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Artist Journey: senior 3D artist Javier Benitez

Senior 3D artist Javier Benitez (Javierbenver) shares his artistic journey so far, with some insight into the evolving process and advice for beginners. “I always say when you think a job is finished, dedicate one more day to it.” Read more…

Javier's Instagram

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?

Javier

My name is Javier Benitez although online I use the nickname of javierbenver. My involvement with art began at a very young age, I remember always trying to get a little money to go to the store next to my house to buy some paper. I spent the day drawing instead of playing in the street. I started working in a factory and I forgot a bit about the possibility of working in something related to art, I thought that was something reserved for people with money.

In 2004, I picked up the brushes again and I have not stopped creating, I always loved the work of Akira Toriyama, I think it has been the most important influence on my work. My first 3D work was modeled for 3D printing back in 2010-2011. A couple of years later I decided to study more about 3D modeling for videogames and films, so I took a two-year course and soon after I was able to participate in interesting projects. After working in videogames since 2015, I’m currently working as a freelance 3D artist for different clients.

blonde female sculpt 3d digital design render character
Urban girl

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?

Javier

Yes, I started working with acrylic, oil…, but in 2007 I changed to digital. I remember that at first it was very difficult for me to make that transition. Below there’s one of my first digital illustrations, back in 2007 or 2008, it is clear that it was not very good, but I keep these works with great affection since for me it was an important step. At that time it was not so easy to find material to learn new techniques, it’s funny when now I hear some artists say that they are self-taught when at a single click they have the best professionals in the industry giving masterclasses online.

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Silvana 2014
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Magneto 2014

3dtotal

What training or learning did you do in those beginning stages? Could you see your progression?

Javier

In regards to 2D I mostly learned by drawing a lot, it was also very helpful watching Nico di Mattia's speed paintings. You can learn a lot by watching other artist’s process. As for 3D, it was quite hard for me, the first 3D program I used was ZBrush in 2011, and it was a bit love/hate at first – now it is my main tool, of course. It also helped me a lot to train in modeling for videogames, it helped me to see the whole process in a professional production.

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Dark Knight

3dtotal

Can we see some of your progression artwork? Where did you think you were improving? And where did you need to improve upon?

Javier

When I started in 3D, I only cared about the artistic aspect, I did not like the more technical part, but over time I have learned a lot about it and now I actually think it is essential for this industry. I think that the difference between the works of a few years ago and the recent ones is the incorporation of better lighting, look dev, and creating hair with Xgen. I think that has made a difference in my portfolio.

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!”?

Javier

I am quite demanding in my work. Over the years I have learned not to leave it halfway, if I start a new project I will finish it. A few years ago I had a much more dispersed mind, and that I think is a big problem for artists not to be able to focus on a project for a specified period of time. I think patience is very important. I always say when you think a job is finished, dedicate one more day to it.

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Autumn

3dtotal

Which piece are you most proud of, and why?

Javier

Well, it's hard for me to decide which piece I like the most, but I think my favorite piece is my Khal Drogo fanart. I think that in this work I got everything I wanted to show. I learned a lot in that work, and the style of it is the most I like, the mix between caricature but with more complex shaders and details.

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Khal Drogo Fanart

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?

Javier

Right now I am in a moment I feel very comfortable with my skills, I believe my goal now is to do a job that does not leave people indifferent. I often see very good jobs technically but that does not make me stop to look at them because I find them boring, so I want to continue delving into the stylized style since I think that in my opinion it is much more interesting than realism.

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Fight

3dtotal

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

Javier

I think that focusing on something specific is very important. I see many artists who want to master all the techniques; that's fine if you want to be a generalist, but if you really want to stand out in one area, spend all your time on that discipline since right now your work competes with that of artists from all over the world. I also believe that you should know that seeking excellence takes time and sacrifice.

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Pretty girl

3dtotal

Have any of 3dtotal’s published books been useful in your development?

Javier

I especially like Sketching from the Imagination, it is wonderful, and personally I am a huge fan of Djamila Knopf's work – I love her style and her creation process is very interesting to me.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Javier

As I mentioned before, I will continue trying to create works that attract people’s attention and characters that make you smile, or at least make you stop for a moment to observe it. It is difficult to find time if you work full time to create personal projects but I am very persistent so I will continue to post new jobs periodically. I hope you enjoy them.

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Casual girl

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