Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Painting with... Javier González (Arsies)

Javier González is the name behind the nick Arsies. He is one of the most productive painters from Spain in this moment, with an extraordinary quality and an enviable career in painting. He is currently working as a professional miniature painter since his retirement to the hot land of Ubrique, in the south of Spain. Let's find out more about him and his work.

    V: Javi, I still remember when we met, back in Alfonso Giraldes' painting course in Santander, 2006. Long time has passed! Did you begin painting at that time or are you an authentic old school? Which moment do you consider was your birth as a real painter?

    Javi: Well its difficult to say. I think that I did not start there and I'm not an old school either. I started with 15 mm Napoleonic soldiers painted with Humbrol enamels and afterwards I passed to Games Workshop. I painted a Blood Angels army with drybrush when I was 15 and because of having no friends playing the game, I left it until a year before the course you are referring to (and I don't know how many times I've heard quite the same story of many people). Even so, I don't think there is a specific moment in which I could refer as my serious painting birth moment.

    V: Who do you consider your true masters or the painters that have the most influence in your painting?

    Javi: Seems that there is no easy question huh? Well, obviously this was a stepping stone process. The first from whom I learned was Pablo López (Paloji) when we both participated in "La Guerra del Anillo", a spanish community about Lord of the Rings miniature range enthusiasts. Back then he was way better than me, and he always had the patience of explaining everything whenever I asked, I cannot avoid mentioning him. Since that moment its all been an evolution, learning from everyone and trying to assimilate the best out of each one. I have always been impressed by the use of colour from Alfonso, but in reality I think that if I begin mentioning people this could turn into an endless list, so I will only say two more things about this:

      1- Yes, Rafa, I also learned from you xD
      2- Lately I have distanced myself from the internet whirlwind and I think this has changed my point of view allowing me to be much more personal and do things without much outer influence. I think sometimes its good to zoom out to see things in perspective, but this step would have been difficult without the help of "The cursed monkey corp.", my group of friends who gather around to do nerdy things (and also drink some beers).

    V: How would you define your painting style? Do you think that people could recognise a work of yours without knowing that it is yours previously?

    Javi: I'm not really sure if anyone would be able to differentiate or not one of my miniatures. Some people tell me that they can clearly differentiate them from others but I also heard that everyone is painting the same way. I think that this is the goal, but I also understand that if I like the style of someone else its evident that I will try to do something similar, and it also works vice versa.
    I think that if something can characterize my style is the definition. I like everything to be very well differentiated, not confusing, yet another thing is if I succeed in doing this or not. Others say I'm too much technical, it could be.

    V: Which do you consider is your best work?

    Javi: I hope that the one I am doing now! XD

    The objective is to grow better with each miniature. Evidently this is a job for me and I cannot always do that, but the objective is that the finished miniature becomes obsolete soon. Even so, I would say that my favourites are the Varathar, the Zorabeth, the first Falkar (I think I've painted 3 or 4 by now, I lost count already), and of course, the Wolf Lord in his throne, and the Nurgle Lord. I also like very much the bust I painted for the WNT which you will be able to see in Switzerland.

    V: The mandatory question. Historical or Fantasy?

    Javi: I don't see the difference, its painting, its miniatures, the only thing I see difference in is the colour schemes because in one of them it is already decided for you while in the other it isn't. The rest is all subjective, even the interpretation of that colour scheme.

    V: We see you generally painting commercial miniatures or light conversions. Have your tried sculpture? Do you see yourself as a painter/sculptor or do you want to focus on painting?

    Javi: I would really love to sculpt. I already started with the help of my friend Antonio Fdez. (Piquifl) and I think i'm not doing too bad. The problem is that sculpting requires many hours of practice, and like with painting, now I don't have that time. If I win the lottery I guess I'll get into it. :)

    V: Has your vision of the hobby changed since you started painting professionally?

    Javi: A lot, you cannot really imagine how much. In general, when you get deep into something, whatever it is, it gets less beautiful. The idealised vision which a hobbyist has does not usually correspond to reality, howeve,r I love what I do and I am very stubborn so I do not give up. Also, many of my best friends have come out of painting, so for me it's worth everything.

    V: It is said that the professional miniature painting world is a complicated world, there is too much competetiveness in the shadows and people can be very evil. Have you experimented this sensation?

    Javi: Luckily only a little bit. I have to say that you can encounter many different situations, good and bad, but in the long term you can also find people that will be your friends for life and in my personal balance I think I ended up winning, although I am famous for having quite a rough personality and this has not eased the situation, normally I tend to lose in first impressions. Fortunately many people change their opinion once they get to know me.
    I guess that depending on who you ask, anyone can be on the "bad" side, we have to think that there is always two versions of everything.

    V: You won the Slayersword in the spanish Golden Demon in 2009. Are you considering going for that title again in Spain or any other country in the future?

    Javi: It's not a matter of trying to win again. Evidently everyone wants to win awards, and if you like Games Workshop and the Golden Demons you always want the Slayersword, it doesn't matter if you have one already or not. But I thinkt that there is a difference between wanting it and preparing something specific to get it. I am going to continue participating, be it preparing commission jobs or projects that I want to do, and if I am lucky and I get another Slayersword, great.

    V: What projects are you up to currently? We know that you intend to participate in the World Expo. Can you tell us something as a scoop?

    Javi: Mmm, I cannot really tell much because it is a tandem project with Antonio Fdez (Piquifl), he sculpts and I paint, so I prefer not to say much. The only thing I can say is that although I am very motivated I also get cold sweats from thinking on the work I still have to do.

    V: Javi, to finish the interview, I know that you are a loyal follower of Volomir's Blog. What would you like to see here in the future?

    More updates! XD I don't know, I think that you are doing great, I can find everything here, tutorials, step by step articles, interviews, the do not miss section (I love that one), but I think that you could also put some miniatures of your friends because they are not bad at painting either!

Thank you very much Javi, we hope to keep seeing you paint as well as always!

I leave you a link to his blog, if you want to visit him or just know more about his work.

Arsies Studio

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