Featured Pro Portfolio: Steven Cormann

The ArtStation Pro website builder is so quick and easy-to-use to create your own beautiful portfolio website and we keep working on it to make it better and better! This week’s Featured Pro Portfolio interview is with Steven Cormann, a concept artist and matte painter based in Belgium.

Check out Steven’s Artstation-powered website. 

See his work and read his helpful advice on how to improve your work and portfolio:

What inspires your work?

A lot of things really. I’m a big film lover and  a kid from the 80’s, so what really ignited my passion for art when I was young were movies like Alien, Aliens, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc. I’ve always loved the world of movies and special effects and I’m very inspired by people like Syd Mead, Ron Cobb, Moebius, Mike Pangrazio, John Berkey, Stan Winston, Giger, and I could go on for hours. I also love Fine Art. I can stare forever at paintings from Albert Bierstadt and other Hudson River painters. Other than that, I love architecture, science and history, and I’ve recently started to read a lot again. All of that and just my travels and life experiences inspire me on a daily basis in what I do.

What do you think makes a strong portfolio?

Consistency and originality mostly, I think. It’s important for all your pieces to be on the same level as much as possible. I’m sure it’s something that is said a lot but you’re only as good as your weakest piece. I know it’s hard to be objective with our own work but if I had one piece of advice, it would be to not be afraid to kill your babies. If there is a piece in your portfolio that you feel is ok but not as good as the others, usually it’s the one you want to get rid of. 5 very good pieces is better than 15 average ones.  I’m sure people hear that a lot too but it’s definitely true. Mastering things like composition and other fundamentals is of course extremely important. It’s one thing that pops up immediately in a portfolio I think.

Being original and having your own voice is one thing I love too. By being original, I simply mean avoiding to copy and create more of what already exists. One thing I often do is to search for what inspired the artists that inspire me, it’s an easy way to expand your horizons and discover new things.  It’s very easy to get stuck in doing the same thing again and again. And finally, just put in your portfolio what you love doing. If you’re good at what you love, people will hire you to do that.

What has your experience in the latest ArtStation challenge been?

Great! I’ve been quite busy these past few months so the challenge was a chance for me to relax and do some personal work. I’ve seen a lot of really amazing work from everybody. Unfortunately I’m not able to dedicate a lot of time to it but I had done the ILM challenge last year and it was a great experience. It definitely opened a lot of doors for me. It’s a great opportunity to learn and get noticed.

What kind of practice or studies do you recommend for aspiring artists to improve?

In my experience, what helped me a lot is the ability to identify what I wanted to do. Once I had decided that, I looked for people who were doing what I wanted to do and I modelled my path after theirs. There is no point in wasting years in blind trial and error while there is a good chance somebody else took that path before you. So just identify who are those masters and mentors and learn what they do. It doesn’t mean that you have to copy their work. You can still have your voice and style, but if you can focus your efforts in a clear direction, you’ll get where you want to be much faster.

Another classic but good advice in my opinion is to simply go out and see the world. Don’t get stuck behind your office looking at the same stuff again and again. Live a life full of adventure and it will show in your work.

See more of Steven’s work on his ArtStation Pro website. To find out more about ArtStation Pro portfolio websites, click here

  • Share this article

About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.