Kevin Roodhorst quit his day job to design nightclub flyers: now he’s a photomanipulation and mixed-media master who dabbles in 3D
Kevin Roodhorst was never particularly into art growing up. It’s only when he was in his teens that he started experimenting with Photoshop after seeing photomanipulations online, and since then, it’s been a meteoric rise from quitting his job to working with global brands. We asked Kevin what it takes to succeed in design.
I think you can call it digital art, or even mixed media. In terms of style I play a lot with composition and the use of empty space. My work is most often focused on the centre of the canvas with empty space around it, so I suppose I have a specific look within the specific style that I create in! My style did not really evolve, the quality of my work just improved.
At 14 years old I started to experiment with Photoshop. I tried to create my own versions of album covers and photomanipulations I saw online. I posted my experiments online and to my surprise I received tons of positive comments, that’s when I really became motivated. Soon after that several nightclubs contacted me to create their flyers. With these flyers I earned ten times more than my supermarket job so I quit my supermarket job to start taking designing more seriously, and I started to invest more time into it. A couple of years later I was studying design in Amsterdam.
After my internship I started working for another advertising studio called Souverein where I worked for three years. I worked for some amazing clients there like Nike, Adidas and G-Star. Now I work for a small creative advertising studio called Luminous Creative Imaging in Amsterdam, which I still really love.
I would suggest to all Photoshop users to learn a little 3D. It really expands your possibilities. You can choose from a variety of 3D software like Maya, 3ds Max or Cinema 4D. I use Cinema 4D because of the friendly user interface. To learn a 3D program you need a little more patience, because most of time it takes longer before you see the final result.
Look around for inspiration on Behance and don’t be afraid to dive in and create your own projects. Also, following tutorials in Photoshop magazines or online helps a lot at the beginning. Try to recreate existing artworks of artists you really like, try to get that same effect you love about that artwork, but just for practice: you don’t have to post it online.
I really like Ars Thanea, Zombie Studio and Taylor James. They all create work that really inspires me with an insane level of quality. It’s mostly a combination of 3D, matte painting and photography.
I started using Photoshop around 14 years old. Before that, I wasn’t really an arty kid. I was mainly inspired by all the cool image manipulations I saw on the internet. Even now, my favourite tools are the ones I learned back then, and the ones I use most often are just the basic tools like the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, regular brushes, Dodge/Burn. I also love to play around with adjustment layers like Color Balance, Selective Color, Curves and Hue/ Saturation. If you combine different adjustment layers with different blending modes you can create crazy effects!
At the beginning I couldn’t believe that my work was actually featured in a magazine: that was really amazing! I still receive a lot of very nice comments. Positive feedback gives me the energy to continue and stay motivated, I think everybody needs that. Last year I was contacted by someone who wanted one of my artworks as a tattoo! That was crazy!
I’m planning to do more with food photography with a digital art twist like the candy bar creation I did, those projects are really fun to create because you shoot everything yourself. I’m sure that at Luminous Creative Imaging, where I currently work, there will be plenty of cool new projects!