[Contest] Alone contest Winner Interview
Congratulations on winning the Alone contest, OGDX. You’ve given us a moment of vulnerability that seems to be invoking themes of privacy and identity. Tell us about the inspiration for your piece.
Thanks a lot! The inspiration for this one came from a bunch of places, but I suppose what really lit the fuse was a random rewatch of the baseline test scene from Blade Runner 2049, in which K (a replicant) is sitting all alone in an empty white room, being studied for signs of unwanted human emotion. That moment of vulnerability is what I wanted to recreate, but do so in a slightly different way, where instead of the sterile white walls from the movie, the cyborg sees nothing but her own reflections staring back at her. I wanted to really build on that feeling of being isolated yet exposed, in a room that's empty, yet cramped.
How long have you been making 3DX art? How did you get started?
A little difficult to put a starting date on it, but if I remember correctly, it was watching Affect3D's Bloodlust Cerene video that kinda took me down the rabbit hole of this little venture! I'd say that was three years ago, but to be honest it's been pretty on and off since then, because I remember being disappointed by my early attempts at 3DX art and then putting it aside for a really long time. Being stuck at home due to COVID last year gave me the opportunity to try again, and I'm extremely glad I did!
Describe your creative process. What tools do you use, and what do you draw inspiration from?
A little piece of advice that's helped me immensely with my creative process is to keep in mind that it's easier to figure out the solution to a problem that exists, than to figure out a problem to solve. Unlike in my day job, I don't have to come up with something productive day after day to stay relevant, so I usually have the freedom to not go looking for inspiration, and let it come to me instead, be it from any kind of mass media, or from experiences in my own life. This might not always be the case, but it's when I'm at my creative best, and now that I think of it, this is exactly what happened with the Alone contest! My patreons will tell you that the Cyborg render is a completely different scene from the one I'd originally planned to submit. The one that I'd thought of after reading the contest's brief, the one for which I'd sat down and done a bunch of research, and even modelled not only a whole environment but clothing and accessories as well, that scene is still sitting unrendered in my hard drive. Maybe I'll complete it someday.
As for my workflow itself, it really depends on the project, but Daz3d, Blender and Zbrush are the usual suspects. Sometimes I'll try my hand at Marvelous Designer to create clothing that I know I won't find anywhere else, and sometimes for more complex scenes and environments I begin with sketching out ideas and compositions in Photoshop. The best part about 3DX art is that there are no rules and restrictions about what method you use to create art; you can use whatever tools you have at your disposal.
I like your explanation of seeking inspiration versus allowing it to come. Very Zen. Other than disconnecting from the issues with work productivity, why do you find this receptive method better for your creativity?
Maybe it's a personal thing, but I guess that like most of us here, I create 3dx art primarily because I take pleasure in the process. It's a stress-relieving activity for me, and more often than not something I do to unwind, after having already spent most of the day (or the week) getting bulldozed by deadlines and the burden of efficiency. So worrying about if, when and how I'm going to create something impressive in the little time that I do get for this, instead of just enjoying the activity itself, really tends to just take the fun out of the whole thing for me. And that's like a wet blanket for any creative thoughts I might have.
Do you listen to music or watch something in the background while you create? If so, what do you enjoy most?
I absolutely have music playing while making art, it just makes everything so much more enjoyable! Watching something in the background though? That's beyond my capabilities; I'd get distracted right away. Hell, while listening to music itself, there are times when I've found myself having forgotten what I was working on, and instead just sitting there, nodding along to a Tool solo on repeat like a blissful idiot. And besides, movies/tv-shows are a pretty good source for building my visual library, so when I do watch something, I try to give it my undivided attention. While there's no need to go looking for inspiration, I think it certainly helps to keep your eyes open.
What is your favorite fantasy that you can only show through your art?
It's hard to pick one in particular, because they come and go, and to be honest most of mine are pretty tame as far as fantasies go, and not always of a sexual nature. But to answer your question, I'd say that right now, it'd have to be my ongoing attraction to the non-human genre of erotic as well as non-erotic art and fiction. When I say non-human, I mean it in a much broader sense than just the usual elf, orc and goblin, knight and dragon stuff (although I'm a pretty big fan of that as well, when it's done right). I guess I'm referring to anything in general that's unknown, eerie and inexplicable, whose scope extends beyond our normal human affairs, even the wildest of which are trivial on a cosmic scale. There's a whole universe out there that's (probably) full of it, and yet it's almost certain that none of us will ever experience any of it in real life. That's where the art comes in. And while I myself might currently be limited by the lack of technical skill required to successfully portray subjects like this in my own art, I'm thankful for and infatuated by the creations of those that have done it justice. The Heptapods in Arrival, the copycat alien in Annihilation, and the sexy spider-lady in that one episode of Love Death and Robots to name a few.
What other themes do you want to explore in the future?
There's just so many of them! Everything I mentioned above for starters, although ironically it's something that I don't even know where to begin. And I'd like to try my hand at erotic horror for similar reasons. In addition to that, I've recently found myself being increasingly tempted by the characters and environments from the middle-ages, as well as mythical heroes and monsters from even earlier time periods, for which I entirely blame Assassin's Creed. Glitzy and glamorous sci-fi noir is another aesthetic that I'm a sucker for, as well as its opposite, which would be something in a post-apocalyptic setting. And if all else fails, there's always the ol' reliable Cyberpunk. But knowing me, I'll probably just shelve all of that and stick to my little plotless pinups that serve no real purpose other than looking good.
So much to do and not enough time to it. Might as well add time-travel to the list.
Elayn: I think you’ve already shown that you can setup a story with a pinup.
OGDX: Oh, well, then I guess that's just me being too self-critical of my work.
Do you have any advice for artists and writers; generally, and specific to 3DX?
I'm certainly no expert and I can't offer much beyond what hasn't already been said, but one thing I'd like to remind folks of is to not be reluctant to ask for honest feedback, and embrace constructive criticism whenever possible, because it's one of the best and fastest methods we can use to improve our work. 3DX in particular has a great community of artists, and if you reach out to someone whose work you look up to, it's quite likely that if they can help you out, they'll be glad to do so. Additionally, since most of us use more or less the same softwares, with roughly similar end-goals in mind, we tend to run into similar problems along the way, and technical help that isn't already available online is not hard to come by. If you already know what you need to improve on, specifically, that's well and good, because then you'll receive efficient and factual suggestions that you can put to use immediately. If not, just ask people to point out the worst damn thing about your art! Either way, you're the one who benefits.
Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
First, a massive thank you to everyone who's ever shown interest in or supported my work. Secondly, thanks to you, Elayn, for having me, and everyone else at Slushe for providing us with such a cool platform where we can share our work without the fear of censorship or judgement.
And to all my fellow artists, fan or otherwise, I hope each one of you is able to continue making the kind of art that you yourself enjoy. Take pleasure in the process without worrying too much about the results, keep the artistic juices flowing, and fuck anyone who tries to stop you from creating what you love!
*Media highlight is by our winning artist OGDX
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