Tell us a bit about yourself and your artistic journey.
I fell in love with the idea of becoming a concept artist when I was in my early twenties. It took me about ten years to get my first job as an artist—now things are going well I think it was all worth it. I didn’t study at university, I learned mainly on Gumroad from artists like Sparth and Jama Jurabaev. In recent years my work has moved from painting over photographs to painting over 3D models—I can paint things without a base, but it takes too long. People say I make a lot of art, but it’s my favourite thing to do—I do it for work and for fun.
“People say I make a lot of art, but it’s my favourite thing to do—I do it for work and for fun.”
How did your career as a concept artist begin?
My first job was making art for a board game, and I got the job by meeting someone at a comic convention—they came to see my work at my table where I was drawing self-published comics, but because conventions took so much time, this approach wasn’t sustainable. Now all my work comes from Instagram, so when I meet new clients, they usually mention that they’ve been following me on Insta for a while.
When did you start using Affinity Photo?
I bought a copy of Photoshop ten years ago; it cost me a small fortune at a time when I was broke. When I upgraded my PC, I couldn’t move Photoshop across because they took the download page down. Affinity Photo was building up a pretty good reputation at the time and I already had a copy of Affinity Publisher which was working wonders for me, so I thought I would give it a go. I think I’ve been using Affinity Photo for two years now. I use it every day for things like paintovers, colour edits and some technical things like making seamless textures for 3D art.
How has Affinity Photo enhanced your workflow?
I can’t speak for everyone’s experience here, but Affinity Photo runs really smoothly on my PC. It boots up quickly, I can get to work, and I don’t have any lag. I really like the way it handles levels adjustments and other edits; my workflow is not ‘destructive,’ and I can go back and make colour and brightness tweaks.
How well do you find Affinity Photo works alongside Blender?
If I need to do any edits to 2D images, or if I need to quickly create a texture or a sculpting brush, Affinity Photo has me covered.
Can you briefly explain your creative process?
I start by gathering cool images on Pinterest. Also, using the 3D assets I already have can save me time—a big part of my work is trying to save time. I set up the scene, light it and work a good camera angle, and then I take it into Affinity Photo to add all the things I couldn’t do quickly in 3D. 3D can be very rigid and lifeless, so it’s fun to start painting over things.
“I set up the scene, light it and work a good camera angle, and then I take it into Affinity Photo to add all the things I couldn’t do quickly in 3D. 3D can be very rigid and lifeless, so it’s fun to start painting over things.”
Has your style changed much over the years?
Working in 3D gives me a lot of options and I prefer the process. When I look back at my 2D work it has a nice painterly quality to it, and that painted feel with carefully picked colours is something I try and claw back with my 3D work—I don’t want to lose all the great things my 2D work had.
What is your proudest moment so far?
I’m currently art directing a really cool project that is also super-secret. I hope I can show people someday. As for the things I can talk about—I’ve been making short, animated movies this past couple of years and they’re not absolutely terrible, which is a huge accomplishment, in my opinion.
What lies ahead for you?
Hopefully, my Instagram will keep growing. I’d also like to make a full-length animated movie, but that’s probably a few years away.
What’s the secret to your success?
Making art is very tiring at first and you can run out of ideas. I forced myself to post a new piece on social media every day, and after doing that for a few years, the art just seems to flow out of me—I get more frustrated when I’m not at my desk working.
What do you think people enjoy most about your work?
When I make art, I imagine myself in the world that I’ve created, holding the camera, and I think a part of that carries over to my viewers.
“When I make art, I imagine myself in the world that I’ve created, holding the camera, and I think a part of that carries over to my viewers.”
Do you always use references for your illustrations, or do you sometimes draw from your imagination?
I go back and forth between the two. Sometimes I’m feeling confident and inspired, and I don’t use references, but when that doesn’t work out, and I’m not getting the results I need, I go back to Pinterest and start collecting images that I can use to guide my creations.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Probably showing people what I’ve made. When my wife gets home from work, I hold up my phone and say: “look what I’ve made today.” My in-laws probably get bored of me showing them the art I have saved on my phone.
What’s your dream brief or project?
“Hi Bryn, I watched your short animated movie. My company would like to fund the creation of your feature film—just send us the script and shot designs and the kind folks at the studio will handle all the tricky animation.”
Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future?
“Space-Dino-Kaiju Origins,” written and directed by Bryn Jones.
Bryn also runs monthly demonstrations on Patreon, which you can check out here.