Today I have the great pleasure of introducing to the community the incredibly talented Sorcery: Contested Realm TCG Alpha artist, Gadu Duaso!
Stylistically, Gadu is an artist who truly stands alone. It is impossible to mistake a Gadu artwork, between his bold and colorful compositions and the massive size that he prefers to paint in. He really brings something unique and flavorful for Sorcery's Alpha debut.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Gadu...
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Tell us about your background, including what the culture is like in the city you are from in the Philippines, how you got into art, and your current personal and professional interests.
Gadu Duaso: I grew up in Cebu City, Philippines, also known as the "Queen City of the South". I am the youngest in the family. I have half brothers (Siblings) from the side of my Mother and half – siblings from the side of my father. We have a 10+ years age gap of my half siblings and because of these family background, I usually hang out with my
childhood friends (The Gamers) who influence me to appreciate the world of computer/video games and other Filipino traditional games.
My father was my first art mentor during my childhood and grade school years. In high school I met my second art mentor Emar Lacorte who teach me the basic elements and principles of classical painting. He was the one who encourage me to go to University of the Philippines – Cebu to pursue my passion to further study Fine Arts.
I combined these two components – (1) First, my childhood friends who influenced me to become a player/gamer in computer and video games in the late 1990’s. I used some of the aesthetic of videogames as the main subject matter, theme and concept of my painting. (2) Second, the technical and methodological aspects of my work which comes from the influence of my art mentors. – (Emar Lacorte and my college art mentor in Fine Arts)
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Do you think where you are from has influenced your artistic style? How so?
Gadu Duaso: Definitely Yes, since grade school to college until now all of these external influences – from my art mentors, the arts and culture here in Cebu City, my religious and family background, my artists and gamer friends where I usually spend my time with – I just mixed, re-mixed and shuffle these external things and incorporate in the process of my artworks to discover my own creative identity and unique artistic style in my paintings.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: What projects have you worked on in the past? I know Sorcery has been in the making for a few years and you are very excited for its release. How many paintings have you contributed to the project, and is this the largest scale professional project you have worked?
Gadu Duaso: My previous oil paintings commissioned project that I have done in the past years (2011 – 2014) was a collection by Mr. Geoffrey Stewart. He is a British Art Collector/Art Enthusiast living in Cebu City, for almost a decade. It was a series of 8 oil paintings for his condo unit at City Lights Garden Hotel. This was my first ever series of Oil painting commissioned project that I have experienced since I graduated 3-year course in College of Fine Arts.
My second set of Oil painting project I made was a commissioned by Mrs. Joy Divinagracia and her Scottish fiancé Ian (2014 – 2016). It was a series of landscape, Cityscape and Portrait paintings. The Landscape/Cityscape paintings captures the beautiful places the she visited from European countries. (Donan Castle in Scotland, Tower of Venice, Italy)
My third set of Oil painting commissioned project is Sorcery: Contested Realm which is the largest scale professionally publish game project that match in my art portfolio that I have done in my entire art career in the field of fantasy art and game illustration. I contributed a series of 10 Oil paintings for this trading card game project with approximate canvas size 121.92 cm x 91.44 cm. Sorcery TCG is a perfect match in my art portfolio and I’m so grateful for this wonderful card game project simply because it naturally comes in, it was a direct-hit, it was not a force interaction and there was no connection/politics involved, what naturally comes in is so beautiful. Finally, my series of 10 oil painting characters/creatures are now publish in the field of Trading Card Game worldwide.
[These commissioned pieces show the great breadth and depth of artistic talent that Gadu has. While he chose a fantasy gaming style influence for Sorcery TCG, his talent extends well beyond that; as evidenced by these beautiful artworks.]
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Your artistic style is very striking and unique. I think Sorcery players and fans will find it very recognizable and distinct with your use of intricate detail, color, and lighting in your compositions. What/who are some of your artistic influences?
Gadu Duaso: My artistic influence comes from the works of some of the Filipino artists like Surrealist painter Camille Dela Rosa and my high school art mentor Realist painter Emar Lacorte. I come up these two artists influence when I was studying Fine Arts at University of the Philippines - Cebu College.
Camille Dela Rosa Art
Emar Lacorte Art
In year 2017, I bought a book in one of the most popular bookstore here in the Philipines called “National Bookstore” the title of the book is “Spectrum: Contemporary Fantastic Art” this was the time that my artistic influences expand to some of the most remarkable foreign fantasy artists and Magic: The Gathering artists like Paul Bonner, Ralph Horsley, Adrian Smith, Ryan Pancoast, Chris Rahn, Raoul Vitale and Daniel Zrom.
Bonner, Horsley, Smith, Pancoast, Rahn, Vitale, Zrom Art
I am deeply inspired and impressed by the uniqueness and differences of their artistic style, the unique qualities of their works, their years of service and dedication in the field of fantasy art, games, and book cover illustrations.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: I noticed from your portfolio and studio photography of some of your Sorcery pieces that your paintings tend to be very large. Is this your preferred way to work in general, and why is this your preference vs smaller compositions?
Gadu Duaso: Our agreement with Sir Erik regarding the required size of Sorcery painting is A3 size (Sketch Pad Size), but I told him that I don’t have a whole-body Character/Creature painted on A3 size. So, I asked his permission that I have to paint the approved design I submitted on 121.92 cm x 91.44 cm (48 in x 36 in) so that I can render and capture the details very well.
I honestly admit that I have a couple of wins for these series of Sorcery paintings, the first win is about the idea that I painted my favorite subject matter and that’s the fantasy-game like feels of my characters/creatures. The second win is about the idea that these series of characters/creatures are painted on my favorite canvas size. This is my preferred way to paint whenever I depict a complex multi-figure scenario and besides, this is my favorite canvas size way back Fine Arts school days, I admire this canvas size because it’s doable – meaning it’s good for portrait and landscape orientation. In comparison to the smaller canvas which I think, I might be having a hard time capturing the details.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Can you select a few of your favorite Sorcery pieces that have been announced and your artistic process for developing these, including the level of engagement and direction you had with Sorcery Art Director Erik Oloffson through the process?
Gadu Duaso: My favorite Sorcery paintings that have been announced on my social media channel are “Sirian Templar II”, “Karkemish Chimera”, “Lord of Lies”, “Escyllion Cyclops” and “Bull Demons of Adum”. I submitted a drawing studies/preliminary sketch of these characters and their setting (Environment Design). Erik and me underwent a series of changes, adjustment and revision regarding the composition, clarity of the Subject matter and the amount of details on each of these characters/creatures and environment before I finalize everything on the canvas. These four Sorcery paintings are my favorite because it consist of multi-figure both humanoid and some generic creatures which make it exciting and challenging on how the overall result will turned out.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Although it is not for Sorcery, I have to ask you about “Reshaping Gamer’s Head”. It is such a creative and interesting piece. Can you give us some background on it? What it was created for, the inspiration for it, and some information about your vision and concept for some of the various composition elements within it?
Gadu Duaso: My oil painting entitled “Reshaping Gamer’s Head” is about my childhood experience in playing computer/videogames. It represents the imaginary portrait of my childhood friend/ fellow gamer which I reshape into complex smaller icon of game characters/creatures both the Land and Air forces. The kind of computer game that I experience during my childhood years was inspired from the strategic multi-player war game like StarCraft: Broodwar, Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Call of Duty. This painting was one of my thesis proposal during my senior year in Fine Arts. The inspiration behind this painting is a mixture of my love in computer/videogames which is the concept/theme and my passion in creating portrait art which comes from the influence of my art mentor.
[I was blown away when I discovered this masterpiece by Gadu. The detail, color, lighting, story-telling, and creative imagination just blows me away]
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: How can Sorcery fans support you and purchase your work? Do you intend to sell your original paintings, artist proofs, prints, or other products?
Gadu Duaso: To all Sorcery fans who are interested to show their support, purchase and collect my Sorcery works, you can contact me on my email – firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit the following social media channels below:
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Is there anything else you would like fans to know about you that I haven’t asked, and where they can find and follow your artwork?
Gadu Duaso: My final words for this Sorcery Artist Interview – Thank you so much to Team Sorcery TCG and Erik’s Curiosa Family of Artists and Creators for hiring me to be part of this 35 Roster of Fantasy Artists, for hitting me up, for 4 years of creative discussion, artistic collaboration and most importantly your trust. Thank you so much to Mike Servati for this insightful Sorcery Artist Interview, for your support, dedication, service, for building the fan base and for uplifting the entire Sorcery TCG community. Cheers to traditionally hand-painted human made art!
[I wept like a new-born baby girl when I read this...you're my boy, Gadu!!!]
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Mike Servati @ Collector Arthouse signing off...