Interviews of the Sculptors Legend #6
Miniature Art Academy (Alfonso Giraldes)
I believe that these initiatives like yours are important to do, especially in the world of miniatures
We need to make our art known to people who don’t know anything about miniatures
Yes, and also the people who already paint miniatures but don’t know well the people who work in the miniatures’ business.
An example I explain to my students who paint pieces by Allan Carrasco, but they don’t know who Allan is 🙂
It’s important to put names and faces to the people 🙂
Agree more! People are the most important thing for me.
Every time I go to an exhibition, I love to see miniatures, but the best thing is to talk to people who have the same passion as you.
I remember when you won the Grand Master prize in Monte San Savino, it was a great emotion for me. Really.
You see, especially this art, it’s. a very personal form of art. It depends on the person, but for me, I have dedicated myself to this all my life. For me, the award was an important recognition for an artistic career. I consider Monte San Savino as my home. I love it.
When I started in the miniatures, I heard about this “Banshee” guy.
But I didn’t know you and I hadn’t seen any of your works.
I heard about you.
I was curious.
Later with Massive Voodoo, I met Roman Lappat, and a good friendship was created and afterward, I went to the Big Child headquarters in 2013 or 2014, from then on I saw your creations, both painting, and sculpture.
How did you get started in the miniatures’ world?
It was a random thing. I worked in Games Workshop while studying advertising graphics, and there I met Jose Palomares, who at the time was the painter of the shop.
One day Jose, who was also working with Andrea Miniature, I think it was 2003, we had already done the Golden Daemon, and we had already participated.
We traveled to go to these competitions.
And in a contest organized by Andrea Miniatures and important people like Raul Latorre, Bill Hogan were coming, I presented my classic war-game miniatures and this was seen by Julio Cabos who was the main lead painter in Andrea Miniatures, who now works with Scale75 . And I started practicing there.
If I’m not mistaken, Joaquin Palacios was also at Andrea.
Yes, Joaquin started if I’m not mistaken a year before me to Andrea Miniatures.
And after that, I started doing work in the summer, bad jobs 🙂
But to learn it was excellent, I learned everything there.
It’s one thing about how you paint, how you like it, and it’s another thing to paint for a company. It is very different.
You have different deadlines, compromises, and ways of doing things.
At that time there were many good people.
Many started with Andrea and then made the history of the miniatures
It was an incredible school for me. Precious years.
How many years did you work on Andrea?
2-3 years I think, working there but not with a contract, from outside.
I lived nearby and spent my summer in there.
But I painted many pieces.
Anyway, Andrea, on the first experience that paid me to do a professional job.
Were you already sculpting at that time?
No, I started doing something. At the time, the Golden Daemon was the most important competition. Our obsession was to win a sword.
I am a person I have always had imagination and so I created a piece from scratch.
But I know that GW has its own rules.
Yes, but now. Before there were no rules, you could create what you wanted.
I won two swords, one in France and one in Spain, with figures totally sculpted from scratch.
Then a sort of generation of painters was created, Jose Palomares, Allan Carrasco, Jeremie Bonamant, Thomas David, Jacques Alexandre Gillois, Fabrizio Russo, Francesco Farabi, Matteo Murelli etc … etc …
The Italians didn’t travel much compared to us Spanish guys.
We had created a group and this helped us. We traveled all over Europe.
I always did personal creations, or conversion or creation from scratch.
I practiced Andrea and having the chance to have Joaquin Palacios close was very valuable.
|Sculpting by Romain Van Den Bogaert|
Which was the sculptor who gave you more experience?
2 roughly. Joaquin Palacios, on a technical level. It’s the guy who technically taught me a lot, not a lot for my style but above all on a technical level.
He came from the ancient school of sculpture, which was done with the Milliput.
It was a step-by-step process. Very structured, he taught me.
Polymer clays didn’t yet exist.
No, indeed. Joaquin started using them around 2004-2005 and worked on an ancient web page which was called “The Sculptor Corner” a page with many fantastic things for sculptors. (closed right now)
Joaquin made large figures and used the original pink classic sculpt.
Second name: Raul Latorre.
Raul is number one. I believe Raul is the most influential and important person in the world of miniatures.
He started before Joaquin, didn’t he ??
Yes yes, he started before everyone else.
When I was at Andrea, I saw the pieces of Raul that he modeled in 1999 or 2000, but they were incredible. Raul was 10 years ahead of everyone. Raul is number one.
I don’t tell you in order of priority, there isn’t one more important than another, but Raul marked the story in the miniatures.
From Joaquin, I learned the structure, from Raul I learned philosophy, because I had a closer relationship with Raul.
I went to his house and asked for advice from him often. From Raul I learned to go from milliput to Super Sculpey.
Raul is pure talent.
It’s a natural talent.
Each sculptor has given you something different.
What was the first commission as a pure sculpture?
Yes, it was José Miguel Caballero Delso who owned Knight Models.
He, I believe in 2006-2007, when I won the sword to the Golden Deamon, he called me to work in a small business. And there he sculpted my first commercial miniature.
It was very very ugly 🙂 And then another that sold a lot, with a futuristic tone in 75mm.
That piece, which was the second, was excellent, and he helps me a lot on a technical and competitive level.
Do you like to sculpt or paint more?
To paint 🙂
Do you know what? I am not a good sculptor. The sculpture is much much more difficult than painting and requires a lot of study and dedication.
I started painting and after a few years I started to sculpt and after that, I only did that.
I don’t know how you can sculpt and paint at the same time.
To make a comparison, for me painting is like coloring someone else’s drawing. To sculpt is instead to create the drawing.
But in digital it is not the same. 🙂 🙂
Sculpting is difficult from a medium to a high level. At a low level, it isn’t very difficult.
You can do something simple, but move to another level, the weight, the pose, and all the elements, and there is a big jump.
Sculptors like Lucas, Andrea Jula, or Raul, you only have to dedicate yourself to sculpting to reach that level, you can’t do anything else.
I have a lot of ease in creating personality for the character.
It comes naturally to you
For example, if you see the anonymous bust, it is very expressive.
It is more expressive than some busts on the market.
But on an anatomical level, it has some problems in the neck, etc., etc. … but it’s very expressive. It works good.
But they are two different things, between technique and creating character expressiveness.
Without any doubt.
I feel like a very expressive sculptor, but very limited on a technical level.
When I sculpt something I only dedicate myself to that. I need more time.
But I dedicate myself to teaching and painting, for me painting is a personal thing. I have no barriers. I can express myself naturally.
Painting also requires technique.
Yes sure. But it is freer and a less complex language than sculpting.
It’s like languages, an Anglo-Saxon language is simpler but a Latin language has more words and is more difficult. In English, you can create words. Even in music, English is more advanced and easier. Easier to listen it.
I would like to create a link between sculpture and painting.
You often talk about Fucksmoothness. It is something that fascinates me a lot and in my opinion, many people misunderstood what you mean.
For example the painting technique is one thing, and expressiveness is another thing.
People see fucksmoothness and think “I too can do as Alfonso does” but they don’t have the experience you have!
Like Picasso, you see an abstract work and think “I can do it too” but you don’t know that Picasso has spent 30 years drawing the perfect human figure.
Perfectly. You explained it perfectly.
It is a complicated topic.
I would love to create a sort of connection between this concept and sculpture.
Do you think this can be done?
Certainly and Totally. There are many sculptors who do it. There are many sculptures with incredible expressiveness that have nothing technical or perfectly smooth and clean. But they are 100% expressive.
If you think of the French sculptor Cyril Roquelaine.
I love it. I love it.
Simon Lee … same thing.
All the sculptors we have mentioned are capable of creating a hyper-realistic portrait.
They can do anything, but instead, they decide to do it quickly.
An important thing is speed.
With painting it is the same. I haven’t invented anything, they are things that already exist in Impressionism, etc … etc …
If I can show emotion with painting the technique comes later.
A color put quickly is a conceptual idea of a character, then I can spend 200 hours fixing it and smoothing it.
Sometimes you do everything too perfect, you lose expressiveness.
When you see some works with 150 hours of work, it’s 90% a refinement job.
For example, if you want to transmit an angry character. Anger is impulsive, rapid. Think about when you smile for photos, if the smile isn’t caught at the moment, it’s fake. Expressiveness is rapid by nature.
It is difficult to explain this concept well and people misunderstand it at times. People see your painting but think it’s easy.
It seems simple, but it is not.
Yes, Simplify, schematize is more difficult.
What makes me angry is that people only look at the title, but they don’t read.
I have explained it everywhere, on articles, on Facebook, on videos, yet there are still people who insist on pretending not to understand.
In my book, there is a whole chapter on this. With explanations with why. It’s a manifesto.
If people don’t want to read, it’s not my fault.
The only thing I want to say is that painting, sculpting and art in general cannot be tied together.
You must be free. It all depends on the context.
For example, if I write an email and I have a problem for you, I don’t write you an email that I’m angry, I can’t give you that emotion via email. I call you! If I call you you feel my negative emotion.
The language is different. The context is important.
I propose that when you create a piece, you can also spend 8 months on it, so that everything is perfect. But they don’t have to tell you that it’s the only way to do it, because it’s not the only way to do it. There are other ways.
Yes, I have 20 years of experience, and I control the color better but everyone can do it.
You also control the color.
Doubt only puts people who prefer to hate before understanding.
If you are an open person, you understand it perfectly.
I’ll give you an example: Roman Lappat. Roman does something very similar to fucksmoothness.
I love Roman’s style. When you see one of his pieces, even without knowing that he painted it, I immediately recognize that it is a piece of Roman.
Because he has a pure artistic personality.
The technique may be imperfect, but he WANTS to make it imperfect. It’s a choice.
Yes, indeed, and I have also seen pieces of Roman with high-level technique.
If he wants to do it, he does it.
He is perfectly capable to do this if he wants.
Sure. But he prefers to give you a composition, a story, to give you a tale, an emotion, a journey.
It is not a question of technique, but of personal choice.
If you are a person who loves the world of miniatures, you can look at it and admire it, if you don’t like it, stop looking at it.
There are things in the world of miniatures that I don’t like, and I just don’t follow them.
But you don’t have to hate.
Alfonso that is ignorant people. Stupid.
And I tell you something, Daniele. If I had never painted clean and smooth, people would have thought that mine was criticism for those who paint clean.
I am not attacking people who paint well, it is the is just a manifesto.
We are in a society where there are many different genres, in films, in music. But we accept incredible things in movies, in music, but then these people see fucksmoothness written on Facebook and write nonsense.
Alfonso, let’s talk seriously. Each person can paint as he wishes. It’s a personal thing. You and me work with this business, but a lot of people out there just want to have fun.
Let’s paint miniatures, let’s not take it too seriously.
But you know this. Not the others.
Me together with Roman, maybe we are the ones with the highest number of students in the world, I have traveled all over the world, and I can assure you that a lot of painters are afraid to paint as they like, because in competition they don’t reward you , because people criticize you.
Do you understand? There is a lot of pressure.
This is not a good thing for miniatures.
It is not possible to judge everything. Who are you to judge someone who paints miniatures? Who am I to do this?
You can do it but art is a personal thing. I can only judge the technique, nothing else.
The problem occurs when you see everything from the same perspective.
I’ll give you an example: If you see the painting technique of Caravaggio or Rembrandt, compare them with the painting technique of Munch, for example. O, Monet.
They are different ways of using style.
The people who criticize tell you that it can be done in drawing, in painting, but in miniatures not. Because? They tell you “why it doesn’t work on all points of view”.
It’s a lie, because if you want you can make it works perfectly at 360 °.
Unfortunately, there are people outside who live to hate and say bad things.
You may not agree with my point of view, I respect that. But hate not.
Honestly, it doesn’t seem to me a valid reason to hate.
This concept is extensible in all the arts, not just the miniature.
If you ask any sculptor who is a good sculptor for him, surely at least one sculptor who works “fucksmoothness” will tell you.
All the artists.
See Romain Van Den Bogaert, look at his deformations, they are brilliant.
People like or don’t like me because it’s just me. I swear.
The world of miniatures is a small representation of today’s society.
There are good people, and there are stupid people. It is the world.
But this is everywhere, Alfonso.
Last question. When they give you a sculpture commission, when do you need time?
Much. Too much. Sculpture steals me much more time than painting.
When I worked at Scale75, around 30-40 days.
Lucas told me that he could complete a sculpture in 2-3 weeks but then he takes another 3 weeks to finish and clean it.
It also depends on what type of product you create. Lucas does very detailed things, it’s his style. They are not all the same, it depends on the complexity of the subject.
For example Achab, which I sculpted I did it quickly, but it took me a long time to clean it and complete it in detail.
I noticed that you use many different materials in sculpture.
What is your favorite material?
Super Sculpey firm, but it depends on what time they are. Now in Milliput or Green stuff I feel better. It depends on the subject.
With the milliput you can work and then you work it later.
For personal taste, I would prefer plasticine like Monster Clay.
I like monster clay very much.
I use it for sketching and exercises.
I have worked commercially with that, the anonymous bust 2 is made in monster clay medium.
Medium is not too soft?
Yes, but I use a spray a lot to cool it down and create details.
It is very comfortable, you are very fast.
I do the resin copy and then I touch up the resin copy.
Do you create the molds?
No. I could but I don’t.
They are not definitive materials.
I enjoy using different materials because I’m not a full time sculptor.
I can experiment.
Many of my sculptures are made in many different materials.
Many think that the material is fundamental. But it is not.
Indeed. The material is not everything, it depends on what you need to do.
For Example Jacques Alexandre Gillois, uses polymer clay and does incredible things.
Yes, however JAG has been doing this for many years and uses only that material, so he is a master in the use of that material.
Patrick Masson, for example, if you see the Tinkerbell, the level of detail is incredible, and it doesn’t depend on the material, it’s talent.
Valentin Zak, or Stephane Camosseto, also makes sculptures with incredible details.
Yes yes, absolutely incredible.
The choice of materials is a personal thing.
I recommend to those who start sculpting to try all the materials, to understand the differences.
I have tried everything. 🙂
What is the material you like most to you?
Surely now I am very happy with Valentin’s Mix (50% fimo 50%) and sometimes I put some quick steadler mix to make it softer
But it is not a rule, each sculptor has his own favorite materials.
I’ll ask you a question: if YOU had to choose 3 sculptors, who would you choose?
It’s a hard question. Definitely, Jacques Alexandre Gillois, who is perfection as well, Lucas Pina who is a truly adorable person and has given me a lot of advice and if I have improved today I owe a lot to Lucas. It inspires me a lot. And also Joaquin Palacious, Andrea Jula, Maurizio Bruno
I have to say one thing…
Thanks for giving me this interview and I hope there will be other occasions.
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