Oliver Wetter is a digital artist and lecturer based in Konz, Germany. He went above and beyond customizing his ArtStation Pro website with the new Mosaic theme, doing some serious CSS overrides to get it to look exactly how he wanted it.
Check out Oliver’s ArtStation-powered website.
We had the chance to chat with Oliver who says he’s an aspiring artist himself for his advice on creating work and what makes a portfolio jump out to him.
How did you get started as an artist?
Well, I guess I started like many other artists at a very young age with 3 or 4 years. The difference to “non-artists” is, that I never really stopped. The long version is of course much more complex and involves the fascination of viewing the response of other people viewing my work. Back in childhood, that was my parents being mad at me when I tried to use acrylic colors to paint something on a window. In hindsight, I believe that particular event had a big impact on me.
What is the best art advice you’ve ever received?
There is so much advice I collected, but as a fun-fact, the best advice came from people who where absolutely not into art at all: ” Don’t let go, ever”, is one piece of advice from a co-worker in my previous job and that I applied all over my creative career path. Another one is from Randy Pausch from his last lecture at Carnegie College: “You have to get the fundamentals down, otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work”.
What separates a good portfolio from an amazing one?
Opposed to consistency and style coherence that many Art directors want and artists foster, for me an amazing portfolio is much more. It is an example of perfect representation of the works in question plus quality coherence and the ability to surprise the viewer. I’ve seen so many portfolios, but the ones that I remember where always those that had surprised me, made me laugh or smile at certain times, for whatever reason. Especially when what led me there was a serious or rather dark piece. I believe the right amount of “emotional contrast” is what makes an amazing portfolio better than average.
Any advice for aspiring artists:
Of course, since I’m an aspiring artist myself: The thing that I have learned so far is that it is vital to show in your portfolio only what you really want to do in the future. If you are showing a piece just because of the company you worked for – being prestigious and all that – that is a bad situation if you are not 100% proud of the work in question.
Beneath lies a very simple truth: “Work follows work. That means that people always want you to repeat a “success” so you better work hard to make that particular success something you can live with for 30 years to come, otherwise your jobs won’t be any more prestigious or awesome than flipping burgers.