WELD Artist Of The Week: Chris Titze
Career: Photo Illustrator / Re-touch Artist
Mantra: Create Kick-ass Images!
Interview by: Kristin Rea
When did you realize you were an artist?
It all started with Super Mario.When I was a child, I wanted to become a video game designer. I remember seeing this 3D wire mesh of Super Mario, and was pretty intrigued on how this sort of art was made. Fast forward to high school, I submitted a Photoshop drawing to the Art Institute [of Dallas], and was quickly awarded a scholarship. That grant affirmed my career decision, and eventually lead the way into the crazy world of advertising.
What sets you apart from other Photo Illustrators?
I don’t think many re-touch artists can boast solid photography and 3D skills, as well as Photoshop chops. I see re-touching with a holistic approach; a photograph is a means to get to an image, but not the end product. I see the 3D render or photograph, not as how it appears from behind the camera’s LCD screen, but what it can be in post. By having a re-touch artist present during a photo shoot, I believe a lot of post-production workflow problems can easily be avoided.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on/are working on?
In my career, one of the most exciting projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on would be a high-end production car photo shoot. I believe it was for the new Beetle brochure in 2007, and for a young digital effects artist, it was such an amazing experience. I absolutely loved that. Currently, I’m working on a project for WELD with Austin Mann, and a welding tool. I love this project because it has allowed me to use a lot of different techniques that I don’t usually get a chance to play with.
Who do you turn to for inspiration?
At the moment, I’m intrigued by high-end production artists like Mike Compel who is pretty hot right now as a 3D re-touch artist, and of course, Tim Tadder, who is a well known advertising photographer. While I know many artists get their kick from classic black and white film photography, I like the “fluffy” part—I’m drawn to the over-the-top, high gloss, hyper-realistic look.
What brought you to WELD?
Crazy story—one afternoon, I decided to have a look at various shared offices around Dallas. I visited several spaces and felt they were overpriced, or the culture was fun, but unprofessional…finally, the owner of the last office I planned to visit said I might want to check out WELD. I left and began searching for local artists on Twitter, and stumbled on the WELD site. That afternoon I went to check it out for myself, and quickly realized, this is quite an amazing space…and it truly still is.
Meet anyone awesome at WELD?
Everybody. How about I just send you a list of all the kick-ass artists there? That might be easier.