Q & A with Jose Alves da Silva
3D Concept Art presents an Q & A with a very talented Character artist specializing in 3D illustration, Jose Alves da Silva. He has been around since 1996 working in the area of 3D Architectural Visualization. He, later on, moved his career to his passionate love for 3D illustration as a character artist.
He has been involved in a production of short and feature films, advertisements and games. Working for his own company, Pura Imagem.
As he now works as a freelancer, he uses frequently his talent to make concepts and illustrations, both traditional and digital. His work has been published in different international publications like 3D artist magazine, 3D World, 3DCreative and covered in Ballistiq books series and much more. He has been a speaker at several major events, for example, Trojan was a unicorn festival where his teach and present his knowledge in the field.
| 3D Concept Art: Tell us about you and how did you become interested in the art of Character creation and 3D modeling?
| Jose Alves da Silva: → My first contact with 3D Modeling was made during College times when I studied Architecture, back in 1991. After finishing my Degree in 1996, I created an Architectural Visualization company that joined my passion for 3D with architectural knowledge. I already loved characters and it was not rare to see me doodling.
At that time, techniques used for modeling in architecture were not that different from the ones used to create characters, and materials and lighting were common ground. So, I started experimenting with characters after work and for my own pleasure.
In 2009, there was a turning event in my life when I won the First Prize on CGSociety’s XXIV Challenge, which was probably the biggest 3D challenge online at that time. As a result, my character work gained visibility and project offers started to appear. I grabbed the chance and since then I have been exclusively dedicated to characters.
| 3CA: Of your experience, working with employers in different projects, how do you handle the pressure to deliver their vision but also keep the essential style of what defines you as a character artist?
| J.S: → My personal style can show a lot in a final work or be very discrete, that depends on what the client wants. If they hire me to create the character concept and they already love my previous work, then the characters will have a lot of me on them.
However, if I am presented with another artist’s concept and vision, I try to stick to that vision. I am not a prima donna, I don’t feel the need to impose my style every time. Also, it is great to work with another artist’s vision as you learn a lot from it. I love the balance of working with my own concepts and with other people’s concepts.
| 3CA: Where do you get inspiration from and who are your role models?
| J.S: → I guess we get inspiration from everything that surrounds us. I am a particular fan of humor, so my head is always thinking about new jokes. If I run across a funny situation or some nice idea pops up, I register it and think how that can be turned into an illustration or a character. I am lucky to be surrounded by some very funny and inspiring friends!
Regarding role models, I am always awed by the work of the old masters, like Rodin, Gustav Klimt or Ingres. So inspiring to see how much they knew and how skilled they were without Ctrl+Z! More recently, I am always finding new interesting artists in the Forums around the internet. People like Löic Zimmermann, Jeff Simpson, Cedric Seaut, Sergey Kolesov, Shane Glines, Denis Zilber and many, much more are endless sources of inspiration.
| 3CA:You mostly make illustrations and more of stylized characters, how do you develop those visions? Also, be able to reach the goal of an appealing an interesting concept but even understand when to stop?
| J.S: → In my own drawings, I have a natural tendency to simplify things, creating line drawings that only keep the essential of the form. Stylization, in my case, results from the research to simplify the silhouette, leaving and exaggerating the essence of the character. When you can read what a character is by only looking at its silhouette, you have accomplished something.
Regarding the decision of when to stop, I have to confess that I suffer quite a bit during the creation process. I usually start with something that I don’t like and keep pushing it until I am satisfied with it. So, satisfaction only happens at the very end and most of the process is an uncomfortable feeling that the piece is not good.
| 3CA: Any good advices for artists and students who want to get into the business as a 3D Artist in fields like Character design, illustration?
| J.S: → I have been asked this question several times and the best advice I have to give is: don’t focus on the tools, focus on the basics of art knowledge. The art of the old masters is great because they excel at composition, color theory, anatomy, values, etc. In some years, no one will want to know if you used Maya, 3DSMax, Zbrush or Photoshop.
No one will care if it took you 15 minutes or 1 year, or how fast you were. People will just look the final piece and it will either touch them and become memorable for them or it will just be another image they flipped through on the web and forget it.
3D Concept Art Community thanks Jose Alves da Silva for this Q & A. For sharing his knowledge and on about his road into the field. He shares some really good advices. One of those is that nobody will care if it took you 15 minutes or years, or how fast you were. It’s about the end result, the final piece, the feeling and touch your artwork conveys to your viewers. And one important thing, don’t forget to simplify things and the silhouette.