Passion for Science Fiction
Ever since I was young I was enamored by the work of Frazetta, Boris, and the various card art used in the game Magic: the Gathering. I was determined to pursue illustration as a career from a young age. I graduated from the New England School of Art and Design in 2011 and have been working freelance in the Fantasy Science Fiction and Horror genre ever since. My technique follows the standards of Imaginative Realism in which I combine imaginative ideation with the realistic study of both colour and light to create a believable image of something that does not really exist.
I am both a traditional and digital artist. I am experienced in various traditional media including pencil, ink and oil painting as well as the digital programs Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter.
I think it is important for the visual art to invoke something similar to the music that will accompany it. My visual art will sometimes be the first point of contact between the listener and the music behind my art and if they both don’t exist in the same world then I am doing a disservice to both band and listener.
Two big interests of mine are the mythos of HP Lovecraft and Norse Mythology. On top of that, I am an avid reader of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror. I enjoy bringing my whole knowledge base to the table when I am working on a picture. Finding the right symbols to invoke the right messages for a work is often one of the most important and most enjoyable stages of the process.
I try to bank my experiences with a book or movie to later draw on visuals I have either seen or previously imagined. Keeping a sketchbook to record simple sketches or ideas as you encounter them is helpful for sussing them back out at the appropriate time. It is also helpful to expand on an idea and try to take it in all kinds of different directions before settling on that single image you will take to finish. You never know if you will stumble on a more poignant or elegant solution to the initial problem your visual idea is addressing.
There are often so many influences it is hard to single out a few above the others. If I had to name names I would say Greg Manchess and John Singer Sargent will always live at the top of my list. I always loved the writing of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the amorphous mystique of HP Lovecraft. Dune (both the book and the David Lynch movie despite its faults) were huge for me as well. I also always find myself coming back to Norse Mythology.
I am currently in the process of conceiving a graphic novel of sorts as a prequel to a series of short novellas I am also writing and fully illustrating. My ongoing effort to strengthen both my technique and visual storytelling abilities. They shall help me combine my interests of cosmic horror, Norse Mythology and pulp fiction into a single ongoing project. To follow along please follow my Instagram www.instagram.com/max_martelli and stay tuned for my Patreon which should launch in late 2017 as a means for you the viewer to delve a little deeper in the creation of these stories.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2017 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.