My name is Yonatan Solomon. I’m a graduate of architecture from Addis Ababa Science and Technology University/AASTU. And now I work as digital artist in visual communication art or graphic design. I’m currently working on a wide range of projects including book illustration, branding, 3d and digital marketing. I am passionate about trying to create pictures that are unquestionably visually appealing no matter what the medium I use. I love how light reach surfaces, how it works, how it creates such an emotional impact on the viewer and how we perceive it in every type of works I do, especially in 3dviz and in my paintings.
The general objective of my projects in this digital paintings was to explore and study about mainly the impacts of color in the digital medium in evoking emotions. In this digital world we can have a lot of inspirations other than what we see in real life, so it was enough for me just to see art- works of what I love and I try to study them as I was inside of their mind like how they put their line marks or their brush strokes, what were they thinking while they paint. Which also known as master studies.
My art processes is a bit weird. I have no specific direction but mostly my creative process starts with an idea, though that idea may come in any time, while I read, watch a movie, or may be while I sleep. I will try to develop the idea as much as I can and then I start collecting reference materials which might include lighting, color, anatomical shapes that will then lead me to my mood board and finally I will breakdown the references and get to work.
Traditional media is always good for me, there is something about connecting pen and paper. I like feeling the texture and the fact that if I am drawing with a pen, there is no undo button, so you can be more decisive in your line marks. But in digital medium the closest you can get is having the display tablets though it may lead you to not being good at decision making for your lines because of that Ctrl Z thing.
I choose digital medium in my finished works because I can refine it more and it can show the result faster. There are a lot of things you can do in digital medium, so you will fail quicker and if you are a good student you will learn from it. It also gave me the opportunities to experiment variety of art styles. The digital tablets now can help you make anything you imagine real but you have to put an effort and do the work honestly before you can take your art to the professional level.
Challenges in Ethiopia
Art is not only for enjoyment it must have its own discipline and order. We must put time and effort to it to be really good at it. You can’t just have an idea without the skills to execute it. Art is also a science and there is a craft you have to get good at. In Ethiopia, there is good potential and progress in art. I hope in a near future to see a lot of good quality art education that teaches and give a direction to students. Most digital artist start their journey through isolated environments and being alone be-hind the computer, but now there is a hope of seeing art exhibitions and conventions and I hope it will evolve in the future.
Thinking before you do anything is helping a lot, like in drawing, I try to think before I put my line marks or brush strokes. What is your color combination and the mood or feeling it creates. And it helps to develop our eye by drawing what we like to draw then getting serious on our specific subjects.