Maxim Verehin is a 23-year-old illustrator and concept artist from Kalach-na-Donu, a “god forgotten” small town near Volgograd in the southwest corner of Russia. He has been doing digital illustration since 2008, and now works as a concept artist for Applibot, a Japanese gaming company, and for a Ukrainian post-apocalyptic RPG action game.
You have been doing digital illustration since you were 19. How did you get started?
I drew before then, but only rarely. One day I decided to throw myself into studying digital illustration, and didn’t stop. Here I am, four years later, without any kind of social life.
Your work is roundly dark and often grotesque. What do you think draws you to such macabre subjects?
I do like to draw a variety of subjects, but I’m not really sure why I favor drawing dark things. I don’t really like to get introspective about it because I might just conclude that I’m actually psychotic.
Which artists inspire you?
Oh, so many. People always say, “Hey, you must be a fan of Beksiński or Giger,” and my response is, “You are completely wrong!” I mostly study and emulate the old masters, especially Alfons Mucha.
Horror artists are sometimes thought of as grim individuals, but your work has a satirical edge (“Dead Santa,” “Po,” “Dr. Zoidberg,” “Obey the Dog”). Is this a way to take a break from the dark themes of your work? Or do you see it as a social/political tool?
As I said, I’m not about dark art all the time. To say I like moody stuff would be a better description. And I am always open to new topics.
What’s your dream illustration job?
Heh, hard to say now! Two years ago, I dreamed of doing concept art for a game company. Dreams do come true! I guess someday I would like the chance to create CD cover art for my favorite DJ.