Interview with Peter Takacs
Peter Takacs is a free-lance graphic designer from Hungary. He makes artworks for bands, individuals & publishers. Peter specializes in with web graphics & printable materials like CD layouts, covers, cassette layouts, flyers, book covers, etc. Additionally he uses vector art as well to create his unique pieces (sigils, logos, shirt designs and so forth). Uses several techniques and creative methods such as photography, manual drawing, photo manipulation, mixed media and digital painting.
HMAW: How did you get started in designing and creating artwork for Heavy Metal bands?
Peter Takacs: I began to deal with such things in a more concrete way in 2008. Back then MySpace was still alive, so it was easy to contact people and bands on that platform. However, even before those times I was engaged in making artworks, out of hobby. Just in 2008 I felt the whole activity had reached that maturity it had actually required me to achieve and start to build upon that basic level. After the beginning artwork requests came fast, my work had become acknowledged and appreciated, which made me feel proud and pleased.
HMAW: What is your creative process or inspiration?
Peter Takacs: Inspiration always comes from different sources and factors. However, it roots in one given specific field at the same time and you can sense that given atmosphere even though they are different interpretations in shape and composition. The whole thing is about the main concept which shall only be understood by those who are capable of seeing and who bear relevant comprehension. The process itself cannot be described or explained in words – the larger picture develops during the creative progression by the help of understanding emotions and powers from beyond. That's what is actually hard to control, but it may only be given back as reflections in the final product. The most important in the end is the satisfaction and the endeavour to set out and create at my best; when all these factors meet my expectations then I can say the work is done yet and I could give back all that I sense when I take a look at my creation. It is like a constantly growing and evolving creature which is eager to take its final shape. Therefore a parallel between the spirit and mind is being manifest within the image.
HMAW: Do you often get direction from the bands?
Peter Takacs: Yes, there are bands who drop by to me with a complete concept and know exactly what would they like to get and see. Often I get concrete ideas from them although I uphold the right to tell my opinion and comment. This right of mine is usually taken with respect and we can agree on a mutual wave-length. On the other hand, it happens that a band completely trusts me with the design and sends an album preview to gain inspiration from – I am able to accomplish maximum appreciation at these times as well as I always let the band know my own additional ideas. If we finally agreed I would start working on the given stuff. And there's the third category which I doesn't like at all; that is when we agree on something with a band and they change their minds all the time, asking for illogical and annoying changes. This kind of bands usually do not take anything seriously.
HMAW: How did get your first paid job?
Peter Takacs: If I remember well the first came in 2008 from a Belgian one-man project, Carnyx. He came with a concrete approach and exact idea, also sent some music in order to inspire. When I'd finally been done with that artwork both of us were really pleased. He had received a piece just the way as he would have liked to see it and I had been rewarded with what I asked in return. So things with him went fine and smooth.
HMAW: Tell us about masters or famous artist in your country and if they have been of any inspiration.
Peter Takacs: Ever since my childhood great classic painters and graphic artists have been keeping me amazed. One of my first and most significant influences had been a book illustration made by Gyula László, at my age 6 or 7. The book was entitled 'Rege a Csodaszarvasról'; it tells about an ancient Hungarian legend which was re-stored from an epic poem (Buda halála) written by János Arany, a Hungarian XIXth century poet. However, if I had to approach the topic more accurately and tell names as well in the field of metal genre, I truly respect and appreciate the art of Gyula Havancsák. I would like to mention the art of a person who's very close to me, namely the art of Kitti Solymosi (Anatiummi Arts, link: www.facebook.com/AnatiummiArts). Her spiritual works born by instinct has always amazed me. She is an artist who helps me a lot both spiritually and in a human sense as well. Also, she is often critical of my works and helps with advices and that's also something I'm grateful for. But to mention artists not only from my home land, Kris Verwimp had also left his own strong impression on me. I got to know his art 10-11 years ago when I saw a few Sear Bliss (Hun) cover arts and booklets. Also the creations of Travis Smith and Zdzislaw Beksinski inspire me vastly. To come up with a few classical artists as well, without setting a complete list up: the art of Gustave Doré, Hieronymus Bosch, Mihály Zichy and Francisco Goya had put an exceptionally strong spell on me. By the way there are so many artists who were of influence in my life that this space would not be enough to list them all.
HMAW: Are you involved in any art group or organization?
Peter Takacs: No, I'm not at all; however, there were some who approached me with such sort of offers, but I dislike it when they tell me what to do and for who. That's why I stick to my own path instead. This way I could decide whom I want to work with and how. In my opinion such art groups often smother individuality and above all, creativity. Without these factors the whole would be a forced mess which would shine through my works as well. The best way is always the one you discover and improve on your own.
HMAW: Tell us about your ambitions creatively and financially.
Peter Takacs: The will to constantly evolve is what helps me in my progression. I'd like to better myself all the time, that's why I deal with a wide range of arts from photography through digital graphics to hand-drawing, as I have the possibility to learn from them and they leave a nice influence on my arts. I'd like to achieve the very best possible level in this genre. Also I wish to work with those bands and artists someday whom I respect and towards whom I owe my gratitude as they in a way made it possible for me to do what I love. I want to reach the maximum I can.
HMAW: What is your set up i.e. software, computer, live drawing, studio, etc
Peter Takacs: It's defined by what I'm working on at the moment, basically. In the beginning it may sound weird but I used a simple mouse for digital paintings. For example, the cover of Forefather's 'Last of the Line' was born this way. It had taken a huge amount of time however, so if nowadays I have to prepare a digital painting I usually make it in Photoshop using a Wacom Bamboo tablet. Next to these I use Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. Also for photomanipulations I use Photoshop. By the way I have learnt to handle these softwares on my own, through automatic self-education. I think this is the best way of learning how to handle a given software confidently. Simultaneously I use paper, my PC and a camera to create.
HMAW: What are you currently working on?
Peter Takacs: These days I work on several projects at the same time. There are things which are still in their early phase, but also some which I've almost finished yet. Lately I prepared a full CD layout and booklet of 12 pages for Teurgia's (Hun) upcoming album 'Memento of Ancient Memories', plus they ordered a t-shirt design along with the album. In addition I'm working on a more personal image which will be probably a cover for sale and a logo. Besides, on the artwork of Tunes of Despair's upcoming second full-length 'The Lingering Death'.
HMAW: How does best describe your work?
Peter Takacs: If somebody takes a look at my works they tell everything about the style what I represent. I emphasize the importance of making demanding, unique pieces; I'm very critical of myself. I never let half-done or neglected work out from my hands. Every detail has to match and fit in, only then can I and the band be absolutely pleased with the outcome. I like trying new things out and to experiment; they always bring some fresh and unique solution. Cast a glace at my works and you'll see their essence.
HMAW: …any final words?
Peter Takacs: Firstly, I would like to thank you Alex for the interview. Besides, I would also like to deliver my gratitude towards those who have been supporting me and those who kept on obstructing me. By all I have become stronger.
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