Gamer Contest Winner Interview
*Media highlight; Buttercoat
Congratulations on winning the Gamer contest, Buttercoat. You’ve given us a clean image with a wonderful light palette conveying a powerful distraction. I love the look on the gamer’s face displaying the challenge of staying in the game while pleasure threatens to consume her. Tell us a little about the inspiration for your piece.
Thanks! I appreciate the kind words about my image. My initial concept for this image was actually going to have the gamer streaming live (on twitch or whatever), with a webcam and visible light setup and everything. As in, her streaming audience could only see her from the desk up, not knowing what was going on underneath it. I even rendered out some test images in that setup, including an angle from the webcam's perspective that I was going to try to make a sort of collage out of... But it ended up being a bit too busy for one image and I didn't really like how it was looking. So I ended up simplifying things a bit, focusing on a more dim light setup and creating a more 'cozy' atmosphere. I think my final image ended up being more intimate than my original tests.
How long have you been making 3DX art? How did you get started?
I've been dabbling in 3DX for about 6 or 7 years now, I think. Didn't really know much about it beforehand, and I kind of randomly stumbled into some 3DX image sets that intrigued me. Pretty soon after, I did some googling to find out what kind of software was used to make them and went from there. I'm sure that isn't too uncommon a story for how people get into creating their own 3DX art.
Describe your creative process. What tools do you use, and what do you draw inspiration from?
I use Daz Studio, Marvelous Designer (although I'm a total novice), Photoshop, Premiere if I'm doing animation loop stuff, and there's a basic browser-based 3D sculpting tool I found that I use on occasion (again, total novice).
As for inspiration, it changes from project to project. I really enjoy the process of posing; I find it strangely therapeutic to really focus and hone in on the details to create a captivating pose. I tend to start there and then find inspiration for other theme or story-based aspects of the project when and if they come. A lot of my images end up being very minimalist because of that, lacking any sort of theme or narrative, which is something I'd like to improve on. A lot of the best artists out there are able to convey an engaging subtle narrative even through one image. This contest was fun because it kind of forced me to focus a bit more on that.
It sounds like you approach the process with the eye of a sculptor in drawing inspiration from the act of posing. Do you reference statuary or photography in this regard, or do you prefer to start in your mind’s eye and let the process take you?
Eye of a sculptor, eh? You certainly put it more elegantly than I would! But yes, I often reference photography while I'm posing. I find it to be pretty helpful in order to portray a pose as realistically convincing, even if the figures themselves are cartoonish. I 'freestyle' as well, but even then I might use reference for portions of the pose.
Do you listen to music or watch something in the background while you create? If so, what do you enjoy most?
Oh, I'm pretty much always watching or listening to something. I'll listen to music when I'm sort of mapping out the scene in my head, imagining what I want it to look like, thinking of narrative or theme ideas, etc.
I tend to listen to somewhat eclectic Spotify playlists that I build up over time, but it's usually pretty low-key stuff. Current playlist has some Men I Trust, Khruangbin, Anderson .Paak, Superorganism, and more... When I more or less know exactly what I want the scene to look like and I'm in a more technical tinkering phase, I'll throw on a show, movie or podcast. Lots of comedy podcasts.
What is your favorite fantasy that you can only show through your art?
In general I'd say it's creating exaggerated/cartoonish figures and poses. Certainly don't strive for realism in that aspect. There's more things genre/theme-wise I might want to explore more in the future.
Any hint as to what those genres or themes might be?
Oh, I'd like to at least try some fantasy and/or sci-fi stuff.
How did you develop/arrive at your style?
Well, I would say part of my style (or at least what I go for) is influenced by 2D artists, who tend to vary in style much more than 3DX artists. And I would say some of that is more or less based on the similar tools a lot of us use in 3DX. So basically I try to create a look and style that I hope comes off as at least somewhat unique to myself. Other than that I have a background in studio photography and videography, which probably has an influence on the way I set up and light scenes.
Do you have any advice for artists and writers; generally, and specific to 3DX?
Well if you're just getting started, don't rush. No one ever got more talented at anything by rushing to get there. It'll probably just frustrate you. So just have fun with it and see where it takes you. Beyond that, I don't know how qualified I am to be giving advice.
Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
I appreciate the support!
*Head over to Buttercoat's profile and give a follow
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