Thursday, 15 September 2016

Artist: SiMo Sol

Interview with Artist: SiMo Sol
Today I am very honored to be talking with a guy who goes by the name of SiMo Sol.

SiMo Sol is a German artist and one of the best artist around when it comes to doing MOTU paintings.

MOTU!: Hi SiMo and thanks for taking time out to do this interview with me. Over the last couple of years, you have been doing some amazing MOTU paintings and your work just become better and better every time you paint something. The painting you did recently at Grayskull-Con is another masterpiece, so I am very honored to be able to do this interview with you.

The Battle for Castle Grayskull (Unfinished - Work in Progress)
SiMo: Thanks. It's my pleasure.

MOTU!: Can you tell us a bid about yourself?

SiMo: I was born in 1975 and I live in Germany. I have been painting since being able to think. I grew up with Star Wars, He-Man, some of Marvels, most of DC Heroes. And drawing that characters founded my interests in arts in early years. In the last years I did more and more Oil Paintings about "Masters Of The Universe". I like doing my very own homage’s to the old vintage Art and a lot of my paintings are recreations of MOTU minicomic art of the first generation.

MOTU!: So SiMo, how did you get started doing MOTU Paintings?

SiMo: Well, I did my first MOTU painting in 2010. It was just a private thing, I was near to a burnout and painted that as a kind of positive treatment. You know, good memories and that stuff. The main thing about it was, to crossover the very first media we had from MOTU. At 1982 there were the minicomics and the art boxes, nothing more. So I made the crossover and I created my favorite minicomic cover "King of Castle Grayskull" as an painting like the classic box arts. It was almost a kind of homecoming. I shared whole the process in a German MOTU community and the feedback was overwhelming. So I continued with the next ones.

MOTU!: How long have you been doing MOTU Paintings?

SiMo: The first was 2010, then I made some other Projects, since 2013 I have been painting a MOTU regularly.

MOTU!: What inspires your works?

SiMo: That can vary. I concentrate on the very classic take of MOTU, including characters and setups of the first years in the 80s. Most of these paintings are recreations of ionic drawings like card backs and mini comic motifs. I think, besides the right take on the elements and characters itself, that is the main reason for people to get my art right in that moment when they see it. It was already in their mind in some way.

"King He-Man" was an exception. I wanted a painting of him like it could hang on a wall in Grayskull itself. That idea was born directly when the action figure was revealed. As many of you might know, before MOTU was made in the way we all know, it was supposed to be a Conan toy line, when it was developed. So I always had in mind that Conan was the main reference for He-Man. Then King He-Man was released, and I thought "Wow. Conan ended up as a bearded King, so does He-Man now..." And I knew that I have to complete the circle by this optical crossover with former weapons by his side and so on. It really has become a great narrating piece. My only fear was that anybody would do it before me, because it was so obvious to me.

MOTU!: Which of your artwork pieces is your favourite?

SiMo: There is a lot of passion in every single one, but maybe "The Prophecy of the Legend." I like the peaceful setting and the lighting. But the King is also a very special "baby".

The Prophecy of the Legend
King He-Man
MOTU!: Is there an artist you relate to?

SiMo: Oh, not only one. And I tell of them by homage’s in every painting I complete. The most important names are Rudy Obrero and William George and Earl Norem just to name a few. Since the Death of Earl Norem I have been painting He-Man's belt in orange colours like Norem did, just to honor him.

MOTU!: What would you call your style?

SiMo: Classic styled fantasy oil painting.

MOTU!: What is your preferred medium and why?

SiMo: That's easy. I tried out a lot of media, but there is no better material for my art than oils. The colours are intense, and oil is a patient medium. I can overwork painting again and again. And I have to, sometimes I decide to change complete elements or characters parts when they are actually finished.
Crazy, but I have to.

MOTU!: How did your work develop throughout the years?

SiMo: I just learn a little bit in every painting. Each one had its own challenges. It's my own will to get better. A painting is finished, when I can honestly say that I would hang it up on my own wall. That mark is getting higher every time, but I do not make any compromise with it.

MOTU!: What is the most fun in creating MOTU Art?

SiMo: That maybe probably placing the MOTU (and other related) Easter eggs. I am one of the guys who was blasted by the idea of bringing E.T. to the Star Wars Universe. And I love to hide things. I hided my name into some of the paintings, for example. Not the signature, but as elements of the scene.

MOTU!: Do you use real people as a reference for your art?

SiMo: I do. I've learned that from Alex Ross, a fantastic artist. His version of Batman in Kingdom Come for example is based on Gregory Peck. When I "cast" my characters I mostly have the German audio plays in my mind. You must know: audio plays are really a big thing in Germany. There were audio play series which reached bigger sale numbers than Michael Jackson. To name one: Our Man-At-Arms had the grumpy, adult voice of German actor Karl-Walter Diess, who has died 2014. So today my visual imagination for him is based on Brendan Gleeson, because his face is the perfect addition for that voice. And that's the main reason I choose him.
MOTU!: Did you ever feel like giving up?

SiMo: No. But I am honest to myself. If something doesn't work the way I thought it would, I have to reconsider it. I never shun the effort to recreate a failed element in another way.

MOTU!: What's the best thing about being an artist?

SiMo: To create things you ever wanted yourself.

MOTU!: What's the worst thing about being an artist?

SiMo: Pressure. But because I do not accept commissions at all, I am free in my decisions what to paint and when to do it.

MOTU!: Is there a purpose to your artwork?

SiMo: Fun, passion and lifeblood. Of course there are different feedbacks.

Some of them are just like "great art" or "you are gifted". I feel flattered by that of course. Or "how much!"- that's not so important for me in particular. I don't paint just for a sale. But the greatest responds are like "Hey, you bring back some memories to my mind. Your He-Man is a rendering of that character like I ever wanted him. Thank you." I always have to gulp when I read that things, because that is my own intension.

MOTU!: How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?

SiMo: To be honest that doesn't happen very often.

MOTU!: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

SiMo: If you think that there is something strange in your painting, take it seriously. There is something strange and you should wipe out the words "I'll leave it that way, nobody will take notice." That won't work. Never. I know it. *laugh!!!

MOTU!: Do you have any upcoming MOTUC paintings that you are planning or currently working on?

SiMo: Yes. I have three concrete paintings in my mind by now. After my actual painting I'm going to take a small break to complete another project, but I will definitely start the next painting soon. I think people who like my art can really look forward to what will happen.

MOTU!: Where can people view all your awesome work that you have done so far?

SiMo: They can view all my work on my Facebook at

MOTU!: Thanks SiMo, great talking with you! We look forward to seeing more awesome MOTU paintings from you!!

SiMo: Thank you so much.

Check out more of the amzing art of SiMo Sol!!! 
Attack of the Invisible Gnomes
Gaurding the Safety of Eternia

He-Man and the Power Sword
On top of Grayskull

The King of Castle Grayskull

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