This week we want to highlight the work of Jerick Van Ortiz (@intensejerick). His imaginative digital art has been featured in essentially every corner of the internet and has always had our attention. Each of his pieces are constructed with incredible detail, exceptional toning and brilliant creativity. Below, we chat with Jerick about everything from pizza to Photoshop. Read along to learn more!
Hello! I'm Jerick Van Ortiz and I was born in September of 1998. I live in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines which is General Santos City. I forgot and I don't know how I came up with my cheesy Instagram username (@intensejerick) but I'm not planning to change it 'cause my friends tell me not to, and, I guess, people are more acquainted with this username. I've achieved small yet meaningful achievements as an aspiring artist, like working on Walli wallpapers app as one of their youngest artists (August 2016), being highlighted on Mextures (now happening!), being featured on Inspades online magazine (October 2016), and letting my artworks being featured on Google's own wallpaper app (May 2017), Vellum wallpapers app (February 2017), Smart Launcher app's wallpaper section (October 2017), and a lot of Instagram art community accounts. I'm also an artist on MiPic (since January 2017) and sold some of my artworks as handmade products. These achievements may sound immaterial, but for me this is a great and meaningful experience.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
I’m just a normal kid that went through high school without any extraordinary stuff happening but I do love to make jokes and make everyone laugh.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I want to be happy and successful in doing what I really like which is being a visual artist - focusing on excellent outputs in photography and editing as well as film making.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?
Desserts. I can’t let a sundae or a donut pass. But sometimes a huge slice of pizza is better.
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
I think it’s a wolf because I always like to be with my group or with my peers.
WHAT TWO CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARE
None other than Pia Wurtzbach and Chris Hemsworth. Imagine Thor and Miss Universe 2016 living under the same roof!
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE WITH YOU?
Unlimited food and water.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM ALONE?
My answer to this may surprise you. Until now, I don't know how to use Photoshop. That's right. ALL of my artworks are 100 percent created only with mobile apps.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO DIGITAL ART AND DESIGN?
I have loved art since when I was a kid. But talking about what I’m doing right now, I started doing these things when I was on my high school level. I think I was 16 or 17 years old that time when my father bought a secondhand Apple iPad mini, which is the only thing I use to create artworks until now. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that this was going to be my passion. I just saw artists on Instagram and I got interested in their work. I learned that some of them are just using mobile apps, which makes me more interested. I tried to do the same myself until I realized that I was enjoying and loving what I was doing. So I continued making artwork, learned new techniques, and explored new apps. It’s always interesting to know what our minds can think. My imagination doesn’t stop creating new ideas, which also makes me to continue more. I know all of this is a gift from my Creator and that’s what keeps me interested.
HAS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCED YOUR WORK IN ANY WAY?
Social media, especially Instagram, played a huge role in my work. Basically, Instagram is where I always post my artwork. Because of Instagram, I get a lot of opportunities. As you can see on my account, it’s just all about my artworks. I also get my inspiration from accounts that I’m following. At the same time, I made new friends from different parts of the world through the use of Instagram. Facebook also helps me to promote or show my artwork to family and friends who don’t have Instagram accounts or just aren’t fond of using it.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?
Most of my works don't really have meanings behind them. I play with my subjects as my imagination dictates and enjoy it along the way. But if there's a particular thing that I want to show through my work, it would be possibilities. I want my audience to know that even if I'm just using simple mobile apps, even if I'm just using an old tablet, or even if I'm just a young guy who didn't even enter art school, the possibilities to create this kind of artwork are still wide and almost endless.
HOW DO YOU GENERALLY APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
First of all, of course, is to appreciate the elements of art on the image then try to study the subject a couple of times. It’s then that I begin to visualize a “new image” and proceed to editing. The apps that I'll use will depend on how I want my end product be looked like. Sometimes I'll only use one app and sometimes I'll use a lot of different apps. Mostly, I use Union App to blend images and finish it off with Mextures. Mextures play a special role in almost all of my artwork. It's the only app I use to adjust or add colors and tones to my edits.
WOULD YOU SHARE TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE FORMULAS?
The first artwork, entitled "Amphibian", is clearly a jellyfish on a forest environment. When I added my Mextures formula (KTFCCAQ) to it I got what I wanted, which was to make it look like underwater.
The second one, entitled "Cloudy with a chance of Weirdness", has simple colors. To enhance it and make it look like the light comes from above, I added the UWMKKWN formula.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEXTURES THAT MAKES IT A VITAL PIECE OF YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
Mextures is one of those photo editing apps that can stack unlimited layers of textures, resulting in unlimited texture combinations. It also has a simple and uncomplicated interface and controls, so no need for any tutorials. One thing I love most about this app is its ability to save my own combinations and makes it easier for me to apply the same textures to another photo. And, of course, you can also share your own formulas easily with just a code.
PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES THAT YOU'VE CREATED. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM THAT MAKES THEM STAND OUT TO YOU?
The first photo is entitled "Cutoff". The fact that I created this in only five minutes, it is still one of my simplest yet most popular artworks. I personally like this one because of its simplicity.
The second photo, entitled "Limits", was my first ever entry to the Mextures Collective. It may be just a simple composition of two photos but it brought me the feeling of excitement and enjoyment in joining the Mextures Collective.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
The thing that inspires me the most is knowing that I’m surrounded by people, especially my friends and family, who never stop appreciating and supporting what I’m doing. Also, I just simply enjoy making artwork and I look forward to many more opportunities.
IF YOU COULD TAKE CREDIT FOR ONE INSTAGRAM FEED, WHOSE WOULD IT BE?
Honestly, there are a lot of very good artists on Instagram. But there’s a perk to @fetching_tigerss’s imagination and his skills are unexpected for being such a very young age.