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Max Duran: concept artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: https://www.artstation.com/artist/maxduran (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 26th April 2017

Concept artist Max Duran uses Photoshop to create varied sci-fi scenes and cool creature concepts. Find out more about his life and workflow...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Max Duran: My name is Max Duran. I live in Bogota, Colombia and currently work as a freelance concept artist, illustrator and teacher. At the moment I am looking for the opportunity to work overseas. I graduated as a graphic designer and worked for more than 8 years in editorial design and advertising, but I was not happy so I decided a few years ago, on the advice of a close friend and great concept artist named Eduardo Pena, also known as Chino-Rino, to follow my dream of becoming an illustrator and concept artist.


3dt: What's the story behind your latest gallery entry? Where did the idea come from? What were you trying to achieve with it?
MD: The inspiration for my last entry was based on the Power Rangers. I wanted to pay tribute to the first generation monsters of the Power Rangers, but changing its style. At that time I decided to try something new so I decided to go for the aesthetics of one of my favorite films "Pacific Rim", redesigning one of the strongest monsters of the first franchise generation which is Mutitus into his second form. It was very fun to do!


3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?
MD: For this piece I only worked with Photoshop using the Photobash technique. I also thought it was a good idea to use the rhinoceros and lizard textures. I must say that this was my second attempt since the first one would have been the scene of the monster viewed from a bridge fighting against the Megazord, but it didn't turn out well. However from this failure I learned to establish the necessary path to design this creature.


3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
MD: Sometimes I use other software to solve some problems or to vary my workflow such as ZBrush, 3ds Max and DAZ, but mostly I use Photoshop since I think it is more than enough to solve design problems. I am currently looking for software such as NUKE, in order to learn new skills. I think one should never stop learning!

"There is a phrase given by Bruce Lee, the founder of Jeet Kune Do, that says, "Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own." Like this there are many quote's that can be applied to the growth and life of an artist."

3dt: Do you have any tips or techniques that other artists may not be aware of?
MD: More than techniques, I think that many artists do not take into consideration the way of thinking and living. I have been learning martial arts since I was 6 years old, and I've obtained high ranks in some disciplines. Nowadays, I teach Jeet Kune Do and self-defense. In my opinion, concept and martial arts are very similar and their philosophies have much in common. There is a phrase given by Bruce Lee, the founder of Jeet Kune Do, that says, "Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own." Like this there are many quote's that can be applied to the growth and life of an artist.


3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?
MD: My artistic ambitions are to work for a good studio, perhaps in another country, that would offer opportunities to learn and grow as an artist, as well as new challenges. In my country this is difficult because there aren't any schools or many jobs for this, so we must learn it on our own. This country only offers small developers of mobile games. I am very grateful for the experience I've gained with the opportunities I've had, and maybe I sound ambitious but I would like to work on bigger projects and grow as a professional.


3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
MD: I admire and follow many concept artists as Maciej Kuciara, Ryan Lang, Alex Konstad and my friend Eduardo Peña, but the artist that has influenced me the most is James Paick, whom I had the honor of meeting last year. I love the work of these artists and feel that there is much to learn from them.

From traditional art, I love paintings of Orientalism and Romanticism. Whenever I feel that I do not know how to start or continue a design, I look for these paintings and I feel I should study them more.


3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
MD: Currently I'm working on several sci-fi paintings with robots and monsters of which I will gradually finish in my free time. I also have an IP inside my head concealing monsters as well as heroes with supernatural powers in a setting of the current era. I would like to start exploring these ideas and I look forward to completing these paintings as soon as possible.

Related links

Check out Max's ArtStation
Max's gallery entries
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop


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