PhaseRunner, known best for his original Star Wars posters and kick-ass photo manipulations, just joined Displate with a tasty collection of striking, futuristic artworks. We enjoyed a little chat with him about his art, experiences and biggest inspirations, so dive into his world and read more in the full interview below.
What does “PhaseRunner” mean?
Honestly, I’d love it if PhaseRunner had some profound origin story around how the
word ‘Phase’ represents my deep desire to exist in a state of artistic flux, where my
artwork belongs everywhere and nowhere … but in truth, I just love the movie ‘Blade
Runner’ … from there it was just a case of falling on a word that reflected my love for
80s movies and their soundtracks.
What do you have in your studio?
I’m actually in the early stages of converting my garage into a studio which will allow me to take my vision for PhaseRunner to the next level, but as it currently stands, my studio consists of a small cramped room with an even smaller desk and a silly chair so big I could rest my feet on the monitor.
The tools I currently use are a Wacom Intuos Pro medium and Huion Kamvas Pro 16” (for digital paintings). I work with Photoshop using a Macbook Pro (16” 2019) that’s hooked up to a Dell Ultrasharp Monitor.
You are obviously inspired by movies, especially the science fiction ones. Are there any other things that give you the power to create?
Digital art for me is infectious so it’s important that I surround myself with other artists and their work, the quote, “you are the company you keep”, often springs to mind. Being surrounded by others who are constantly creating and sharing, helps me to keep motivated and inspired; to stay sharp and focused on my own creations.
How long does it take you to finish the artwork?
How long it takes really depends on the subject of the artwork and what or who it’s for. For instance, the ‘Worthy’ poster I created for Marvel took around 15hrs to complete as it was mostly digitally painted. The photo manipulations and digital paintings I create for my YouTube channel and social feeds mostly range between 5-10hrs.
You create awesome video tutorials and speed arts. What were your first steps on Youtube?
The idea of setting up a YouTube channel began when I started to receive a bunch of emails and DMs on my Instagram feed, mainly from people wanting artistic advice, input on their work, tips or tricks, and things like that. At first, I tried to be as helpful as I could but soon realized I could be here all day answering their questions and never getting any work done. Also at the time, I was very aware of Benny and his YouTube channel that was currently blowing up. I saw an opportunity to take his lead and create a PhaseRunner channel.
I knew I didn’t want to limit myself by creating basic YouTube tutorials for Photoshop as there are already plenty of excellent channels already providing this. Instead, I wanted to create a channel where I could let my imagination flow through my artworks with the hope of inspiring others and hopefully answer some of those questions I had been receiving.
How important is social media for artists these days?
To me, social media is a double-edged sword, use it correctly and you will have endless opportunities to develop your artist profile, grow your audience, and best of all, inspire others. On the other hand, social media is very tempting for new artists to focus on all the wrong things: a cool artist name, a logo, how many likes and followers they’re getting, without actually giving themselves the space and time to build up their skills and techniques.
Having a social media presence is very beneficial for an artist but it’s also a noisy place to be when you’re just starting out.
Who are your followers and how do they react to your art?
In the beginning, my followers were promdomentalty alternative movie posters and Star Wars fans, as well as other creatives. With the help of some excellent names out there, PosterSpy, StarWarsStuff, and StarWarsTheory, I was able to reach a lot of people with my creations. It was especially cool when I was approached to make officially licensed posters for Star Wars, The Mandalorian, and recently, Marvel.
My followers are a big factor in my output, it’s their enthusiasm and positivity for my work that often helps me cross the finish line, especially on those more difficult pieces.
Who, among other artists, do you admire the most?
There are a lot of artists I admire, but if I had to whittle it down to three, these artists are the ones I admire the most …
Andrée Wallin for his phenomenal artworks that never fail to impress and inspire me.
BossLogic is a true visionary! I admire his ethos when it comes to his own work, the consistent loop of great ideas while still being able to keep things fresh and even surprise his followers.
BennyProductions has recently breathed new life into the photo manipulation scene on and off of YouTube. It was his vision and innovation that helped pave the way for all these new Photoshop channels that have recently popped up on YouTube, including my own.
What do you enjoy the most about being a full-time artist?
The best thing about being a full-time artist is the freedom you have to be creative day in day out. I’ve had my fair share of 9-5 jobs and I wouldn’t change that because as cliche as it sounds, those experiences keep me grateful for the position I’m in today. My other biggest enjoyment is hearing about people who’ve been inspired by my artwork – it’s awesome to hear about how someone who had previously given up on their creative passion but upon seeing my artwork or finding my YouTube channel, they felt inspired to continue that journey. I also love receiving my artist’s proofs for a new poster I’ve created, nothing beats seeing the artwork in the physical.
And what do you normally do when you are not creating?
I’m fortunate enough to live by the sea so anytime I’m not with my pen and tablet, I’ll be making the most of any good weather by taking my longboard out for a spin with Gunship playing in my ears. Oh, and if it’s raining then I love to dig into a box of jaffa cakes and play video games.
What are your plans for the future?
Getting this new studio up and running is at the forefront of my plans – I have a bunch of new ideas for my YouTube channel to keep things evolving so having a dedicated studio space will enable me to accomplish this.
While I continue to create new posters and prints, I’m also focusing my time on my first NFT collection which has been in development for some months now.