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Being a Squidmar

Squidmar Miniatures, the team behind the popular Champions of Sona kickstarter, is coming to Australia to judge the ArcOpen miniature painting competition.

The team, consisting of Emil and Lukas, are excited to see a wide variety of miniatures at the event, including fantasy and futuristic models of vehicles, single large monsters and busts.


DanTO and I recently had a zoom chat with our ArcOpen judges Emil and Lukas.


It’s fairly easy to find a heap of information about Emil - there’s a bio on the Squidmar miniature website, as well as a couple of his earlier Youtube videos where you can see him explain about his journey.


But what about Lukas? There’s not a lot about him when your google searchh… or even when he joined Emil on-camera as the second member of the Squisquad. So, during our chat he was kind enough to answer a few questions and give us an insight in his hobby journey.


When did you start and what was your original spark for getting into miniature painting?


‘I started painting in 2008 when in the 4th grade,’ Lukas explained.

A classmate of mine had started playing Warhammer when he was living in London. I was amazed at what he had and was able to show me when he came back to our town.


So, I’ve been painting ever since… apart from a 6 months break I took in 2015.’

‘Once I got started then I’ve pretty much painted a lot. I suppose I would paint about 70 percent fantasy miniatures. I’ve tried to play Warhammer 40K a couple of times but I’m a fantasy fan.


‘I also really like painting busts, particularly if they are fabric heavy or skin heavy. When I have a choice I like to focus mostly on organic natural materials. Anything where I can add textures.”


This is great news for the Australian Display Painting Community - particularly those who have been thinking that ArcOpen is a Warhammer 40k focused event.

During our meeting both Lukas and Emil made it clear they were looking forward to seeing a wide and interesting field of miniatures at the ArcOpen.If you’ve seen details about the Champions of Sona kickstarter you’ll know that It is the first of hopefully many Squidmar Miniatures 75mm releases.


It will start shipping about the time ArcOpen is on. But it is an example of the great fantasy miniature background both Emil and Lukas have.


Consisting of the first 10 champions from the freshly created fantasy universe Sona. Every miniature is created for and by Squidmar Miniatures, designed by some of the worlds best concept artists and sculptors.


The cover version of Tharkos a miniature from the collection has been painted by Lukas:

It is unfortunate that this year we’ll not be able to see Champions of Sona miniatures at ArcOpenn…


But back to our chat with Lukas.


So we asked him what are his creative inspirations?


‘Well i’m constantly on my phone or computer seeing what other people are doing. I use a pinterest a lot - just typing in warhammer to see a lot of miniature painting.


‘But I’d also say that just seeing what other painters are doing on instagram that really provides a great deal of Inspiration from my work.

Cursed City Elf by Lukas

‘I suppose that I bring my experience as an Artist to each and every project.


‘During school I did a lot of 2d art on paper. Oh and Legos as a kid.


My other hobby is fly fishing and really I like the delicate work involved to tie the flies. It’s a complex process, where i get to create something in 3d. And I’ve also found creativity in building houses!’


How did you get so skilled as a miniature painting artist - did you take lessons, workshops or courses?


‘I’m 22 years old but I suppose it’s about putting many more hours into painting. I just painted a lot.”


Emil added that ‘this guy is amazing. He really just paints and paints and got to his level in a shorter time than me!’


How did you meet?

Squid by Emil

Our home town is a small one here in Sweden. Less than 100,000 people,’ explained Emil. ‘So you quickly get to know everyone who is into Warhammer.’


‘Our first time we met was at a tournament,’ explained Lukas.

‘We then worked on a workshop together.’


‘Yeah and he pestered me for a job then. We did a video together about 18 months ago…’ explained Emil. “And everytime he’d ask me for a job.”


And here he is! Smiling cheekily chatting with us about himself and his role on Youtube.


Our next question was - what’s the secret to being such an awesome painter?


Emil explained that what you see in the three short years he’s been on Youtube is the result of a long journey.

Photoshop retouching was on me of his first forays into artistic interpretation. A working background in film and photography gave a great understanding of light and how it works.


It’s these many small but significant things that adds up to who you’ve become. And then it’s practice, practice, and practice.


Lukas told us that he started like probably a load of other people - trying to mimic the GW box art and Heavy Metal style.


He learnt Art and spent many years working on that. Also at high school Lukas was involved in digital art magazines. Then spent time as a tv producer shooting live sports.


He sees that he is now channeling all of that life and artistic experience into mini painting - it’s about letting everything out!


Next we asked how do you approach painting for the YouTube channel compared to your personal work - is there a difference?


Emil explained that ‘You tube is about painting armies. We make a video every week. We have to create videos or someone isn’t getting paid!


‘When ever we are doing a project it is based upon the time we have available. It’s important to make the concept interesting,’ Emil said.


‘We are always trying to think outside the box and create exciting content.’


So, given everything they have done on their channel and throughout their own hobby journies ArcOpen painters should be pretty happy that Emil and Lukas will be part of the judging team at the event. Hopefully you know a bit more about them both after reading this article.


Oh and we all hope they can come to ArcOpen and survive the spiders, snakes and drop bears… the stuff Aussies spread on their toast with vegemite!



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