Dark Tales of the Future II by Rasmus Poulsen

Montreal based Art Director Rasmus Poulsen’s “Dark Tales of the Future II” is an ongoing portfolio project. It’s simply a way for him to develop his craft. Both in terms of exploring the themes of a relatively dystopian future, and also to maintain and evolve his painting skills.

Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

Where ever I look, online or offline, my eye searches out details that fits the theme of the future. Completely subconsciously. So I suppose the images and designs, are an amalgamation of a lot of smaller inputs I gather over time. I am always inspired by the area where the mundane and the extreme meets. Civil war and marshal law for instance. So whenever I see a picture of a weird military vehicle, or a street cafe, an idea for an interesting juxtaposition can pop up. All in all, I think it’s a way of managing my fears and hopes about the future.
-Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

I think my style is fairly commercial. I always try to push for good mix of detailed polish and impressionism. That way the final image has the most appeal. Other than that I think it’s important to have good designs in your artwork, which in itself is a huge amount of work. I’m inspired by a lot of artists. From legends like Syd Mead and McQuarrie to all the new kids on the block. There’s so much fantastic work out there, it’s hard to keep up.
-Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

I’m not sure it’s for me to judge what my edge is. But I think I have an eye for the mundane and the extreme in combination. Like I said, I think mixing the two adds appeal and credibility to ones art. If I was feeling cocky, I would say mood and atmosphere are some of my strengths as well.
-Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

Using reference is important. However, finding inspiration and ideas outside the concept art sphere is even more important. A lot of artwork reuses and relies on the same references and as such there`s a shortage of original and fresh ideas. So, ideas first, references second.
-Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen

Beyond that I think it’s important to get feedback and critique. Since other people see things from a slightly different perspective, getting a second opinion is usually a great way to learn. About everything. From the finer details, such as foreshortening and render quality, to the greater things such as themes and aesthetics. Also, if you work in Photoshop I would recommend putting the “flip image” command on a shortcut 🙂 It all comes down to practice though, doesn’t it? Practice practice practice. That’s number one, two and three.
-Rasmus Poulsen

About Rasmus Poulsen

Rasmus Poulsen is an art director at Ubisoft, living and working in at Montréal. He grew up in Copenhagen drawing knights and cars, and later studied visual communication and production design, before entering the games industry in 2004. See more of his works on Behance or his website.