Jungle Interview: The Visual Flies

by Raffa

Posted by Raffaele "Picster" Picca

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today we want to bring you something new in the jungle.
When one is curious, the solution is to ask. And so did we, enjoy this interview with Alfonso "Banshee" Giraldes, sharing some of his history and talking about a new blog on the horizon: The Visual Flies.

Hello Banshee! Would you kindly introduce yourself to the Massive Voodoo readers?

My name is Alfonso Giraldes, aka Banshee. I am a professional miniature modeler.
I started in the miniature world in 2003, travelling all around Europe, participating in painting events, and I was part of the Spanish Team that created the Spanish Team Forum which nowadays is one of the most important websites related with miniatures.

I have been developing my work since 2006, after winning 2 slayerswords in France and Spain. Since that moment I have worked for several companies such as Andrea Miniatures, Pizarro Models, Tale of War, Scale 75, Coolminiornot, Sergeant Blackart, Miniature Mentor, and Knight Models mainly as a painter, but also doing sculpting, graphic design and art directing some miniature ranges for Scale 75 and Knight Models.
Starting from January 2013 I will join the Forgeworld design team.

My personal goals have been achieving a personal style of painting and developing the painting style for some companies. I am especially proud of the work that I and JMPN developed for Knight Models range, trying to achieve an illustrated effect for the miniatures. Some kind of effects and painting style more close to the illustration that the classical way of painting.
It was necessary because the marvel range that we were creating deserved this kind of researching that went beyond the ordinary style of painting. After some years of trying, I think that that style has been accepted for the majority of the miniature fans.

I have been also giving painting classes since 2005 and the majority of the people that are working for the fantasy miniature world as painters for several companies, has studied in those courses. Also, 90% of the people that are winning trophies here in Spain has been in those courses. I have taught in Belgium, France, and specially in Spain, where I have had more than 200 students, from all over the country. Those successful courses had been very important for me because they gave me the chance to explore one of my biggest passions, which is teaching. My mom and dad both were teachers and this is a part of my character that I enjoy a lot because the best way to continue learning and improving is to analyse your work and skills, to be able to teach other people. In my opinion, art should be shared. This should be an obligation for all the artist that has the skills and the experience to spread the knowledge to help the miniature world to grow.
I adore my work, and the chances and experiences that had offered to me during those beautiful years. All the places I have visited, all the projects I have participated on, all the fantastic and really interesting people that I have met. This is a true gift that life has given to me. And I am grateful for having that experience and having the luck of being sure that this is the path I want to walk.

Currently you are about to establish a new blog, "The Visual Flies".
Can you introduce the people behind this blog to us?

I am a part of this project, but not the main part. I have helped them start and I would like to write some thought articles or info that could be interesting or useful. But the main part of the group is formed by:
Toni Nieto: He is one of the members of the Spanish Team, not a very prolific painter, but a very interesting person, interested in every kind of art that surrounds us. He has a huge amount of knowledge that should share with the world. He is an art teacher, and one of the most intelligent people I know. Also, he is a good friend full of sensitivity, so I am sure that his articles will not "slip past".

Adrian Prado: My friend. A very skillful illustrator. He is a freelance worker that will show interesting step by steps.

Mark Maclans: He is a very good painter. He has worked for some small companies, doing tabletop miniature box artworks. He studies philosophy and he has a very interesting point of view about art.
Victor Guerra: He is a professional illustrator, he is working for a video game company and he used to participate in game projects such as "la puerta de Isthar" and many otheres. One of the most talented artist of his age I have seen in my life. His style is becoming unique.

Diego Esteban: He was my student a lot of years ago. And he is one of the few that has developed his own style. He is one of the Spanish painters that experiment the most. Personal colours, personal style, and very interesting pieces. He can show a lot of things that people will enjoy. He worked with me in some projects a short time ago when I was the art director of the first three miniatures of "Scale World Fantasy" range for Scale 75. And he painted the secondary version of those 3 miniatures. He has been also part of the MINDFISHERS project. He is probably the painter with whom I like to work the most
Iago Pineda: He won the slayersword in Spain when he was 15 years old. Probably he was the most talented child I knew with Nicolas Hanset and Maxime Prenaud (talking about those times)... After that he disappeared from the miniature world and started to study architecture. Now he is finishing the university and he can contribute a lot of interesting thoughts about miniatures, composition and space. His brain is well organized and is a very logical guy, which is something very interesting considering the miniature world as one of the craziest.

Hugo: He is one of the best people in the world. Charming, humble, intelligent and full of knowledge about all those issues that we love the most. Films, comics, music, toys, cards, miniatures,.... everything that a fantasy stuff fanatic should know, it is inside his brain...

Israel: My professional mate, he worked with me at Knight Models as a sculptor and we created a very strong link between each other. He is a technical expert and he will be my mate also in my new quest. His way of work is very easy to follow and understand and if the people have the luck to see his works and how he does they will understand very well because he has a very logical way to work.

Why did you and your team create this new blog and what is your goal?

They will take the reins of the project. I am just a collaborator and part of the starting team. But as I know right now, they will try to make just an interesting blog. There is not a specific goal behind it apart of showing interesting stuff and try to help the miniature world to be linked with so many artistic ways and worlds ... The net is full of blogs talking about miniatures, but this one goes beyond that. Miniatures are only the connection between us. But every single member of this group has something unique to show. We came from very different experiences and professional worlds so it is easy to talk around miniature world with so many different point of views. "Visual Flies" it is just a way to show the fans how many different possibilities can be interesting for them. The leitmotiv is to talk and reflect about visual stuff. No matter where it comes from, but miniatures will be always present.

Is the blog planned to be on spain language or will you also introduce translations of content on the long run?

I hope they will translate to English, but first of all they must strengthen and consolidate the blog in Spanish. This is a BETA project. The flies will try to show interesting articles to see the reaction of the people. If the feedback is positive, be sure that an English version will come. The problem is that this is not a professional project and all the people have a lot of duties or personal projects. To grow in this specific project the relationship between readers and members of the Visual Flies should be very strong and fluid. If it works they will be able to expand and grow to other language communities. But it is hard. So, for the moment this is only an ambitious try in BETA stage.

Thanks for the interview Raffa, you know that it is a pleasure for me to talk to you guys.

Thanks to you, Alfonso. Now we know a little more about this new blog on the horizon!


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