Originally from the Philippines Armand Serrano is an independent visual development artist, art director and production designer that collaborated with Walt Disney Studios, Sony and the Marvel Studios to name a few. He initially studied to be a civil engineer at the University of Manilla, which makes his artistic journey that much more interesting. The fact that he doesn’t take art or talent for granted not only allowed Armand to maintain connection with his inner ‘fan’ (he candidly gushes when describing past interactions with some of his heroes) but also made him want to understand the tools he is using for creating artworks, at a deeper level. He talks about not shying away from taking Photoshop courses even after he had been already familiarized with the program, just to be able to understand and know as much as possible about “his weapon”: “I may not use everything, but at least I know how things function.”
In this in-depth interview recorded during The Art Department | World Tour, Armand discussed also the importance of carrying out proper research when working as a visual development artist as the best way to achieve believability, authenticity and functionality. He talked about managing feedback and the importance of selecting only a couple of people for expressing opinions about works in process. In a talk filled with amazing insights for aspiring artists, he also highlighted the importance of learning the basics, having a good understanding how things work in general and only afterwards progressing to stylisation and the breaking-of-rules.