Monday, August 6, 2012

Painting with... Pablo López (Paloji)

Like last year, we are going to perform some interviews to Slayersword winners in the Golden Demon circuit. We being today with the 2012 winners. In this case, visiting the blog today, I give you the first 2012 Slayersword winner, in Spain, Pablo López, aka Paloji. I'm sure you may know by now that the trophy has been filled with controversy (as many times before) so I think it is very interesting to know what Pablo has to tell us about his vision of the contest and the awards.

    Volomir: Pablo, it's been quite a few years since you started participating in Golden Demons and painting miniatures. In Spain you are well known in the painting community but maybe not so much abroad. Tell us a little bit about and how you got here! How did you learn to paint? What is the most particular thing that defines your painting?

    Paloji: I started thanks to The Lord of the Rings and Games Workshop (as many others). I had always been curious about this little world, I bought the White Dwarf just to see the photos and all, and that's when Peter Jackson made the movies of LOTR, I read the books and then GW released the game around the whole Tolkien world. I fell to the temptation. Starting there I started to paint on my own but soon I found a forum about LOTR miniatures on the internet, forum from which a great community around the game came out,, and there I met a lot of people and started to attend painting contests and local tournaments. After that I found the Spanish Team forum, I met a lot of you guys, I attended painting classes of some of the best painters from which I learnt a lot (Alfonso Giraldes Banshee and Jose Palomares JMPN), I started to travel to contests outside my city and my country... until today!
    About my way of painting, if truth be said I don't think I am able to define it correctly, I suppose I have logical influences from Bansee and JMPN for their painting classes and for being two of the biggest references. I think that was characterizes me the most when I paint is that I am very chaotic, I improvise a lot along the way, I don't use any particular method and my progressing during painting is a bit crazy. I find it hard to follow a logical order.

    Volomir: Without a doubt, the Slayersword this year has been surrounded with controversy, as many other years before this one when someone, who wasn't in any bet lists, won the trophy. Now that some time has passed and seems like the storm has passed, how do you feel?

    Paloji: Controversy seems to be part of the trophy, haha, only few times an award leaves absolutely everyone happy and no one protests. In this case I think it's clear that it's a controversial award because nobody thought about me for the sword (not even me, sincerely). All the bets pointed towards Marc Masclans' giant and since the moment when he was given the silver in our category of diorama, all started to be very weird. But all in all, the decisions of the jury are part of the game, sometimes they give you and sometimes they take from you and this is known by everyone entering the contest. I am very happy and proud with my diorama (this is what's really important to me) and also about my sword, but at the same time I feel bad for Marc because he is a great painter and a good friend who I know for a long time, many years we have passed together in "La Guerra del Anillo", and I would have been very happy too if he had won the trophy instead. I am confident that he will end up winning because he is a great painter and he deserves it.

    Volomir: Do you think that winning the sword is good or bad for you? Do you believe there will be pressure on you about the next thing you create? Some competitors talking shit?

    Paloji: I hope it is no bad!! hahaha. For me this is a hobby, I don't take it as seriously as to think about envious competitors and external pressures. The only pressure that should really affect me is the one I pose on myself. And as today, I think this is good for me, because both the award and the controversy have motivated me to keep painting and try to demonstrate that this hasn't been an accident or a gift to me.

    Volomir: You've been called "the loser" throughout the years by your close friends (I have been one of those haha) because you worked a lot on your entries and you never won and now that the cycle has been inverted seems like there's not too many people happy about it. Do you think that negative fame can be bad when the painting community accepts an award like this one?

    Paloji: I think that deep inside me I am still the same "loser", just take a look at what's happening, I get the big prize and there's a lot of controversy around it! hahaha. I sincerely hope that I don't get any negative fame for a jury decision in which I had nothing to do with. If part of the community wants to look at me negatively and do not want to accept my awards I would be extremely dissappointed, but I am convinced (or I want to be) that this is not going to happen, and that the majority of the community are still going to treat me the same way as always, and until now, I've had a good relationship in general with almost everyone.

    Volomir: What do you prefer, historical or fantasy? Why?

    Paloji: I prefer fantasy and science fiction for the freedom and creativy they let me, both when sculpting and painting. But I also like historical and I have painted some of them which I have deeply enjoyed.

    Volomir: What's your opinion on Open format vs Golden Demons?

    Paloji: Both have their pros and cons. In open, as they give many golds, silvers and bronzes, probably this is fairer and they value the best work of each one, but it doesn't have the emtion that a Golden Demon award ceremony has. In particular, I prefer the emotion I feel in a GD.

    Volomir: How do you prepare a new project? Can you tell us how do you deal with a new miniature and how much time do you dedicate to it?

    Paloji: As I said in the first question, I am very chaotic. The first thing to have is the idea, it can come from some movie scene, a book, some new release in the catalogue of some miniature brand, etc. Then that idea has to be drafted to see if it works, I think about it a lot in my head, I modify it if necessary, and as soon as possible I try to work on it, convert the miniature, paint, etc. Normally throughout the process, the project changes and evolves from the initial idea, because along the way I have to do some changes. About time... well depends on the type of project, but what I am sure about is that I dedicate less than what I should, hahaha, and that is something that happens to lots of us.

    Volomir: What is your favourite piece you have done? Objectively and personally speaking?

    Paloji: Complicated question this one! I am very fond of all my works, specially those which have been recognized with some award. I love very much my last diorama for obvious reasons, I also like very much the duel of the Ork against the Blood Angel because that is the first with which I got a Golden Demon after long time pursuing it, the diorama of "The Championz" because of the idea, the duel of the giant and the dragon because of the difficulty of the piece, the buggy because it's very funny. I think that the Knarloc is probably my best piece because its the most polished technically.

    Volomir: Can you tell us seomthing about the projects you have in mind? What will be the nest miniatures that you are going to paint? Are you going to try to get the sword again in some other place?

    Paloji: Getting the sword again is very complicated! Well, at least I'll have to try, don't I? hahaha. Well, I'll try to do what I have been doing so far, paint what I feel like and do it the best way possible, and all the trophies that come (if they come) then they shall be welcome. And about other projects... I have a WH Fantasy Ogre in process and a Gandalf which I intend to enter both in Golden Demon UK if there's no external impediments about it.

I think it has been extremely interesting to know what Pablo has to say about the controversial Golden Demon this year in Spain. A pleasure as always to chat a little bit with you, Pablo. After all these years together going to GD, it's been a great joy to see you go get the biggest trophy which probably nobody expected, but now that this has happened, I wish you enjoy it very much! Thank you Paloji! May you keep being so nice and never cut your hair! Long live la Raspura Oscura!

Stay tuned for more interesting interviews about the hobby!

No comments: