NOVA OPEN interviews Roman and Raffa

by Massive Voodoo

Massive Voodoo is getting excited!

NOVA OPEN 2017 is approaching!

Make sure to enter the Capital Palette Painting Competiton!

This interview was formerly posted on NOVA Open's facebook page, but the jungle thought to copy it in here too! Enjoy!

Letting the Miniature Speak to You:

NOVA Open Speaks with Raffa Picca and Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo

Recently, the NOVA Open had a chance to talk with Raffa "Picster" Picca and Roman "jarhead" Lappat, the co-founders of Massive Voodoo, "a blog by a group of friends about the passion of miniature painting and sculpting."

As friends and co-founders, Raffa and Roman expanded the blog from a showcase of their work and teaching tutorials to a comprehensive multi-lingual resource for painting and creating miniatures that allows individuals to learn about topics ranging from the theory of painting to approaches for sculpting miniatures. The artists have also turned the website into a storefront for the Massive Voodoo team's miniatures and have published an art book titled Figure-Art showcasing their impressive work.

Raffa and Roman joined the NOVA Open Community as NOVA Open 2015 seminar instructors and model donors to the NOCF after Mike Brandt, CEO of NOVA Open and Justin McCoy, Owner of Secret Weapon Miniatures recruited them. "NOVA Open was a great event and we are really lucky and happy to be back this year," said Raffa. This year, the artists will be teaching the following courses:

Roman Lappat
Beauty of Skin
Project Log: "The Last Light"
Roman's Blending School
Roman's Speed Painting Master Class
Tattoos and Warpaint

Raffaele Picca
Birth of a Miniature
Converting Miniatures Made Easy
Freehand Painting
Laid Back Speed Painting
Painting Faces

Participants interested in these classes should register as soon as possible, classes such as Roman's Blending School have already sold out and have a waitlist.

Washington, DC:  1st September - 4th September, 2016

NOVA Open Convention:
Multiple English language classes! 
VIEW Roman  Lappat &  Raffaele Picca Seminars:

Massive Voodoo will also be generously donating two miniatures each for the NOCF charity raffle: Raffa will donate "The Great White Werebull" and "First Ranger Mira" while Roman will donate "Crashed X-Wing" and "Kill. Humans." The NOVA Open is excited to have Raffa and Roman contribute their immense talents to the convention and NOCF.

Check the NOVA's Charity Foundation!

Read below to learn more about the founding of Massive Voodoo, their insights into the process for painting miniatures, and the artists' seminars for NOVA Open 2016.

Roman and Raffa's Founding of Massive Voodoo, 
"A Living Room of Friends Sharing the Same Passion"
Massive Voodoo grew from Roman's idea to create a blog that showcased his work and tutorials for painting miniatures, an idea that Raffa helped shaped. As Raffa noted, "we were having a chat, and I said to him, "why don't you use a blog, I think it would fit much better to what you want to do." After launching the blog in September 2009, Raffa and Roman decided to invite their friends to collaborate on the website. "It was a bit boring to do it alone," Raffa said, so "we started to invite friends and basically it was a living room of friends sharing the same passion."

As Massive Voodoo has grown, the artists have found that their audiences' growth as miniature painters and sculptors has been the most fulfilling component of operating the blog. As Raffa explained, "if you see the progress of regular visitors - and the way they lose the fear of doing things wrong and try out new things - that's the best part." In light of these successes, the origin of its name remains a mystery. "No one exactly knows why it was called Massive Voodoo," Raffa said. "We needed a name and then we found a name," Roman added, laughing.

The artists' work through their website has allowed them to note evolutions in painting styles across the world over time. "When I think back when I started, the differences in the styles were much more visible, like the French style, the Spanish style," Raffa noted, "but these days, the styles are more mixed." According to Roman, the melding of these styles emerged from the miniature communities' willingness to share tips and ideas online. As he observed, "nobody is saying, 'hey, I'm keeping my secrets.' Everyone is sharing their ideas and I think that leads to a better mix of different styles."
Letting the Miniature Speak to You: The Artists' Inspiration for Painting Miniatures and Advice for Other Hobbyists.

While Roman and Raffa have refined their painting techniques over time, the two artists explain that letting their intuition guide the painting process plays a major role in their work. As Raffa explains, "I don't try to think too much about color schemes, I just try to paint the way the miniatures are talking to me. If you look at the mini, often times you already see the story you want to tell other people." Roman agrees, noting that "it's a vision you receive from the model and then you just paint it."
The artists' emphasis on letting intuition play a role in painting miniatures extends to their advice for other hobbyists.

As Roman reflects,
I would say it is important if you start painting, try to know where you are on your path. You're walking a path as a miniature painter like you're walking a path as a guitar player. You start to play the strings, then you learn another song. You're growing and going forward in your journey. That's the same for miniature painters. And very often people compare themselves to other people who are much further on their own personal journey and they get frustrated. So know where you're walking on the path.

Roman agrees, noting that painters should also "play around" with different painting styles and see what works for them rather than rigidly following one approach. "Maybe wet blending is not your thing, maybe you like glazes, or the other way around," he said, "but if you never try it out, you will never find out."

Blending Courses and Crashed X-Wings: 
Roman and Raffa's Road to NOVA Open 2016
This year, Raffa and Roman will serve as instructors for ten courses and donate two models each to the NOCF raffles. The artists drew inspiration from video games and found objects for their NOCF models. Roman's "Crashed X-Wing" came from a moment of inspiration that turned a former student's gift into the miniature. After a student gave him a miniature of the Star Wars ship, Roman kept it in a drawer for two years since he could not find the right idea for the miniature. After seeing some garbage on the street however, he said "I thought that it looks like a planet and a place to have the X-Wing crash there. So I was inspired by garbage."

The inspiration for Raffa's "First Ranger Mira" model came from a mage in the Witcher 3 video game: "I tried to use her as an inspiration and recreate it with red hair and a green color scheme," he said.

The artists are also looking forward to helping their students improve their skills as artists and sculptors at their NOVA Open 2016 seminars. In addition to "Laid Back Speed Painting," Raffa is excited about "The Birth of a Miniature" seminar since it will "show the process of a complete figure basically from start to finish, from the first drawing of an idea to the finished product." The artist said the course reflects his growing interest in miniature sculpting. "It's the thing that I'm doing the most - sculpting, creating my own concepts, and casting," he said, noting that he works resin and silicone for casting and different clays and putties for sculpting.

Roman also is excited about "Roman's Blending School" since he believes it will address the frustration that many painters feel "from their blending technique or their blending results." In order to address this issue, his seminar will use a unique approach where students work on color transitions on canvas before applying these concepts to miniatures. "This will be a fun class that teaches many blending techniques," he said, "but it also takes away being scared of blending mistakes. So I'm looking forward to it because it gives participants a lot of freedom when they're at home working again."

The NOVA Open and NOCF would like to thank Raffa and Roman for generously giving their time and effort to support our work and causes.


See you all in a couple of days in DC for a great and amazing time at the NOVA OPEN 2017!
Safe travels everyone!


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