Vincent Tanguay is a freelance concept artist based in Sherbrooke, Canada. Though his portfolio shows a variety of subject matter and style, it’s pretty clear he loves focusing on the face. ArtStation Pro websites enable artists to customize their portfolio to showcase their artwork creatively. While his home page uses the popular and clean Bombastic theme, his customized thumbnails for the portfolio view gives his presentation a unique twist.
Read Vincent’s interview to find out where he gets inspiration, how he makes his work stand out along with his best experiences and advice.
Where do you go to find inspiration?
Trying to guess often results in happy accidents and it helps form your own style.
I love to look at faces. That’s my number one thing. But I’d say everything might be an inspiration. Doing something new or in a new way, looking for things to try and develop is a big motivation for me. What I like to watch for, especially on ArtStation, is the different processes artists use to get results. Trying to figure out the way they did things, either in 3d or just painting. It’s even better than tutorials or Gumroads because with tutorials you just replicate a process. Trying to guess often results in happy accidents and it helps form your own style. So I take my inspiration from anything really. I don’t really like to pretend I know where it comes from. I like the idea of letting it unfold naturally without thinking too much about it.
Sometimes it’s stuff that doesn’t necessarily correlate directly with visual art. That’s one thing I love about doing art. It touches just about every other field in which people work since we have to illustrate anything and everything. The research is a very fun part for me. I like learning new things on my own and trying to implement that into my craft. I’ve done just about every job imaginable, from working in an engineering firm to cutting Christmas trees. I think we truly are the sum of our experiences. And then there’s storytelling. That actually was my first love. Writing. I love to create narratives, imagine where and how these characters live. What is their motivations, likes, dislikes and fears. It makes the image breathe and take on a whole new dimension.
What do you do to make your work/portfolio stand out?
I like to just put a simple twist on a familiar thing.
I think that things have to be simple when it comes to presentation. Sometimes, less is more. Keep it simple and functional. Just show your work. As an artist, most of your focus should go to your work and just having a platform to show what you can do in the simplest way possible. Make it easy on the viewers.
That said, you can always go a step beyond. I like to just put a simple twist on a familiar thing. Actually that’s a storytelling technique I learned a long time ago. Strange yet familiar. In order for people to connect when it comes to stories, movies or illustrations, it has to have a familiar feel to it. Something we can relate to. But also, it needs to offer something new. Just a little bit at least. That’s a guideline I try to keep in mind whenever I work on something, be it illustrations or just presentation.
What was your most exciting job experience?
I don’t go after work actively aside from posting what I love to do on my ArtsSation and a few other places. Most work inquiries come directly to me. I love to work with people who are passionate about a project, who have a clear thing going on and need someone to illustrate or visualize concepts. I like to work on jobs that clearly emphasize quality and encourages everyone involved to push their limits.
It’s hard to choose one since most jobs I’ve worked on have been exciting projects, from the smallest one to the biggest. I could mention a job I did involving keyframes for a movie starring Linda Hamilton which is currently in development, book covers, logos, cartoons, etc. To me it doesn’t matter that much as long as it’s interesting. That’s another benefit of freelancing actually. Each job is it’s own thing and once it’s done you can move on to something totally new, learning new stuff along the way.
Once you make the choice to dive in, don’t expect success or money or whatever else.
I can’t pretend to have any great advice. I don’t actually think there’s any big secret.If there is one, it’s : Just do what you love and practice like crazy. It’s actually a mindset and a way of life. You have to make the leap if you think this is for you.
Once you make the choice to dive in, don’t expect success or money or whatever else. Or even support from family and friends. Doing something that is out of the norm comes with a bunch of obstacles. Just focus on the path. If you do what you love doing it’s gonna show after a while. And once you get your portfolio out there, if the quality is good enough, people will want to hire you.