With Halloween fast approaching, we wanted to highlight the creatively dark and fantastical work of SmugMug customer, Roderique Arisiaman. Roderique’s images take viewers on an imaginative journey, so much so that we couldn’t resist asking him to judge our upcoming SmugMug Halloween Photo Contest (launching soon, very soon!). Please note, some images are NSFW, so please review his website first before sharing with younger photography fans. Read on to discover Roderique in his own words.
Hello, and welcome to my story. My name is Roderique Arisiaman, and I’m a photographer and digital artist known to many as Dracorubio.
I used to be a 3–D animator, motion-graphics artist, and visual-effects artist. Photography crossed my path a few years ago. At first, I was only documenting what I saw, but I soon discovered I could use my skills with Photoshop and other software to actually tell the stories I wanted. Working with a single image, instead of a set of frames, allowed me to work fast and get my idea done.
I will always stay a creative person. I don’t know if I will keep doing photography and photo manipulation. Maybe some new kind of creative art form will emerge from our technical advances, or maybe I’ll pick up wood carving or oil painting after a few years. As long as I can keep telling stories and design worlds, I will.
Being a digital artist.
I have a lively imagination, and being a digital artist allows me to create worlds that are hard to create in real life. Additionally, my ideas are quickly realized. Working digitally is usually a personal effort, where I can dive into my own thoughts and music and shut myself off from the world around me. And best of all, digital mistakes are only a CMD-Z click away.😉
Ay Carambaaaa by Dracorubio.
Esmeralda by Dracorubio.
I have my ups and downs when it comes to creativity; I never fail in ideas and concepts—my mind is full of them. As are my sketchbooks. I do have times that I can’t get myself to create…sometimes I have too many ideas and have no idea where to start. But I’m learning to work on that, tackling one idea at a time. When I’m not creating, I try to immerse myself with inspiring stimuli like movies, comics, theatre, and museums. And from time to time, it’s also important to just disconnect from the creative whirlwind and be in the everyday moment. Things like going to the gym, spending time with loved ones, and having a good time. It’s a tough balancing act, but I try to make it work.
Precious by Dracorubio.
Creating a compelling image.
The photograph acts as my canvas and starting point for my edit. It dictates my main lighting and the color palette. Also, the dynamic of the photo directs the final image. I always try to retain as much of the original photo as possible. I have a few images where there is too much digital and not enough photograph, and they do bother me.
No matter what the subject of the image you’re trying to create is, make sure you have your story to tell. Figure out the narrative of your image and how you can best describe it in one single image. What or who is your main subject? What props are needed? What is your color scheme? If you have these written or sketched down, you can start creating.
Hellraiser by Dracorubio.
Spiderman by Dracorubio.
Also, don’t try to recreate the exact image you have in your head; that will never happen and will leave you unhappy. Allow yourself freedom and room for experimentation. Step out of your comfort zone.
Find what tickles you, what gives you a tingle in your tummy. Follow that path and look for other creatives in your field, see what they are doing, and learn from them. And never get yourself stuck inside this one field. Go out and be inspired by everything around you. Read a book, go to a museum, or have a walk in nature. Be sure to enjoy real life as well.
Do you believe there is a demimonde, Mr. Chandler? by Dracorubio
Valentine by Dracorubio