1. Name: GTA
2. Occupation (outside of DA) : Baker, Web Designer
3. Location: Oregon USA
4. Years being a 3D Digital Artist: Since 2001
5. Schooling - formal - for art, if any: In high school I took basic art because before I was a 3D artist I could actually draw and sketch. Charcoal was my favorite medium. In college I took a basic class that taught sculpture, line art, acrylic paint and lithography. I never took any classes further than that.
6. Your professional artist inspiration: Boris Vallejo – the master of muscular art
7. What are your tools of the trade (wacom, Photoshop, number 5 pencil, etc.) : Poser6, Photoshop6 and that’s it. I also use photos of male models to help me with poses if my applications don’t have the one I need.
8. What motivates you as an artist ? My fan base motivates me. Sometimes I will see something they’ve drawn or favorited and I’ll make something similar to appeal to them. If I know a fan really likes a certain character or size then I’ll go out of my way to make them something because I know they like it.
9. Is it a time consuming process? Yes because I want it done right. I used to take upwards to four to six hours per piece because I am particular about background, shading, shadows, lights. I have posted unfinished works but that is not my preference.
10. What distracts you? Seeing some other artist get a ton of recognition and it makes me sway from what ever I’m working on. Jealousy is a bad bedfellow when it comes to artwork. I should be trying to perfect my craft instead of envying someone else’s talent.
11. You seem to like to create gay imagery only to delete it. What’s the story with that? I do that because at that moment in time I want to create something I know a large portion of my fanbase will enjoy but to be honest with you I do not entirely like making it. I feel I have been compartmentalized into creating artwork for persons and not for my own enjoyment. I say this because sometimes when I make something I really enjoy making very few people look at it and no one will comment on it. But when I make artwork that people really want to see I get the views and the comments. It seems I need to find a way to produce what I want and find people interested in it. It’s a hard spot to be in. The reason I delete it is because I get tired of it’s popularity – I know that sounds weird but it’s true.
12. What is the most/more difficult aspects of 3D art for you? How to grow to the next level. For me that is being consistent in my learning and move away from using someone else’s creation and build my own. I don’t know when it will happen but it needs to if I am to continue in this medium.
13. Why Muscle? Why not landscapes, still life or kittens? Muscle is beautiful. It’s fascinating. It’s strength. It’s powerful. I find it intriguing that’s why I go for the super big and ultra physiques. Landscapes are fun, too, but in a different way. Still life or kittens? Boring. It’s muscle. It’s men. And that’s fine with me.
14. Which of your pieces are you most proud of and why? The most popular image I created here is “Because He Asked”. This is actually not a gay image although many would argue otherwise. It’s a big guy sleeping with a small guy sleeping on top of him. It was just something I wanted to make for my art friend Zephleit. It combines all aspect of muscle and men – older and younger – bigger and smaller and in some ways it’s quite innocent. There is no sex. There is no passion. There is just sleep and two friends.
The other piece I’m very proud of is called “Warrior” because that image originated from a photograph I have long since lost. It combines a lot of difference elements, props and ideas. In my opinion it’s the best of the best of my character designs and even though the warrior is muscular he is more decorated then just standing around in shorts. His regalia tells a story of triumphs in battle (the wolf head, the skull, the tattoos). I spent a lot of time formulating that image and I hope to return to that style soon again.
15. What do you think the future holds for you - artistically, professionally, muscly? I will keep making some sort of muscle art. It’s in my blood and I’ll continue. Professionally? I have a new bakery and I hope to grow it in a different direction that my previous bakery. Muscly? I’ve started a new workout – if you want to follow it you can visit my website joedumbbell.wordpress.com/
16. People seem to want to commission you and/or learn about your craft what do you say about that? I am finally considering commission but people don’t think that their hundreds of details are worth money. I wish people would look at their list of things for me to find and create and realize that time is money and I can’t make art for free. It’s just not worth it when I have so much more going on in my personal life.
17. Lastly, tell us why you are such a hardass when it comes to those groups you have here – I’ll tell you that BigMuscles and BigMusclesMorphs groups have been a helluva undertaking. They are both successful groups in my opinion and I bust my ass to keep them going in a regular way complete with rules and methods. I’ve tried contests – not very successful and I’ve tried interviews – so far so good – but it’s hard to get a lot of people to contribute. I’m very thankful for those who’ve submitted artwork to both groups and especially for the help from my admins who keep the groups going when I take my random hiatuses. It’s a challenge but it’s also fun seeing what people send in for inclusion to the groups. We have a lot of talented artists, photographers, sculptures, etc., and it’s really cool they want to be a part of these groups.