This next interview is with Thomas Andreasen, who placed 3rd overall in the Automotive Arts category in the competition with the excellent entry: Noir. An artist by profession, Thomas is skilled in various mediums and designs as we can very well see in his works! Read about how the Noir piece came together and Thomas’ continuing journey to improve and try out new techniques in airbrushing. Be sure to visit his website and social media accounts at the end of the interview to see more of his works!
Sparmax (S): Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process was like for you?
Thomas Andreasen (TA): I am a full time 3D artist running my own one-man company a3d.dk
I started airbrushing in the 1980’s when I was building scale model cars (which I still do) and wanted to paint murals and custom effects to the hot rods I was building. With an interest for drawing and painting this led me to create airbrushed illustrations which in turn landed me an apprenticeship at an advertising agency. Computers took over in the 90’ies and it wasn’t until 2012 I really got started again.
I watched all I could on YouTube, coast airbrush TV and more, purchased some DVDs and took classes in Denmark with Mike Lavallee and Dru Blair. All the while landing some paid jobs for various customers – including Lauge Jensen Motorcycles that created some of the most exclusive and spectacular custom built motorcycles.
S: Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?
TA: I was given complete creative freedom on the Noir project. The black basecoat was to be kept but apart from that I could do what I wanted. I wanted to create something that stood out from the more often seen flames, skulls and pinups and kept the design monochromatic and with a classic theme. Inspired by a style/project Ryan Townsend had done I came up with the Film Noir theme and went to work. I gathered reference material online and created Photoshop collages, which I printed in 1:1 size and used to give me a roadmap. I’ve roughly spent 50-70 hours on the artworks.
S: What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?
TA: Airbrushing is a way of releasing my creative drive. I create illustrations and animation behind the computer all day, but I need to create something “real”, experiment with techniques and create something that challenges me. Watching the mind-blowing works of some of the influential world-class airbrush artists makes me want to learn the techniques and apply them in my work and hopefully come up with something that’s unique and good enough to inspire others.
My ideas come from all sorts of influences and I can’t really point to any specific way or process that I use. When I’m doing commissioned work the base idea comes from the customer and then we elaborate on that together.
S: What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?
TA: First of all, I want to get better, learn new techniques and master the ones I already know better. Learning, improving and growing as an artist is really a strong driving force for me.
In regards to my artwork I’d like to get more into fine-art – both in terms of straight airbrushed artworks and mixed-media. I have done a little of this and have thoughts and ideas for several other pieces, but we’ll see how it goes – its all a matter of balancing spare-time, clients, family and my day-time work.
On the custom/automotive/helmet side I’d like to steer my work towards more realistic murals and less graphics.
S: Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?
TA: I am definitely an all-rounder. I like to paint on vehicles, helmets, artboards, canvas and scale models. Each medium has its own strengths and challenges, but my preference would probably be a tie between MC tanks and artboard.
I just recently painted my own skydiving helmet and that market might just open up for me now – I’d like to make that market one of my specialties so I can meet my clients and artworks on the various dropzones around the country…
S: How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?
TA: I have none…
Well – I hope the quality of my work is my trademark. As I like to experiment and adjust my approach to fit the subject and medium I end up doing many types of work so I haven’t really developed my own style yet. Although with an added focus on fine-art works this may very well come by itself.
S: Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?
TA: Get a good quality compressor, airbrush and paints from the beginning so you won’t struggle with that (and the compressor and airbrush will easily last the next 20 years if you take care of them).
Watch lots of tutorials on YouTube and attend an airbrush class if possible.
….and then just practice, practice, practice.
S: Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?
I used to have airbrush work displayed here on my company FB page, but have now moved all newer stuff to the Air&Ink page – there are still a lot of pictures and WIPs here though…