Instagram: @gal.barkan
Website: www.galbarkan.com

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

My name is Gal, I currently live in Tel-Aviv city, Israel. I am a visual artist, musician and art director, creating commercial architectural visualizations films and visuals.

I’ve been creating digital art and 3d for many years, worked in architecture, 3d firms and my own studio. I grew up in the countryside, in a natural environment, living by the sea. Since childhood, I play the piano and music has been a significant part of my life, as much as visual art.

As a kid, I drew a lot and many of my drawings included the use of perspective, 3d objects and imaginary cities. Growing up in the ’80s, I witnessed most of the computer graphics evolution until today. After seeing some of the early CG images and videos, I knew this was something I had to do but when I started computers, software was quite limited. These days, home computers are powerful enough to realize every visual dream or musical composition you can imagine.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I was always attracted to surreal art, fantasy, space and sci-fi imagery I’ve seen in films, tv or read about in books. I like to experiment and explore many visual styles and directions, from vast futuristic cities, fantasy landscapes with intricate detailing to minimalistic, colorful pop-art style works, surreal, psychedelic and neo-classic, and in some cases, I will merge all of these into one artwork.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

My favourite medium is 3d and digital since the possibilities are endless. I can create a 3d scene and explore many different directions, import one huge scene into another, merge a pop-art piece as a hologram inside a sci-fi city, turn it into day or night, make as many variations as I want and in post-production create different feels all the way from a clean digital look to a classic painting style, the possibilities to quickly explore many different directions, seeing the lighting and textures of an entire composition change in almost real-time – these things are only possible in 3d and digital medium.

4. What is your artistic process like?

In many cases, I have an initial vision in my head of what I would like to achieve. I also come up with plenty of ideas when I’m not near a computer or while doing other works so I write them down on my phone and notepad and come back to them later.

In other cases, I look around the internet for inspirations and references or check out my earlier works to see if I can create something new from those, when I sit down and work sometimes I come up with something different from what I first had in mind.

I tend to have a certain flow and go with it, listening to music that fits the mood of the piece, I merge and mix many different 3d assets, some I modelled, others are from libraries, In the past, I used to 3d model and sculpt everything myself, but in time I realized that if I want to create more artworks and concentrate on my visual ideas creating larger compositions I have to start using 3d assets to speed up the process.

I begin with arranging objects in a scene and doing lighting tests right from the early stages of the scene composition, I work a lot with interactive render mode which allows me to see where I am going and how the final image will look, I make many sketch versions which I bring to photoshop in order to do a rough post and color processing so I can have a better sense of the final image I want to create, this process of back and forth changing lights and moving objects interactively and doing test color processing brings me to satisfying results much faster.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

I have many sources of inspiration, from classic art to sci-fi films to having read lots of sci-fi, fantasy and science books, nature, listening to all kinds of music, when composing music I tend to imagine visual worlds and the interest I have in space, cosmology and the universe since I was young.

My inspirations change according to the styles I create –some of my works are influenced by impressionists and surreal painters, renaissance and modern artists. My futuristic/cyberpunk works were inspired by classic sci-fi films and tv, futurist artists. There are also many artists posting great digital art these days on Instagram and other social media, you can always find new sources of inspiration.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art has a significant part in my life by helping me to realise and manifest ideas and concepts I have in mind, express my thoughts and imagination. Art harnesses most of my capabilities both visual and musical, storytelling and sometimes philosophical thoughts. Creating art and music fills and enriches my time and bring feelings of satisfaction. It changes the way I view the world, mostly by the fact that almost every place, object, people and situation in life could be turned into an artwork.

7. Where did you study?

I studied visual communication design in an art school for 3 years. 3d art and digital were relatively new in art schools at the time, so when it comes to my visual works, 3d, music production and video art skills, I am mostly self-taught.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d like to continue and create artworks as I do these days and to merge them with short film productions, to create audiovisual experiences where I could incorporate my musical compositions with the visuals into more immersive art pieces.

9. What about in ten?

To be able to fully dedicate most of my time, energy and resources for the creation of my art and music, and hopefully, my art would have reached many more audiences and inspire many people.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

To harness all of my capabilities, talents and reach my full potential through my work in all my areas of interest and inspire others.

11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

I like Italian food, Asian, middle-eastern spicy food and a good burger

12. Favourite book?

There are too many I can’t name just one favourite and they change over the years, I could give you a list if you want.

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Music has a huge part in my life since I also play and compose, for me music and visuals go together, I have no favourite genre and can connect to many,

I grew up on and loved classical music, progressive rock, 80’s music & 90’s music, metal, electronic music, film soundtracks and musicals, jazz, rock, blues and more

14. What are your hobbies? 

These days, after creating an artwork, I will relax with some tv series, movies, a good book, regular exercises, video games or a long walk by the sea, nature or the city.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

if I wasn’t a visual artist, I would probably be a full-time musician, or an architect, or a cosmologist,

Actually, for many years, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Although I was working full time as a professional 3d artist, I had many thoughts of choosing a different path. I thought of music, architecture, film, computers, science, but somehow the things I do these days are kind of a mix of all of these. Directing and editing commercial films, working in architecture, working with photography and video, creating my visual art and music. I think we shouldn’t limit ourselves to a particular field. It is important to develop some levels of expertise in certain areas but also to explore and pursue many other different areas of interest.