I’ll be honest. At this point in my poster collecting career, I have way too many prints. I get things sent to me and find that I just have nowhere to put them. Even my flat file is overflowing. I try to focus more on framing nowadays than I do purchasing. My one vice, however, is mystery tubes. I don’t buy a ton, but I will indulge every once in a while. My most recent one was from Hero Complex Gallery (which was perhaps the best one I’ve ever gotten). Upon opening my mystery tube, I can across a print I had never seen before. I also was not familiar with the artist. It was a beautiful print of one of my favorite X-Men, Nightcrawler. I was thoroughly impressed with the detail and style. Utilizing my amazing detective skills, I discovered Oscar Römer. The great thing about running a website, I’m able to contact artists and ask them to do interviews. So without further ado, here’s Oscar.
Nerdlocker (NL): Tell us about yourself.
Oscar Römer (OR): I am a illustrator and concept artist, working at the moment on some video game art stuff. I cant say anyhing about that actually. I am not allowed.
But i can say its a great thing to be able to do what you want, so if you’re reading this, it’s worth working as a waiter or whatever another job you choose to finally start working as an artist.
That’s what I had to do.
NL: Where do you find inspiration and what are some of your influences?
OR: I find inspiration with a lot of different artists, it goes from traditional painters to comic and digital artists from today. I have my favorites but really, they are a lot! So I can give you some links for their work so you guys can check it out :).
I am super influenced by comic art. When I lived for a short time in the USA, it was 1992 and I saw a show called X-MEN and it blew my mind. I remember I didn’t see too much of it but i kind of got obsessed about it.
Lord of the Rings also. I read all the books before the movies came out and I still love the movies.
My first halloween costume was Terminator, so thats another clear influence.
Zelda…Star Wars…Steet Sharks…Dragon Ball…Evengelion…Simpsons… a lot of old awesome stuff.
NL: Where did you get your training and how do you continue to perfect your skills?
OR: I really have been doing this forever, i love it. I did study in Venezuela in an art school and then I went to Madrid, Spain to study in a great school called ESDIP.
I really try to paint as much as I can, practice every day and try to get into those things that I know I’m not that good at.
If I could give one piece of advice to artists, be honest with yourself. If your work doesn’t look good enough you have to accept that and make it better. It’s easy to be a good artist for you grandma and your mom, they will always love you. But if you want to get into this, look up to the big guys and push your ego as far as you can.
This is coming out from me, sitting down talking about myself hahhahaha, but whatever, give it a chance.
NL: When did you get your professional start?
OR: Well in Venezuela I did a lot T-shirt work, some graphic design, but nothing really that would support a living. It’s really hard to be an artist over there.
I actually have been working as a waiter for a long time to support my life, but now I finally got a job as an freelance artist and am living off of that. I’m doing some super hero stuff, but I can’t say more. 🙂
NL: You are currently based in Germany and have spent time in Spain. What is the Nerd culture in Europe like?
OR: I think its great over here. In the U.S. I know it’s much bigger but still it is growing. I would say that France is still the big comic country in Europe.
NL: What is your game day process, meaning when you start your day with a project, how do you get prepped/psyched to illustrate?
OR: Get up at 8…8:30, have breakfast and then on to paint. It’s good to use a countdown clock so you can put for example your 8 hours shift… I tend to be more effective when I work that way.
I stick motivating messages on the wall, like “be efficient”, “order in the process” or “it has to look perfect.” It really works for me.
And I don’t stop until at least those 8 hours of work are finished.
NL: What’s your favorite nerd related snack?
OR: I have a pretty boring eating behavior. It’s pretty healthy, but when I finish a piece for a client, I will try go out and have a really good steak.
NL: I love soccer. And it seems you do too. Being that you have ties to Venezuela, Spain and Germany among others, which country do you root for during the World Cup? How about on a club team level, who’s your favorite? Why?
OR: I root for Venezuela. But we have never been in a World Cup. So I tend to go for Spain and it’s ok if Germany wins.
Club futbol = Real Madrid
19 King Cups
Nuff Said, hahah!
NL: How easy/hard is it for you to keep up with the United States comic book industry? (meaning can you get current comics quickly and keep up with collecting storylines or is there a delay in the process)
OR: Well it’s not that bad. Comics come a little bit later but its totally possible. I have to say that I tend to buy omnibus, or a lot of comics at the same time, because I will probably stay painting for a long time and I forget to go out again.
NL: What are some of your all-time favorite comic book storylines
OR: Oh man… I think Dark Phoenix Saga, because it’s crazy. I mean, the Hell Fire club is just insane, and then it ends up in space with the Kree and the Skrull empires.
I also love in Watchmen when Dr. Manhattan is telling his story… he jumps through different times yet he is in the same moment… it’s just pure Alan Moore genius.
Planet X… I think it is such a smart and well crafted story… it’s basically the bible on how this parallel universe was created. I would love to ask Alex Ross on how did he get to this idea.
NL: What is your favorite medium to work with?
OR: At the moment I like digital painting the most.
NL: Who are some of your favorites artists? And as a second to that, more specifically, who are some of your favorite comic book artists?
OR: Comic Book Artist: Esad Ribic, Alex Ross, Marko Djurdjevic, Jerome Opeña, Jack Kirby.
Others: Ross Trann, Sergey Kolesov, Alexandre Zedig, Ayran Oberto, Konstantin Maystrenko, Ryan Lang, Frank Frazzeta.
NL: Star Wars of Star Trek?
OR: Well Star Wars for me, but I have to say that I am not a big fan anyways, sorry. I hope that doesn’t make all the nerds hate me. I watched LOTR like 30 times and I have a replica of Frodo´s Sting Sword that I made my mom buy me when I was like 18 years old… so I’m still a nerd.
NL: What do you do in your free time?
OR: I go out with my girlfriend (YES I HAVE ONE!!!!). I’m trying to do sports again now that I’m not working as a waiter and I have a bit more time for me. 🙂
NL: Give us a Nerdy secret that most people don’t know about you.
OR: I pretended not to like anything related with toys or cartoons when I was in 3rd grade so this girl would like me, but deep inside I was always a nerd.
NL: What is your favorite movie?
OR: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. That movie opened a world for me. Peter Jackson changed the industry after that movie. It’s a perfect balance between selling a good product and putting all the love you got in it.
NL: What is your favorite video game?
OR: Zelda. I love those games. For an artist point of view its just perfect. The music is epic. All the games have a new artistic edge and I feel that we need that. It’s great that games are getting more and more real… it’s funny because I try to go with a realistic style most of the times.
But that’s only because I want to master realism and then brake it down to other different styles.
NL: What is your favorite comic book or comic book character?
OR: Wolverine and the X-Men. I think it’s a very interesting comic book. The characters are from different parts of the world, they are different in all aspects and they want to be accepted.
That’s what the world is about, and I think that’s the reason why it’s been so successful.
Wolverine is my favorite character. I liked the fact that the only reason he wouldn’t kill his enemies is because the rest of the team would not let him. That gave an edge to the comic.
I think it was very intriguing that we didn’t know anything about his past, you know? Maybe he was a villain before!
I personally feel he has lost a bit of what made him such a cool character, but it will come again, of that i am sure.
NL: What projects do you hope to tackle in the future?
OR: I just want to keep on learning from the best and work on big comic and game productions. Some day I will build my one thing but at the moment I would lie if I said I have an idea.
And there you have it, Oscar Römer.
A huge thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.
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