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Irakli Nadar is one of the top digital artists in the world today. I have no doubt you have seen his work before even if you’re not familiar with art you probably have seen it floating around on some kind of clickbait article or Pinterest board or something. Irakli is an undeniable art star. When the lay person see’s a Nadar piece it’s often met with this common comment: “I thought it was a picture” notice they didn’t even say photo, I swear to god that is probably one of the top 3 comments posted on Urban-Muse every day. Don’t believe me? Scan through the comments on the Urban-Muse Facebook page, you’ll see it pop up.
Few artists typify this kind of tromp l’oeil 21st century digital realism more than Mr. Irakli Nadar. In fact it’s largely because of his success, and his enviable skill, and large following, that Irakli is often the focus of many harsh critics, haters, trolls, and even “hit pieces” attacking his style of art. Many like to accuse him of photobashing, a process wherein filters are applied to a digital photo and then tried to be passed of as “painted.” Irakli however isn’t that, he is just a damn talented, skilled, and patient artist. He has beginning to end process videos to watch if you deny his skill. The fact that his end pieces are so close to their photo counterparts isn’t something to detract away from his monumental achievement. It is in fact just breathtaking artistry on display. Irakli is the kind of artist who is bombarded with hundred to thousands of questions on social media every day, and he obviously can’t answer them all, so it’s with great pleasure we got a chance to talk with Irakli Nadar, one of the most popular artists shared on Urban-Muse of all time.
Urban-Muse.com: You live in Tbilisi Georgia. What can you tell our readers about living in Georgia? How, if at all has it influenced your work?
Irakli Nadar: Georgia is quite friendly Country with amazing food and culture, though digital art is not well known here, because it’s still a new thing and many people are exploring it now. I know definitely that was one of my motivations to get better in digital art.
Urban-Muse.com: With all due respect. You are one of the top artists in the world today, your artwork is some of the most viral, most liked, and most shared art in the history of Urban-Muse. Your name is famous around the world. Did you ever think years ago when you were just starting with art that you could be at this level of quality in your art, and worldwide acclaim?
Irakli Nadar: To be honest, I didn’t know that outcome would be so great. All I knew back than was that I have to practice like insane and give right direction to my practice. I am glad it turned out like this, hard work is never lost.
Urban-Muse.com: What is your artistic process like? What tools do you use?
Irakli Nadar: I think my process and technique is well known in digital community, I call it
“Fade-in” that’s when you paint soft & large blobs with a round brush and slowly build up values and shapes. My favourite tools are brush + eraser combo, lasso and gradient tool. Lately I got back to drawing, because I want to sharpen my drawing skills more and I must say that it feels great.
Urban-Muse.com: Who are you artistic influences? Classical and Contemporary?
Irakli Nadar: My biggest art influence is Willem de kooning, alright I am just kidding.
Classical art and old masters had a great influence on me, when I was a teen I learned a lot from artists like, Caravaggio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens. I also like Gustav Klimt,Schiele, Alphonse Mucha,J.C Leyendecker and many Russian oil painters. Today it’s all digital for me and I admire a lot of digital artists from around the world.
Urban-Muse.com: What inspires you to create? What about a certain model or reference do you think really “clicks” and inspires you to paint it?
Irakli Nadar: It’s really hard to say why I choose certain reference or model, because I simply like it or it’s experience and I know it will work, I think it’s combination of both.
Urban-Muse.com: What is your favorite piece of yours? What do you think has been the most liked?
Irakli Nadar: I am not sure which one is most liked, but my favourite piece is Black & White I did 10 months ago. It’s the only piece I still like and I remember that when I finished painting, I was looking at it for a few minutes and I thought this is really good and moments like this happen rarely for me.
Urban-Muse.com: Part of the main focus of this issue and a question we’re asking everyone is, how do you deal with negativity? What is your advice for our readers on how to deal with it?
Irakli Nadar: Negativity is something to ignore completely. I know It’s very hard to do that, because some people are quite emotional, but rule is simple don’t feed haters.
Some people are born to hate and talking to them will make no sense at all.
Urban-Muse.com: For the record Urban-Muse is 100% pro Irakli Nadar, we are on your side and support you. Expanding on the previous question, to be completely honest I have never seen another artist get SO MUCH grief about your art. You are one of the most divisive and polarizing artists working today. It stems from just how damn GOOD your art is. So many people just accuse you of being a photobasher (For the record Urban-Muse is not against photobashing as long as the artist is clear that is what they are doing). In fact at one point you even realized a short video called “How to stylize a portrait” where you take an image and click an imaginary “Nadarize” button and photoshop does the rest. Conversely you have posted complete start to finish painting process videos that show you are actually painting and not just blurring photographs and smudging them. What are your feeling on this whole “controversy” / “Drama”? And how do you deal with the haters who just accuse you of this? (This may be the biggest and most important question in the whole issue for any artist, so nows your time to talk about it, this is your soapbox)
Irakli Nadar: Yes that’s right, there was a lot of speculations around my art and there still is. At first I got very angry and sad, because I knew true process behind my art. Though haters gave me more motivation to work harder and to achieve my goals. Then I did start to record process videos, I even live-streamed my painting process and it helped a lot, but hate is still there. As I said some people are born to jump on hate train. It was not strange for me that people misunderstood my art as photo-bash or paint-over, strange part was people hating without reason or silly reasons like,
Why I use only one layer to paint or why are my layers empty all the time, why I have reference beside my painting and why I even use photo reference at all, etc.
All these taught me that the more you succeed, more they try to take you down and the only thing that stops you from achieving your goals is giving up. Movement is life and you should continue to progress no matter what happens.
Urban-Muse.com: Rene Gorecki is also in this issue, and we’ve asked them a similar question, but what is the nature of your friendship?
Irakli Nadar: Rene Gorecki and I are art pals, we live in same city, doing our best to improve in art and make digital art more popular in our country.
Urban-Muse.com: What are your plans for the future?
Irakli Nadar: I want to create more illustrations & fan art pieces in different style and apply photorealistic knowledge to it.I practice very hard for that and I really enjoy it.
Urban-Muse.com: Thankyou so much for taking the time to talk to Urban-Muse and it’s readers!
Irakli Nadar: Thank you for an interview it was very pleasant, have a great day!