Interview with Der Punkt

by Mr Ed (May 2000)

    Hello Der Punkt,

    The first question is always an easy one. Tell us a little  bit about yourself. Your name, age, ect.

    Ok. My real name is Petar Ivancek, I'm 21 (edition '78). I live in Bjelovar/Zagreb(college), Croatia. And I have a kid brother (not actually a kid anymore).

    And what do you do for a living? 

    For living? I eat =))). No I don't have a job YET, I am currently studying arts at Croatian Academy of Fine Arts. 
    I also do DTP, design and some other shitty payed stuff.

    What kind of person are you? Quiet type or very open?

    I guess if two of us would sit somewhere and drink coffee/beer, you would prolly find me humorous and openminded. But I am actually very quiet (unless someone pisses me off, then I get nasty {I wish it didn't happen that often}).

    Does it happen often then?

    Yes, bcoz I meet a lot of ppl who think they are above everyone or at least above the level I consider myself on (usually happens on forums). And what I hate the most is when someone who, for instance, is still learning techniques or struggling with shapes and colours, tries to or does insult me by saying my pic is unimaginative, or, the eye should be 2 pixels left, the brow is too short etc. These are such small details, and most of the time, ppl are trying to find an error, they don't look at it as an object that represents something.

    I DO accept criticism, and I like it especially when it comes from someone who is not a graphician (those ppl usually look at pictures AS pictures, not as a group of small details), but I think what bothers me most is the lack of respect we have towards each other. I once (when I entered the scene) behaved like that, and now I feel very stupid bcoz of  it. Its just the plain respect thing that bothers me. Plus there is something, that I also find of great value, and thats helping someone out by criticising and pointing out the way/technique how to improve or fix something. Without it, I really don't see the point of critique. 

    Hehe, just recently, when I was releasing a preview of Domina Satanica, among very nice and supportive opinions (helpfull too), there was one that sounded a bit like this: "Yeah, its great, but something is missing.....Why not make the right girls hair blonde." I actually found it very funny bcoz the whole point of the opinion was not to help me improve, but to change it to someone elses idea. And I see that it happens a lot. But, in the end I think what I was just saying is a mere bitching, bcoz I am tense and mostly depressed bcoz of my constant failures with getting a job in the game industry so I display my anger differently. Sorry about that.

    Any hobbies?

    Hobbies. Hmmmmmm. No. I find skinning, digital art and other computer related stuff my job. Well, I do skateboard, but, I wouldn't call it a hobby =)

    Skinning? You are a quake fan?

    Yes, but I don't really play Quake that much, especially Q3, since I can't afford a decent 3D card. Plus, skinning, and moving around in a Qcommunity is very good way to get noticed by a potential employer.


    What other computer related stuff? Gaming?

    Yes, I think the best description of what I do is game art. I DO make something thats personal/expressive from time to time, but I basically stick to game art (character design mostly).

    What does the scene mean to you?

    Beautifull years of friendship, commitment, and improvement. I met SO many great ppl that I would love to meet in person one day, but unfortunately my financial status doesn't allow me to go to parties or to visit them.

    How did you came up with the handle "Der Punkt"?

    I had a lot of handles like Carcass (that was my Death Metal period ), then Petruschka (integrating my name in), but later on, I decided to take something very similar to my line of work. Since Pixie, Pix, Dot were taken, I translated everything to German and came up with this one. Although, these days, I mostly sign my stuff as P.I., Pea Eye (like my homepage) or dP.

    4 handles? That must be a record :)  When did you first notice that you had a talent for drawing art?

    I can't remember. I draw since kindergarten. My earliest work was drawing Superman, after I've seen in the movie, as far as I recall.

    How did you start with computers? 

    My 1st computer was an Atari Mega ST2 with B/W monitor (so, no colours, no 256 level grayscale, just bloody raster). That was my 1st encounter with computer graphics. After that my dad bought Atari TT030 (for DTP), and I got my 1st Amiga. I fiddled a bit with DPaint, but then I gave up. It was too tiresome. So, I went back to my other love - games. While playing games I always had some ideas how to improve them. So I got interested in game design. But to design a game, I had to do computer gfx, at least for animating the characters. So, I went back to Dpaint. I was 13 then.

    Then what? Blood, sweat and tears?

    Yeah, I guess it could be decribed like that. But, there were periods when I would leave gfx for a LOOONG time. Yeah, I remember, it was between Amiga and PC. I got sick of pixeling, and I started playing games ALOT. Then we (me and my bro) got PC, games didn't look as good as Amigas did, but Windows 3.1 was nice =). And with Windows came Photoshop 2.5 LE. It looked ok, especially the clone tool =). But I didn't work in it till a certain croatian games mag made a gfx contest. So, I did a little picture for it, and, strangely, I won. That made me go back to Photoshop and work in it every day. Now I wouldn't trade it for the world =)).

    When and how did you first get in contact with the scene?

    Croatia never had a demoscene. Actually it did, but it consisted of 2 groups and 3 BBS'. We all watched demos and wanted to do something, but there weren't any coders (Imagine doing a demo in Red Sector =))). So, I was again all alone, doing gfx and being unable to release it.

    Then came Internet (thank god). So, I got on IRC, found a channel called #pixel and that was it. I hooked up with Fear/TBL, and we started doing a demo for ASM '97. Which we didn't finish (bloody coders =)).

    Since none of the demos I worked on got released, I started working solo again (doing gfx for various music groups, potential demo groups or artdisks).
    music - Theralite
    art disks - Reservoair Dogs (I got to #pixel with Virago's lp),Moonshine 1&2 (that was Cleaners baby featuring Made, Zack, Antony, Splif, Flan and me)
    demos - I did some quickie stuff for Universe, Imago, and some others, I don't recall.

    Which one springs out in your mind?

    Souls for ASM. Good idea, too bad it didn't get released AND finished =)

    Did you ever had any luck in a party Compo?

    Yes. I actually had MAJOR f**kups with parties. The one that went smooth was Antique (I got 7th), and some little party somewhere in Hungary that I won (I still didn't get that prize =)). My major party was The Party VIII, but my picture got lost somewhere down the road =(.Then I was doing something for ASM '98, and when I finished it I couldn't find anyone to hand it over to the judges. I think there was some problem with The Gathering but I don't remember what it was.

    That seems to be the story of your life. Things not getting released..... :)

    NOTHING!!!! gets released if I work on it. I worked on about 6 game projects - NONE finished. 
    Hehe, that must be the reason why companies don't want me. Hell, I could make EA go bankrupt.

    Hooked in you

    Hehe.. ok, back to drawing. What programs do you use for creating you’re picture’s?
    Photoshop 4.0. I don't like 5.0 coz I have shitty hardware, and as far as I know PS 5 has major memory leaks. Plus they mixed up hotkeys. Again =)

    What kind of hardware do you have then?

    Shitty =). Ok, here goes. I have AMD233, 64MB RAM and 14" monitor. Nothing else. Not even an artpad.

    How do you start when creating a picture? Do you first draw stuff on paper or do you draw directly via a computer?

    No, I never scan and then draw over it, I prefer doing it directly on the computer (its much cleaner). I do sometimes sketch and idea on paper, but just for a reference. And then? Sometimes I work with broads of colour adding and substracting colour values, and sometimes I draw outlines and go from there. I tried grayscale and post-colouring once, but it didn't work out.

    Do you use any extra tools?

    No, nothing. But sometimes I model something in Max if I don't understand the geometry I am trying to pull off.

    Where do you get your inspiration from?

    Women. Mostly women. I don't draw them AS they are, there is always some deeper meaning. How they react in certain situations, how they can be bitches sometimes. Usualy those meanings are personal. I had a surreal phase at one point, but today I think of it as a stereotype. I try to make my pictures simple and pure, to give viewer a maximum focus on the theme. Same reason I stopped doing backgrounds too.

    Mostly women? I've seen the collection we have of you. There are
    not THAT many woman in them. Are you holding out on us? :))

    Well, you asked for inspiration, and they are my inspiration. The rest of the stuff is what I do on the go. Except my goblins, orcs etc. I'd love to make a game with them.

    What do you find the most difficult to draw?

    Pelvis =). And hair. But I guess hair is just most tiresome and time consuming part.

    So woman with short haircuts then. :) What do you find the most easiest to draw?

    Eyes. I love doing eyes =). I can play with colour all I want.

    Do you only draw on computer or do you also paint?

    I draw mostly with pen and ink bcoz the college program requires that, but I am more of a grayscale person so I use pencils. Unfortunately, I don't have time for acryls or oils.Maybe during the summer break.

    Any examples? 

    Haven't made photos of them yet. Those are all HUGE things, A2 or even A1 format. Can't scan them, so photos are the only way to get them on computer. I did shoot a whole film of my drawings (portraits, figures), I have to develop it.

    Hooked in you

    What is your own favourite picture?
    Hooked in You. All I needed to express in that moment is in that picture. Oh yeah, and Shadows of Reality. =)

    Which pics are you not pleased about?

    A lot. Mostly early works, but I was a kid then, so maybe I have a wrong
    opinion about 'em.

    Why is that? I find your earlier works not that bad.

    Heh, I do. Well, you know how it goes. You make something, and you think you reached the top with it, and only a year after that, you take a look at it and say: "For chrissakes, what the hell was I thinking by doing this piece of junk" or "hahhaa, I did this??? No way." =)

    What is you’re favourite demo?

    Big Time/Axis and Fulcrum/Matrix. Of course, there are thousands that I can call my Robotnik, Outside, 73ms etc.

    And your favourite scene-artist?

    Phew. A lot of ppl are my favorites. Can I divide them into 2 groups? I can? Ok.

    technique - Definately Made, Danny, TMK and some oldschool guys. Like Phaze, Ra =)), Frankie.
    style and topics - Saffron, Orome, Archmage, DevilStar, uhmmmm, that oldschool guy ----- T-Vahn or something (the one that did cherries and lemons falling into water)

    Emmm that was Scuba wasn't it? And your favourite picture?

    No, I think it w... ah well, you know who I am talking about. Made/Traven's Terra Incognita and TMK's Blue.

    What is your point of view on scanning/retouching debate?

    Do what you want, but don't call it digital "artwork" unless its done entirely by you ON COMPUTER. Scanning/retouching is a style of its own, but it can't be compared with your own handjob =))))). Just kidding. Meant to say handrawn stuff.

    Hehe, right. What projects are you currently working on?

    I am doing stuff on Q3 Scene (skinning/modeling for some project), and I am also preparing to do design a demo for hope-to-be adventure game.

    And what are your plans for the future?

    Make lots of money making games. ASAP.

    Any immidiate plans it that direction, making games i mean?

    Yes, I was doing some concept sketches, complicated drawings and 3D objects, of one game I would like to do. Dunno, maybe I find a team, and make a demo that will work under Quake =). Also, I am preparing a huge portfolio that might interest Blizzard, but I dunno. After all those applications that I sent to companies, I doubt something would come out of this one.

    And any plans Scene-wise? Party visits? Demo releases?

    Sorry, nothing, don't have time/money for it. I might, JUST might release something for ASM, but if you promise it will get there =).

    Me? With your record?? No way i'm gonna promise that!! :))  Any advise to beginning artists? 

    Don't use dodge/burn for shading coz it makes your images shitty and plastic. Use Overlay and Multiply. And don't smudge.

    It’s time to end the interview. Anything you would like to say to the readers? Any hello’s?

    Just to send out some greets to all my dear friends in the scene (you know who you are =), and to ppl I work and spend my time in Q3 community, especially 3DPallete staff and #q3skins guys. 
    Specials go to TMK, Acryl, Virago, Danny, Saffron, Unreal, Scorpik, and all #pixel residents, and of course to everyone who is reading this.

    Thank you for your time Der Punkt. 

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