Marius Paraschiv is drawing. That is the most important thing for him right now. As this interview went on, his passion for digital art simply filled the whole atmosphere. There are people who see this as a 9 to 5 job, and there are people for which digital art is some sort of breathing machinery. Marius is one of them.
Introducing Marius Paraschiv
He graduated from the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computer Engineering (specialized in Information Technology) in Iasi, Romania two years ago. He has been working since he was 19. Today, six years later he is a digital art addict.
Marius has been freelancing for over six years, but he also had regular jobs. The first one was as a professional graphic designer at VeryCreative - a web design company. He considers it to be a great start because he worked with foreign clients and had to produce very different types of graphic content.
His next job was as a Graphic/User Interface Designer and Flash/Flex Developer at Kabinet. He says that this job was where he started his real professional career as a User Interface Designer.
Today, he is a Flash Designer & Developer at SIVECO, in Bucharest, the largest IT Company in Romania and in Eastern Europe. He creates interactive content for the company's eLearning solutions. He develops eLearning applications for different countries in Europe and Asia, that works on PCs, tablets, smartphones, multi touch devices, augmented reality devices, holograms, etc.
In May 2011 he founded a small company named BEYOND FANTASY DESIGN STUDIO, where he leads a team of designers and web developers. Their goal is to create new kinds of content and users experiences for the web. Also, in the near future, they want to create a new department that works on character design and 2D/3D animation.
But let’s allow him to talk more about himself:
Why graphic design? When did all this begin?
Well, it’s a long story. I must say that I always liked and appreciated art in its different aspects: drawing, painting, sculpting, music, literature. It was in my first years of primary school, at an age when most of us are easily influenced by things surrounding us, things that we see, hear or feel.
I remember my classmates reading Walt Disney comics and I asked them to borrow some of them, to read at home. That’s because my parents never bought me comics. :)
One day I started drawing some of my favorite heroes at that time: Mickey Mouse, Donald and Pluto. I proudly showed my notebook of drawings to my classmates. I was very sad when a classmate showed me his own notebook of drawings which were way better than mine but for me, all this was just the beginning.
In the next few months I worked harder and harder. Meanwhile, I was competing with my classmate at math and other courses, also. The results the results were immediate. For me, it was so important to 'defeat' him that I didn't notice the benefits this competition. Once “defeated“, he no longer represented a challenge for me.
In secondary school I had a great art teacher who was also a great painter. His name was Cocheci Marin. Thanks to him, I was more and more attracted to drawing. Although I wasn't drawing constantly, I started studying different drawing styles and art trends.
Shortly, another classmate became a new challenge. He was way better than me and the challenge was so much greater than the previous one. It was an obvious sign that I must work harder in order to overcome this new barrier.
In the last year of secondary school, after a long time of struggle and hard work, I was almost equal to him. I won a contest called "Coloured Carols" in the Christmas season of 2000 and I "defeated" him in that competition. After that, the competition between us didn't last long because an important exam was approaching and we stopped drawing for a while.
Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of him after the end of secondary school. In high-school I didn’t meet anyone with a passion for drawing so there was nobody to compete with. I had an idea of making my own exhibition in my living room, so I continued drawing but not constantly.
The years of faculty had a great impact upon me. In the first year I met a very talented student who became my roommate and one of my best friends, a year later. He was drawing manga characters in Adobe Photoshop, inspired by Dragon Ball Z and Bleach. I remember my first drawing in Adobe Photoshop - BloodRayne. It took me three months of drawing by mouse. It was then when I learnt Photoshop and I noticed I can do anything I imagined. It was so much easier than on paper. All I needed was to learn how to express my own style. Since then, I improved a lot with every drawing. After graduation I had a full-time job which allowed me to save some money and buy a graphic tablet, so that I could continue to improve my skills.
What's your favorite element? What do you mostly use as objects in your designs?
My work in graphic design is very diverse, covering many domains. Each and every project I work on has its own requirements. This is good, as it implies a degree of uniqueness and originality. Therefore, there is no element or object I use often.
What tools do you use in your work and why?
I have almost 11 years of experience in Adobe Flash Professional so this is, by far, the software I use most at home and in my professional work.
I also use Adobe Photoshop a lot, then Maxon Cinema 4D and Adobe Illustrator. They fit my style and expectations. Also, I learnt to use them very well, in order to create or develop a certain part of a project or a piece of artwork.
What would you recommend for beginners (technology/software) and why?
I think we are all unique. We have different personalities and styles. Therefore I recommend that everyone use the software/technology that fits best his/her style and needs, in order to bring his/her ideas to reality. That's the most important thing. It is not a specific piece of software that I recommend to beginners but patience, hard work and commitment to the learning process.
I recommend they enrich their visual library by searching for all sorts of inspiration sources and assimilating them. This will help a lot in developing the basics of a compositional element. Starting from that, they will be able to develop their work very easily, always knowing where they are and where they are going to, with a specific drawing for example.
Having a large visual library, the ideas will always appear and a good idea is impossible to stop. That certain idea will give them the answers they are looking for, when searching for the right technology/software to use and the appropriate steps in materializing it.
How much time do you spend on different types of designs?
It depends on the client's requirements on one hand, and on my constancy and my continuity in one certain type of design on another. For example, I spend about 2-3 days creating a User Interface from scratch. This implies controls, presentation, navigation, access to information, etc. In digital art, for drawing a character, for example, I spend about 1-2 days, depending on the level of details required for that character.
What artists do you follow? Who impresses you and why?
I can't say I follow certain artists. I have created my own style and I like to be original. But I am well impressed by the work, style and drawing speed of Feng Zu, one of the instructors at FZD School of Design, in Singapore. Also, I always admired my first art teacher in secondary school.
Which is your next step? What do you wish to pursue further in your career?
There are many things I want to achieve in the near future. One of them is to lay the foundations of a department of character design and 2D/3D animation at BEYOND FANTASY, in order to create comics and animated movies, both cartoons and 3D.
After that, and having the necessary budget, I want to enlarge my team and have my own design studio with all the necessary equipment, so that I can obtain best quality results.
Enjoy Marius’s Work Through a Windows Theme
Marius shared with us some of his digital drawings, inspired by comics and cartoons. We packed them into two Windows themes: one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 8. The theme is the same in both operating systems.
We recommend that you use your favorite BitTorrent client to download the themes. You can find the BitTorrent download page here: Comics Theme for Windows 7 and Windows 8, by Marius Paraschiv. You can download the torrent file directly from here.
If you are not familiar with torrents, we recommend that you read this brief tutorial: Using BitTorrent to Share Big Files with You - How Will it Work?.
You can also download the theme using your web browser. However, the download speed might be much slower than via the torrent service we generally use. The Windows 7 theme can be downloaded from here. The Windows 8 theme can be downloaded from here.
COPYRIGHT: Marius Paraschiv. If you plan to use the drawings included in this theme for something other than your desktop backgrounds, you need written permission from their author.
Follow Marius’s Work
I’m sure that after viewing the drawings included in this Windows theme, you will want to see more of his work. You can find his company’s portfolio here: BEYOND FANTASY. Also, you can follow him on Facebook, using this link: Beyond Fantasy | Design Studio.
We would like to thank Marius for sharing his work with us and our readers and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.