Monday, September 8, 2014

Miniature Painting Masters: Karol Rudyk

Welcome back to The Miniature Painting Masters Series where we sit down with some of our hobby's most prolific and well known painters. In this installment we talk with Karol Rudyk, multiple Golden Demon and Slayer Sword winner and the master of monsters.

Tyler: How did you first become a member of the miniature wargaming and painting hobby? 

Karol: My adventure with miniature painting began in 1995, when I saw some Warzone miniatures for the very first time in one of the bookstores in Elbląg, the city where I live. My passion grew with time, mainly due to reading White Dwarfs in my local bookstore. It was a long journey, from a kid who loves miniatures, to who I am today, a man who paints and sculpts them for a living.

Tyler: Do you play any of the games at all and if so how do you approach painting a display model and painting a gaming model differently? 

Karol: I've never played the tabletop games. Maybe once, but I'm definitely not a player.
I have always been a modeler and illustrator who likes monsters.

Tyler: How long had you been painting at what you would consider a series level before you won your first award? (Golden Demon or other) and can you take us through a little of your thought process on how you prepared that winning model? 

Karol: I started to paint figures seriously in 2005 (except for a few as a child, but they did not look good). I won my first Gold Daemon in the UK in 2006. I finished painting this figurine four weeks before the competition.

Tyler: What is your favorite model or models that you have painted? 

Karol: I always prefer dragons. I have painted several recently. My favorite model is always the model I am working on. I get bored quickly with older projects.

Tyler: Can you name one major change in the painting world that has impacted you the most since you started (basing changing from green flock to an integral part of the mini, more subdued colors, source lighting, etc.)? 

Karol: I think probably Victor Hardy's Golgotha and his freehand on the wings. I wanted to paint like him.

Also, the first non-metallic metal showed in Rackham's catalogue.

Tyler: How do you feel the rise of the internet has affected the way people paint their models or the general direction in which miniature painting has gone? 

Karol: In my opinion, the internet really helped to develop our community. First of all, we can exchange experiences with people in the whole world. Establishment of the site Cool Mini or Not was crucial for me. This was the first place where miniature painting appeared online.

Tyler: Which miniature painter(s) inspire you the most? 

Karol: Firstly of core, is Victor Hardy and his Slayer Sword winning Blodthirster from White Dwarf.

After this was Yelow One and Jarhead. Now also artists from Stan Winston School.

Tyler: What direction do you think miniature painting is going to go in next in terms of style and techniques? 

Karol: I think technology and quality of painting do not have to jump. Rather compositions will become more and more complex. 

More epic.

Tyler: You seem to have a special affinity for particularly large monsters lately. What draws you to these while painting?

Karol: I like big monsters because the are more epic than the standard 28mm single model.
I  like to add a rider to the monster so we can then see the size difference. With a larger figure I can also prepare a more epic base. So few people actually paint large models so they are more original.

Tyler: Games Workshop seems to have decided to make the Golden Demons a UK only event this year. Do you think this shrinks the hobby a bit for painters since it limits the number of people able to attend, either geographically or economically? 

Karol: GW only respects the wargamers and does not care about the painters. This is my private opinion. But, on the other hand, thanks to this we have other contests, like for example Crystal Brush , Hussar, Model expo and much more .
Other competitions are becoming more popular. We do not need to be limited to just GW figures. Now there are a lot of miniature companies who have beautiful minis, which make GW's start looking like toys for children.

Tyler: As someone who attends several different painting competitions yearly, which is your favorite, and why?

Karol: I don't have a favorite competition. I think the Golden Demon in the UK is the most important and popular. Now after I have won the slayer sword I am not interested in the Golden Demons anymore. Now I think about the Crystal Brush and I would like to take part in that contest in the next year.

Tyler: Can you talk a bit about how you came to paint miniatures for George R. R. Martin and has he asked you to paint a Space Marine yet? :)

Karol: George R.R. Martin wrote to me in december of 2012, since then we work together regularly. I think he does not like science fiction miniatures, only fantasy.

Tyler: There are so many things that stand out on your models, but one of the things you do so well the most people probably think about last while working on a model are the bases. Your display bases are so epic and intricate, how do you go about making them and when did you first start spending more time on the base?

Karol: I am still not satisfied with my bases. I am so glad a lot of people like them, but I am still learning about how to do a realistic style. I still try to do more epic base. I started to pay more attention to bases after the Slayer Sword. I am inspired by the German style. I think the Germans are the precursors of epic bases.

Tyler: The Crystal Brush awards recently introduced a $10,000 prize for best overall, which is the largest cash prize for any miniature painting competition in the world. How do you think this affects our hobby? 

Karol: Of course. I think money is a good motivation to do something epic.
Now for me, the Crystal Brush is my the most desired prize. I am preparing something special for it. The most epic work in my career.

Tyler: There are very few miniature painters who can make a living off of their work and most of us have to keep a "day job". Do you find it difficult to balance life, work, and painting? 

Karol: Miniature painting is my general hobby together with sport. For me this is also my job. So I work 8 hours every day on it. This is true most of the time for commissions but now I also have more time for my own projects or to try and find clients for my visions.

Spoiler, this knight later dies a horrible death only after becoming one of you favorite characters

Tyler: Any final thoughts?

Karol: Thanks for contacting me and inviting me to this interview.

Be sure to check out his Facebook Page for frequent updates.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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