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Leandro Sakami: character illustrator interview

By 3dtotal staff

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

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Date Added: 10th May 2018

São Paulo-based 2D and 3D character artist Leandro Sakami shares some of his 3D characters and talks about his passions, inspiration, and workflow…



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Leandro Sakami: I'm from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I'm 30. I work with 2D and 3D illustration in an agency in São Paulo and also as freelancer. I started studying 3D recently, about 2 years ago. I had never imagined entering this world, since I was always 2D, but it's been fun and challenging.

Concept: here

3dt: Tell us about your art: Your style, themes, genre, and some of the favorite projects you have worked on.
LS: My preference is always for characters. I love the style of Disney, DreamWorks and Blizzard. I like more stylized characters, not very realistic models. Regarding themes, nothing really special, in my portfolio there are varied themes (even has pinup), but maybe I like things a bit more futuristic and high technology.

Concept: here

3dt: Can you describe your typical workflow, and the software/hardware you normally use when creating your artwork?
LS: I always start with a simple sphere in ZBrush. With a low dynamesh, I use the Move brush to get the silhouette and the basic form of the model. Before adding the details, I usually send the model to Maya to retopo, then I send back to ZBrush. After that, I do the textures in Substance Painter. To render, I use Arnold in Maya, and Photoshop for composition.


3dt: What inspires you?
LS: As an artist, everything inspires me. Photography, music, games, and other artists. But what really inspires me are the people around me. My friends, my wife and my family, who always encourage me to continue studying. I think without them, it would be very difficult for me to have this desire to always want to improve

Concept: here

3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
LS: I take a long time to create a new piece of art, about one and a half months. The ideal is always to post WIP, because the important thing is to always be seen by other people. For a good portfolio, in fact it does not matter the quantity, but the quality. It is more important to have one really good piece of art, than five that are not quite up to standard.

Concept: here

3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
LS: I can mention the Brazilians, like Tiago Hoisel, Mike Azevedo, Rafael Grassetti, and Victor Hugo Queiroz. What they all have in common, besides spectacular works, is the love each one has for art. Their passion is very inspiring, and this is very evident in their work. That's why I think they are at a level above the other artists.

3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?
LS: At first, I want to study more. Improve my modeling and lookdev. Then I'll start thinking about working in big studios, first here in my country, Brazil. But I'm happy, because I already do what I love, which is 3D, and I've already achieved things that I would never have imagined.

Related links

Follow Leandro on ArtStation
Leandro on Instagram
Grab a copy of Creating Stylized Characters


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