01-21-2011: MilSciFi.com interviews artist Travis
Leichssenring of K Studio.
MilSciFi: "Welcome. Please tell us a little
Leichssenring: "Well it is always tough to start
these interviews. I never know where to begin. I guess Iíll start
with that I am married and have a beautiful and smart four year old daughter. I
am the owner of K Studio and its principle artist. I do artwork for
publishers, gaming companies, and the everyday gamer. My professional
training is actually in science. I hold degrees in both Chemistry and
Natural Science and Mathematics. Creating art was just a hobby for me up until
a game publisher asked me to do some work for their line of Traveller
RPG. That was the point I decided I was going to start my own company.
K Studio was born a week later. It has been said that if you do what you
love you never work a day in your life, well I havenít worked since."
MilSciFi: "What training did you have to
become an artist?"
Leichssenring: "I havenít had any real formal training.
Everything I have learned has been on my own through trial and error.
Sometime I would get a tip or two from someone else in the industry. I
have found that the digital art industry, amongst the artist, is very friendly
(most of the time)."
MilSciFi: "Which programs do
you use (or prefer), and how are they employed?"
Leichssenring: "Well, I use several programs
starting with Hexagon (Daz3D) to build models mostly because it is inexpensive.
Once the model is built I move it over to Photoshop to do the textures.
Then I will bring it over into Poser or Vue (e-on software) to position it and
bounce real light off of it. Once all that is done I bring the image back
into Photoshop to do the ever-so-important postwork. This cleans the
image up and allows for corrects and other little magical things to be done."
MilSciFi: "What would you consider to be the
"key" aspect of any cover project?"
Leichssenring: "The ďkeyĒ aspect is communication
hands down. com- munication is lacking the project slows and
dies a horrible death. I tend to ask a lot of questions and I expect
feedback from the rough drafts I send in. If the art director wants
something changed I need to know about it as soon as possible not three weeks
later or at the time of the final draft is being submitted. So, to get
the best product there has to be communication."
MilSciFi: "Do you have a favorite artist or
Leichssenring: "Favorite artist? I have tons
of them. From the classic sci-fi and fantasy artist to my fellow artist that
compete with for projects. There are too many to list."
MilSciFi: "What advise would you give someone
who was thinking about becoming an artist?"
Leichssenring: "Donít quite your first job.
Or have someone that is willing to support you during the famine periods.
This job is either feast or famine."
MilSciFi: "Do you have a
preferred genre, example Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, etc?"
Leichssenring: "I prefer to do sci-fi and
fantasy. I can do others but sci-fi and fantasy is where my heart is."
MilSciFi: "What inspires your art, and do you
ever us real-world images as your basis?"
Leichssenring: "Inspiration comes from everywhere.
Sometimes from something my daughter says to someone else artwork to a building
a drive by, it comes from all over and then it goes through my own twisted
MilSciFi: "How do you plan out a project? For
example do you read the story and then talk to the author?"
Leichssenring: "Of course, I like to read and it
helps give me insight into what the author/art director really wants. Then
I go back and ask a lot of questions. It all goes back to communication."
MilSciFi: "Have you won any awards for your
Leichssenring: "Not that I know of. I have
been asked to have my work featured on various websites."
MilSciFi: "Tell us about your company, or the
company you work for?"
Leichssenring: "K Studio was created over three
years ago. It started out as just an art studio to prove images for gaming
companies, publishers, and gamers. Shortly after being published in
numerous books I decided to publish a few of my own. K Studio moved into
publishing. I published two books, gaming supplements, and then decided
to help out those who have had trouble getting published. In the past
year I have assisted two writers publish their books and have a few more
inquires for this year. This is along with the supplement books I am
MilSciFi: "Were can we find your art, other
than your website (if applicable)?"
Leichssenring: "My artwork appears in the
galleries of Daz3D, Renderosity, Dreamslayer Artworks, the attic, Epilogue,
artwanted.com and several more sites."
MilSciFi: "Do you do the art for your
Leichssenring: "Of course."
MilSciFi: "Do you have any upcoming events?"
Leichssenring: "I have yet to
set up my convention schedule so yes, and no."
MilSciFi: "Thank you for your time."
Additional: "Travis Leichssenring served in the
United States Marine Corps, and is currently involved in creating the cover art
of fellow Marine David Sherman's DemonTech Novella "Bring Her Back
Alive", coming in mid-2011 from Dark Quest Books.