Q1: Let’s start with the common question, if you can kindly introduce yourself.
I am Chester R. C. van Bommel. I am a freelance digital illustrator and retoucher. I work for a few leading retouching companies at this side of the globe doing mainly ATL Advertising jobs.
Q2: How did you get into the field of your work?
I started out as a conventional illustrator. I did Art school. But when I wanted to start the first computers were being used in the industry. I did not know anything about them but even then I realized that that was the new way of thinking and production. I extended my education with digital techniques and got the chance to start working after applying by the leading company in my country at that time. This was achieved after they had to pull me out of the building when I was holding myself at the door post whilst screaming : ” I am not leaving this place before I know I will work here !! ”
Q3: Do you have any current favourite artists, comic artists, photographers who may have influenced you to become the artist that you are?
Too much to mention. It is like music. You know, you can fall for that particular song and when you go listen to the album it sucks, except for that particular song. It is the same with visual influences but in general you can say that I am influenced by all the old masters in painting like Vermeer, Breughel and Rubens as well as surrealists like Margritte and Dali. But do not forget Boris Vallejo, and Luis Royo, and Banksy, and Franquin, and Don Lawrence and Tod Mcfarlane, and Keith Haring, and Gregory Crewdson, and Inez van Lamsweerde, and Vinoodh Matadin, and Rodin, and Escher so many, many, many more.
Q4: What are the main tools of your trade?
Since I started in 1993, I have experienced the complete evolution of digital image manipulation. High end creative retouching techniques that started out on the Quantel Paintbox and found there way along Barco Creator to the Macintosh with all the treasures of Adobe. So the Macintosh along with Photoshop is my main tool. Blended with conventional techniques as well
Q5: How was it for you to learn the process of that? Did you teach yourself, take classes or learn from other existing artist’s tutorial?
To learn about all the things involved digital production, believe it or not but we started out by scanning 4X5 inches professional film, was a bumpy road. I always have had the luck to be around very experienced and driven people who were willing to teach. After you have created a base it is up to yourself to experiment and to “translate” knowledge to meet your own wishes.
Q6: Do you think its possible for you to describe the process of your art style, what are the dos and don’ts, the important aspects you set yourself to achieve your style of design?
The process is all by all quite natural and I think all processes of creation will follow a similar path. Like all creations it starts with a rough idea or feeling. This idea is being refined along the way and it grows. Things are added and things are deleted. After a while there is a picture for which you can say it is a base. Then the important stuff begins.An absolute do is that one has to educate her or himself into the proper use of colors. The old masters in painting are a fine base for that. Why do we add just that color into the highlights and what does a colorized black mean. As far as Art is concerned there are no absolute don`ts apart from the fact that it can not turn out ugly as hell. A style evaluates constantly, a logical result of wanting to improve yourself.
Q7: What are the biggest struggles you encounter as a artist?
As an Artist the only struggle I know is that there are only twenty four hours in a day and that one can use an hour only once. There are still many ideas waiting to be visualized and so little time to do so.
As a retoucher another challenge is that I have to be able to meet up to every taste and standard available. Empathize with every style. When you make a product there can be no discussion when it is finished. When the last screw is being screwed it is finished. My product if finished when everybody likes it, which can become very complicated
Q8: Do you have any other future plans that don’t involve creative art? Would consider working outside that field and into something new?
Well I am a nature minded person. I live in the direct environment of ancient woods and big rivers. If I would ever be disappointed in Art and considering a career change it would certainly be something like a forester or a lumberjack that does sustainable forestry.
Q9: Do you have any personal mottos, quotes or existing quotes that motivates you to do what you love doing? Can you share it with us or provide words of wisdom from your experiences for those who look up to you?
Input is Output. You can turn a pastry in to shit but not the other way around.
Q10: To round off the last question, where can your fans and new fans find updated news and progress from you, – Where can we find you?
I am way too busy to profile myself onto the known social media. I am still waiting for some quite moments to arrange all that, I think that I find making images more important then that. Here are some websites to follow.