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Andres Rios: digital sculptor interview

Andres Rios

Digital Sculptor / Concept Artist

Mexican digital sculptor Andres Rios is passionate about creating monsters and characters in ZBrush, particularly in a dark, fantasy style. Find out more…

Andres' Profile

Adam

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Andres

I’m 23 years old, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I’m passionate about creating monsters and characters, ever since I was a child. I studied for a career in cinematography and 3D animation here in Guadalajara, as I wanted to be a photographer, but halfway through my career I began my first ZBrush class, and my life changed. That’s when I understood that ZBrush was the way to get closer to the things I see in my head.

Adam

What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?

Andres

It was a mix between my love for Zdzisław Beksiński artworks and my love for SoulsBorne games; the eerie, dark fantasy style. I wanted to do a king with an undead army and I did the army, but in the end I didn’t liked how it looked. I liked the idea of a lonely king, wandering alone in the Snow Mountains with the blood of his fallen enemies on his sword.

Adam

What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?

Andres

The cloth was one of the biggest challenges; I used Marvelous Designer and ZBrush to sculpt some details, and I’m new with Marvelous Designer, so I tried a lot of settings with the fabric, thinking about the wind… In the end, I didn’t get it to look as I wanted, but I was happy with the result.

Adam

Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?

Andres

I mainly use ZBrush, Keyshot, Photoshop, and now Marvelous Designer. I find that these software are the perfect combo for 3D concept art. I would like someday to use 3D-Coat too; I’ve heard it is really formidable software for 3D concepting. I’m trying to get into Substance Painter and the Maya workflow too, but I’m still learning.

Adam

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Andres

It has been a challenge for me because I get distracted easily but I found a way to overcome that. When I open ZBrush I put my cellphone on silent. I don’t check notifications of any kind, I don’t watch any videos… sometimes I put some music on, but that’s it, this helps me to really focus. I force myself through the first hour, then the inspiration kicks in; this helps to begin the work, and pump out more work.

Adam

Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?

Andres

On Facebook I really love “Level  Up” and “Ten Thousand Hours.” There are really helpful people in those groups. For anyone that speaks Spanish, I really recommend “Artistas CG & VFX / Comunidad.” On Instagram, there are some profiles that I really love; Monstregram, Creature Corner, Empire of Future; they’re always sharing amazing artwork from artists all around the world.

Adam

How important is the recognition of your peers?

Andres

It really makes me happy when other fellow artists tell me that they like my work – it gives me energy to pull out more work. It is always nice to have recognition for all the hours of hard work you put into one piece; rewarding to know other people like the stories I’m telling with each piece.

Adam

What are your artistic ambitions?

Andres

I would really love to work as a concept artist in any movie or videogame. My personal preference would be any superhero movie, horror movie, or fantasy movie… any Fromsoftware game too! In the future I would like to make my own stories; I don’t know if in film or videogame, but definitively I want to tell my own stories to the world.

Adam

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Andres

For digital sculptors: I love the work of Maarten Verhoeven and Soren Zaragoza. When I was learning ZBrush I found the Artstation of these two guys and I was amazed with what they are doing. For digital painters: Alex Konstad and Piotr Jabłoński; wow, I love everything these guys make; how they can tell you a story with just one image. For traditional: Simon Lee is a really huge inspiration. The biggest inspiration will always be Zdzisław Beksiński; the colors, the forms, the vibe that every artwork of his transmits, is just amazing. There are many more; Raf Grassetti, Vitaly Bulgarov, Furio Tedeschi, Mariano Steiner – I could keep going all day.

Adam

What can we expect to see from you next?

Andres

I definitively want to do more characters with storytelling, and spend more time on each character to make more frames, more action, and more stories for each one. I want to get more dynamic poses. I’m also working in getting better at scenarios. In school I learned how to rig and animate characters, which is something I want to revive with some of my future works.

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