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Kieran McKay: freelance 3D character artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

Web: http://www.kieranmckay.co.uk/ (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 11th October 2017

Freelance 3D character artist Kieran McKay shares some of his cool characters and talks about his experience of working on different projects with different teams...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Kieran McKay: Hello, I'm Kieran McKay and I am a 3D Character Artist from (and currently living in) South Wales, UK. So for the last two years I have been working as a freelancer in which I have worked on many cool projects. It has been an amazing journey so far! I love getting to work on different projects, all within various sectors of the industry from games to 3D printing and product design.

My passion for art started when I was a small child and has grown from drawing cartoon characters, wrestlers and dinosaurs into what it is now. A big turning point for me was when I first played God of War and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles as a teenager. Two very contrasting games but they really opened my eyes and really got my head into gear about where I wanted to take my career as I grew up. I always wanted to be a character artist/designer of some sort but I just felt like games and animation were perfect for me.

Frankenstein Pinup

3dt: What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?
KM: So my last gallery image is titled Sharky, which is based on a concept by Patri Balanovsky.
I saw his work online and thought it would be a super fun piece to bring to life in 3D and then produce some renders that look like real photographs of 3D prints using KeyShot. This is always challenging to do but great to learn some new skills along the way.

I actually chose to work on this one because it's a big change from all of the professional work I have been doing. It just had that certain ‘charm' to it and felt really fresh! I love those kind of works!
Also through all of my works both professional and personal, I like to work in as many styles as possible as I want to become a very versatile artist. Next time I plan on trying something different again!

Frankenstein Pinup 3DPrint

3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
KM: I usually have a similar process for all my works regarding software. Mainly I think my projects differentiate in a stylistic aesthetic as opposed to using different software to create them. I would say ZBrush is my most powerful tool, it is where I can fully utilize my skills to communicate a character's shape/silhouette and then I can start the next process from there (depending on the needs of the project) whether it be retopology, texturing, rendering, and so on.

I do find myself constantly learning new methods and new approaches in the software I already use, which I think will benefit me from one project to the next and in the long run. The most exciting thing for me is where a project takes me. It is the difference between them that I especially find most interesting.

Atomic Delivery Bro – Fury Beats

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
KM: Generally I try to squeeze in as much personal work as I can when time permits. I would say a very large percentage of all my work cannot be shown yet due to copyright reasons. Hopefully I can show some stuff soon, I have done some really cool work that I am very proud of!

Undertaking personal work is very exciting because you can always work on whatever you want, try new things, work in different styles and grind away at your own pace. Now that I am freelancing I find it does become increasingly harder and harder to find the time to do personal art because of the precedence of other projects. Nevertheless I always get super excited to start a new project for myself, and I always have something in the works! It just takes me much longer to finish these days.

Atomic Delivery Bro – Fury Beats

3dt: Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?
KM: I suppose I'm connected to all of them, but use some more than others and then in different ways. I generally only use social media to keep up to date with the community, find new and cool artwork then finally share my own work. I find it energizing to browse through ArtStation, Behance, 3dtotal, Polycount and so on, every morning before I get into my routine. It's great to see what people are producing and it gets me all fired up and get the juices flowing!


3dt: How important is the recognition of your peers?
KM: For any artist it is always great to have recognition from peers, the community and especially potential employers. So I would say it is very important. When I post my work I don't expect anything, but it's always amazing when someone reaches out to you personally and says that you have inspired them. You just can't beat that!

Demon Sculpt

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