Cafe: Hello STR4HL! Thanks for agreeing to speak with us again: we had a fantastic interview with you last year, around March, and we’re extremely happy to see that you’re still alive and kicking!
I’m looking forward to pelting you with a volley of questions, but first, a shameless question to satisfy my own curiosity. Where did your creator name come from?
STR4HL: Hey hey, thanks for having me back!
So, I’m a massive Final Fantasy fan. One of the sky ships in Final Fantasy XII is called ‘The Strahl.’ I just kind of liked the way it sounded, so I adopted it. Thought I was being edgy by replacing the ‘a’ with a ‘4’, hehe.
Cafe: That’s awesome! I never would have guessed that!
Alright, so it’s been a year, closer to 2, actually, since that interview, and these past months have been interesting for everyone, to say the least. How has 2021 treated you and has it affected your art or creative direction at all?
STR4HL: It’s been a crazy year (for obvious reasons)! I’ve been OK, though. All the lockdowns and restrictions have given me even more time to focus on my 3D art, and because of that I feel like I’ve improved a fair amount in the last year. I’ve gotten a lot better with lighting and post work, especially. Learning a few cool techniques to make an image pop a little more post render. Any kind of art in general though, is a constant learning process and I’ve got plenty more things to learn and improve upon.
Cafe: It’s great to hear that you’ve gotten some positivity out of lockdowns!
I’m certain your fans have been enjoying your fit pin-ups as of late: I myself had the pleasure of catching up on your twitter page recently and I was honestly floored by your polish.
I particularly enjoyed the recent Tifa piece (there’s that FF call back 😉 ) what else has been inspiring you recently? Is there anything that’s pushing you to try something new?
STR4HL: Thanks very much! Ah yes, that Tifa set was an absolute labour of love, I’m very proud of it (although give it a few months and I’ll probably look back at it and start nitpicking about all the things I could have done better).
Many things inspire me, from my favourite artists (both 2d and 3d), favourite photographers to things like video games, movies and TV. I guess it’s the inspiration from all these things that push me to try and get better in general. I’m particularly inspired by the abilities of Blender artists, though. I’m always absolutely blown away! Very much something I’d like to try my hand at someday… after a considerable amount of learning and practice, mind you. I think using blender in conjunction with what I already use would allow for even more creative freedom.
Cafe: Oh yes, some of that Blender stuff is gorgeous! It’s been extremely interesting seeing some of the hybrid works a few creators are putting out.
Speaking of games, are there any near future releases you might be looking forward to? I know how much you love your toned, combat ready gals! (I’m a sucker for them too!)
STR4HL: In specific regard to fit ladies, I’m very much looking forward to King Of Fighters XV, for aesthetic reasons alone as I’m actually rubbish at beat em ups! Going further than that though, FFXIV Endwalker, Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, Forspoken… the list goes on. Basically anything that gives me the option/excuse to play as a strong women, I’m game, hehe.
Cafe: Good answer! Hey, it’s never about getting ‘gud’ (though Elden Ring may prove me wrong 😛 ) it’s all about how much you enjoy it! Truth be told, I only look forward to fighting games simply so artists like you can R34 them to glory!
Now, you mentioned wanting to learn Blender. In a perfect world where everything goes right, strictly hypothetical, of course, what would you say is one or several of your long term goals? Any major scale projects you think about periodically?
STR4HL: Hehe, I like your thinking!
That’s a good question! Blender is obviously up there, although my goals aren’t totally specific. For me personally, I’d say it’s more about improving what I do in general, gaining more knowledge and skills across the board allowing for increased creative freedom. Basically improving in a way that allows me to create exactly what’s in my head as opposed to being slightly held back by the limitations (albeit small) of the software I use etc. That will all require a lot of time and learning of course. Also, it’s a nice thought that by constantly improving my fans get content of increasing quality. As a little side note, It would also be nice to dabble in animation but I’m getting ahead of myself hehe.
Cafe: Ah yes! Animation seems to be a kind of ‘holy grail’ for a lot of creators, and I can totally see why. Given your track record for self improvement, I’m certain that when the time comes, you’ll rock it to the moon and back!
Before we wrap it up, I wanted to ask about the near future. What kinds of renders are you working on at the moment and what can your fans expect to see relatively soon? We love our teasers around here!
STR4HL: Thank you for saying so, that means a lot!
So obviously the usual sexy pin up and nsfw content featuring my OCs, but also lots more fan art… with a str4hl twist, naturally! That was one thing I’ve been wanting to do a lot more of and I feel like I’m finally getting there with it. I’ll keep who the fan art will be of a secret, though. Expect both returning and new fan arts.
Cafe: Alright, I’ll take it! If I remember correctly, you mentioned that you wanted to do more fan art during the last interview, so mission accomplished!
We’ll look forward to that, and we’ll certainly stick with you in the future as you develop and hone your skills.
Thank you so much for your time. We’re almost through the year, so I wish you all the best for 2022, and we’ll keep appreciating and supporting what you do. Your passion and zeal shines through in every render!
STR4HL: I did indeed! I’m pretty happy with where I’m at in regard to that, but as always there’s plenty more that can be done!
Not at all! Thanks so much for having me again and I very much appreciate those kind words.
If you’re an appreciator of super high quality renders, R34 beauties being fierce and powerful, and/or you simply love independent creators that are always working hard on improving their craft, STR4HL deserves your attention! Check out their regularly updated Patreon for exclusives, polls, and mouth watering alts!
If you’re down with the blue bird, add some saucy, spicy fighting gals to your feed by following STR4HL on Twitter!
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