On the Spot: Angelscape

August 12, 2022 by Julia Staniszewska in Artist Interviews

If all you see is just a bunch of anime girls, you really need to take a closer look. Go on, take your time. With his surreal, hypnagogic, and cryptic artworks, angelscape invites you to make your own interpretations and dig deep into your feelings and experiences. 

And to think it all started with dog drawings! Join us in our venture through angelscape’s artistic path in this week’s On The Spot. It may be your only chance to meet an artist-turned-astrophysicist. 

Where do you live and what does your studio look like?

I currently reside in a nice little town Eastern Finland, together with my 12-year-old house cat Kai. 

I’m a fan of low-maintenance solutions, so my art studio is my bedroom, where I have a cozy corner dedicated to my computer setup. Even better, besides being a workstation, it also functions as a comfy corner for gaming! Of course, I had to surround it with live houseplants and LED lights to give it an inspiring atmosphere.

How do you create your art? What equipment do you use?

I create all of my art digitally, using Clip Studio Paint and an XP-Pen Artist 12 2nd gen screen tablet on a PC that I built myself.

All of my life, since 2007 up until 2018, I used a small Wacom pen tablet, along with some free art programs installed on my laptop, which, to be honest, had always run on its last legs. But equipment is rarely a limitation for creativity, and with all the cool tech available these days, I am happy to see more and more people trying their hand at digital art!

Anime girl with clouds
Anime girl aesthetic text

What did your career path look like?

My passion for art started from a very young age. I wouldn’t remember, but according to my family, I started drawing as soon as I learned to hold a pen and never seemed to quit.

I used to draw dogs, dragons, and other various animals on every piece of paper I could get my hands on. And honestly, canines were my favorite subject to draw all the way until 2017 when I first started to learn how to draw people.

In 2007, I was first introduced to digital art by my aunt in the form of Windows XP MS Paint.

That early-stage tech art program really ignited my passion for art even more – just imagine a 7-year-old kid finding out about all the cool things you can do digitally! 

My relatives were always really supportive of my artistic interests and throughout my life, many of them encouraged me to pursue art. However, against all expectations, I never went to an art school and I have no intentions of doing so. I applied for a spot in an art university back in 2020, got rejected, and decided that it wasn’t the right path for me.

I got myself a degree in graphic design and game development, and while it did teach me some important things about the art industry and being a professional in the field of graphics, all of my skills in art are self-taught with the help of internet tutorials and guides combined with a lot of patience and determination. I have worked as a freelance graphic designer for years now, and I currently study physics in hopes of becoming an astrophysicist. Science, and especially space, has been my second burning passion ever since childhood, and it shows in my art too!

I’ve had my art page on Instagram for multiple years now, but in 2020 I began uploading with a consistent schedule and really putting effort into that page. It took me almost two years of constant work, determination, self-regulation, and willpower for it to start paying off, but I couldn’t be more satisfied with seeing the results of my hard work! 

I am still putting all the same effort into it, but now with some completely new enthusiasm. It’s been an amazing experience, seeing how my skills have improved and how my art has changed over time into something that I can genuinely say I like.

How did you come up with your nickname?

In my head, this is a funny story. But when put into words, it might not be as hilarious as I think.

My first name being Julius, a lot of people give me nicknames, the most popular one being Jules. Just like many of my friends, I played this video game called “Runescape” when I was a kid. And so back in 2019, I was having a conversation with a friend about old nostalgic video games, when suddenly they came up with a bad pun of mixing my nickname with Runescape – resulting in Julescape. 

That used to be the alias I went by online, even at the very first months of my Instagram art page. Over time though, I started to feel like I wanted to change it up a bit. I was very intrigued by classical religious art and mythological themes at the time, so I came up with angelscape, only because I thought it sounded cool!

Angel also became the official name of my mascot/online persona, the purple oni boy you can see in the image attached.

You draw mostly girls and women. Who are they?

This is a tough one. Some of them are my own original characters, some are my friends, and some the characters of other people, including the fictional ones that I came up with specifically for an illustration.

I rarely decide on a definitive gender for my own characters. They present as feminine, but I am more than happy to let everyone make their own interpretations of the people I draw. I wouldn’t mind people calling my characters by any pronouns they choose, or interpreting their gender as anything they want!

If I’m being completely honest, I have neglected learning masculine anatomy, and that is one reason for the lack of masculine characters in my art. Although I mostly draw people with more feminine characteristics because I think the softer features fit my ideas and themes a lot better than masculine ones.

Black and white girls
Mushroom anime girl

What inspires you the most?

Many things, but the number one inspiration for my art is without a doubt my own feelings and experiences.

I have always expressed myself better with illustrations, music, and concepts rather than words, so I aim to bring my internal life alive with my art. The concepts are often a bit surreal and very open to interpretation, and the themes can often be really well hidden. If you don’t know the meaning behind a particular piece, you can just be looking at a drawing of a pretty girl. That’s why I often tend to write little poems or chapters of text to go with my illustrations, though I like to leave them pretty vague, too. 

If my art manages to awaken some emotions and thoughts in a person based on their own experiences and feelings, I’d say I have succeeded.

Surrealistic anime girls
Fallen angel anime girl

If you could pick one place on Earth to create your art, where would it be and why?

When I was younger, I used to dream of a penthouse apartment in a big, busy city. Just watching all the people go about their daily lives and looking at the views seemed like the best place to make my artistic dreams come true.

As I have aged, my views and values have changed. These days I dream of a comfortable house in the woods, maybe near a lake with some open hills nearby to see the stars and clouds clearly. The serenity and calmness of a secluded life, away from the busy days in cities, really fuels my inspiration and helps calm my introverted mind. I can focus on my internal ideas and concepts and bring them to life.

Do you have any other hobbies? 

While it’s fair to say that my life revolves around art and science, I do enjoy playing video games with meaningful stories and beautiful compositions, along with some multiplayer ones that I play with friends!

I also really enjoy music. I am not a skilled musician by any means, even though I come from a family of musicians, but singing, playing the ukulele, meddling with Vocaloids and other vsynths, or just listening to music and doing nothing are all things that I like to do in my spare time just for fun.

Do you have any dreams as an artist? 

Over the years, I have noticed that a lot of people seem to assume that as an artist, my goal is to make money with my art. In my case, funding a luxurious life with my art or even making a living out of it is none of my priorities.

My dream as an artist is to leave a legacy. A legacy that people can look at and think of as impactful in one way or another. As previously mentioned, I feel like I have accomplished something when people make their own interpretations and assumptions based on my art. When they make my concepts fit their own personal experiences and in the best case scenario, find some comfort in it. As a person with limited social skills, I hope my art will have a meaning to more people than just me, and maybe, in some way, even make a small difference in someone’s life.

Instagram: @angel.scape

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