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Juan Diego Borda Cepeda: illustrator & concept artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

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

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Date Added: 25th April 2018

Colombian concept artist and illustrator Juan Diego Borda Cepeda is transitioning into the world of concept art, learning all the time. Find out more...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Juan Cepeda: Hi, I'm Juan, and I'm currently living in Bogotá. I'm an illustrator and I always love saying I'm a concept artist as well, since I discovered this amazing, beautiful, and inspiring "concept art world” a few months ago when I graduated from the illustration program. I love movies, videogames, anime, painting with my Wacom, and currently I'm taking a couple of online concept art courses, trying to push my art skills.

One of my skills is the use of photobashing to make a stronger image

3dt: Tell us about your art: your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
JC: Well, I think my style tends to be realistic and I like the post-apocalyptic and sci-fi genre. I try to create that 'Beyond Human' or 'After Earth' feeling in my paintings, that is the kind of themes and genres I like. I had the chance to work in the animation industry for a few months, working on a children's animated TV series as an illustrator and prop designer. I loved this, it was really eye opening and a great experience, but for now I'm studying and want to focus more on concept art. This is really my passion.

It's important to be able to create a new environment from an image overpaint, saves a lot of time

3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
JC: I usually paint the things that I like and that I feel comfortable with when I'm working on personal projects, and I try to put something useful (in my opinion) when doing commissions or other work. I use Photoshop, Sketchup, and I'm learning Modo 3D. I also use KeyShot. I usually start brainstorming some ideas and I try to respect the order from a very basic sketch, to the final render, and look of the piece.

Here the composition and the elements in the foreground reinforces the focal point

3dt: What inspires you?
JC: I always try to do something and try to relate the activity to art; if it's watching a movie or playing some videogame, or even if I'm walking around in the street, I try to think "How can I paint that?” or "What if I move this to the other side and change proportions?” Something like that… and then I go home and focus on the way I can translate that information into a painting.

Creating an interesting mood helps improve the storytelling

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
JC: I think the secret is never stop doing and studying, I know that this is a very competitive and hardworking field and although I'm just starting, I want to prove to myself that I can create great art and prove to the other people and encourage them to fight for their dreams as well. Yes, there's a lot of frustration, and you will never feel comfortable in that aspect, I know… you must apply and learn from failures.

Separating every plane allows to read depth in a simpler way

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
JC: My favorite foreign digital artists are Goro Fujita, Masahiro Sawada, and Florent Lebrun, and Colombian digital artists such as Julian Calle, Juan Pablo Corredor, and Juan Pablo Roldan. I think they are all very passionate, constant and talented people, very hardworking people, seeing their art (which is already at another amazingly high-quality level) and the way they interact with people through social media, it gives me an idea of how they might work and how I would have to see things around me to improve myself. That's also very inspiring to me… I'm working on my skills and hopefully someday I can work alongside with them.

The use of the angle improved the scene a lot and made it look more interesting

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
JC: As I said before, I'm just starting in this field, and I want to be that person trying to become a better artist. I also think this job shapes great human beings. I'll try to be a great artist and learn a lot from the amazing artists on this path as well. You can be sure that whatever I'm posting, it's something that I really enjoyed and loved doing!

The silhouettes will allow you to read and better understand the entire composition

Related links

Juan Diego Borda Cepeda's website
Juan on Instagram
Juan on Facebook


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