Dwayne Dmello has had a flair for art right since he was extremely young. An avid gamer and comic/graphic novel fan, those worlds have always captivated him and he knew right from the start that he wanted to be part of the creation process. "I actually started as a graffiti artist and photo editor until I was offered a job at Division 91 studios," he tells us. "There, I finally realised that there was more to my talent and I began working on some really fantastic comic books and concept art, eventually becoming the senior colour artist there. I haven’t 'studied design' in the conventional sense, but I did several crash courses and diplomas at top animation studios and I also learned a lot on the job at Division 91. The most that I have ever learned or grown, however, is when I began staying up for nights and studying on my own — when I knew I exactly what I wanted to do, and really got serious about my art."
I. Which are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?
I already mentioned one of them, probably the biggest one… Scott Robertson. I can’t really describe how amazing his work is, you have to see it to understand. I may have never physically met them, but him and other artists like Sinix and SycraYasin have taught me a lot through online tutorials, videos and books. In fact, Mr Robertson and SycraYasin have both followed my work, emailed me (I was so amazed) and inspired me beyond anything I could wish for.
II. Could you tell us more about the thought process behind the artwork you made us?
I’ve experimented with several types of concept art and characters, but lately have developed a great and lasting fascination with mechanical design, which is what led me to create this. The origins of this bot happened on a piece of paper, during a lunch break… I quite liked where it was heading so I worked on it further, on my system. It is the kind of bot design that isn’t too far-fetched; it could be a single-man bot or drone that can realistically be created in the foreseeable future, especially in India. I wanted to create something from my distinctive vision that could possibly be ‘homegrown’. I liked the way the exterior turned out, so I continued that into the HG logo to give it a sleeker look.
III. Who are some of your most inspirational artists in India and abroad? I know that you have various inspirations, but if you can share a few that would be great.
From India: Mukesh Singh. He has created some amazing work and is pretty much living my dream right now. He has enriched his art considerably over the years and is now creating art for Liquid comics and covers for Marvel. Imagine working on the Indestructible Hulk, Captain America and such… phew. Internationally, apart from the ones I have already named, I am also a huge fan of Kim Jung Gi, Marcio Takara, Feng Zhu and Dave Rapoza’s work.
IV. If you could work with the Indian government for an art project that you get to suggest and lead, what would that be?
I would love to create some really fun art for hospitals actually, especially the children’s ward... help make it more cheerful and less gloomy. Also paint all the municipal schools in really cool ways— right now they are all so lackluster and depressing. I’d like their walls and ceilings to explode with all the things that kids dream of… fairytale scenes, spaceships, sports and what-not.
V. What are your future plans? Any projects you would like to kick off or possibly work for a big art house?
Oh man, this is tough because I have so many plans for myself. Right now I am exploring 3D and graphic design, building up my repertoire, studying typography and also doing a lot of illustration and sketching… so I am not just a colourist anymore, I can do my own inking and much more. My immediate goal is to be a concept artist for Ubisoft; that would thoroughly be a dream come true! In Mumbai, I also like the work that Rhythm & Hues and Prana Studios do, so who knows where I’ll land up?
VI. Could you share 3 of your best designs and elaborate on each one of them?
I don’t know about best, because I am never fully satisfied with any of my art, but these are some that have either been very well received or are close to my heart. (I’m sharing 4 because I can’t narrow it down further)
Quadbot: This is my most favourite creation ever since I got bitten by the mech bug. It is even more special to me because this was inspired by Scott Robertson’s style and to my shock, he liked it on Facebook and Instagram, after which he emailed me. SycraYasin also commented on the Quadbot on social media, so it was a big achievement for me.
These are a couple of quick game concept creations I came up with, a while ago. They weren’t fully rendered, but a lot of people seem to really love them!
This is just the cover, but I really enjoyed working on this entire issue of Bombay Boulevard while I was at Division 91, for Inderjit Comics. The graphic novel was released at the Mumbai Comic Con and there was a really amazing response. Copies were getting sold out at the Inderjit Comics stall… I was actually at the stall when a couple of buyers asked me to sign copies for them. It was a pretty cool moment for me.
I felt very compelled to create this orb, I don't know why. I began perfecting the textures, lighting and colours, and something just drew me to the output. Many people have told me it is very alluring.
VII. Quick question round:
One track you’re currently listening to?
Self Confidence – M&C (Dehousy remix)
An artwork you wished you did?
The Sistine Chapel.
An art project you wish you were a part of?
Games like Division and Movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, TMNT etc.
Your favourite munchies?
Potato chips with ketchup and chili/ caramel bacon made by my girlfriend/ Mexican food
Paint or Wacom Bamboo?
Wacom Intuos Pro.
Follow Dwayne on Facebook to stay in the loop about his latest work.