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Artist Journey: previz artist Zhara Honore

Zhara Honore

Previz artist

“I try to expose myself to as many different forms of art and media as possible, and I’ve found this to be a great way to stay inspired.” Previz artist Zhara Honore has worked on The Mandalorian and Star Trek Discovery, among other projects, and shares her advice and artistic journey…

Zhara's Website

3dtotal

Thank you for sharing your journey so far with our readers. Let’s begin: please introduce yourself and let us know how long ago your journey started? What drew you to art? Any early influences?

Zhara

Hi, I’m Zhara. I’m a 3D artist currently living in Los Angeles, CA. I was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. I’ve been creating art for as long as I can remember. I started painting when I was 3 years old and the rest is history! I would sit in front of the TV and try to draw my favorite cartoon characters and design my own characters. I had a lot of fun creating stories for them as well. I nurtured this passion by applying to the Computer Animation Program at Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. Upon receiving my BFA in 2018, I moved to LA and began to work in the VFX industry. During that time I’ve worked on The Mandalorian, Star Trek: Discovery, and various AR & VR projects. In my free time, I like hiking, having picnics and hanging out with my French Bulldogs, Kygo and Goji. My latest creative outlet is designing and reworking my old clothes.

3dtotal

Do you still have any early artwork? We’d love to see your early work, be they digital or traditional. How do you feel about these works now?

Zhara

These are some of my earlier projects from college. These would’ve been some of my first 3D projects ever. Looking at them now, I feel like they’re not bad considering it was my first time using 3D software, but overall...they could use a lot of work, ha!

primitive theater 3d project character model caveman
Primitive Theater - This was one of my first 3D projects. The goal was to create a simple character and story using basic shapes in 3D.
computer animation cowboy character design model render 3d
Sit Stand - This was another early one of my projects. Again, a simple story, but with more complex character and set.

3dtotal

Were you always happy with what you produced, or was there a turning point where you thought; “This is it, I’ve made it!”?

Zhara

Never. I think I’m my harshest critic. Knowing myself, I can’t really imagine there being a time or project that I'll work on and feel like, “Yes, this is it. This is a masterpiece and it doesn’t get any better from here.” Like I think I’ll always be learning and improving in one way or another.

3dtotal

Which piece are you most proud of, and why?

Zhara

I have a couple! I’m really proud of my work on The Mandalorian because that was the project where I received my first credit. So that was a pretty big moment for me. Otherwise, I’d say I’m most proud of my senior thesis from college. It was a short film called, ‘Tiffanys.’ It’s about a space alien who comes to conquer earth, but ends up going head to head with a high school Queen Bee because he believes that she’s the queen of Earth. I worked on it with two of my friends who were in my class and we created the project in its entirety. It was an original idea that we brainstormed, storyboarded, animated, rendered. Everything! I really enjoyed the project because it was something we came up with on our own and was completely ours.

storyboarding contact sheet thesis lighting tifanny's
‘Tiffanys’ Contact Sheet - Contact sheet for my thesis. This was a blueprint for our lighting our film

3dtotal

What are you still working on improving (if anything) - or have you reached a point of high consistency? Do you have any tips for keeping it fresh?

Zhara

Right now, I’m working on a couple personal projects with a friend of mine so I can brush up on my lighting and FX skills. Then, in a few weeks, I’m taking a Motion Design course. I’m really interested in that type of animation and design, so I’m excited to start that. In terms of tips for keeping it fresh, I always try to find inspiration through other hobbies and art forms. Right now, I’m into fashion, home decor, music, photography. This is where I tend to get my ideas and inspiration to keep creating from. I also try to follow a lot of different artists on social media. Often, seeing someone else’s work inspires me.

3dtotal

What advice would you give to any of our readers who are just beginning their journey now?

Zhara

As a woman, I think entering this industry is a pretty unique experience considering there are so few of us. So to other women, I say try not to let the fact that there's so few of us intimidate you. I think being a woman gives you a completely different perspective than men and that's something that should be used to your advantage! Especially artistically, there’s a lot of value in having emotional and intuitive reactions to things, so don't apologize for it. I think what’s really helped me also is becoming friends with other women in the workplace. It gave me a sense of community and belonging. Seeing other women in similar positions to mine was extremely comforting and inspiring.

As a piece of general advice, again, I’d say to try to keep a balance of things and nurture other hobbies. There’s a tendency to fall into a rabbit hole where you’re only exposing yourself to the same types of art, so you end up closing yourself off from other ideas and possibilities. I try to expose myself to as many different forms of art and media as possible, and I’ve found this to be a great way to stay inspired.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Zhara

I have a few personal projects that I’m working on with a friend of mine that I’m really excited about. Some fanart, some original concepts, but all really fun stuff!

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