Artist: Aleksandar Chistovski
🖼 "My name is Aleksandar Chistovski, I live in Bulgaria, and I am currently a freelance concept designer, working for films, games as well as real-life products."
❓Who or what influenced your art style the most at the beginning of your journey?
🗣 During my early steps in art, I cannot say I had a single specific influence. I started with traditional academic drawing and painting. During that time, I looked up to old master painters.
When I discovered concept art, I started looking up to professional artists already in the industry. At that time, I started drawing inspiration from both areas.
Later on, when I pivoted to mechanical and hard-surface design, I started looking into engineering and the real world.
❓How did you start your professional career?
🗣 Starting my concept art journey, I would mostly do illustrations and keyframes, trying to learn how to tell a story. While I was learning that and working on fundamentals like composition, design sense, values, color, and light, I also started getting into mechanical design and hard-surface. Eventually, I transition mostly 3D design even though I still do 2D work occasionally. I found it much easier to design as well as to communicate my designs in 3 dimensions in programs such as Fusion 360 or Blender. Nowadays, I mostly do hard-surface designs, though I do feel that at the core of it, things are pretty similar and it all boils down to good design sensibility, which needs time to be developed.
❓What software and hardware do you use, and why?
🗣 I mostly use Fusion 360, Blender, Photoshop, Keyshot, Marvelous Designer, and some others. The software I use usually is based on the task at hand, so it is more about using different tools to acquire different results.
❓How do you like to work: as a freelancer, or maybe full-time or part-time?
🗣 I have exclusively worked freelance up until now. This definitely has its pros and its cons. For example, freedom to work whenever you feel most creative in the day as well as having full control of when your time off is can be really good or the ability to get hired for work on the other side of the globe. But on the other hand, there is also more stress and less reliability associated with freelance work. I am still not sure if this is the best way for me to work, and I would like to join a studio so that I can have another type of experience.
❓What was your most challenging project, and why?
🗣 I found it most challenging to work on real products. It has definitely been an interesting task since I had to work with real-life tolerances and measurements. In addition, ergonomic limitations and material properties had to be considered for the products. These things made me really figure out every part of the design.
❓What was your most significant learning experience, and how does it help you now?
🗣 I don't recall a specific big learning experience. I feel like it has mostly been small steps towards better results, and it has continued to be that way. Getting feedback for your work, or finding out what you did wrong and what can be improved and then implementing it. As they say, slow and steady wins the race...I guess.
❓What is your dream project or art direction that you're starving to try?
🗣 When it comes to a project, it would probably be one where the team I work with consists of awesome people that are amazing artists as well. In my opinion, that would be an environment where creativity could thrive, a lot can be learned and your co-workers can become like a second family.
❓Can you tell us about a personal or professional project you are proud of?
🗣 To be completely honest, I don't really have a personal project that I am proud of, at least not yet. Most of the personal work for me is like stepping stones to become better at design and art, and I could probably nit-pick the hell out of most of my work. I don't have a big overarching personal IP that I can work on in my free time and build up. That is mostly because I feel that there is a lot to be learned before I should venture into such a big task. I am really hoping that one day I could take a step back and appreciate my work and be proud of it, but that day is somewhat in the future.
❓ What are you passionate about and do you have any hobbies besides art?
🗣 Outside of art, I have many interests. Some of them have to do with engineering since I am fascinated with it, and I also feel that it feeds back into my designs. Practical sports like running and climbing are also things that fill my free time. I also get into random things that peak my interest just because I like to learn stuff. Starting with surface-level knowledge and then getting deeper into the topic, the more time I spend on it. I feel like this is why I really like concept art and design since it allows you to dive deep on random topics that you are tasked with or want to learn about consequently that broadens your knowledge of the world.
❓If you had just one question about anything that you could ask and get an answer, what would it be?
🗣 If I could ask only one question and get it answered, it would probably be related to dark energy and dark matter since I am super curious about what they are and what their properties could be. Knowing such information could be life-changing for science, humanity, and also be pretty cool, I imagine