Most of your artworks portray fictional, futuristic characters. How do you come up with the idea of creating them, where do you mainly get inspiration?
Generally speaking, my main inspiration comes from music, concept art, games and anime. Depending on what I’m working on, I’m consuming different things.
I’m currently obsessed (again) with the artist mind.in.a.box. Especially their album Lost Alone from 2004. It’s a very gloomy ambient space. ❉
You also mentioned inspiration in video games and magic. Do your creatures possess some magic items or backstory? Which games inspired you the most? From charter building to visual portraying the characters.
Yeah they do! All of my characters have some kind of lore around them. It helps me to understand where I want to go with the pose and colors. When I sculpt, I usually already have a solid theme or idea in my head on where the figure lives and what its relation is to the other figures and what kind of abilities they might have.
Games like Castlevania and The Elder Scrolls series are probably my favorite. Growing up I used to spend a lot of time making mods for Skyrim and breaking games in general. I was really invested in the speed-running scene lol, I’m glad it’s over.
Games like Warhammer, Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft are also very inspiring to me, especially when it comes to character design and storytelling.
How would you describe your process of creating your artworks?
I usually start off with a moodboard and a playlist but I never end up actually sticking to it. It used to annoy me but I realized that it’s just part of the process. Besides that, it’s very straightforward. Lots of music, podcasts and just making sure all my senses are stimulated so that I can completely focus on my work.
Does your Romanian heritage affect your art visually or in any other way?
It does, yeah! Growing up, tradition and religion were very much part of my every day. The ideas of good and evil, vampire folklore and superstition lead to my fascination with everything mystical. As a young queer person I found a lot of comfort escaping into different realities, something that has stayed with me.
What type of medium do you use? Is it mostly 3D software?
Yeah, currently I’m mostly into 3D stuff.
Blender is my main tool. Sometimes I do touch ups with photoshop if I struggle with the color balance when exporting renders (;_;).
Does your education in computer science and media design help you evolve your art, or did you start creating the art pieces before the studies?
I don’t have any formal education when it comes to working with 3D software, but getting into computer science allowed me to get a different perspective when working with software in general. Especially when it comes to problem solving. You learn to find the best ways of making use of the tools you have. And sometimes having limits with tools is better because it forces you to get creative.
Before computer science I used to draw on paper a lot, but it was more of an emotional thing. I used to sketch ideas and poses but never with the intention to work on an actual drawing.
BIO / Dani goes by the pseudonym Axeknight and is currently living in Berlin, Germany. They were born 1996 in a small town in Germany with both parents originally from Romania. They have a background in theoretical computer science + media design. Growing up, they spent most of their time at home playing video games, creating fictional characters while thinking about hard magic. As a queer person, they have always found comfort in exploring fantasy worlds and creating their own.
Most of their current work is done with the free and open-source software Blender.