Written by Joel Willans at Microsoft Lumia Conversations 

Imagine you’re an artist and you’re given the chance to showcase your work to a potential audience of tens of millions. You’d jump at the chance, right?

Well, you wouldn’t be alone. Just over 2 months ago, to celebrate the launch of the #TileArt app, we launched a global TileArt Creative Invite, giving animators, illustrators and designers the chance to showcase their work in the TileArt Gallery. Incredibly, over 500 people dazzled us with their work. The #TileArt works were as diverse as the artists themselves, with an amazing range of styles and subjects gloriously represented. But in the end there could be only be four Selected Artists. Please put your hands together for Wacim Bin Dultara from Indonesia, Edgar Gomez from Mexico, Christelle Genier and Marcos Cubas from Paraguay.

Selected Artists #TileArt Insights

This fantastic four each received a Digital Artist Kit designed to help aspiring artists get on their feet. This includes a Lumia 930 (also given to the ten shortlistees), a dedicated page in the #TileArt app, a Surface Pro and $1,500. To celebrate their achievement and get the low down on what it takes to win big at #TileArt, we hooked up with these victorious artists. In the first of our two-part series, we asked each Selected Artist the same two questions about what inspired them and what tips they had to share. Before we hear the answers, though, let’s learn a little more about our first two artists, Edgar Gomez and Christelle Genier.

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Edgar is a digital artist who loves the abstract and is fascinated by linear projections, using highly showy and intense colors. Inspired by his ideals and dreams, he creates futuristic yet mysterious art. Christelle is an illustrator from Switzerland. Her works mix traditional and modern techniques. Ink, watercolor, acrylic and digital painting are the main techniques she uses. The key subjects to her artworks are female characters mixed with decorative elements.

  1. We love your designs. What was the inspiration behind them and how did you adapt them for a smartphone-sized canvas?

Edgar: I’m inspired by the idea that I can create something that initially has no place in reality. To give “life” to something that did not exist beforehand is simply perfect. I try to realize what’s inside of me, my mind and my soul. So every time I do some design it’s part of me materialized in an abstract way, linear and colorful. I think this power to create is something unique and mysterious.

I’ve always thought about adapting my designs for mobile devices because they can be digitally published immediately and used as wallpaper. So, I was fascinated by the TileArt application. When I started thinking about how to translate my designs, I thought it was important to consider the level of customization. The fact you can project the design beyond the screen and extend the design throughout the phone is incredible.

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Christelle: I was inspired by the artworks of printmakers like Gustave Doré and also by those of contemporary artists like John Dyer Baizley who add old fashion touches to their artworks. I like the mix between traditional and modern techniques, which is why, for the design, I’ve used a traditional medium (ink) mixed with digital colors.

I love making illustrations with small details so the challenge for me was to make a design that reflects my style, but that still looks nice for the small size of a smartphone screen.

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  1. #TileArt has taken smartphone personalization to a whole new level. What do you like best about the app and what’s your one top tip for using it?

Edgar: I think it’s incredible how #TileArt takes personalization beyond the screen. The application enables you to project your personality via your phone and expand your creativity, for me, more than any other app. I think artists and designers will love #TileArt. In fact, I think it should be made a default feature of the Lumia. I’d also like to be able to make the tiles transparent without another app as I love their clean look.

Christelle: As an artist, I really like the idea of turning a smartphone into a small piece of art. My top tip is to experiment! With #TileArt you can do so many things, like cropping, rotating pictures and changing their size. Experimenting with different backgrounds is also a really cool thing, that can make very interesting results.

We love each and every one of the Selected Artists, but the million dollar question is, which one do you love best? Let us know in the comments below.