November 29th, 2017
Photographer and Digital Artist Lukasz Liszko has been putting out some unbelievable work for quite a few years now. Starting out with 3D rendering and merging his renders with photography has created some gorgeous results. Lots of his work is based off of popular culture movies such as Star Wars, and comic book characters. It’s so much fun to look at! The intricate details that he puts into everything is fantastic!
What’s especially refreshing is how Lukasz Liszko is always eager to help others grow. His deviant art page shows all the steps he's taken to create his final pieces and he offers up a bunch of advice for others in his answers. He truly loves what he does and wants other to do that, too.
Where are you from?
I’m from Poland. I live in a small town, Garwolin, near the capitol of my country.
How did you get interested in photography and digital art?
In high school I didn’t think about digital art nor photography. I wanted to be an archeologist. But around this time I saw the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and decided that I’d like to do something like that: to create such wonderful digital worlds which are so believable, like the ones from Peter Jackson’s movie. And that’s how my journey with digital art started. Photography came later as an addition to my 3D works. I couldn’t do digital characters (still can’t) so I needed to add real people to my works through some photoshoots.
What do you try to show with your work?
I would like to make unrealistic things look like they are real. Create new worlds, heroes and villains. Inspire other people, encourage them to work, to improve themselves. If a shy person from a small town could start his own journey to reach his dreams other people also can do this. This is what I try to show with my work.
What kind of camera equipment do you use, and why that particular brand?
I use Nikon D7100 with Nikon and Sigma lenses and Yongnuo flash lights. Nikon D7100 is my second camera - before I used the D40 model. Why Nikon? I think that I chose it because it had a better entry level than Canon. And after buying the D40 I didn’t want to change the whole system so I decided to get D7100. I’m pleased because it’s a very good DSLR camera and its price was also reasonable.
With regard to the rest of my equipment, I would like to say something about Yongnuo flash lights. They are very cheap and their quality is good, too. For strobing purposes and a small home studio I can’t imagine a better solution. I use them (560-III model) with a wireless system controlled by Yongnuo 560TX. Everything works perfect. So if you are searching for cheap but good equipment for your home studio, definitely go for it.
What is your spirit animal?
That’s a difficult question. Honestly, I think I can say that I’m quite a hard-working person and I’d like to have the strength to work even more on improving my art skills – so I should definitely choose an ant or a bee because these animals are associated with that attribute. I know that’s a bit of a weird choice – everyone wants to be like a lion, wolf, bear etc. – but that was the first idea I had on my mind.
How long does a typical shoot take? Do you have a team of people or is it just you and the models?
I think that a typical shoot takes about 4 hours. 1 hour for make-up and 3 for taking photos.
About your second question. I don’t have any team. I would like to have but it’s difficult to find the right people to work regularly with. I tried to build a team consisting of models, MUA [ed: MakeUp Artist], stylist, clothes designer, and second photographer a few times but that was an unsuccessful episode. So I still work alone.
You've done quite a few pop cultural photo shoots. (Catwoman, Star Wars, and Mad Max Fury Road). What draws you to creating work from those films?
The answer for that question is simple – because I like them. Movies, comics, and books related to the sci-fi and fantasy theme are a big part of my life. I really would like to work professionally in film or the video game industry so I try to come close with my works, level to that area. Nowadays I do this only as a hobby but I hope it will change some day in the future.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I like video games, movies, books, comics, TV shows and they are an inspiration for me. I try to make something which can belong to titles I admire. Also, I have several favourite book series which I’d like to illustrate but currently my skills don’t allow me to do that. I need to learn new techniques first.
How did you make the Princess Leia and R2D2 photos? Did you use some digital art as well?
Yes, this project is a combination of photography and digital art. I used my own 3D models – so in the hallway interior R2-D2, the character’s belt, and a toy blaster (purchased on Amazon), are all made in 3D. Then I made the whole scene in 3D, rendered it and used it as a background for this photoshoot.
I like making everything from scratch so I know that the whole project is “mine”. I try not to use stock images and if I need to use any I always overpaint them so it’s something similar to photobashing technique rather than simple “copy and paste” photos in the background.
What is the next series you are working on?
Currently I need to finish my last The Lord of the Rings project with the Eowyn character. I have two illustrations from it ready, and am working on the third one. After that, I have a photo shoot on Poison Ivy and another Star Wars.
How have you improved as an artist since you first started?
You can see this on three pictures below. I think I’ve improved as an artist. Maybe not as much as I want but I think that progress between my first and current works is perfectly visible.
What would you like to be more proficient at?
3D is my main field of work, so I consistently pursue the goal of improving my modeling and texturing skills. Also, I really would like to start making 3D characters and come back to drawing. I think that both these skills would extremely improve the quality and expand the range of potential subjects of my works.
What is your favourite movie, and why?
Here is only one answer – The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Peter Jackson. For me it’s the ideal movie production, great book adaptation which left its mark on every Tolkien fantasy fan. There’s no other concept of the Middle-Earth. The only correct one is the vision of Peter Jackson and the artists from WETA studio. The design of characters, environment concepts, 3D models, the epicness of battles, acting, and music – everything is so amazing! With that connection my dream job is to work with Peter Jackson in his WETA Digital studio on one of his movies (would be great if that was the “Malazan Book of the Fallen” book adaptation).
What detail in your photography to you think you focus on way too much?
Maybe I can expand that question to all my projects because photography is only a small part of what I do. I think I spend too much time making unnecessary things, detailing areas which are not clearly visible later. I think it’s partly a fault that the pre-production phase is a bit neglected by me. It’s another point to consider on my “skills improvement checklist”.
Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?
I don’t know if I have ever eaten Fudgee-O cookies, so my vote goes here for Oreo.