Interview with Angel Giraldez
It’s all across the world. The news is out. Angel Giraldez is releases his own painting book: “Angel Giraldez Masterclass Volume 1”
In this book, Angel covers a lot of the techniques he uses to paint the beautiful miniatures that Corvus Belli uses for their own studio.
Today, we have a very special treat for fans of Mr. Giraldez: our very own interview with the man. Our interview was done via emailing Angel with questions sourced from all over and having Angel respond through the document sent in the email. Special thanks to the WGC Infinity group on Facebook and InfinityTheForum.com for providing inspiration and questions. And without further ado…
Claudius Sol: Angel Giraldez! You are the reknowned Infinity studio painter, as well as a commission painter for many other miniature companies.
You’ve been in the industry for a while now and recently won an award from Beasts Of War’s 2014 Gaming awards concerning your painting of the Kum Rider from the Infinity range.
As well, you’ve recently started pre-orders on your first book: Angel Giraldez Masterclass Volume 1 Painting Miniatures from A to Z.
Glad to have you do this interview for us!
Angel Giraldez: Hi Bryant.
It’s a pleasure so I may explain all my decisions about my first book
CS: To start with, let’s cover topics concerning your most recently completed endeavor: Your Masterclass book.
What made you decide to make your new book? It’s certainly a very large endeavor.
AG: YES!! A very large endeavor. Sincerely, it was exhausting. In my head [making] a book was easy but the reality was different, many hours…
I decided to make a book because was my dream, It was a challenge, a new goal. I wanted to make something new in my career.
This book means for me effort and sacrifice and also a way of thanks to all my followers.
CS: If you had to give a number, about how many hours did you spend making the book?
AG: Uffff, many hours. I started this project in October 2013. I made this book in my free time because this one is my personal project but if I make this one full time, I’ll finish it about 3 months.
CS: What techniques did you decide to include in the book? How do you determine what will best help painters improve?
AG: I explained 5 techniques: glaze, NMM, points of light, washing and stippling. With these techniques you are able [to be] a great painter.
My method is easy and simple, I explain easy steps so you understand it.
CS: What was the reasoning behind completely funding the book yourself? Did Corvus Belli or AcryllicsVallejo offer to assist, financially? If so, why did you turn them down?
AG: Good question, this book is my dream and I trust my dream so I financed it myself because I wanted to have the control, my rules and my development.
I have worked many years for Privateer Press, Studio Mcvey and more companies and so I got to save money for this dream.
CB and Vallejo didn’t finance this book. I payed all things, printing, miniature, translation,etc… A lot of money…
Then I sold this book for CB and Vallejo and they sold this book to stores and distributors so everyone may buy this book.
Spanish government (47%), CB, Vallejo, distributors and stores have earned money with my book.
Finally I’ve also earned money.
Many people think that now I’m rich but I’m not rich.
I [could] explain many thing about costs but it’s difficult for me.
CS: Why only 5500 copies? That seems a rather small volume considering the number of fans you have internationally.
AG: I made some market research. I saw my Facebook and blog statistics, I talked to stores, painters, companies, etc…. to sell more 4000 paint books is very difficult.
Also when I presented this project to CB and Vallejo and I said 5000 books, they were not very sure about this one but finally they said “YES!!” And I said “You rock ,thanks!” but , “just 5000 books Angel, to sell books is difficult.”
Sincerely nobody trusted in this project but more importantly I DID.
[But] I was afraid, so during 2014 I made a lot of advertising of my book on Facebook.
It was the secret of success, when I started to announce my personal project in 2014 I had 3000 followers and now I reach 8700 followers.
I like the feedback with people. 🙂
In September 2014 I [thought to] increase number of copies but nobody said to me “Good idea”…so I was not sure, but I decided to make 500 books more. So finally this book is a limited edition of 5500 books.
Now… this is very funny, everyone wants my book! What? What do you say? Now you want my book? And before you don’t want it… I don’t understand it.
My book has been a success and thanks to my team, Amadeo Vallejo, Maria Araujo, Santi, Gutier, Yannick Hennebo, David Pereira, Juan Navarro, Carlos Torres, Bostria, Jeremy Breckbill and David Satterthwaite
This team is the dream team.
CS: All said and done, what would you consider the best and worst parts about making the book?
AG: Easy question.
Best parts: Content, step by step and marketing. I’m very happy with this first book. 🙂 I lead myself this project was awesome.
Worst parts: Sales. I didn’t have the control. The pre-order day was February 2nd, but many stores had published my book before…. it was chaos.
Also many followers don’t have my book. I’m so sad, because this book was a dream and many people have bought many books and then they’ll sell it on eBay. For me these people have violated my book.
This book was for my followers.
CS: This is a topic of rather heated discussion online, but with the success of your first volume, are you considering a reprint of Volume 1?
AG: I can’t reprint it because this book is limited edition. During 2014 I announced it [as] limited edition. My back cover [says] limited edition. If I reprint this book, it’s not ethical and I lie [to] everyone.
I decided to make [volume 1] limited edition [because] advice [on] tax, [as] the Spanish government isn’t good.
For me it’s very difficult [to] explain theses reasons in English.
But this weekend I re-watched my presentation video and I read the phrase “a book that helps painters”. That’s the spirit of my book. How could a book help painters if they can’t get a copy of it?
This has not been an easy decision, but I have decided to reprint this book. For those of you who have already ordered a copy, I hope you understand why I am making it available to more people. For those of you who have not yet ordered a copy, please be patient as I sort out the details.
CS: (As a note after the interview: Angel, just know that most of us support you 100%. I feel confident saying that the vast majority of your fans feel the same)
How about a Volume 2? If so, what sort of content could we look forward to?
AG: First of all, I need to take a rest. I’m reading all comments on forums, Facebook, blogs,etc…
Your opinions are very important. Then I’ll [make] decisions:
- if I make a volume 2
- how I make a new book
- limited edition or not
- new collaborations
- etc……. many things
CS: But we’d also like to hear a little of your story, too.
What was the reason you decided to become such a great painter? That’s not a decision that’s made lightly.
AG: I don’t know, LOL, really I started painting and each day I liked [it] more. This could be the reason I decided be a painter.
I like my job and I think that I can do many [things] in the miniature’s world. 🙂
CS: How did you decide on using your method of combining Airbrush with Brush techniques? It’s certainly an effective method that has proven to provide stellar results.
AG: I work as painter and companies want quality and a low cost. I paint many miniatures and I have [deadlines] so during years I’ve development my method which is the combination airbrush and brush.
Now many painters are using this method because this method is easy.
CS: Surely you’ve had some difficulties while painting. What are some of the most challenging issues you’ve faced so far in your career?
AG: I had a lot of difficulties… when I started to use the airbrush… it was exhausting… broken needles, struck paint,etc…. I prefer [to not] rembember that time, LOL, I want to be happy.
CS: How did you meet Fernando, Carlos, Koni, and the rest of Corvus Belli?
AG: I was the first worker in CB. When I started in 2003 there were 3 people, Fernando, Carlos Torres and Bego.
The company was small and don’t have money, [those] were hard years.
CS: Sometimes, you deviate from the color scheme or general designs provided by Corvus Belli (such as the suit of the MULTI Rifle Asura); Is there any particular reason why? In a similar vein to the last question, do you advise Corvus Belli on color palette choices and other design decisions?
AG: I work with Carlos Torres and Carlos ( Bostria) we [make] decisions about color schemes. Really working together is good.
CS: Looking at your history in Corvus Belli, it’s hard to say you haven’t improved. Are there any areas that you feel you can improve?
AG: I improved my painting and photography.
Also when I painted for other companies I improved my [knowledge]. When I worked [for] Urban Mammoth I tested new techniques, Anima tactic, Privateer Press, Studio Mcvey, Sphere Wars,etc…I painted new things. A good experience. I thank their confidence in my work.
Now I collaborate with Vallejo and I’m improving my step by step. Vallejo is a great company.
CS: While painting the studio models for Corvus Belli (and other studios) do you ever have to throw away an attempt and try again? If so, how often?
AG: Never. I can’t fail. It’s very stressful , but it is my work.
CS: Do you paint things besides Miniatures or Busts?
AG: Walls or chairs, when my mother in law say to me, “Angel, may you paint it?” LOL
CS: Do you listen to music or have other such distractions while painting? Or do you dedicate solely to painting, no distractions?
AG: I listen music and also English videos, I’m learning your language and it’s very difficult for me :X
CS: While airbrushing, what PSI do you set your compressor to? Do you use variant PSIs for different purposes?
AG: I always use 1.8- 2 bar. (Note: That’s 26 to 29 PSI)
CS: Do you use magnifying glasses or other such tools in order to paint those small details on the models?
AG: Never. Only my pretty eyes, you know. 😉
CS: How about a respirator and/or a vent hood? Concerned about your health from all that airbrushing?
AG: I don’t use it. I prefer to die painting miniatures, LOL
I use [a] cleaner station. I only paint miniatures so it is enough.
CS: If you don’t mind, what sort of work did you do before you became a professional miniature painter or during your early career?
AG: My first job has been as miniature painter, I was 20 years [old].
This month I celebrate my 12th year in CB.
CS: Similarly, what do you think is the biggest component of improving painting skills?
What is your inspiration?
AG: Patience and practice. It’s the secret. [It’s all you need].
Inspiration? My work, I want to be a good professional.
CS: You’ve entered a few competitions. Where do you see most of the high talent coming from these days?
AG: I don’t enter in competitions, I don’t like it. I prefer to be happy. 🙂
CS: When not painting, what do you do? From prior posts on Facebook and other media, we’ve learned you’re quite the fan of the Chicago Bulls.
AG: Yes, Chicago Bulls, let’s go Pau Gasol!!!! I like basketball.
I’m a normal person, I like to be happy and live my life.
CS: Do you play any of the games you’ve painted for? Infinity? If so, what armies do you play? If not, why not?
AG: No, I don’t play,I prefer to do other things.
CS: Regarding the future, I hear you’ve made plans to attend GenCon in 2015. Will you be offering more classes similar to how you did in 2014?
That said, excluding GenCon, what are you looking forward to the most during your next trip over here to the US?
AG: Yes, I’m going to be Gencon 2015. I like this event, american people [are] funny. They are friendly but they speak quickly, you know.
I’ll make many masterclasses. I’m so excited.
Then I hope to go to New York with my girlfriend but yet it is not sure.
CS: Lastly, I’d like to thank you so much for the interview opportunity and to congratulate you again on such a magnificent turnout for your first publication!
AG: Thank you so much Bryant, you are a good guy. This world need people like you. Sincerely you are an artist. 😉
And that concludes the interview! What did you think? I hope all your burning questions got answered and you can come to better understand the man who is known as Angel Giraldez.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in a comment or by posting in the forums. (I’m more likely to answer to posts in the forums, though)