DRFRANKEN: Computer Love

Drfranken’s technology-generated imagery takes digital art to the max.

Words: Aimstar
Images: Courtesy of Nastplas

Digital artist drfranken is no stranger to classic mediums of art. Born Fran Rodrìguez Learte, to parents whose immersion in the arts initially sparked his own passions in the field, the second-generation artist spent many years experimenting in different mediums and with different techniques before diving head-first into the digital age.

“Before turning to the computer, I have worked with oils, charcoal, watercolors, wood, etc. I have also made several sculptures with wood and stone,” says the graphic designer and illustrator, who now mostly concentrates on his “digital art” and his engineering work as a computer programmer. For drfranken, while the two worlds of art—classic formats made by hand versus surreal computer-produced forms— are only just beginning to take notice of each other, his art rests in coalescing various techniques, which breed stunning, futuristic strokes that feel (and look) one part fantasy, and the other, too real.

“My work is a combination of illustration, photography, 3D and codes,” drfranken describes. “I think my style is a combination of techniques to achieve high quality work. Generally, I use a lot of layers, different techniques and effects to make a final composition. My style varies with each piece I make, but I try to make the result be clean, complicated and reach the viewer.”

Harking back to why he chose to merge his diverse artistic influences instead of dodging one for the other, the Madrid-based artist explains: “I try to use my programming knowledge to create effects based in generative art. I think nowadays these two fields are not far away at all since digital art uses an endless number of algorithms that allow for the creation of unbelievable effect and textures. There’s a lot of software that allows us to develop techniques that manually would be too complicated to implement, and would take years to learn.”

Using two computers—a PC and a Mac— reflex cameras and an array of software programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Painter for composition of his works, and C4D and 3D Max to generate 3D effects, these days drfranken is so heavily involved in his creative process to bring his imagination into being, he’s also developing tools of his own to create certain effects. And business is good; Working alongside Creative Director Natalia Molinos, his wife and long-time collaborative partner in their creative agency, Nastplas, the pair have already produced works that reflect their blended approach for the cities of Salamanca (where drfranken’s went to college) and Valladolid, Spain. “We have been in the network [for] five years and we have not stopped working,” drfranken says. “I do the illustrations and the artistic part, while my wife gives the nod to the work. Together we form a good team.”

So what inspires drfranken aside from his love of Creepshow comics (the ones, “which were adapted from the 1982 horror film, written by Stephen King”, he clarifies) and working with the love of his life: “I am inspired by everything around me: the cinema, the street, Internet, and especially the dark environments and black color. I’m a fan of dark art.”

To see more of drfranken’s work, visit his site HERE.

Follow drfranken on Twitter via Nastplas, @Nastplas

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