Gracing the cover of the latest Digital Art Masters volume, Ioan Dumitrescu reveals his rise from self-taught beginnings to Master status...
Ioan Dumitrescu has worked successfully with 3dtotal before, with his Art Fundamentals eBook and his 2 project overviews, All Within Her Hands and Worm Licker. His latest success came in the form of his awesome cover image for Digital Art Masters: Volume 9. Read on below to get to discover how he self-taught his way to success, and his ongoing inspirations...
3dtotal: What inspired you to enter the digital art world?
As a kid I had always been into the visual side of things, but also the way they worked or why they looked a certain way â€" this probably came from the museums I visited with my parents and the art my dad used to show me. Combined with the books I read before, filled with mystical lands, adventures, strong characters and drama, it all lead to something certain in the back of my brain and what I wanted to be. That does not mean that path was straightforward, just that I chased it since day one.
I enjoyed the Warcraft 3
cinematics, from the mood, the lore and the characters â€"above all it was created digitally; it didn't exist. That made a click for me and I immediately and very naively started 3D and without knowing any actual industry processes (being isolated quite a bit from the world living in Eastern Europe). I began concepting the things I wanted to model, texture and light.
3dt: You describe yourself as a 'self-taught' concept designer, could you tell us a bit about how you learned to create the artwork you do and any training practices you would recommend?
Tutorials were not as common as they are now. I was blindly jumping into 3D software pushing buttons and discovering the way vertexes created something out of nothing. 3D was becoming more and more tedious as the workflow went towards a final render of a scene into a short clip or still. That's when reality struck and I realized that all these things take months for 1 man to realize, and you need a team, render farms, not to mention trained general skills and so on, in order to actually produce what I imagined.
That's how I reoriented towards drawing which had quick and effective results, even though describing a story in a 2D format could only go so far.
I began sketching in notebooks in pen, hundreds and hundreds of thumbnails of ships, robots, flying apparatus, anything that my brain assimilated and took through its filters. I intuitively used to choose 1 or 2 thumbnails to reproduce in line on a bigger scale and sort the details out. Eventually I tried markers, and watercolors, before finally going into Photoshop
with a scanned line-drawing, laying the colors underneath. I found out about Gnomon's Feng Zhu tutorials
which I saw used similar techniques, and helped me understand things I discovered intuitively till then. It only raised my way of approaching designs and I knew everything had to be studied more carefully and in depth, everything had to at least answer questions but also raise new ones in order to attract.
3dt: Could you tell us a bit about your career so far? What type of clients do you find yourself working for as a freelance concept designer?
I started my career by working for 2 months at Ubisoft Romania, after winning a spot there when a friend of mine submitted my portfolio without me knowing. I felt good making concepts for them, but then came the moment when they couldn't be used due to technical reasons, and little creative space in what was needed for the games they were developing. I knew I couldn't work like that and after leaving I chose to work as a freelance, using the internet to get work for clients that wanted to push the visuals and the story.
It's been a long road but a satisfying one. I now get to have clients that want more from me, and go well with how I am, always changing subject matters, with eclectic interests, allowing me to strive to see how I can get out of the routine my brain wants to set for what I do.
3dt: Do you have any tips for keeping a portfolio up to date?
The portfolio is nice to keep up to date, though sometimes hard to manage between client work, which most of the time takes quite some time to show due to NDA, and personal time which you need to divide either for improving your work, thus updating your portfolio, and personal real life. Just experiment, it doesn't have to be something you show. Alternate techniques, subjects, colors, feel uncomfortable trying new things. Save what you learn for your client work.
3dt: Could you tell us a bit about Digital Art Masters: Volume 9? Are there any particular tutorials you liked or found inspiring/useful?
I greatly enjoyed the book Digital Art Masters Volume 9
, and many of the presentations featured inside. It's very comprehensive, dealing with multiple techniques and genres, ideas which are cool for me to see the techniques and styles other people like to use with their art. I think my favorite tutorials were Levi Hopkins
and a few of the extreme realism 3D art ones... it's always great to see how realism is improved.
3dt: Which of your images are you most proud of and why?
I'm not sure which images of mine I'm most proud off... I want to think I'll be proud of what comes next in 3 months or 6 and so on!
3dt: Do you have any favorite artists â€" traditional or digital?
I definitely have favorite artists and I'll be unfair to the awesome work out there mention just a few... Craig Mullins
and Stephan Martiniere
, Rembrandt, Sargent and Grigorescu.
3dt: What has been your biggest artistic challenge so far?
My biggest artistic challenge so far is to stay a student.
"I greatly enjoyed the book Digital Art Masters: Volume 9... It's very comprehensive, dealing with multiple techniques and genres, ideas which are cool for me to see the techniques and styles other people like to use with their art"
Digital Art Masters: Volume 9 is available for purchase from our shop now
Visit Ioan's website
Check out the Art Fundamentals eBook free chapter
You can purchase Digital Art Masters: Volume 9 here
, in exclusive hardback
To see more by Ioan Dumitrescu, check out Digital Art Masters: Volume 8
Digital Art Masters: Volume 7
Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 4
Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop
and Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection