Interview with a Master Illustrator: Raymond Waskita Terutama

Being slightly obsessed with Game of Thrones, I have seen a lot of fan art.   Recently, I began seeing illustrations by Raymond Waskita Terutama (RWT), I was stunned by the talent and depth of his work.  While there are many great artists out there, this guy has that “special something” that sets him apart.

When approached, Raymond was gracious enough to grant me an interview.  READ ON for some great insights into the mind of this delightful and talented artist.

Raymond Waskito’s Game of Thrones Illustrations have quickly drawn a lot of interest on social media.  I definitely feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to ‘pick his brain.’

Have a look.  Then look again.

This Lannister Family Portrait is full of symbolism!

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The Lannisters Circa 275 AC

RWT: If the Starks are known for their unity, Lannisters are known for their complexity and extreme decision making. It was the reason why I incorporated foreshadowing of their fates. I also tried to capture the Lannister pride with the drawing above the fireplace, where all the other animals bow down to the lion.

E:  When did you begin as an artist?   How old were you when you started?

RWT: I’ve always liked to draw.  Come to think of it, I started when I was just 4 years old.  I was always drawing whether I was at home or at school.

E:   What has inspired you? Why illustrations?

RWT:  I am blessed to have received my Masters from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, majoring in illustration.  I mostly am inspired by nature and interesting characters.   I chose illustration because it is the form of art where we can be a character designer, costume designer, interior designer, vehicle designer, Its pretty much where freedom in designing is limitless.

E:  Your illustrations are uncanny!  I’ve seen a lot of work done by fans of ASOIAF.  Yours are some of the best I’ve ever seen.  Absolutely stunning!

RWT:  Thank you very much!  I’m still learning.

NOTE: This guy is definitely humble.

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The Lion Still Has Claws.

E:  Why Game of Thrones characters?

RWT:  I always find interesting characters fun to draw, whether they are good guys or bad guys.  GRR Martin’s characters are mostly neither.  All the characters have reasons to behave the way they do, and their background story has depth as well.  That’s what’s most interesting to me.  

E:  What do you think of George RR Martin’s work?

RWT: GRR Martin is, no doubt, a genius.  His use of foreshadowing, his poetic way of storytelling and his world building are all amazing!  I love that by suddenly attaining such a monumental level of success at his age, he teaches us that there are no limits to the amount of success that can happen at any age.

E:  How long, on average, does it take for you to do a single character illustration?

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Winter is Here

 

RWT:  For the compilation of the characters that I did: One single character took me about 2-4 hours, depending on whether or not  I have other projects going on.

E:  The Lannister and Stark family photos are both set several years before the beginning of the Game of Thrones story, with the exception of histories and lore.  Why this time period?

R:  I started drawing the Stark family portrait because, before Season 5 aired, there was a lot of GOT fan art depicting theories of what was yet to come.  Now, as the end is getting near, I thought: “Why not travel back in time instead of trying to grasp how the ending will look?”  For this reason, both the Stark and Lannister family portraits are set before the events in ASOIAF. 

On the Starks and Jon Snow:  Catelyn never liked him for a reason. I tried to capture the worried look on his face (which is why he was sort of hiding next to Ned). 

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The Starks.  Circa 291 AC

E:  Jon looks both worried and somber.  I notice it is set before the birth of Rickon.  

RWT:  In the books Jon and Robb are 12 years older than Rickon.  I really wanted to draw them as cute little kids, not teenagers, so I decided to set the family protrait before Rickon’s birth.   

E:  Are you planning on doing any more of the individual house family portraits like this in the future?

RWT:  I am still going to do this series in the future (filling in the long wait for season 8 by creating more ASOIAF artworks), I am working on the Tyrells at the moment, hope I can do at least 7 of the major houses.

E:  This is all amazing!  What other types of artwork do you do?

RWT:  Other than illustrations, I do a little bit of branding stuffs, like Logos and package designs.

E:  Thank you so much for allowing me to ask you some questions!  I know I am not alone when I say that I look forward to seeing your future works of art.

RWT:  Thank you very much for having me!

It was an absolute pleasure learning about such an amazing artist.  For those, like me, who have not seen enough of his beautiful work, here are a few more portraits Raymond Waskito Terutamo has published.

 

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