Current Exhibit Into The Void
The Void is many things, but it is never nothing, raising an interesting philosophical point about the nature of nothing and the ontological paradox of nothing,...
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Gabriel Simonds An interview with XXXI: Into The Void's featured artist
Introduction Ted Yavuzkurt
Gabe Simonds is a long time Evoke member and a respected digital artist. He's been with Evoke for years, ever since the release of Fable. His style has undergone a dazzling progression from then until now, and we are truly honored to have him as our featured artist for Into the Void!
Be unrelenting.
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The Interview

Evoke: {1} Who is Gabriel Simonds? Tell us a bit about you.

Gabe Simonds: Well in short, I am a 26 year old dude with a passion for visual art. Got half-way into the field but life happened and 4 years to the Army. Now that that is over with I'm attending UNC Charlotte for Illustration and I can focus on my work once again.

Evoke: {2} How did you get into art?

Gabe Simonds: I was always drawing in school and never thought of it as a serious career. When I got my first Compaq pc way back, I started messing with open source software like Gimp and Blender. While this was going on I stumbled upon the Deviant Art site, discovering initially abstract art and I was hooked.

Evoke: {3} When you're not creating art, what do you like to do?

Gabe Simonds: I recently took up snowboarding. But mostly I like to drink good beer. Also I have a 5 year old daughter who I would go to any lengths for.

Evoke: {4} Your work this release seems to focus a lot on dark, macabre elements. How did you interpret the theme "Into the Void" as you began working for this release?

Gabe Simonds: When I think "into the void" I'm instantly transported to that dark place in my head, where anything is possible. There is so much that can be captured in the realm that most people do not care to view. I find that my imagination functions well in that dark place, *evil laugh*.

Evoke: {5} Describe your workflow a bit - do you conceptualize a piece at the beginning, then put it together, or do you sit down and let it evolve as you create?

Gabe Simonds: I have recently taken a liking to the evolving workflow. It's unreal sometimes the shapes and figures you can see with just silhouettes and chaotic brush strokes, then refining them into something tangible. I like taking both angles with my work, depends on the mood.

Evoke: {6} Choose your favorite piece from this exhibition and tell us a bit about your process creating it.

Gabe Simonds: My favorite is definitely "Void Monger". This started as a sketch as just an evil, cross-gender thing which I named "Miley". After looking at the sketch, light bulbs pinged and I thought it'd be perfect for the release. I spent a lot of time with this painting to make it look as creepy as possible.

Evoke: {7} If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing when you were starting to create art, what would it be?

Gabe Simonds: To not go to college for graphic design.

Evoke: {8} Why do you regret going to college for design? Are there better ways to learn digital art?

Gabe Simonds: Graphic design seemed stifling to my creativity. I couldn't say it would be better, but 95% of any digital art I learned was through my own personal time.

Evoke: {9} What's one "tip" you'd like to share with an aspiring digital artist?

Gabe Simonds: Be unrelenting.

Evoke: {10} How would you describe your style as evolving from when you began until now? I'm still searching for my style, I personally think it changes more than women's minds. I'm inspired by a lot of different work and I try to improve on too many levels at the same time, it is frustrating really.

Evoke: {11} What is your most important tool of the trade? Photoshop? Graphics tablet? Painter?

Gabe Simonds: Photoshop and a tablet go a long way. I would like to dabble in more mediums than I do.

Evoke: {12} What music do you listen to while you work?

Gabe Simonds: Spotify is a must have, I listen to everything from metal to hip hop. Depends on the atmosphere, turns out Deftones was a backdrop to a lot of my Into the Void work.

Evoke: {13} Where do you see the future of your art headed?

Gabe Simonds: This is where I get a big head. I set my goals very high and I hope to someday bring something staggeringly awesome to the art world. If not than at least be a concept artist for Ubisoft or something cool like that.

Evoke: {14} Ubisoft? Are you a gamer by any chance?

Gabe Simonds: Of course. I think video games are the some of the best creative works that exist. Can't help but gravitate towards it.

Evoke: {15} Thanks for taking the time to answer everything! Do you have any final words to pass onto our readers?

Gabe Simonds: I would like to thank my small, tiny, handful of followers and everyone here at Evoke. Solid core of artists here.