The best is yet to come from @marcozagara

One of the best thing about doing these Q&A articles is to witness the different thought processes that goes into creating some of the most amazing digital art on instagram.

Another relatively new artist is (Marco Zagara) @marcozagara, he has the most hyper realistic composites and a wonderful and unique style that I’m sure reflects his love of nature and the natural world around him.

Its a great pleasure to dig deeper into the mind of @marcozagara and to see where his inspiration is taking him.

How long have you been using Adobe Photoshop to edit?

I have been using Photoshop for about three years; basically, since I bought my first laptop.

How did you get into digital arts?

Since I was a child, I always felt the need to express my creativity. A big change happened few years ago when, thanks to my girlfriend, I bought my first camera. At the same time I was also starting to use my laptop. Thus, merging these tools, I had realized I could make real whatever image I could think of. Images coming from a simple photo or an abstract scratch. I have to admit, the possibility to show my work on Instagram, has played a key role in getting more in touch with digital arts.

What inspires you to create?

The possibility to give birth to what start from a simple thought gets me more than anything else. I am continually looking for new challenges and I am very pleased to be able to express myself through digital art. However, it may not always be as easy. It’s not so uncommon to run into the equivalent of the “writer’s block”. When such situations occur, I try to look a step further, by observing the art which already surrounds me, the art contained in everyday life, which helps me a lot as an inspiration source.

Who are some of the creative artists on Instagram that inspires you?

Two of my favourite Instagram artists, who have inspired me greatly, are @ronnaldong and @thelightninja. Both of them are incredibly talented. Definitely check out their work if you haven’t already done so. 

With Instagram being so saturated with talent right now, how are you able to stay unique and fresh?

To be honest, I try every day to produce something new and original, often pushing me even beyond my limits. I don’t think I do it all the time, but that’s part of it too! In my opinion, we shouldn’t be afraid to dare and make mistakes, trying to express what we really have inside us.

How do you educate yourself and keep learning?

I study a lot of theory, so to build the solid basis from which to develop my skills. I would say that is fundamental. However, in this field, it is also essential to practice a lot, day by day, so as to develop also the practical capacities. It is also very important to “look around”, so to get chances to be inspired by great artists and to observe the world, even in its tiniest details, to find the right inspiration.

 What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started editing using Photoshop?

When I started using Photoshop, it seemed really complicated given the vastness of the functions and tools that the program offers. Thus, I focused on learning in deep just few tools functions. This gave me the possibility to start using the programme and to create something valuable, even if I was a beginner.

Do you use Adobe Lightroom? If so for what specific purpose?

To be honest, I don’t use much Lightroom for what concerns digital art. I think it’s a nice programme for final retouches and color corrections, but the most of the work I do is done on Photoshop. That’s cause it already offers all the tools and features that I need.

Take us through your workflow from beginning a project to posting it on Instagram?

Usually, it all starts with a simple idea. Then, I look for material which can give me the possibility to realize what I am thinking of. So I may look for something in, or other types of such sites. I also have look at the photos I have taken in the past to see if there it is something I can use. Yet, if I don’t find anything satisfying (very rarely), I may get a photo in purpose to use it on the idea I want to realize. After that, I would upload all the materials gathered in Photoshop. First thing here is to perform the first color corrections and adjustments with the camera raw filter and the adjustment layers. Consequently, I would merge the modified images together, by using some of the many tools Photoshop offers. Lastly, I finalize my work through final color correction, with the camera raw filter or with Lightroom, thus making the image a little more personal and distinguishable.

What do you hope to achieve by posting on Instagram? Are you just posting for the fun of editing or are you hoping to use your Instagram gallery as a portfolio for bigger opportunities?

Well, what has always pushed me to share what I create, it is my extreme need to express my creativity and to confront myself with the other people’s opinions. I think that is the best way to grow, personally and artistically. Moreover, I think nowadays Instagram also represents a real opportunity to get noticed. It is not my first objective but it may be an advantage in the future for sure.

I know from experience that Photoshop files many layers can take up lots of space on a computers hard drive, How do you back up your original work?

All my works are triplicated on three different hard drives. In addition, I use a pen drive for backups and temporary files, and two hard disks of respectively 1 TB and 2 TB. I think it’s always better to always keep an original copy of your work, as it could be useful whenever I want to make some adjustments or reuse some old material for new works.

How important is getting likes and comments vs just posting as an artistic expression?

There are people who think likes and comments are the most important things when publishing their work. Of course, in a social network like Instagram, it is undeniable to admit they are essential to develop your visibility. However, I think the first objective should always be to be satisfied with your own work, and just after, to be worried about such things. Fortunately, these two concepts may coincide; whenever you do what you love, with people who love it in the same way, they are most likely to hear your message.

If there wasn’t an Instagram, where would you showcase your work?

I think that if there was no Instagram, I would share my works on Pinterest or Behance. As we know, they are differently arranged with respect to Instagram, but they still offer a valuable platform in which anyone can show its artistic skills of any kind!

Have you gotten any financial opportunities because of Instagram?

I haven’t had real financial opportunities until now, but I had the opportunity to collaborate with some tech companies.

Do you think that Instagram has helped or hurt digital artists?

I am firmly convinced Instagram has helped digital art development. It is true that sometimes it may represent a threat although. It may influence too much a digital artist’s way of thinking, by pushing them to use certain styles, colours, or to focus certain topics; but, on the other hand, the Instagram community has a terrific amount of talent, that offers every day a valuable contribution to the world of digital art with their awesome creations.

What State/Country do you live in?

I am very proud to say I live in Palermo, Italy! I am lucky to spend my days in such an inspiring environment.

Is there anything else that you would like your followers to know about you?

I just want to thank them for all the love and support they give me every day and I want them to know that my artistic and personal growth is expanding greatly, thanks to them! I will always give my best to you, stay tuned!