This interview is available in German and English — Dieses Interview ist in Deutsch und Englisch verfügbar!

Hello Sara, thanks for your kind availability to spend some time with us. We saw your website with a lot of your drafts and final paintings, most of which are aimed at communicating a specific mood. Would you like to introduce yourself to our audience?

Hello, my name is Sara Forlenza, I am 27 years old and come from Italy. I”m a professional artist and illustrator. I like fantasy, and I LOVE Warcraft”s saga!

How did all started?

My interest in art, when I was a child, started with comics and cartoons. Comics are often looked at as trivial, but many of them have really nice fictions and graphical art.

What would you suggest to somebody who would like to follow your path as a graphical or CG artist? Should one graduate from a renowned Art School to become a successful artist?

A career in graphics or art can begin for several reasons, but to develop your skills you have to be determined in what you are doing. A good art school can help, but isn”t as important as long-term perseverance and a true love for graphical art.

What are the most important mentors in your life, what your favorite artists, and why?

I get great inspiration from American comics, I always liked their energy and visual impact paired with realism and technique. I think Todd Lockwood is a master of the digital painting medium. His works are truly impressive because he is able to create art with digital tools as if he would be using brushes, oil and canvas.

I also like Brom. His artworks are dark, gothic fantasy and truly unique. I think he is a genius. I could still add many other names, but don”t want to bore you :)

We are particularly curious about the creative process behind your artwork: where do you find the inspiration?

Sara Forlenza: Satyr

There are a lot of things that inspire me. Looking at people and environments, listening to a song, watching a movie, or reading a book can help me in the creative process. Then I pick up my pencil and start to draw!

How do you organize yourself when you have to put your creativity and your techniques on a time plan and against specific output requirements?

When I get a commission, I do a lot of sketches – finding a very good sketch is the most difficult part of the creative process. After that it”s all easier. I start to add details and try to keep the artwork well-balanced. Colors to increase the feelings and emotions of the subject are added during the last step.

Looking at your personal style and preferences, have you ever considered to become a 3D artist or animator for video games such as “World of WarCraft”?

I”ve always been attracted by 3D graphics, but I like the concept artist role more because I just love drawing with my pencil – I love to give my imaginations life through it. I think “World of WarCraft”s” concept artists are great!

Let”s talk a bit about the multiplayer game that currently fascinates so many people worldwide, and its upcoming second expansion. How did you come to “World of WarCraft”, and what do you particularly like about it?

As I said before, I love fantasy and have played many MMORPG”s and RPG”s. When I played Warcraft III, I fell in love with it. I think the game”s plot is one of the best fantasy stories I have ever seen. What I like especially about “World of WarCraft” is the ability to be a hero in the world where Illidan and Arthas fought, loved and betrayed.

Which class(es)/race(s) do you play in “World of WarCraft”, and why?

Sara Forlenza: Forsakens

I have to admit that I”m a noob human mage :) I”ve created this character to follow my master Jaina Proudmoore! Also, mages always attracted me because their lives are somehow similar to an artist”s life. They practice their magical skills many hours using their spellbooks like I spend a lot of hours at the computer to improve my artistic skills! However, I think all races in Azeroth have great unique aspects. I particularly like the draenei and the undead.

Blizzard games are backed by an amazing team of concept (and cinematic) artists. You name Samwise Didier and Glenn Rane (both of among your favorite illustrators. Can you tell us what you particularly like about their works?

What I like about Samwise is his ability to create something never-seen-before with a very original style, while Glenn Rane is able to create impressive and powerful artworks with an admirable technique.

For the next expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King”, Blizzard has promised again an adventure of “epic scale” on a breathtaking continent. What would you personally like to see – from an artist”s point of view – in this add-on? Would you agree that the graphics, in particular the textures and the depiction of the environment”s scale, are a bit outdated? Imagine for a moment that you are the lead designer.

When “World of WarCraft” came out, it has shown us a clever and original interpretation of traditional fantasy elements. In Burning Crusade, we have an alternative environment that in some way resembles more science fiction. In Wrath of the Lich King, we”re going to see a medieval landscape, and I hope it will be more gothic and dark then Burning Crusade.
I too think that WoW”s textures are a bit outdated, but improving its graphics without loosing the particular comic style is quite hard to achieve in my opinion.

Thanks very much for the interview, Sara. We wish you the best in your future endeavors, and we”re looking forward to seeing more of your gorgeous pictures soon!

My pleasure, thank you too for the interview. See you soon in Azeroth!

PS: If you are Horde, and see a very noobish mage called Marea, please don”t kill her :)

If you like to know more about Sara Forlenza and her art, don”t miss to visit her website!