Interview with Ken Barthelmey
Q. What you enjoy painting the most Cartoons, Characters, Creatures or Aliens and why?
Everything is fun for me to paint. But I think what I like the most is to create new creatures and characters that don’t exist; it is kind of playing god, ha-ha. Besides, it's also great to work on more cartoony paintings, they are a perfect alternation.
Q. Please tell us about your project “Grandma Lucy”, and how much difference is there in working style when working for client or personal work.
'Grandma Lucy' is a Luxembourgish film project, which unfortunately had to be stopped in 2011 because of budget problems. That was very bad for me, because I made a lot of conceptual work for this film.
It was planned to be an apocalyptic horror movie about an old creepy female creature that tries to kill everybody in a destroyed world. It probably was going to be a B-movie but it made me fun to create all these characters and environments.
It's very different to work on your personal projects or for a client. When you work on your own projects you can influence your own ideas, you have more freedom, but for a client it’s your job to realize his imagination. Sometimes it makes you sad in the designing process because it’s not the way you want to go, but that’s the job of a concept artist.
Q. What other interests do you have that helps influence your work and keep you motivated?
I have always been interested in fantasy and science fiction, so I love watching movies. Besides the painting I also do a lot of sport activation; it gives me the time away to recharge my creative batteries. As an illustrator and concept artist you must keep your deadlines, so it can happen that you work 10- 13 hours a day, you haven't a lot of movement these days... so it's very important for your health doing sport.
My motivation is definitely ‘getting better’. I always learn something new when I work on a new painting, so I always give my best to beat myself.