Several months ago my teammate Christian, in Munich, emailed me some digital paintings by the cryptically-named digital art and design company GTGraphics. “Wouldn’t these make a fantastic theme?” he suggested. “Absolutely!” I replied. And I am very pleased to announce that on May 18th we published a Windows 7 theme of GTGraphics’ electrifying spacescapes.
It is impossible to look at these dramatic paintings without wondering what story they’re telling, and I was also eager to find out more about the mysterious people behind GTGraphics, so I asked Christian to introduce me.
The most surprising thing I discovered is that these polished and sophisticated works were created by two young self-taught artists; college students who are actually studying not art, but international business and physics respectively.
Tobias Roetsch (whose online alias is
Jeff Michelmann (whose online alias is
Another surprising fact is that the two founders of GTGraphics, Tobias Roetsch and Jeff Michelmann, have never actually met in person. Jeff lives in Munich, and Tobias in Dresden, and they met in cyberspace while playing the Digital Anvil space combat and inter-planetary trading game “Freelancer.” From their mutual enthusiasm for the science fiction game and their love for the genre as a whole, they discovered a shared interest in and talent for creating science fiction themed artwork and illustrations, and GTGraphics was born.
I really wanted to know the story these images illustrate, but Jeff and Tobias said that there is no overarching narrative. “While there often is a story behind each individual picture, there is not any complete story behind the entire project. Our images might represent a certain mood or even a situation we’ve been in or an experience we’ve had in real life… often we’re influenced by daily things that happen to us. Movies, music, and of course other artists are great sources of inspiration, too. We both dream of sci-fi visions, futuristic scenes, space and other worlds and try to realize our ideas with the help of our works.”
Jeff’s digital drawing of his workspace
How do they create these artworks? “We mainly work in digital media and prefer to use Adobe Photoshop and graphic tablets. Something that really helped in developing our skills is that we both started learning digital illustration at around the same time, and we gave each other honest criticism and feedback on each other’s work.” Although they live in two different cities, it seems that the distance creates no impediment to their collaboration. “Basically we inspire each other by chatting online, brainstorming together and sharing ideas.”
I asked about their goals for the future, which they stated very simply: “To be better artists, to have enough time for personal projects, and never to lose our inspiration and motivation.”