WNGN Guests will be a series of guest articles from talented photographers who deserve some attention on Wangan Warriors. Dimitri Stieben from Drifthunts is a creative guy with illustrations and a camera. He tells us about his amazing work in this WNGN Guest blog.
Hello my Name is Dimitri Stieben better known as Dimi and I’m 29 years old. I wasn’t into cars as a kid at all since a car was concidered as a practical tool in our family. The 8th of May 1998 changed everything for me though, and some of you may remember this holy date, as it was the release day of the original Gran Turismo!
I was hooked by the TV commercial… I got the game as a birthday gift and started playing it for months straight. I fell in love with all the awesome Japanese cars with the Mitsubishi GTO Twin-Turbo being my favourite. Going 400km/h on the Test Oval was concidered a milestone if you know what I mean. So my passion for cars was born right there.
“Do you even focus…BRO?!“
Cameras… Well I am obsessed by them. From my very first cellphone cameras to a lot of Analog Canon SLR`s to my actual Canon 5D MKIII and I can`t imagine to ever sell one of my old cameras either. Its this special feeling you get for a hobby that you never can keep your hands off.
I got the chance to visit my first drift event back in 2011 on the famous Nürburgring. I realised that it would not be the last time for me visiting this track. It was also the first time I got my hands on a DSLR (canon 600d). Back at home I checked out the photos I captured during the event and of course they sucked except for one or two. As a beginner you think differently so in my small world I thought I’d become the photography master. Somehow people started to like my photos so I kept shooting photos.
I decided to start a Facebook page right after my first attempts in automotive photography but I also wanted to keep it drift related. There were only very few of those pages back in 2011. I wanted to keep everything clean, so I had to learn to work with Adobe Illustrator to design my own logos and stuff in the best way possible.
At that time I’d gathered basic skills in pretty much all Adobe Products relevant for me such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro and Illustrator. I’ve also built up a solid drifting related Facebook page and came to a point where I wanted to try something new.
Art has always been a part of my life and in particular the digital form of art. I’ve started making my own logos back in 2012 and I also began to design liveries and illustrate cars.
Drawing stuff on a PC is easy some of you may say… Well yes and no because it’s very easy for people with a lot of practice but almost impossible for those without. I’ve spent 2 years to improve my Illustrator skills and I’m still learning new techniques every single day!
Usually a project starts on paper. SCETCH > SCAN > VECTORIZE.
My goal is to keep my works minimalistic and also detailed. Illustrations like the blue 180sx takes a lot of time, 10+ hours in this case.
A line work is a stroke based illustration. I usually use the Illustrator pen tool to draw strokes. Pen tool sounds difficult to people who never tried it, but it is in fact the best and fastest way to draw strokes.
I have never used my graphics tablet to draw in Illustrator because the Apple Magic Mouse works just fine for me and so will any other third party mouse! Why does drawing lines work well you may ask?
Well, pretty much everyone needs a line work when it comes to designing a race car livery. You need a clean base to work from, but I think you get the point here.
“Detail is everything“
Details will bring life into your drawing/illustration, shading is the keyword here. Benny Maxwell from Axesent Creations was my shading teacher. He is a master in every aspect of automotive Illustration! Shading is an endless process of highlighting details, some kind of a „Dodge and Burn“ Technique!
I hope you had fun reading this because I wanted to show you something you don’t see every day. Maybe this motivates you to try photography or graphics design because it’s easy and its endless fun!
I want to thank the Wangan Warriors crew first of all and Rens Adams and Allard van Grafhorst in particular for letting me be here for a little while! You guys do an awesome job here, so thank you and keep it up!