SKETCHO MINUTE WITH with a great 3D Artist and General Artist/Illustrator PEDRO CONTI. Pedro is featured and interviewed in our Sketchozine.com Vol 4: Cutesies Book. Check the book now on page 28 and 29.
AQ: A warm welcome to all MadArtists and Sketchoholics out there, I’m Arnaldo here with Marcin and we have with us, all the way from Brazil a person that breathes creativity; Pedro Conti; He’s an artist, photographer, illustrator, 3d Artist, digital painter and an all around incredible creative person. For some of the works mentioned today make sure you check out www.pedroconti.com. Pedro has worked for some of the prestigous media companies in Brazil and is taking a couple of minutes to chat with us.... PC: Hello Arnaldo & Marcin and everyone at Sketchoholic!, I'm really glad for this opportunity.
MM: Thanks Pedro, it’s great to have you here...so you’re a self-taught artist and you’re work really is incredible, that’s why I’m wondering what your views are on a taking art in college versus learning from the web? PC: Well, in my opinion it depends on the person. In fact a good school is always the best option because you will be side by side with many students and teachers. The material on the Internet is even more complete but learning to study and on your own “the right way” can take a long time and it's not easy . So for me it all depends on the personality of each person. Both are methods are completely effective, they just require focus. AQ: When you told your parents you wanted to pursue a career in art without a formal education, what was their response? PC: To be honest, things happened faster for me when i made a conscious decision I wanted to do it. When I was in college, I started studying 3d in parallel with my other studies. My studies in 3d have always been a priority and it was in this area that I got my first job. My mother always supported me very much. AQ: How has growing up in Sao Paulo affected your endeavors as a creative person? PC: I had an incredible childhood, I think everything was as good as it could have been. I grew up in a neighborhood where you really knew what it meant to be a kid, we constructed our own toys, skate ramps, goalposts, etc... I think that period was very important to my formation as a creative person. MM: How would you define your style? PC: Hmm, this is a hard question :P... In fact I don't think I have a defined style. I love many styles, like Disney, Pixar, but the main ones come from realism... I think that’s the fusion I like: Realism with some stylization. MM: What in your opinion is the most important element of an image? PC: I think art direction is even more important than a good story or a good character...Tastefulness is what matters when working on images. AQ: What are your favorite tools when working, do you prefer computer over traditional tools? PC: Computers, absolutely! lol About software...I usually use 3D max, Photoshop, Zbrush, Uv Layout and Mental Ray. AQ: Your work is so detailed and polished, tell us your secret, why are you so good? PC: hahahaha! I'm pretty much a perfectionist, I always want to do the best I can and I always push it further and further on each project. References are also very important because they give us parameters to compare things. I always try to establish comparison between what I'm doing and the work I'd like to finalize...like movies and big productions.... this kind of comparison is very good because it makes us always aware of how how much we still have to evolve. It's a long path...hahaha MM: On average how long does it take to complete a project? PC: Personal projects usually take more time because they give me the greatest opportunity to study. The CG viking for example took about 5 months to complete. It was done in my spare time, with lots of breaks in between. I studied and researched heavly during that project. Different render engines, different hair systems, etc...Complex commercial projects usually take 1 to 2 weeks to be complete. MM: You’ve worked for some of the biggest firms in Brazil, including Techno Image, Seagulls Fly, among others, how did you managed to get hired? PC: Actually my focus is always try to grow and evolve as an artist, not just go for the money. Things have always simply “happened for me....” These days, we have the Internet, so all you really have to worry about is the quality of your work, the rest will just happen as consequence of your quality of work. I thank God that things have been happening the way they have been, it motivates me to keep studying and creating. MM: In your opinion, what are these companies looking for in portfolios in new hires? PC: I think tastefulness counts for a lot. Your capacity of selling a final product, whether it’s an image, a 3d model, a concept, a good lighing scheme... I think the companies want to see the potential for what their final products could look like. AQ: You also freelance, right? PC: Yes and no...hehe. Actually since the begining of this year, I became a partner at Techno Image, so I've been trying to redirect most of the work that is sent to me to the studio. By doing that I can offer more services and work on shorter deadlines then I would do by my self. AQ: How do you determine the cost of a job for a client? And what’s been the best way to promote yourself? PC: That's very subjective and thus difficult to determine. I've been learning a lot about that field. Costs are formulated on weighting many factors, the complexity of the project, the exposition it will have, who the final client is, etc. The first thing I try to do is figure out how muchtime I will spend on it, but as I said it's not the only factor. Sometimes I see great projects and money becomes secondary, I just wanna do them!. Relating to personal promotion, I think a personal blog or website are very important. Forums are the best way to start new contacts and that's what makes things happen. Most of the work I do come from people that found me either in forums or through my online portfolio. AQ: Can you offer some advice to struggling artists out there who want to freelance? PC: I think being able to offer a final product is a good hint. When you mount a portfolio it's cool to think about things like "this character could be a good mascot" or "this image would sell as a good advertising campaign". Working as a freelancer requires lots of organization also. MM: You’ve been busy working on a secret animated short with some of your friends, can you tell us a little bit about it, how about giving us a spoiler? PC: In fact it's hard to work a double shift, but I'm working on a short movie with Ivan Oviedo, who is a talented animator. We’re working on a short about elderly tones with loneliness, it’s a really beautiful script. I'm also planning to do a short movie at Techno Image, it’ll be simple but it will have great visuals and story. MM: Besides this film project, you’re also an avid photographer? Where do you find the time? PC: Well, I'm a weekend photographer, hehehe. I try to take pictures when I travel and sometimes carry my camera in my backpack. Casually we prepare for cool situations... As an artist, photography helps a lot in terms of direction. Photography is a way to tell a history or show something with your vision. It's a very important study. MM: With all the creative outlets you have, which is the one you would like to develop more? PC: Drawing :). I'd like to develop my artistic sense. Technically, I think I already have a certain level of domain on 3d tools. Artistic domain is definitely something that makes all the difference, mainly if we consider software are always making things easier.
MM: What in your opinion is the best and worst thing about being an artist? For me both they are both the same. To work with things we like is great. To make money developing characters ans cool images is a dream. The problem is that besides of working on this, it is also my hobby. Sometimes, after a hard working day, I get home and turn the computer on, to relax working on a personal project. that's good, as I keep evolving, but also bad if you think life is much more then this. there are lots of other departments we should care about and that's a hard thing to manage.
AQ: Do you have any idols or favorite artists or directors? PC: I a fan of studios like Meindbender and still motion. Artists like Marek Denko and Alex Roman are my favorites 3D artists. Concept artists are San Mich and Sergio Pablos.
MM: We’ll switch it over to some personal questions at this time, so what’s your greatest fear? PC: I think it may sound funny, but horror movies. hahaha AQ: If you could have any skill in the world what would that be? PC: Surfing Skills!
AQ: If you could have any job you wanted, what would be your dream job? PC: I currently have prized cool projects. More then working for large companies, looking for a place where I can artistically develop myself and have an effective participation within the projects. That is what has happened here in Techno Image, I'm quite happy with that..
AQ: Well it’s been amazing getting to know you Pedro Conti, Thank you for sharing your story with us and we hope nothing but the best for you in your future endeavors. To anyone who hasn’t visited www.pedroconti.com, please do so right now. Or you can find him at www.sketchoholic.com/pedroconti and say hello.
MM: We thank all the MadArtists and Sketchoholics for supporting us, please keep spreading our messae and help support independent artists everywhere. Everyone visit our facebook.com/Sketchoholic and http://Sketchozine.com to read and buy many great digital and printed books. This has been Marcin Migdal and Arnaldo Quintini with the always awesome Pedro Conti.