Bringing Cosplay to Life with Adam Kupka
On my Instagram page, I've shared art from over 100 different countries around the world. I pride myself on unearthing unique talent. It always baffles me when I find someone with tremendous ability, and the world is not banging down their door, yet. But in a way, I feel fortunate, because I still have the opportunity to reach out and engage with them. One recent person with this talent is Adam Kupka from @kupkaphoto.
Adam hails from Portland, Oregon, USA. He does what’s known as digital image composite art, and he specializes in taking cosplay photos and placing the person in a vibrant
environment from which their character derives.
Like most of us, Adam began as a fan. He was already an avid photographer, but with the amazing shots he took at Rose City Comic Con in 2017, he decided to build dynamic backgrounds to enhance them, and the rest is history. Adam added,
“There’s so much to learn, primarily about light, color, and learning why a composite works and why it doesn’t.”
There’s an apocryphal story about a fan approaching Picasso in a café and asking him to draw on a napkin, offering money for his troubles. He then spent five minutes drawing on the napkin, and told the fan it would cost 1 million dollars. Shocked, the fan replied, “But that only took you five minutes!” to which Picasso replied, “No, it took me forty years to draw this in five minutes.”
Many people don’t understand the process that it takes to make a creative piece of art. Even after the countless hours of technical research, asset scouring, and practical training to obtain professional abilities, it can still lead to a full day’s work just for a single image. Adam would never have such a snarky remark as the Picasso story above, as he’s a friendly and humble guy, but the point is still valid. Each piece he makes can contain 35 – 45 layers to blend into a seamless art piece. As most artists can attest, Adam shared,
“There’s a bit of blood, sweat, and tears in everything I create.”
With a decade of experience, Adam is still developing his already impressive skillset, and urges others to experiment and grow. Artists experience a metacognitive maturity every time they pick up their brush, so to speak.
“Each new piece I make is accomplished by using techniques, which until that moment, I never used before.”
It's such an honor to watch artistry grow, like when you find an indie band that you’re sure will blow up one day. I will continue to follow Adam’s work, as should you. I asked Adam for a piece of advice to share with all the potential composite artists out there. Adam said,
“Remember, everything has a shadow.”
Adam has worked with celebrity cosplayers and actors from all over the world. If you would like to commission a piece from him, or even say hello to show your appreciation, you can reach him at:
Written by: Mike Wietecha