Greg Rutkowski on Rethinking His Approach to Art

Greg Rutkowski has been our friend for five years now, but he’s been a friend to the online art community for much longer. This is why we’ve decided to invite him back for a catch-up interview on Vox Groovy this month. After all, many things have changed.

He’s now a father to two daughters, he has a completely new outlook on art and life, and I’m assuming that we can all agree on the fact that the quality of his work has skyrocketed since our last proper sit-down with him. In light of this, we’re really excited to tell you about Greg’s shift towards a more traditional, oil-on-canvas-like style, and we think he may have voiced a popular sentiment when he spoke about how an artist can get tired of the artificial look that digital art often carries with it. When we first asked about it, he said that,

“I got to the point where I found myself missing the “organic” feeling in my workflow, so I started to download more and more traditional art for inspiration.”

 ANNO 1800 Team: Tobias Mannewitz – Creative Direction Benjamin Schulte – 3D Artist Grzegorz Rutkowski – Illustrator

It’s true, traditional art is slowly becoming sacred from the viewpoint of a contemporary artist. Why…? Well, it’s chock-full of hidden but invaluable lessons that the old masters were kind enough to impart through each individual masterpiece. As Efflam Mercier once said, if you’ve got a problem, odds are that a great artist has already resolved it in a painting from long ago. In Greg’s case, this was about learning to adopt the abstraction of certain shapes, like the people in two of his famous pieces—”Revolution” and “Castle Defence.” He also managed to reignite a portion of our community’s passion for traditional art, and you’ll notice that this style is popping up on ArtStation’s homepage a lot more nowadays.

Greg has been able to find new clients and even posted his Photoshop brush pack + tutorials on ArtStation for us! So, if you’re a fan of his work then look forward to learning more about his unique art style, the new work for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, and finally, how the people behind ANNO 1800 made his dream of commercializing his “risky” approach into an incredibly successful reality.

It’s been five years since our last interview, tell us a little bit about what’s changed in your life.

I can easily say that these last five years were the most difficult and most beautiful years of my life. I have two daughters now, I’ve built a house for my family and we’ve made lots of life-changing decisions throughout this period. I’ve also rethought my entire approach to work and painting itself, but that’s a much bigger story to tell….

"I got to the point where I found myself missing the 'organic' feeling in my workflow, so I started to download more and more traditional art for inspiration..."

By Vox Groovy staff writer;
All images used with permission by the artist
© Greg Rutkowski or respective copyright holders
Opening Paragraph Reading by Ariana Rosario

Audio profile: Neve VXS (Channels 9-10)
Reading by Ryan Pratt

© Vox Groovy Radio


FRONT: ANNO 1800 – Revolution
ART DIRECTOR: Tobias Mannewitz
LEAD ILLUSTRATOR: Grzegorz Rutkowski
ILLUSTRATORS: Josef Stängl, Floris Didden
TECHNICAL ARTISTS: Benjamin Schulte, Nils Carstens
PROJECT MANAGER: Valentin Lessnerkraus
INTERNS: Sara Han, Christian Reiske

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