brilliance and it contains a lot of useful functions. And it´s freeware =)
Matarazzo: If you compare PC's pixelpaintingprograms to Amigas DPaint and PPaint are there any differences? What are the benefits of Amigas programs respective PC's programs?
Acryl: Well the question is not if the programs are different, it´s a question of PAL versus VGA. PAL looks warmer and the colors blend more into eachother in VGA you can see every pixel and the colors are colder. I can see that when I compare my pictures on Amiga and PC. I really can´t say what´s better, but I got used to VGA and that´s all.
Matarazzo: Are you using a digitizingtable? (Wacom etc. ) And if, what do you think of it?
Acryl: No I´m using a plain 2 button mouse. I have no money at the time to buy myself a drawing tablet but I think that this tool helps a lot and I hope I can afford a Wacom tablet soon . If you know how to handle a pen you can get very professional results and it lets you paint more precise.
Matarazzo: Whats your opinion about copying/redrawing pictures, is it okej or not?
Acryl: I don´t like that question as it destroys the fun in doing scene gfx. People did too many discussions on that topic and it really bores me. Everybody should ask himself what he thinks about doing coversongs instead =) .
Matarazzo: Mostly of the pictures made in the scene are of women. Allmost everything you see is variations of babefaces. Do you think there are too many women-pictures?
Acryl: You got to know that sceners get very horny at parties, so babe pictures get all the votes ;D. When I look at my picture collection of the last year I can see a lot of girlie pictures and I honestly got to say that there quite a lot amongst them ( some of them actually look really ugly ). But it´s a trend. I remember a fantasy picture trend ( the one I presonally like most ) and the trend to draw "Krueger"-style pictures ( Peachy started that one at tp4 ) and now it´s the girl-trend or girl-with-wings-trend ;D. I don´t follow this trend although I thought of doing a picture with a girl with fried chicken wings =).
Matarazzo: What kind of picture/logo are your working on at the moment. Tell us!
Acryl: I´m working on some textures for 3d stuff and 2d effects and some other things. You can see the results in the near future. ( I looooooooooove teasers ;D )
Matarazzo: At the partys pixelcompos, photoshoppictures is getting more usual these days. Do you think there should be two separate compos at parties, one for pixeled pictures and one for those Photoshopmade?
Acryl: I don´t see a need for that as there are only a few party visitors who actually recognize a 256 cols picture when they see it. It only depends on the motive or better the overall look. I think it would be more interesting to do a normal gfx compo and a 16cols gfx compo. I would compete in that at once as I think it´s quite a challenge.
Matarazzo: In the future, do you think theres gonna be any pixeled 256 colored pictures or is the 24-Bit generated and Photoshopmade pictures gonna take over?
Acryl: No idea. I never considered this as an important question. But for my part: I will continue pixelling 256 cols pics beside 24bit stuff.
Matarazzo: Some graphicians have said they wanted a jury at partys to judge there pictures instead the visitors voting. The jury should contain of graphicians who can zoom in the pictures and determine how well the picture is made. This to get a fair ranking and no silly friendsvoting. What do you think about this way??
Acryl: Depends on the jury members wether the whole thing works or not. But it is a good idea but there has to be a public voting, too so that some guys at a party still can collect voting disks-sheets- passwords. There have been quite a lot aproaches to this topic and I think the jury 50% - public 50% one is the best. Stuff like Net-voting, Voting disks - papers don´t work as a standalone.
Acryl (left) with friends at Radwar 2000
Matarazzo: Please name your 3 favourite graphicians and tell WHY they are the best.
Acryl: Tick, Trick & Track ;DDDDD Naaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. I won´t do that as there are too many good graphicans.
Matarazzo: Today, Made is in topplace at most charts(for not saying all). Who do you think will take over his place in the future?
Acryl: Hopefully me ;D . Charts don´t change that much over 2-3 years so I guess he´ll keep that place for a long time.
Matarazzo: If you would get the chance to be invisible for one day what would yoube doing?
Acryl: Painting an invisible picture for sure =DDD .
Matarazzo: What are you doing in 10 years ?
Acryl: I will be a graphic designer with diploma working on a design for a trashcan =DDDDD .
Matarazzo: Any last words? Here is your chance...
Acryl: I want to say "thank you" to all my friends, my family, my record company, my wife. Oh damn... this was someone else... sorry... I greet all sceners and my groupmates. Watch out for new stuff by me. Scene is as Scene is. Bye...
Interview performed by Matarazzo