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Kekai Kotaki, Master Artist interview

This week interview, is probably by far everyone favorite. The ultimate artist of our time I could say. This week Kekai Kotaki is kind enough to give us his precious time for a short interview with He was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, moved to Seattle Washington in 2000 to go to school and pursue a career in art. Currently he is Concept Art Lead at ArenaNet working on Guild Wars 2. I've worked with KeKai for a long time and every single one of his work somehow has the badassness factor attached. Kekai won so many awards that he himself could ever count, including twice Spectrum Master Artists awards two years in the roll. He is one of the most hard working, most talent and most creative artists that I've ever known.

Art by Kekai Kotaki ©2011 ArenaNet

1. How and why did you want to become a Concept Artist?

Kekai: I got hired at ArenaNet as a texture artist at first. After we
released the first game we had had some downtime to work on the next
game Factions. I was able to do some concepts during that time period
and fortunately I was able to continue concept work. I learned a lot
on the job and was able to position myself to switch over to concept
work full time.

2. What is your first art job and how did you start?

Kekai: My first professional art gig was some freelance work for K2
snowboards. I emailed a few art directors my stuff and got hired to do
a line.

 ©2011 Kekai Kotaki

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Kekai: The vast majority of my work is in the fantasy genre. So many of my
inspirations comes from fantasy books I have read. I also get a lot
out of movies, music, comics and what not.

4. To you, what are the three most important elements in painting or concept art in general?

Kekai: Composition, Design and Emotion.

Art by Kekai Kotaki ©2011 ArenaNet

5. What would you suggest to young artists on how to get start and become the better artist?

Kekai: Practice I guess. But practice smart and with purpose. Don't do
something just to do something. Make sure you are able to integrate
what you study into the whole. There is a many building blocks and you
need to make sure and take a overall view to make sure everything is
fitting in right.

You can go visit him at: CakeMix from Kekai