Pawel Nolbert on Paint, Process, and the Joys of Analog

by Sandy Balzer

posted on 09-20-2017

This post was contributed by Logitech, a MAX 2017 partner. We’d like to thank all our 2017 MAX partners who help make the conference possible.

Visual artist Pawel Nolbert recently collaborated with Logitech on their release of Craft – a new keyboard that promises to change the way creatives work. We sat down with him to talk inspiration, process, and what it’s like to create a piece of work with the new keyboard.

Q: You have such a unique aesthetic – what inspires your work?

A: Inspiration changes with time. Currently I’m inspired a lot with nature and how diverse it is. I also take a lot from traditional art, painting, graphic design and architecture. All of that is a mix of organic qualities and the more mathematical, digital ones – and I hope to introduce that in my work.

Q: Your work has an amazing ‘how’d-he-do-that’ effect’. Is this international?

A: I actually add that effect to my work a bit on purpose, as a way to trick the viewer and his imagination. I get a lot of people who are not sure if my work is analog, Photoshop, sculpture or 3D. I kinda like it that way. On the other hand, I think it’s quite apparent that my work is a mix of both analog and digital, but I always try create visuals that are not too obvious and always leave something for the imagination and interpretation.

Q: The acrylic paint part of your process is beautiful in its own right, but your work really comes to life when its composed digitally. Can you share a bit about your process?

A: I begin from painting simple compositions with real paint, then I recompose digitally in Photoshop or Cinema 4D and that gives me a greater control over the composition, light and colors. I like to use real paint, because it always results in amazing and intriguing colors and textures. I prefer to work mostly in Photoshop, and since it’s an advanced and complex tool, I rely a lot on keyboard shortcuts. Having extra controls on your keyboard definitely speeds things up.

Q: Craft’s creative input dial promises greater creative control. Does the analog tool give you a greater sense of control, as opposed to say, a touchscreen?

A: In my work, especially professional work, a high level of precision is required. Above a certain level of quality it’s the detail that makes the difference – and in case of my work the focus on details is a substantial part of the whole process.

When working extensively with rich, vibrant color palettes, I use a lot of color adjustment layers to tweak and perfect the colors, contrasts and details of my artwork. That’s where I primarily find Logitech Craft improving my workflow. Having tools that speed up the whole process is crucial, and Craft’s creative input dial is simply way more precise than your finger and touchscreen sliders.

Q: You created a stunning piece of work for the collaboration, how was it working with Craft and it’s dial on such a sophisticated piece?

A: Logitech Craft is a well-made keyboard and you can feel it from the first time you get your hands on it. If the product is designed and built well and smart, it becomes transparent and you forget about using it and just focus on doing your thing.

It definitely makes it easier to connect to what I do, when I just see my work and don’t think about the software or hardware. It’s like driving, you just watch and enjoy the road, and don’t really have to look at the controls a lot.

Logitech will be in booth 205 at Adobe MAX 2017, demoing the new CRAFT Advanced Keyboard. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to watch well-known designers create works of art with Adobe’s suite of products and participate in an onsite activation with the keyboard as well. Design enthusiasts at home can interact with Logitech on social for the chance to win their very own CRAFT.

Topics: Art

Products: Photoshop, Creative Cloud