Piotr Jabłoński, who also goes by the handle “nicponim”, is a Polish concept artist from Bialystok. His clients include Applibot, Inc., Cloud Share Inc., Evermotionvfx, Platige Image and VFX workshops.
Jabłoński works digitally in Photoshop, but achieves nicely painterly look of natural media in his application of color.
His subjects are often dark and moody, and his restrained palette follows suit. He utilizes atmosphere and texture to give his compositions a simultaneous feeling of dream-like fantasy and visceral reality.
There is an interview with Jabłoński on Evermotion.org that includes a step through of his digital painting process.
He is represented in the U.S. by Richard Solomon Artists Representative, and their page for his work also includes a process step-through.
For a more thorough process tutorial, there is an extended video of his process on the painting shown above, bottom, available through Gumroad.
X-Story is an animated short (roughly 12 minutes) by Vitaliy Shushko.
At first, I thought this was a promo or incorporated animation for a game from a major company. Given the production values, length and level of accomplishment, I was surprised to find that this was an independent animation project.
I checked Shushko’s blog and found this described as his first animated short, and that it was two years in the making.
For an indy project like this, even though he had assistance (please see the Vimeo link for credits), I’m not surprised it took that long.
The story (which can be slightly gruesome in places) is not the point of this for me; it’s the level of storytelling, production, design and realization.
I’ve seen indy animation projects at a high level before, but they’re usually much shorter.
This is done in an anime-influenced style (particularly with reference to Otomo’s classic Akira), but it doesn’t succumb to the stylistic excesses that sometimes plague that genre. The design feels fresh and direct.
I hope somebody throws lots of money at Shushko, so he can keep producing animations like this.
View the video at full screen; my small screen captures don’t do the visuals justice.
Originally from Poland, Mateusz Urbanowicz is a concept artist, animator, illustrator and painter currently living in Tokyo.
Urbanowicz works in ink, watercolor, gouache and acrylic gouache, as well as in digital media. On his website and other online portfolios, you’ll find a selection of his professional and personal work.
I particularly enjoy his series of Tokyo Storefronts, as well as his Bicycle Boy illustrations, and his Mottainai NHK TV commercial backgrounds.
In his ink and watercolor approach, his loose, confident application of color over a foundation of solid draftsmanship gives his compositions a strong visual appeal.
There is a page on his blog about his tools, and a series of videos on YouTube, some of which are process videos for paintings, and some of which are animations. You can find prints of his illustrations on society6.