At first glance, Kyle Lambert seems like an ordinary fellow. He loves music and movies, shooting pool at the local pub, playing soccer with friends, traveling, cycling, and running. But beneath the "guy next door" exterior, Cheshire, U.K.-based Lambert harbors an extraordinary talent as a digital artist. His photorealistic paintings, playful illustrations, and animation artwork blur the lines between painting and reality, and open vistas onto imaginary worlds.
When Lambert was a child, pencils and paintbrushes were near-permanent appendages. Later in life, he trained as a traditional oil painter and studied illustration and animation. He excels at manipulating light, form, and vibrant colors to create striking images for storyboards, character designs, and conceptual artwork.
"I've never been one to sit down and pour all of my ideas into a written story. Instead, I like to explore visual storytelling by creating detailed worlds filled with interesting characters," says Lambert. "There is something incredibly exciting about starting with a small idea and turning it into a whole body of work that people can enjoy."
Today, Lambert brings the same tactile, painterly sensibility achieved with paper or paintbrush to the digital world, now his exclusive medium. Using an iPad or MacBook Pro and a host of Adobe software, he has created a range of striking digitally painted portraits and landscapes as well as an imaginative illustration portfolio that includes works such as "Beware of Bots," a short film visualization featuring a boy who discovers a robot that leads him through adventures in an exotic, watery world.
Lambert places a great deal of importance on research to help inspire his work. For the "Beware of Bots" project, he organized photo shoots with friends and planned a series of research trips to a local aquarium, a woodland park, and the coastline of Tenby, Wales.
After completing his research, he spent several months sketching using Adobe® Ideas on his iPad. Once a concept like the "Robotic Aquarium" was working well, he synced the sketches to Adobe Creative Cloud™ so he could open them in Adobe Illustrator®.
“With Adobe Ideas, I’m always ready to create, no matter where and when inspiration strikes,” says Lambert. “After I’ve created my preliminary sketches, I easily save them to Adobe Creative Cloud so I can access and work on them later with Adobe Ideas, or open them in Adobe Illustrator for further polishing as needed.”
When away from his Mac, he uses a combination of his sketchbook, a digital SLR camera, his iPhone, and Adobe Touch Apps to develop concepts. Adobe Ideas has become his go-to sketchbook of choice. He can zoom in on artwork, scale it up, or move up, down, or sideways at will, giving him the freedom to explore on an infinite digital canvas and then sync his work to Creative Cloud. "The vector detail and layers I create in the Adobe Ideas app are retained when moving them to Adobe Illustrator," Lambert says.
Sometimes, he uses Adobe Ideas to create the fundamental forms of a piece and then uses Illustrator to add more sophisticated elements such as text and gradients. In other instances, such as with the "Escape" illustration, Lambert uses Ideas to create a template over which he paints a finished illustration in Adobe Photoshop®.
“It is important for me when sketching to have quick access to brush controls and for the app to keep up with my pace so I stay in the creative flow,” says Lambert. “Adobe Ideas is a great innovation that can be quickly navigated with pinch, zoom, and pan—it’s very natural for an artist who loves to sketch.”
With all his tremendous talent, Lambert remains humble and eager to learn more — and, despite the fact that he doesn't have an agent, demand for his work has never waned. A big part of his success lies in his ability to draw on his roots as a painter, bringing the same level of craftsmanship into the digital world.
Says Lambert, "With the flexibility of Adobe Creative Cloud, convenience of Adobe Touch Apps, and innovative features such as the new erodible brushes in Adobe Photoshop, the realm of digital art feels almost like sitting in front of a canvas, only it's now a lot more portable, inspiring, and convenient."