From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Artist Spotlight: Bram Leech

"Flying Parade" by Bram Lee Chin“The Flying Parade” contains an imaginative and whimsical combination of creatures flying through the air. What inspired this piece?

I am a big fan of fantasy movies and animated feature films. Tim Burton and Hiyao Miyazaki’s movies are some of my favorites. The giant apple with people living in it is very much inspired by Burton’s James and the Giant Peach and the flying caterpillar with train on its back has a Miyazaki feel to it. As for the mood and lighting, I was influenced by Pixar’s Ratatouille. I remember I was so touched by that movie, after getting back from the cinema, I started painting this picture. And if you ask me why would I draw the setting in the balcony, this is because I have always dreamed of living in an apartment where I can gaze upon the city nightscape and moonlight could shine on me every night, however, I never had the chance to do so, and I am pretty happy staying in a terraced house now.

I’d like to take a moment to discuss your process. “The Flying Parade” contains great depth and many layers. What tools were utilized to create your art, did this particular piece pose any challenges, and how long did it take you?

I use Adobe Photoshop to create this illustration. The painting process was somewhat complicated, because in order to create more depth of field, many layers and groups were created in Photoshop in order to help me organize my workflow. It took me 5 days to complete this painting on my old computer which would take a few minutes to save for a painting with so much information like this.

Many artists, like writers, tend to tinker with their art, adding layers and depth until complete. How do you know when your art is finished?

I think once I finish a painting and I am not sure whether it is finished or not. I would usually go take a break or relax for a few minutes, try to get my mind of the painting. Then when I come back, if I am touched by that painting, I would know. And “Flying Parade” did touch my heart. Therefore, I think I should share it with more people.

Who are your favorite artists? Whose art most inspires your own and why?

My all-time favorite artists are Jimmy Lin, Alex Ross and Mike Mignola. Jimmy Lin’s illustrations inspired me in many ways, his work always give me a very heart-warming feeling which I seldom get living in the big city.

What other mediums (fiction, movies, video games) influence your art? Where do you go for inspiration?

Movies, definitely. I would usually go for a movie once a week, I love the feeling of being in the cinema, the two hours that I spend in that space are usually very inspiring and comfortable.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on some IOS games with my partners, hopefully some of the titles will be released by this year. I am also guest lecturing at my old art college, sharing my concept art and digital painting knowledge.

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T.J. McIntyre

TJ McIntyreT.J. McIntyre writes from a busy household in rural Alabama. His poems and short stories have been featured in numerous publications including recent appearances in Moon Milk Review, M-Brane SF, The Red Penny Papers, and Tales of the Talisman. His debut poetry collection, Isotropes: A Collection of Speculative Haibun, was released in 2010 by Philistine Press. In addition to writing poetry and short fiction, he writes a monthly column for the Apex Books Blog and regularly contributes to Skull Salad Reviews.