Name:
Novans V Adikresna.

Location:
Surabaya, Indonesia.

Years working in photo-manipulation:
Total 13 years experience in Digital Art.

9 years working professionally.

Website and social media accounts:
https://www.behance.net/Novanshocker

https://www.instagram.com/novanshocker/?hl=id

Current employer/freelance:
10 years ago I was an employee in an advertising agencies as a graphic designer and retoucher. This was for 2 years. After that I decided to be independent and went to work through online media. That’s what I’ve been doing since then.

What’s your artistic background?
I don’t have any specific artistic background: just loved art, living for art, art for life.

How did you get started in photo-manipulation and compositing?
In 2002 I was first acquainted with Adobe Photoshop 6. I was curious and wanted to try to make a composition scene with my photo. And the result was very silly but I liked it. Photoshop is a magical software. COOL!! 😀

Are you self-taught or did you study?
I’m self-taught.

When I was in college, I just read from a tutorial in a book published every month. At that time online tutorials were still very rare, YouTube was also very difficult to find video tutorials. So I developed myself from what I learned from those books. And sometimes, if I found an online tutorial, I used a lot of floppy disks to save basic tutorials (Photoshop, Illustrator and 3ds Max) from the website.

And until now I have to keep learning because the competition is getting tougher.

Is photo-manipulation a hobby or full-time job?
I am a full-time graphic artist for the last 10 years. Most of my work is in photo manipulation and concept art.

For paid work, how do you keep your personality in your creations when working from a brief?
Maybe the same as the other artists.

I do work according to the request of the client. The client is satisfied and I get paid for my hard work. The result of the hard work I spent building a small office in my city.

When you start a manipulation do you have the end result in mind? Or does it evolve as you progress?
Sometimes when I create a concept I sketch it first on paper and then digitally. Of course, all my work is influenced by references from my favourite artists (not plagiarised). It really helps to realize my concept and do it with passion.

What’s the best advice you can give someone starting out in photo-manipulation?
(NOTE: This advice is for self-development, not for while doing work with clients.)

1. Be grateful for what we have.
2. Do it with pleasure, be patient and focus.
3. Get some references from your favourite artists because their energy is very helpful in the creative process when doing photo manipulation work.
4. Develop from what we get from the various references and make it a characteristic of each piece of work you complete.
5. Do not get too stuck with the trends that exist, I think it will inhibit creativity, ability and eliminate the characteristics in the works that we make.
Be yourself, because we all need a process to create an identity. Although our work is still ugly we are one step ahead and creating from the future.
6. Do not forget the results of paid work; buy licensing software to appreciate the software makers who have helped realise the concept in our brain.
7. Again, be grateful for what we get.

What software could you not live without?
My “Killer machine” is Adobe Photoshop CC 2017. But there may be other softwares that suit the need to assist while working.

What advice would you give someone for making manipulation a full-time job?
Make a work according to the target we want. Upload on portfolio portals. Share to all the social media we have.

Can you show us your workspace? What are the most important features of it?
This is my very dirty workspace. I use a simple tool.

Computers with specifications that may be less up-to-date and some other friends like coffee, cigarettes, books, comics and smartphones. 😀

What’s your favourite photo-manipulation you’ve created and why?
I really like my work with futuristic or Sci-fi themes. Because I really like galaxy and outer space. To make it for me is very difficult, I need a lot to learn from some knowledge about the world of Sci-fi.

And those works brought me the opportunity to be involved in an extraordinary job.

Who’s your favourite photo-manipulator?
Lots of artists are my favourite. They are very influential in my work making a masterpiece. I love their creative work process, they not only make compositions with 2 photos that are basically edited and are good, but they make and retouch many photos (RAW Files) to make an incredible composition. It really impressed me and I wanted to be like them.

Please provide us with a YouTube link to your favourite song when working.


RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE is one of my favourite bands that energize and encourage me. I know their music when I was 12 years old. And until now still in the playlist when I’m working.

“Burn, burn, yes yes gonna burn … ”

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