Today in our “Web-Cafe” we drink coffee and talking with famous graphical artist Vladimir Booth…
– Hello, Vladimir. Thank you for agreeing for the interview. Many of our readers will be very interested to read an interview with a man whose works decorate MiniArt and ICM boxes of models. Let’s start from the very begining … Could you tell me, where did it all start? Do you have some kind of art education or drawing was your hobby originally and later developed into a profession?
– Hi, Denis! Hello to everyone who reads these lines! It all began from an early childhood when my father was making military toys for me.The situation with military toys was not very good in our region at that time (the 80s) and my father was making tanks, planes, even ships out of wood and plasticine for me and my older brother using materials from magazine “Youth of Enginery”. They were not exact copies of the originals, however, one could guess the silhouettes. For some reason, I remember very well how my father painted the Mustang fighter, which he also carved from wood, remembered the invasion strip on the wings and the smell of oil paints and enamels. That was probably the moment when the foundation for the interest in the history of military equipment was laid. I was not interested in the drawing then, only games. A little bit later, one New Year’s morning, I got my first NOVO model, it was Martin Baltimore airplane. After we gathered it together with my father, we realized that this was not our last model. Of course, prefabricated models were not perceived by me as an object of art but were used as toys and along with plasticine copies and were intensively used for games. I began to get involved in drawing in the 7th form. It was amateurish, I did not go to art school. I drew with simple pencils what I liked but I did not picture anything military. At the end of the 9th form, my parents offered to enter the vocational school for a specialty”Artist-Decorator of Interiors of Civil and Industrial Buildings. This was my starting point in choosing a future profession. It was in the vocational school where I learned how to work with paints, got acquainted with different techniques of drawing. At the same time I began to try and draw the first colored profiles (sides) of tanks. It was in 1999.
– Yes, most of our hobbies emerged in childhood. I also remember my first model assembled with my father. This incomparable, almost magical smell of model glue, sprues with details … How did your career develop further? If not mistaken, at first there were works for magazines and after that you started to work on box-art for models?
– There were 8 long years between working in the magazine. For quite some time after graduating from vocational school I could not find a job according to my specialty and I had to work as a loader, security guard, taxi dispatcher, there was even a time when I was offered a job as a janitor at a cemetery by the local employment center))) After that I worked in outdoor advertising in my hometown Tokmak for several years. In the evenings I was drawing military equipment and color profiles of armored vehicles in gouache, reading periodicals. I dreamed of doing a book on the camouflage of the Red Army armored vehicles. At school time I started building ships from the paper, then I realized that the tanks were closer to me and started building paper tanks until I was ready for the plastic sets on the 35th scale. Several years passed before due to some circumstances I had to go to Kharkov. At the same time my friend and colleague Sergey called and told me that he found such an interesting magazine “Science and Technology” which was published just in Kharkov. He thought that maybe I should try to offer them my work as I draw military equipment, so I called them and agreed upon an interview that went well for me. And so it began)) My first drawing of the T-55 appeared on the second page of the cover in the 9th issue for 2007. The work in the journal had to be combined with the main type of activity at the time – outdoor advertising. And even now you can find shop and café signs in Kharkov made by me.
Working with illustrations for the magazine in gouache technique did not satisfy me, I saw it myself and I also received criticism at the forum of the magazine. It really bothered me, I felt that gouache and paper were limiting me. I saw the illustrations made in graphic editors and realized that I had to try myself in this area as well. One day I ran Photoshop and began to study this program independantly. Frankly speaking, I was carried away instantly, I almost immediately figured out how to use the tools and began making my first illustration in the evening on the same day. It was the color profile of the IS-4 tank. In 2011 I had to abandon outdoor advertising and began to make illustrations more actively because thanks to the new technique and the increased quality of of my illustrations, the number of orders increased.
– So all your recent illustrations are completely digital? I mean, work in graphic editors along with a digital tablet? Or do you work “in the old-fashioned way” with paper as well?
– About a year ago I still worked with paper but now the graphics tablet is my everything)))
– If we talk about box-arts… Do you have some favorite and not so favorite thematic? For instance, tanks, trucks, aviation? What do you do for your soul and what is perceived only as work?
– I prefer ground enginery and it is not limited only to military, aviation is also quite an interesting direction. I did not have to deal with the fleet in terms of boxers. But what is really perceived as a routine is the color profiles of enginery. There is less creativity and more craft.
– Could you tell me, when you’re working on some boxing art, is it a hard story provided by the customer or are you provided with introductory information (prototype, necessary angle), and the rest of the environment is completely at your discretion?
– More often the customer offers prototype and angle and the rest is completely up to me. But I can also suggest and change the camera angle, because it is not so spectacular in my opinion.
– Indeed, your works are spectacular and with a good taste. Could you name a couple of your boxing arts, which you prefer the most? My todays’ favorite is “The King Tiger” with an interior from ICM.
– Thank you 🙂 Well, “King Tiger” is a joint work with the illustrator Elena Stanilevich, there was such an experiment of work in co-authorship. To tell you the truth, I’m almost never satisfied with my work 100%. If we choose from those works that I like myself, it’s the Afghan T-55A miniart 37022, SU-85 miniart 35204 and Sd.Kfz.223 ICM 48192.
– I agree with you here, if a person is satisfied with his work 100%, then it means that the development in this area stopped … I would say this is not applicable to you. Most of your new boxing art is superior in quality and drive if to compare to the previous ones …Side color arts, color schemes for models. Where do the varieties of paintings come from? Is the information normally collected and provided by the customer or is this your work as well?
– Side color arts are joint work, as a rule I find something, something might be provided by the customer. Sometimes these are photographs from private collections and they are not even on the Internet.
– How do you spend your free time if you have some? Do you have other hobbies other than modeling?
– I mostly spend my free time with my family. I do not forget about modelism, although I do not have much time for it. I love walking tours, when I can think about the subjects of future works, or simply admire the surrounding world.
– Vladimir, our conversation is coming to an end… In conclusion, a couple of traditional questions that I ask all guests of our rubric WEB-Cafe. A couple of years ago I had a feeling that modeling is slowly dying out … But now, based on my Facebook news feed, I can conclude that the modeling has not lost its relevance. Moreover, over the past year there has been a tangible leap forward. This concerns both the general professional level of the modelers and the expansion of topics in the model hobby. For example, the genre of fantasy, modernity became very popular… The 2-nd World War, in my opinion, forcibly surrenders its position. What do you think about this?
– Yes, I agree, modeling is now experiencing a new upsurge, and in my opinion this is facilitated by technical progress in terms of not only tools and materials, but also in the ability to easily exchange information. The social networks are full of modeling groups and the modelers themselves have the opportunity not only to upload photos of their work but also to shoot videos of reviews, construction sites and also do “streams” in which the assembling-coloring models are demonstrated in online mode…. As for the themes of World War II it is logical and similar to the trends of fashion. Now civilian equipment theme is becoming more popular, which, in my opinion, is also very interesting to the modelers. But I think World War II will return to the model shelves with a new force!
– And the last question… You certainly know our web-site. Do you have any suggestions or tips for filling the content of not-TOYS.com? What is more interesting for you as an artist and a modeler: ready-made works by other modelers, kit reviews or, perhaps, some fundamentally new section or theme?
– Oh, of course I am familiar! As for me it is quite interesting and convenient resource! To be honest I like everything and my most favorite section is the “Gallery” in which there are plenty of worthy works that I find very inspiring.
– Thank you very much for the positive evaluation of our web-site. Also thank you for agreeing to talk. The interview turned out to be very bright and I am sure it will be interesting for a wide range of our readers.I would like to wish you good health, creative success, bright and non-standard boxing art. Good luck in everything!
– Thank you, Denis! I was glad to talk to you! Good luck and prosperity to your resource and all its subscribers!
Interviewed by: Denis Ignatiev
Photo & box-arts: Vladimir Booth (personal archive)