Artist: Ivailo Ivanov
🖼"My name is Ivailo Ivan. I am a 3D Character Artist from Bulgaria, working as a freelancer."
❓Who or what influenced your art style the most at the beginning of your journey?
🗣 I am not really sure what influenced me in the beginning since I started drawing when I was very young, I don't even recall when, but I would guess I was about 4 years old. My grandfather loved doing portraits, and my mother was teaching me to read by drawing Pokemon with a letter next to them (for example - drawing of Pikachu with the letter "P" ). I guess the family had a big influence on me. As a kid, I was very fascinated with Japanese style characters like manga and anime. I remember I started doing animations when I was 10-11 years old with Windows xp paint and gif maker. I would draw frame by frame and then merge them to create a gif animation. Later on, I remember watching Final Fantasy: Advent Children. I knew something wasn't right, and I knew the animation wasn't drawn so that's how I found 3D. There are a lot of artists out there that I like when it comes to character art, but I'm mostly inspired by music and films.
❓How did you start your professional career?
🗣 I decided I don't want to do anything else for a living and started looking for low paid gigs on Unreal and Unity forums. I ended up doing some characters for a mobile game and this was my first gig.
❓What software and hardware do you use, and why?
🗣 In terms of hardware, I have a Ryzen 3900x with a Radeon 5700xt and 64 gigs of Ram. I find that more than enough for the projects I work on. For software, right now, I'm using Zbrush, Substance Painter and Designer, Marmoset Toolbag, Photoshop, and Blender.
❓How do you like to work: as a freelancer, or maybe full-time or part-time?
🗣 I like freelancing the most. I like being my own boss and the comfort of my home. I don't enjoy following other people's rules, workflows or having someone sit over my head during my process. I like to feel at ease and comfortable. Overall I am not a social person, and I don't enjoy socializing with people outside of my already established group. Also, the money's simply better if you freelance rather than working in a studio in Bulgaria. I have gotten a lot of offers from large studios to go abroad, but I do not wish to leave my country. Family and friends come first.
❓What was your most challenging project, and why?
🗣 I'm not sure. It would probably be a personal project. Overall the hardest faces I do are those of well-defined males. Females come easily and naturally to me. I'd say probably the one I'm making right now - Jaime Lannister. Depending on when this interview is posted, it might be ready by then. I also had some trouble with Geralt of Rivia, and I plan on revisiting this portrait in the future. Some faces are simply complex and the complexity is not as easily visible as you might think. Sometimes I just need to spend time to understand the forms well.
❓What was your most significant learning experience, and how does it help you now?
🗣 I really can't pick one. Something that I'm still learning is to rest my eyes when it comes to likeness. Sometimes I overwork myself and create some terrible looking characters without even realizing it. The morning after, I can see many mistakes. So I would say taking my time, resting my eyes and having patience is something I still lack and want to improve on.
❓What is your dream project or art direction that you're starving to try?
🗣 I am already going after the art direction I like. In terms of a dream project related to my work - I'd love to do a 3D art exhibition in the future and maybe even have my own gallery for digital art.
❓Can you tell us about a personal or professional project you are proud of?
🗣 I'd say my Jon Snow project. I had someone come to me and ask me if I could do a Jon Snow for a personal cinematic project he was making. The guy was very nice, and even though the money wasn't that much, I accepted the project because I love Game of Thrones. (before the last seasons). In terms of Likeness, it actually turned out to be the best likeness I've done so far I think. It just happened naturally, no reworks and rather easy. The sculpt, textures, lighting all worked nicely from the first attempt. Something I'm not really used to.
❓Do you have any passion projects you're working on or plan to start?
🗣 I have a tutorial which would be about 100 hours or more on creating Tissaia de Vries from The Witcher Netflix show that I'm working on. The model is looking really, really good so far I think, and I only need to edit and voice over the lections before releasing it to the public. I hope I will show it to the world soon.
❓What are you passionate about and do you have any hobbies besides art?
🗣 Your normal stuff, I like sports activities, watching movies and tv shows, music, going out with friends, drinking on a Friday night... Smoking Shisha...
❓If you had just one question about anything that you could ask and get an answer, what would it be?
🗣 If you could go at the speed of light, would that make everything else go at the speed of dark?