Mario Olvera describes himself as a thirsty artist about knowledge that could fulfill my curiosity for my inner child. “I’m addicted to spending time learning new kinds of art to express myself, so I’ll be able to understand better light and form”.
DIYP: Tell us a little about how you got into photography, and who your influences are.
MO: Well, I studied Animation, Digital art and multimedia, in between the carrier my Photography teacher Vero Escobar taught us how to use the camera, just the basic settings like how the aperture works, the exposure time, and some examples as homework like motion blur and that stuff. I got really impressed about what I could achieve with a camera and wanted to go further. The rest was taking a deep dive into the internet to learn more.
DIYP: Your body of work has amazing diversity, from sci-fi manipulations to commercial portraits…which style do you prefer the most?
MO: That’s a good question. I really love sci-fi stuff, and I will always love that. Nonetheless, commercial portrait has taught me some amazing techniques about retouching, which I use and mix now with my sci-fi stuff. Somehow they are intertwined.
DIYP: With such distinct stylized feel work do you find it easier, or harder to get clients?
At first was really difficult, and most difficult in my country, people are afraid to make things differently, try new visual stuff. Sometimes clients just want you to copy what they saw as a reference and I just think “What’s the case to hire me then if anyone could do it”?
So it’s been an awesome rollercoaster-like journey, with a lot of learning. Sometimes you have awesome clients who want you to make what you do, and sometimes there are clients who just have “simple things”, don’t you hate when they tell you: “It is easy for you so it is going to be cheap, right?”. Sometimes there are clients that just don’t worth your time, and it sucks because personally it’s been difficult to see my own value as I’m super picky with myself.
So yeah, it has been difficult to have clients, because I’ve been targeted to the wrong niche. I think it is all about having a niche. You won’t sell sci-fi art to a bread store :). In the end, it’s about uploading your work to the right communities and sites. There’s a place for every kind of art . I’ve been patient and meanwhile, I create stuff and push myself further to grow my knowledge.
DIYP: For anyone starting out with the desire to create images like yourself, what advice would you give them about finding inspiration?
MO: Go to sites like Behance. There are really creative projects there, but also I get huge inspiration from sites like Artstation and CGSociety where I found a lot of sci-fi stuff from really amazing artists. Try new things, new ways, new workflows, experiment. Do not make your workflow a routine, that will kill your creativity.
DIYP: How important is Photoshop in your workflow, would you be able to create your images without it?
MO: I could do it, but it won’t have the same taste as Photoshop is my main tool tho. I’m constantly learning new software tools and ways of expanding my knowledge and my creative mind, but Photoshop will be always the mixer, it is the tool that I use to cook my art.
DIYP: You also have started creating tutorials teaching various Photoshop techniques. Do you see yourself focusing more on being an educator in the future?
MO: Yeah, definitely. I’m gonna be honest with you, at first sometimes it was very frustrating to teach, and I thought it was because people were not prepared for that knowledge. But I observed this inner situation as a third person and realized that it was because I didn’t have a structure for my workshops.
So when I made my first online course I understood how important it is to have a structure for everything, if you don’t have a structure, the building will fall. So I was falling and getting mad and sometimes sad because I thought that something that I really love was so frustrating to teach. In the end, I took some breathes and found that my solution was on healing myself. Somehow, teaching is healing a chaotic part of me which I was not able to see that was that chaotic.
DIYP: Out of all your projects, which had the most impact on your life?
MO: I think the “Exhale your fear” because as soon as I signed a contract with Adobe, that was a big step as artists to be the first Latin-American to appear in the Adobe.com site.
DIYP: If you were only allowed to give one essential piece of advice to a beginner, what would it be?
MO: First, LEARN THE SHORTCUTS of the software you are using, with shortcuts you will work faster and let your mind be focused on experimenting instead of thinking how to apply a specific method to your art.
And second, do not close yourself. By that I mean, open your mind to absorb every kind of art. You can learn even from cooking and take that knowledge to mix it with digital stuff. Be aware of what you do, and always ask yourself, How It’s done? or How can I do it?. Fill your mind with creative and positive things which will be your fuel for keeping motivated. I watch a lot of interviews with CGI / VFX artists, digital painters, programmers, photographers, everything that can fulfill my childish curiosity.
Also, always but ALWAYS ask for feedback, that is what is going to give you a more expanded version of what could be improved on your art, and be opened to every critic. I know there are tons of trolls, but just take what is really good, be aware, be opened.
DIYP: What cool projects do you have lined up for 2018?
MO: There’s a personal huge project which I’m working on, it is a site which involves teaching compositing from the most basics to the most advanced techniques I know so far. It’s has been a lot of work, but it will be worthy. Also, learned scripting, so I’m coding an amazing Photoshop extension for compositing artists and some other extensions to help us as artists to have a faster workflow and get more creative with it.
DIYP: Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years time?
MO: Working in the video game and film industry.