Art, Graphic design16.10.2009

Interview Olli-Pekka Jauhiainen : the king of photo-manipulation

Interview Olli-Pekka Jauhiainen : the king of photo-manipulation

Olli-Pekka Jauhiainen is a 27 years-old Finnish artist creating absolutely amazing photo-manipulation already known all over the world. For Art-Spire, he has agreed to answer our questions. After reading this interview, check his impressive portfolio.

First of all, where did your passion for photo-manipulation come from? Have you followed a special training at school or are you self-educated?

Photomanipulation is just something I enjoy doing the most. I love doing pieces which mix realism and surrealism. You get best results when you work with good stock photography. I haven’t had any education in arts or computer graphics so yeah, I’m self-taught designer. Of course I’ve drawn a lot when I was younger so that naturally helps the process of moving to digital world of arts.

Where do you get the original photos for your compositions? Do you take photos yourself or do you find free-royalties photos? (free or not)

I usually try to work with free stock photography when possible. I use sites such as for royalty-free stocks but if I can’t find anything good for my purpose via free sites I often use or similar sites. Sometimes I use my own photos but my camera isn’t that good so I prefer using stock resources.

Without telling us all your secrets, what is your basic way of processing from the beginning to the end?

Sometimes I start with sketching in Photoshop, sometimes sketching on paper but sometimes I skip this part completely, especially if I’m working on more experimental piece. After I’ve the idea in my head (or sketched) I’ll try to find the proper stocks which fits for my needs. Then I make the base composition and rest is the adjustments for colours, lightning, shadows, etc. I paint the final details with my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet.

“I often get my ideas when not sitting behind my computer”

Is drawing an important part of your photo-manipulation? Do you think you have to be quite good at drawing to make great photo-manipulation mixing photos and forms?

No I don’t think it’s necessity but of course it helps a lot if you know the basic things and can draw them. You don’t have any boundaries if you can draw very well, you can just do whatever comes to your mind without having to find the perfect stock photo.

A basic but still interesting question: what are you inspired by?

I can’t really say any particular place or way how I get my inspiration to do a new art piece. But I can say I often get my ideas when not sitting behind my computer. It can be basically anything. Music, someone walking on the street, a dream, basically something I see or hear and it just triggers my brain and suddenly the ideas starts to flow into my mind. But of course the art I see on the web or anywhere else works inspiration to me.

You’ve worked freelance and now you are full-time in an agency, in your opinion what are the pros & cons of these two situations?

Plus side of working as a freelancer is that you can decide when to work and what kind of work you do. Negative side in freelancing is the amount of stress you easily get. You don’t have the regular monthly income so you have to work as much as you can. Sometimes there is more work that you can do but in worst case you might have to go without any work for long time.
I prefer working in an agency, freelancing might be quite lonely. You work for yourself and you don’t have the work community which is a real value in many ways. You get lots of feedback from your colleagues on how to improve or do things better. That’s something you get rarely when working freelance, at least in a same way.

“You definitely gotta love what you do, be passionate about it, keep yourself updated what’s happening in the scene”

According to you, what are the main 3 qualities to have to work in the digital art industry?

Well you definitely gotta love what you do, be passionate about it, keep yourself updated what’s happening in the scene. Patience is also a quite important thing when working with clients. Hmm… there are quite many things you should know but these days you see lots of really young artists starting their freelance careers so I’ll say you have to be able to act mature, be professional on your field. And of course you gotta be able to do what client asks even though it’s not always something you would do.

Finally, do you want to give some advice or tell our readers anything?

Believe in yourself and the thing you do. If you keep practicing and doing your thing you’ll eventually reach your goals.

Thanks a lot for answering this interview.

No problem, my pleasure.

Discover his stunning portfolio.

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