Zombie Art inspirations from Ritaban

Who doesn’t love the creeps in old Hollywood thrillers? Books and movies featuring zombies, ghouls, mummies and Frankenstein’s monster have pretty much been with us our entire childhood. And so, we decided to give you a peak into artist Ritaban Das’ illustrations inspired by the same!
Q. What do you look like? Tell us about your quirks.
I usually look human, but when I laugh, my fangs are exposed and I look like Dracula! Other than that I’m completely straight, avid sleeper, highly caffeinated, half sensible-fully comical, fun loving kind of guy. I think I’ve covered everything!
Q. If you were to create a Pokemon fashioned after yourself, how would it look like? What would it be called?
Perhaps ‘Ron-man’…but it sounds like superhero. A simple ‘Reaper’ maybe.  Or I guess ‘Mohawkcreature’ could represent me! Forgive me, I’m bad at giving names. 🙂
Q. What did you want to be when you were a kid? What would you be, if not an illustrator?
I have always loved to draw and have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to do this for a living. I couldn’t have become an engineer, a doctor, or an IT expert because that is not my forte. I’ve been in the art industry for the last 6 years, and everyday I learn something new.
Q. Tell us about the creative process behind your illustrations.
A. The process always starts with an idea or a prompt – sometimes it’s brought on by some amazing reference I’ve stumbled across, but I usually want some intent or purpose to motivate my character design/illustration process.
From there I jump in with loose thumbnails and brainstorming. Once I’ve done a few sketches, I move on to research and reference. I’m a sucker for research, so gathering images are huge part of my process. From there I start integrating the reference into my initial ideas- tightening up the structure and design elements, adding details and specificity, taking into account things like shape language and silhouette.
Once I settle on a design and color scheme, it’s just a matter of taking it to finish. I really think about the stylization – how stylized a character or design should be.
Q. Teach us how to draw a Zombie (aka Zombie 101 for those who can’t draw!)
Now this is the weirdest question I’ve ever faced!
Creating a zombie is the simplest thing on earth, I guess. Make a distorted face with a proper jaw line. The size of the jaw depends entirely up to you. A bigger jaw will make your character look bulky, and a smaller jaw will make it look slim. Don’t make its face smooth. Add wrinkles, holes and cuts to make it creepy and scary. Adding blue tones especially on the eye sockets and other hollowed areas of the face helps make the Zombie look pale and scary. For final touches, add streaks of red for the blood coming from the Zombie’s mouth.
Q. What life advice from your parents/mentors has helped you out to this date?
“Just do what you love to do, and do it whole-heartedly!” is what my parents always say. I think the best thing about working alongside other artists is learning different techniques to get to the same destination. It’s helped in broadening the methodologies while designing characters, and learning not to get stuck in any particular stylistic rut.  Keeps you fresh!
Q. Do you ever run out of ideas? Where are you inspiration vaults?
 Just like any other artist, I also meet with creative blocks. But they don’t usually sustain too long. Everyday before I start working, I spend at least an hour or so checking other artists ‘ blogs, sites, their interviews etc to keep my creative juices flowing. Oh, and I play games too, so that also motivates me! 🙂
Also, there are a lot of artists out there who inspire me.It’s a pretty long list!
I absolutely LOVE CreatureBox, Sergi Brosa, Nicolas Marlet, Brett Bean, Tyler Carter, Randy Bishop, Matias Hannecke, Sean Galloway, Michael Bills, Ryan David Jones, Wouter Tulp, Edwin Rhemrev, Cory Loftis, Skottie Young, Armand Serrano, Dan Seddon, Frank Stockton, Nikolai Lockertsen and Headless Productions.
As far as concept art is concerned, I really dig SIXMOREVODKA, Massive Black, Calum Alexander Watt, Carlo Arellano, Eytan Zana, Anthony Jones, Android Jones, Gilles Ketting, Michael Kutsche and Shreya Shetty!
Q. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Work more, learn more. I want to keep working on exciting new projects. Also, I really want to move out of my country and work in a reputed animation/design studio.
Q. What made you start the art blog?
It started out in 2009 when I started collating all my artwork. I didn’t actually know what blogging was all about back then, but I wanted to showcase my sketches, doodles and scribbles. I then stumbled across some art blogs and knew right then that I wanted to create something of the sort for myself too!
As of now, blogs and other online portfolio sites like Behance, WordPress, Drawcrowd, Artstation, Deviant Art are the best platforms for showcasing your work.
Q. Where did the name Ronnie the Reaper come from?
That’s actually a funny story! When I was studying at an Animation Institute, a member of our faculty had made a caricature of me in the Grim Reaper’s outfit. A year later when I was planing to create my art blog, the name Ronnie the Reaper hit me. (I feel it’s pretty catchy!)
Q.You have so many self portraits Ritaban, share with us your favorite self portrait.
A. I think this one is the BEST self portrait I’ve ever made by now. Made it as our gig poster for Escape Festival, 2013. I’m the one on the left, in the hat!

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